SLP was founded in 2006 by Anupendra Sharma and Puran Dang. Mr. Dang believed that the “subtle” skills of leadership were critical to the development of entrepreneurial leaders, but were commonly glossed over, and expressed an interest in the creation of an organization where leadership was taught. Anupendra also had a conversation with Desh Deshpande about the importance of career development. Combining these conversations with prior experiences in creating the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at his alma mater, he founded the Startup Leadership Program in Boston with a small group of Founding Fellows.
The founding class of seven Fellows met once a month, starting in September 2006, at Anupendra’s office over a period of nearly one year. These Fellows drove the development of the curriculum to bring in speakers in various sectors of life sciences. With an emphasis on creating socially responsible leaders, the class also raised $2,500 for the Jimmy Fund at the Children’s Hospital. At the end of the year, the Class of 2007 gave a big thumbs up in a formal evacuation for continuing the program with several recommendations:
- Increase the class size
- Add diversity of sectors through technology, cleantech and social enterprise
- Add formal training workshops, and maintain a rigorous, formal and transparent selection process.
The class graduated at the end of summer, at the home of Puran Dang, setting a tradition of creating a sense of community and family amongst the mentors and mentees who are part of the program.
- First Program Managers named: Tamara Nazzal and Vikas Goyal
- TiE Boston formally supports the program in its 2nd year thanks to President Al Kapoor and Executive Director Vanita Shastri
- Class expands to 17 Fellows
- The first Hard Skills workshop and several interesting field trips are held
- Shobhit Chugh, Ryan Bardsley and Hooman Hodjat become program managers
- Class size expands to 18
- Parker Treacy starts Ideation Sessions to brainstorm startups
- Amar Kendale creates Founders’ Salon for more focused, outside class startup development
- Fellows create the Venture Capital Competition
- A new softskills workshop is created
- Abhinav Khushraj is identified to lead the new Silicon Valley chapter next year
- Parul Singh steps into the role of Program Coordinator in Boston (later).
- Anupendra shifts focus to expansion of the program supported by Angela Chen. Praveen Yajman launches SLP’s website and the Venture Capital Competition website
- SLP appears on Facebook and Twitter
- SLP expands to Silicon Valley, and Rebecca Breitenkamp flies in from San Diego to run the chapter
- Mike Mullins becomes the first Fellow to visit another chapter.
- Jagan Nemani leads the charge for a new logo and a new website
- Sid Loganathan becomes Director of Admissions and creates a new admissions process using Wufoo
- 140 Fellows join SLP in 6 cities
- Upma Sharma is named the first Chief Operating Officer to manage the Program Leaders
- Ravitej Venapussa takes on the role of Director of Technology and creates the website
- Jack Po applies his magic to wordpress and launches several new features
- Mangesh Wadegaonkar works on creation of a legal entity
- Mark Haddad becomes general counsel to SLP