Say hello to our new Content & Community Specialist!


It’s not every day you see a personal statement accompany a resume. Especially not from recent college grads. But Rachel’s did, so we took notice. And it didn’t take long for her calm confidence, witty remarks, and marketing smarts to win us over.

Although new to the startup world, Rachel’s desire to create is not. She was a communications and PR major at Northeastern University and completed co-ops at EF Education, Kravet, and the Improv Asylum, expanding each role she undertook.

Rachel will be sharing success stories and speaker insights from Exchange– our management development program- often, so stay tuned!

Give @rachelwaldmann a shoutout or email her at

Abbie Waite


Boston’s startupRachel Waldmann community thrills me. I applied for dozens of roles across so many interesting companies in Boston before I accepted the role as’s Content & Community Specialist. I love that startups achieve big goals with dedicated, passionate teams and the work hard, play hard attitude has always been so quintessentially me.

After my first meeting with Abbie Waite, I went home to my roommates and told them I interviewed with a non-arrogant version of Gwyneth Paltrow–she was approachable, compassionate, blonde, and had me hooked with her passion for helping people lead, to win. When I learned about how Exchange solves the management gap that even I, a recent college grad, have experienced already in my career, I wanted IN!

In my new role at, I’ll be coordinating Exchange, sharing success stories and leadership insights on our blog, planning community events, and hopefully meeting many of you in person very soon!

Iggy WigglesSome fun facts about me: I’m from Long Island, I graduated from Northeastern last May, I volunteer with the MSPCA-Angell animal shelter, I have a pet hedgehog named Iggy (he’s a monster), I studied abroad in Prague, and my spirit animal is Liz Lemon. People always expect me to be taller when they meet me.

I’m passionate about content creation, visual design, and event planning, and am psyched to hone all of these skills at my new job (I love saying it…”my new job”).

But enough about me. I can’t wait to learn about you!

Rachel Waldmann

Rachel Waldmann
Content & Community Specialist

Sharing with the Class: What Your Peers Are Up To

Like a local grocery or neighborhood barber, here at we’ve begun to recognize our “regulars”. We’re thrilled to see that the sense of community we’re striving to promote is forming, and also growing. This ain’t no ordinary classroom–your instructors are your peers and you certainly won’t be sent to the principal for talking in class! We respect our students and value their ambitions, hoping to give you the extra knowledge and insight you need to excel in your field.

As new classes unfold, our student body is expanding, with new faces in every class. But one face remains a constant–Stuart Angus. You better believe Stu caught our attention when he signed up for almost every single class during our first month in action. He’s a man with a plan and a commitment to learning the skills he needs to win. Meet Stuart Angus of!

What’s your story and how were you introduced to our program?

SA: I think I found out about the classes through BostInno or Greenhorn Connect. I’ve been wanting to launch a tech startup, ideaphi, for the past 6 months. It’s my first time trying to do this, and I lack a lot of the knowledge of how to do it, so the classes touched on startup education that was very relevant to starting my business.

Tell us a little bit about the new startup you’re working on. What problem are you hoping to solve?

SA: is the new startup i’m working on, and it replaces the dreaded chain-email! Nobody likes getting CC’ed on a long chain of emails; ideaphi provides a way to easily structure online discussions to minimize this. Although the functionality is still being developed, it will allow an easy way to create a summary message containing the important decisions made from an email discussion thread. I think this sort of tool can be very helpful for managers.

Where did you find the inspiration for the business?

SA:  ideaphi was created to solve one of my own pain points. I found that collaborating via email was inefficient, especially when I was working with a few people, trying to reach a collective decision. Email just isn’t a good tool for back-and-forth discussions around issues. I wanted to build something better suited for that.

You notoriously signed up for almost every class we offered during our first month–what’s the deal?! What was your motivation?

SA: I remember really liking the looks of the first couple of classes, and then I think I got trigger-happy with ordering more classes. I got in the mindset of, “This is great!” and before I knew it, I had signed up for every class. I don’t regret it though!

What are some of the key takeaways you’ve learned during the classes you’ve attended?

SA: There’s been a lot of information, but I’ll try to give a few general takeaways here. I found that the speakers were all excellent. I don’t know what criteria the team is using to select speakers for the classes, but it’s working! All the speakers gave me the impression that teamwork is what actually makes great businesses, not ideas or individuals. They also showed me that there are many ways to get a message across to an audience.

Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

SA: The classes are some of the best I’ve ever taken. I would highly recommend everyone signs up for classes now–before people start to realize the classes are worth a heck of a lot more than $30/class!

Sharing with the Class:  What Your Peers Are Up To

Open Minds, Full Stomachs, Can’t Lose!

