New Entrepreneurship Center Supports BC’s Thriving Start-up Culture

In order to provide further support for the university’s flourishing start-up culture, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management (CSOM) launched its new entrepreneurship center, the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship, on August 31.

The Shea Center, named after the late California venture capitalist and major donor Edmund H. Shea, Jr., seeks to offer BC students greater exposure to the realm of entrepreneurship by providing opportunities for more specialized education and first-hand experiences in the industry.

“The major goal is to educate students about entrepreneurship—what it’s like to work at a start-up and how you can be a successful entrepreneur,” says Jere Doyle, the founding executive director of the Shea Center. “There’ll be a speaker series where entrepreneurs will come on campus and talk about what it’s like to build a business—we’ll have a mentor program where you can get intimate with BC graduates who have their own startups.  Lots of activities designed to help students learn about entrepreneurship.”

Given BC’s long relationship with entrepreneurship and its pervasive start-up culture, the Shea Center seeks to build upon the university’s preexisting entrepreneurial base by centralizing the on-campus resources and offering a new entrepreneurship co-concentration.

“BC’s done great things with entrepreneurship over the last decade—BCVC, BC Techtrek — we want to build on it,” says Doyle. “What the Shea Center does is it allows us to broaden what we do, touch more students. The Shea Center gives us the platform, the resources, to broaden what we’re doing.”

And despite BC’s burgeoning start-up culture, the Shea Center would not have been possible without the donations of Edmund H. Shea, Jr., whose legacy continues to inspire those in the Shea Center.

“Edmund Shea cared about the Jesuit education, people and entrepreneurship,” says Doyle.  “To name it after Edmund Shea is a great thing for Boston College. His ideas, his principles, the way he carried himself is very much around the mission of men and women for others and very much around the mission of the entrepreneurship center.”

In furthering the legacy of Edmund H. Shea, Jr., the Shea Center seeks to emphasize the significance of social enterprise, business that seeks to alleviate or rectify social problems and the role that it can play in any enterprise, for-profit or not.

“The Jesuit mission is men and women for others,” Doyle says. “Students at BC hear so much about the world they live in.  There's a lot of things that you can do as an entrepreneur that can make this world a better place.  What you're gonna see with the program, the competitions, the toolkit—everything we do will have a sprinkling of social entrepreneurship.”

With such a mission, the Shea Center hopes to aid and inspire all BC students interested in entrepreneurship and the start-up culture.

“The best way to get involved is to come to an event,” Doyle says. “I think that’s what entrepreneurs do, they put themselves out there, they're not afraid to take risk, they get involved with things.  You don't need to have a business idea to come to the Shea Center.  You don't even have to want to start a business."

"We want to change this idea that you have to have a business to launch to be involved.  If you’re at all interested in learning about how small businesses or startups work, come to the center and start participating.”

The Shea Center, located in Cushing Hall 336, will have its official opening event, the Shea Center Dedication and Inaugural Symposium, from November 5-7.  Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Apple Inc. and BC Class of ’82, will deliver the keynote speech on November 5.  All interested students are encouraged to reach out to either the staff at the Shea Center or students who are already involved with the Shea Center.

Espresso enthusiast and amateur bike mechanic. Enjoys long shoegaze dream sessions and short walks to the local organic grocery store. Most likely working on a postmodern bildungsroman set in the Pacific Northwest.