Archive | October, 2011

Growing the pro bono movement…in Boston!

26 Oct

Catchafire celebrates expansion with two upcoming Boston events

Social enterprises – celebrate with us on Nov 14th 7-9pm at our launch party – check it out here!

Boston professionals – learn more about how you can get involved at our panel discussion with Root Cause on Nov, 15 6-7.30pm – check it out here!

We are excited to announce that we will begin serving social enterprises outside of New York for the first time this November as we launch in Boston. Boston is known for a lot of things: its clam chowder, fanatic sports fans, central role in American history – and active community of passion-driven organizations and professionals. This is evidenced by the sheer number of social enterprises based in Boston, the vibrant university community and the culture of biotechnology and health that Boston is known for. As part of our launch, we are recruiting 25 organizations to be our Boston Founding Member “Class of 2011.” Boston Founding Members are leaders in the Boston social enterprise community, ranging from established, high impact organizations to high potential small startups across a range of cause areas. Founding Members will receive special introductory pricing, membership benefits, and potential media exposure.

On the professional side of our market, as the first scalable, online pro bono service platform, Catchafire was able to launch its virtual pro bono program in early September of this year. Professionals nationwide can now do pro bono projects virtually with member organizations. Because of this, there is even a pool of Boston-based professionals ready and waiting for when Catchafire arrives in Beantown. Upon hearing the news of Catchafire’s expansion, one Boston professional wrote:  “Awesome…I have been waiting for this news. Made my day…”

Prosperity Candle, a Boston based organization with a presence in NYC and one of Catchafire’s first members, has had 11 successful matches with Catchafire to date.

Siiri Morley, Founding Partner of Prosperity Candle, says: “Prosperity Candle is honored to be Catchafire’s first Boston-based Member. We have benefitted tremendously over the past year and a half from Catchafire’s talented pool of professionals, and are looking forward to having a Boston area community of peer organizations. After working with 10 NYC-based pro bono professionals, we are very excited to have our first Boston-area professional to help us with PR!”

Catchafire is currently inviting select organizations in the greater Boston area to join the Catchafire community as Founding Members. If you are interested in nominating an organization or in becoming a member, please contact


The social impact startup ecosystem in Boston is thriving

19 Oct

The 2011 MassChallenge Awards Ceremony is coming up!

For the past three months, 125 startups engaged with 250+ expert mentors, attended hundreds of free events, and shared 27K+ square feet of incredible office space at MassChallenge, located in Boston’s Innovation District.

MassChallenge Finalists are feeling the pressure now more than ever before.  These talented entrepreneurs are working through the night and coming into the office on weekends to ensure their pitch, business plan and prototypes are perfect before they’re brought in front of the judges.  If you walk through the Finalist’s office space, you’ll find some inflatable beds lying around, full wardrobes and fully stocked fridges.

What’s with the sudden sense of urgency?

The MassChallenge program culminates next week on Monday, October 24th at 6PM, when MassChallenge supporters will pack the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center as the world’s highest-impact startups receive $1,000,000 in awards.  There will be over 1,000 people in attendance, including investors, entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts.

The world’s top 26 startups will deliver one-minute pitches and all 125 MassChallenge startups will be available to share their vision and accomplishments.  MassChallenge has announced two scheduled keynote speakers: The Honorable Deval L. Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and The Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston. The  MassChallenge Team is also working on one more incredibly exciting keynote speaker.  More details on that will be announced soon.

In the midst of the current economic crisis, we are presented with the opportunity to define whole industries by developing the next generation of preeminent leaders and organizations.  The success of MassChallenge has been noted by President Obama, when he named the non-profit one of the most effective organizations in the country supporting high-growth entrepreneurs.

Catchafire is excited to support MassChallenge and their class of 2011. This year, there are 15 social impact startup finalists covering an array of cause areas, from energy to women’s issues to art and culture. They are doing great work, and we wish them all the best in the Awards Ceremony next Monday. Check them out here.

For more information on the Awards Ceremony, visit MassChallenge’s website here.

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