A relentless advocate for entrepreneurship

From advocating for budding startups to his work in the Northeastern Entrepreneurship Club, Cory Bolotsky has hit his stride in and out of the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. That innovative spirit, he said, is nearly a decade in the making. “Starting my first web design company at 14 was what first got me into the idea of entrepreneurship,” recalled Bolotsky, a fourth-year business major and a recipient of the Samuel and Nancy Altschuler Scholarship.

At Northeastern, Bolotsky got his break during freshman year when he met Scott Bailey, director of partnerships at MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator and competition. The pair had a chance encounter at NEXPO, a biannual entrepreneurship exposition hosted by Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator IDEA, and has since led to several opportunities.

In the summer of 2011, Bolotsky started working full time at MassChallenge’s Boston office, which led to an opportunity to become the director of Startup Massachusetts, the state’s arm of the Startup America Partnership—an Obama administration initiative to spark startup growth and support innovation and entrepreneurship nationwide.

This work got Bolotsky thinking about how to provide similar resources and support to college students. What came next was Startup Summer. Launched in January of 2012, the initiative offers college students internships at early stage startups. Bolotsky took charge of both recruiting tech startups in Massachusetts and pitching the opportunity to students like himself. After five months, the initiative transitioned to the MassTech Intern Partnership.

A relentless advocate for entrepreneurship, Bolotsky soon began looking for his next opportunity to make a difference in the entrepreneurial space. Teaming up again with MassChallenge for his second co-op, he soon became the co-founder and director of the first program of its kind to open in Israel. Within weeks, he was on the ground there recruiting local startups and judges to participate in MassChallenge. Seven of these startups ended up relocating to Boston for the summer to participate in the MassChallenge Startup Accelerator.

Bolotsky credited his experiential learning opportunities at Northeastern with helping him understand business on many new levels, particularly at the global level.

“I was able to work with businesses and entrepreneurs with completely different resources and needs, and understand the importance of global collaboration and support for early-stage and later-stage businesses,” he said.

One of these experiences was a Dialogue of Civilizations program in Cape Town, South Africa, where Bolotsky learned about different paradigms through which to view entrepreneurship and economic development.

Back on campus, Bolotsky is the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club’s director of strategy, a role in which he develops and identifies new leaders and opportunities for collaboration and promotes the club’s activities campuswide.

Bolotsky’s efforts recently earned him a spot on Boston.com’s “Hive 25 Under 25” list, which celebrates Boston’s best and brightest young contributors to the city’s bustling innovation economy.

“I’m happy that young people who are doing great things for the innovation economy are being recognized,” Bolotsky said. “It really shows, for all of Greater Boston, what the future of the startup community here is going to be.”