Calling all entrepreneurs! Join us at BUILDFest this November 12, 6-10pm, at the Westin Copley Plaza. BUILD will feature its Student Business Expo, offering unique products developed by the students. TUGGers receive 15% off tickets by registering here. At the event we will also be auctioning off a "week at Accomplice". The winner will co-habitate at Accomplice's offices for a week, joining partner meetings and dinners.
At this year’s BUILDFest, BUILD Boston’s largest annual fundraiser and celebration of entrepreneurship, TUGG will be honored with the BUILD Friend of the Year award. Our founders, Jeff Fagnan and Hemant Taneja, will accept the award on our behalf. We are excited to be a part of BUILDFest, and wanted to take time to also reflect on TUGG and BUILD’s joint history while we celebrate BUILD’s success.
So many TUGGers have served as mentors and volunteers with BUILD, but you may not know that BUILD was TUGG’s first formal grant recipient as well as the first portfolio nonprofit to “graduate” from the TUGG portfolio!
In many ways, TUGG and BUILD grew up together in Boston. In 2006, Jeff Fagnan, on a challenge from Bill Hellman at Greylock Partners, brought together founders, entrepreneurs, and fellow VCs for a casual party – in a conference room - to raise money for YearUp. Bill served wine from his personal collection. The thirty-something attendees had exactly zero awareness of the pristine quality of the rare wines they drank (heartily), but they did become deeply moved and connected by the story of a YearUp graduate in attendance at the party. And so TUGG’s Wine Party was born as a way to gather the tech and start up community to support early stage nonprofits.
Over the same period, BUILD, which had piloted its program in Silicon Valley, was running fast at establishing an east coast presence. Ambassadors of the program began to lay the groundwork to bring BUILD to Boston. In 2008, TUGG invited BUILD to the Wine Party as its first formal start-up grant recipient, helping to jumpstart BUILD’s Greater Boston program.
TUGG was founded with the mission to engage tech entrepreneurs around innovative nonprofits serving under-resourced youth. Hemant says that the decision for TUGG to partner with BUILD was obvious, “The TUGG community was largely entrepreneurs and could naturally be great mentors for BUILD students.” And so you did!
TUGG has invested over $150,000 in the BUILD program through our open source events. Together we also launched the Entrepreneur Games to support BUILD programming. Every year, over 900 entrepreneurs battle it out in the Olympic-style competition, doing what TUGGers do best – have fun while giving back.
BUILD now serves 275 students in the Boston Public Schools. Since our initial seed funding, BUILD Boston has grown its operating budget to $1.8 million. Importantly, individual TUGGers – including Jeff Fagnan! - have gotten involved with BUILD as mentors, business coaches, venture advisors, judges, board members, and other active volunteers.
As a TUGG graduate, BUILD has grown beyond its start-up roots and beyond the seed stage of TUGG’s nonprofit portfolio. We are energized by BUILD’s success and are proud to have built such a strong partnership and legacy.
This coming year, TUGG will celebrate our 10th Wine Party, and BUILD will celebrate its 5th year of programming in Boston. Both TUGG and BUILD look forward to continuing to impact our community through innovation and entrepreneurship, and we go into the future - not just at this year’s BUILDFest – as friends.
Learn more about BUILDFest and register for TUGG’s 15% off tickets here! At the event we will also be auctioning off a "week at Accomplice". The winner will co-habitate at Accomplice's offices for a week, joining partner meetings and dinners. Get in to give back, TUGGers!