Happy January everyone! We hope everyone had a great winter break and a happy new year. This is the first newsletter of the semester as students jump back into classes. Join us this week to get to know this semester’s team, keep up to date with co-ops, listen to the first episode of this season’s ShermCast, and (videos/books) we’re loving this week!
🌟 Meet Our New Team Members 🌟
Lead Newsletter Editor
“Hi, I’m Lisa. I am currently a first year computer engineering/computer science major from northern Massachusetts. I’m excited to be taking on the role of newsletter editor as the previous newsletter lead moves on to the podcast. With this newsletter, I want to keep our readers up to date about everything surrounding the Sherman Center and I also want to hear back from the community through our new weekly poll!”
Community Operations Lead
“My names Erin, I’m originally from a small island in the Caribbean called Trinidad, but I grew up in Parkland, Florida. I’m studying bio-engineering and minoring in health science at Northeastern and I hope to go into medical device engineering in the future. I’m on the Sherman work study team as an operations associate and I’ll also be leading our weekly team meetings. I’m super excited to see what we’ll accomplish over the next few months!”
✨ New Year, New Co-ops ✨
Every week, we’re going to spotlight a new person that just went on co-op to see how they’re doing, what they like and don’t like about their co-op, and everything in between! This week, we’re going to revisit Steve Flanagan as he works with Bountium!
Who has the better chicken sandwich on campus, Chicken Lou’s or Popeyes?
“I have not been to either lol.”
Where are you co-oping currently and what’s your position?
“I’m co-oping with Bountium through the Sherman Center as the CEO.”
What work have you done on your venture before coming to the Sherman Center co-op?
“I developed, tested, deployed the first smart-contract-operated businesses, ie revenue generating DAOs. I also worked with dozens of businesses to iterate on this solution and meet their needs. We figured out we had timed that market too early so, we pivoted to focus on facilitating Letters of Credit, which serve a similar purpose to our first product, but do so poorly. Along with this, I set up a bunch of customer interviews for people who work with Letters of Credit including: trade service teams at banks, commercial lending teams at banks, and procurement officers at importing businesses.”
What do you plan to achieve during your 6 months in this co-op?
“I plan to perform, document, and analyse customer interviews of those who work with Letters of Credit, for the purpose of validating or rejecting our hypothesis that the LC process should be digitized and automated. If validated, I want to build & deliver this digital Letter of Credit solution, and iterate on it in a pilot, alpha & beta phase by the end of the co-op. I also plan to secure some revenue by end of March, build the founding team of Bountium by end of February, and research whether businesses would use a Letter-of-Credit substitute issued by our company as a long-term revenue stream.”
Any advice for those about to go on co-op in the spring?
“Do at least one ‘schlep‘ per day, a la Paul Graham. Doing this has made a radical difference to my business, and increased my personal ‘schlep tolerance’.”
🧠 Humans of the Sherm 🧠
“My friend, Bobby Briggs, had an idea to start a clothing brand that donated a portion of its profit, so we made it a reality. There were a lot of hoops and roadblocks to navigate in the beginning, like manufacturing issues and scalability. Our brand started to stray from the original concept and became a clothing service, so we took a break and started a new line, Reefresh. Reefresh was started with the goal of making bold fashion with a purpose. We aim to celebrate the beauty of the oceans by including them in what we design and advocate for them by donating the profits we generate to companies that are making a positive impact on the ocean. Our goal for the end of the year is to have a website up and running with our first collection.”
– Nick Kaffine, Computer Science ’21
(pictured on left with Bobby Briggs, co-creater, on right in brand designs)
🎙 ShermCast: Season 2 Episode 1 🎙
In the first episode of season 2, we discuss what it means to be a “young entrepreneur” with current co-op students Steve, Andrew, Justin, and Keith. This season is hosted by students Kendall Meenan and Izzy Stepanek. Stay tuned this spring semester for the new season with a new podcast team. Thank you to all our listeners and everyone who helped produce this podcast!
👀 Sherman Center events to keep an eye out 👀for this month!
💡What’s going on around Boston, the Sherm, 💡
and Northeastern this week?
Northeastern: New Venture Info Session
January 21st, 2020 6:00 PM / IDEA
📍IDEA Lab, 001 Hayden Hall
Boston: State of Innovation: Startups to Watch 2020
January 22nd, 2020 5:30 PM / Mendix
📍22 Boston Wharf Rd, 02210 Boston
Fee: $30 – $55 (reserve ticket here)Is Entrepreneurship Right For You?
January 221st, 2020 5:00 PM / CWE
📍24 School Street 7th Floor, 02108 Boston
Fee: Free (register here)
The Sherm: Team Leadership Step-by-Step
Every Friday @ 1:00 PM
📍Sherman Conference Room, 008C Hayden Hall
👇 Start-ups to WATCH this week 👇
Take a look at start-ups from around Boston and Northeastern University.