January flew by so fast! Enjoy its last days by checking out the events on our calendar and get ready for a busy February full of competitions and networking events!

This week's spotlight is bistara, a freelance marketplace by students for students worldwide! Check out our interview with  co-founders  Zac DelVecchio & Maya Rafie.
They remind us that students (and the rest of us!) need to realize their self-worth and not be afraid to take their lives into their own hands! 

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resources to the greater Boston startup community and student population with your help! Donate here
 
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Have an awesome week!
The Greenhorn Connect Team

Maya & Zac, Co-Founders of bistara.com
G
H: 
What is Bistara?
Maya & Zac: bistara is the world's first college freelance marketplace that connects student freelancers to communities nationwide.  

GH: How did bistara get started?
M&Z: We are both college students and freelancers. Zac attends Berklee College of Music and I go to  Emerson College. Both catering the needs of musicians, we figured out that most creative students needed to  develop a portfolio or media kit but didn't know who to reach out to. So for the first year, bistara connected  college filmmakers at Emerson with musicians at Berklee to create music videos. Seeing how successful that  model was, we understood the need for college freelancers went beyond music and filmmaking and expanded t o all categories where students provide their own services and can be their own boss.

GH: What was an obstacle you had to overcome?
M&Z: Understanding and learning to overcome the issue of self-value and belief in our generation's careers.  Because student debt is at an all-time high and the job market is so oversaturated, many students  choose to play it safe when it comes to career moves.  Many think that they need to join a company when they  graduate instead of creating their own jobs. Students also have a hard time valuing their own work and talents  and do not realize they can monetize their passions. The hardest challenge we have had to overcome and still  often encounter is to show students that they are more talented and entrepreneurial than they realize. 

GH: What did you learn from your first customers?
M&Z: We have learned that each situation brings new challenges to the table.  Since each customer and  freelancer has their own individual needs, we have to constantly listen and understand our market to adjust the  platform to best reflect both general and personal needs.

GH: What has the Boston ecosystem provided you?
M&Z: We had the great opportunity to be selected for the Emerson Launch program which provided us with  money, mentors and co-working space. Zac goes to Berklee so we have been very lucky to be part of the ICE  (Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship) program which has given us amazing opportunities to network in the  most creative and energetic environments. Having the support of our schools has been awesome!

GH: What's the best/worst piece of advice you were given along the way?
M&Z: The best piece of advice we received was a reminder of the difficulty of going down the road of an  entrepreneur.  Every day is different and offers new challenges. The trick to success is to never stop learning,   listening and watching. A partnership is like a relationship and needs to be transparent and be based on strong  communication.  Be fast and flexible to the changes that happen and never be complacent.  

GH: What does the future hold for bistara?
M&Z: bistara will continue to grow and eventually become the largest freelance site and hub dedicated to  college freelancers. As the platform grows, we will be able to implement new features to aid our community  even more.
M2D2 $100K Challenge
UMass Lowell- $10
Deadline is January 29th Apply to the  M2D2 $100K Challenge  sponsored by Boston Scientific, BD, Mintz Levin, MPR, Omni Components and R&Q! Valuable service, grant and mentoring possibilities.   Apply Here
The Capital Network - Boston Accelerators: Navigating Your Options

Tomorrow at Morgan Lewis: You want to pitch to them - so hear them pitch to you! You might be interested in getting your startup into an accelerator - and rest assured Boston has no shortage of options - but it's hard to know exactly what the best options for your stage and industry are. We can help.
Events of the Week
Boston Accelerators: Navigating your Options
The Capital Network
$30
TiE Boston-Investor Outlook Dinner
TiE Boston
Microsoft NERD
M2D2 Barracuda Bowl
Mintz Levin
$10
Expert Sean Detweiler Patent Attorney
TechSandBox
FREE
Boston ENET: eMinute Pitch Program
Boston ENET
FREE
Work on your startup while listening to this awesome Jazz Music compilation!
What's coming up in February
Funding 101: Pathways for Food & Beverage Startups
February 8
$30
SheStarts Networking Breakfast
February 9
FREE
All Ideas Pitch Contest
February 24
FREE
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