No More Rock Stars: Startups Like Swipely Are Hiring Collaborators
Xconomy - 09/05/2013
This is the story of a student, a mentor, a school, and a startup. Together they highlight the ways in which recruiting and talent development at New England companies have changed over the past decade.
Bart Flaherty was an undergrad at Northeastern University. His major was communication studies, but halfway through he started taking computer science classes and got hooked. He ended up minoring in the subject, which he found very challenging and practical. Plus he loved the logical, analytical aspects of programming.
Nearing graduation last year, he heard about Boston Startup School—since renamed Startup Institute—through a friend of a friend. Working at a startup has become a fairly established career path out of school, he says, though it’s still not the norm.
Flaherty was part of the inaugural class of Startup Institute, which runs eight-week programs designed to prepare students for working at startups. The classes cover software development, product design, marketing, and sales—but, as usual, the people you meet are what’s most important. “I found it to be very valuable for networking,” he says.
One of his classes was taught by engineers from Swipely, a software startup in Providence, RI, that makes payment and analytics tools for businesses. The lead instructor was Anthony Accardi, Swipely’s head of engineering. Accardi, an MIT alum, came from Tellme Networks, the Silicon Valley high-flyer that was bought by Microsoft for $800 million in 2007. He teamed up with fellow Tellme veteran Angus Davis to help start Swipely in 2009.