Last Wednesday, hosted our first ever Community Potluck. The concept was simple—you bring the bites, we bring the booze! We’ve had such an amazing time getting to know all of you this year, we wanted to come together for good food and good times just to celebrate each others’ company. Nothing like a little homemade lasagna and fresh baked cookies to get us through the mid-week “hump day”! Community Potluck We were truly blown away by the turnout and the spread! Missed out? Your mouth should be watering when you read this menu: fried rice, broccoli salad, fried shrimp, spaghetti, Swedish meatballs, buffalo chicken dip, pulled pork, roast chicken, pizzas on top of pizzas, cole slaw, hash brown casserole, veggie and fruit spreads, pasta salad, calzone, buffalo chicken dip, chicken wings, and homemade lasagna. You better believe we had room for dessert: ice cream, cookies, peanut butter squares, brownies, and, perhaps the most coveted desert of all, a jumbo whoopee pie. Izze and Deep Eddy Vodka were on hand to quench our thirst, and no one went home hungry!

As cliché as it may sound, the night was really all about community. I’m half-way through college as I intern for this Summer, saying goodbye to my teenage years and hello to adulthood. To be able to be a part of something like this, witnessing first-hand a diverse group of professionals meeting up in such a relaxed open setting was really cool for me. Classes are an opportunity for the best to learn from the best, and I’ve been impressed by how highly motivated, optimistic, and driven to succeed you all are. Everyone on campus is smart, but no one thinks they know it all. That’s what we strive for here at, the idea that learning never ends.

On the behalf of the rest of our interns and myself, I would like to thank Sarah Hodges and Dave Balter for making this evening a success, and also for making our opening summer such an interesting and beneficial one for us. And we also want to thank you, our students, for coming out and getting involved night after night to learn, to win.

3 Ways to Get the Most out of the Boston Startup Community

If there’s one thing Boston has that no other city in the world has to offer, it’s the awesome community of entrepreneurs and folks who work in startups that call this city home.

Fred Destin, an expat now living in the area, arrived with low expectations. He puts it best, though when he says, “I discovered a much deeper and vibrant ecosystem than I had anticipated, and reason to settle here that goes well beyond the quality of public schools in Brookline. It’s dense, it’s high quality, you can actually attract and retain talent, and some pretty groundbreaking stuff is being built.”

These talented people, just like you, work hard everyday and are driven by the desire to build something with the potential to shake up the world. But they also have something else in common: they all take the time to nurture and give back to this community, whether through funding, mentoring, or simply lending a hand

That’s why Sarah Hodges and Dave Balter founded in the first place, with the aim of becoming a community hub where those who have expertise in a certain topic can come to share their knowledge and give back to those who want to learn from them.every now and then.

Boston Startup Community

“I’ve been amazed at how supportive the startup community has been this year; there are connectors everywhere,” said Sarah when speaking about her first year in Boston.

So how can you get in on a slice of this sweet startup pie? It’s all about making connections. Fortunately, there is no shortage of resources that make it easy. Here are three ways to get involved:

Contribute to the Conversation

Probably the simplest way to begin is to just start talkin’!

This community has an enormous online presence, spread out across Twitter, LinkedIn, news sites, and personal blogs. The great thing about these platforms is that, while you can receive a constant stream of content from influencers, you also have the ability to talk back. Share your thoughts, get yourself out there, and make a name for yourself.

BostInno, with content specifically covering the startup scene, is a great place to dip your toe in the water–it’s a central place where Boston’s entrepreneurs live online. See an article you feel strongly about? Comment on it and someone will almost surely write back.

Twitter provides a direct connection to the influencers as well, so drop them a line sometime! Who should you follow? Check out these lists:

On the same note, why not start your own blog? It creates a centralized website where people can read valuable content that you’ve created, and also talk back to you too. Sites like WordPress and Blogger make it simple to create one, so get started today.

Attend Events

There are interesting events held in Boston every day, from networking events to classes. After you’ve become immersed in the community online, use these events to start making connections in real life.

Eventbrite Boston has an extensive list of all types of events happening in the city, in addition to Greenhorn Connect, which focuses solely on startup-centric ones. Meetups are another great way to meet people interested in the same subjects as you are, and there are ones for almost anything.

If you’re more in the mood to learn something, check out Skillshare, where you can learn anything from anyone. Or if you’re in the South End neighborhood, you could also stop by the our own campus.

Give Back

It’s always better to give than to receive. Although you can gain so much by becoming involved in the Boston startup scene, some of the greatest rewards come when you pay it forward. By sharing the lessons you learn along the way, you can help inspire someone else to get involved. By posting your thoughts and insights online, you’re contributing to a living, breathing dialogue.

Teach a class at Skillshare or Become a mentor at MassChallenge. Volunteer your time and help someone out. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.