I am blogging live from the MassTLC unConference in Burlington, MA. MassTLC is the Massachusetts Technology Leadership council, which was once the Mass Software Council. And, this is my first unConference — and it is great. It is probably the best conference that I have attended in years.
An unConference is a meeting of hundreds of people with a very loose agenda. In this case, the topic is "Fostering Entrepreneurship & Driving Innovation." People who have an interest in the topic sign up to meet in a common location. A few "experts" are named. Attendees offer suggestions as to what sessions should be held. And, then, the group decides on the agenda with sessions divided into various break-out rooms.
Today’s sessions included topics like how to get covered in the media, led by Boston Globe and Mass High Tech journalists, how to raise funds, led by VCs, how to do better marketing. There is a session this afternoon for people who have a great idea, but don’t know how to start a business. There are also sessions about technology and about trends.
The best part is that it is highly interactive. Forget the talking heads on the podium. If you have an idea or something to contribute, you speak. If the session is worthless, vote with your feet.
I love it. I love the concept. I love the content. I love the networking with some really cool people. As a matter of fact, I think I will go do more of that now. (I hope we have this conference more frequently than once per year.)