Sally, Rachel and their Bootcamp team and Mentors, Bill Aulet (far left) and Erdin Beshimov (far right) at Born2Global, Seoul

From MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp to Infinity and Beyond — Part 3/3

Back to our story about friendship. Where the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) became our unexpected connective tissue, and the Internet our glue. We are from opposite sides of the world — Australia and Italy — and four months ago we didn’t know each other. We now chat on Skype two to three times a week and are each other’s rock-solid sounding board.

A STORY OF SOUL SISTERHOOD

By design, Bootcamp participants get to know each other virtually, mainly via private groups on Facebook. 60-second videos are created by each attendee a few weeks before Bootcamp kickoff date and shared on the group, as a way to introduce ourselves to other Bootcampers. Each video clip was unique and perfectly reflected the depth and range of our diversity. This was only a tiny foretaste of what was yet to come! The two of us started bonding on Facebook before we even met, over the never-ending pile of family laundry and through public comments in answer to staff questions. The more we chatted and the more deeply we connected.

Rachel: “I was immediately impressed and attracted by Sally’s mix of pragmatism and sense of humour. I thought to myself: wow, she is quick, sharp, and funny too! I get this gut feeling we will likely get along very well

Sally: “Who is this incredible woman? A mother, a hard-core dirt-bikerider, fascinating, super-talented and warm — and she’s posting on Facebook about her never-ending laundry pile! I can’t wait to meet her.

Rachel and Sally laughing their heads off

When we met face to face at the welcome event in Seoul it was like we’d known each other forever. The following day when we had to form teams, personality and skills testing reinforced what we already knew — that our contrasting profiles were a match made in team heaven. We spent 18 hours a day together for the next six days and loved every minute of it. Such a bond is rare and we are holding onto it tightly.

Sally and Rachel with their team mates at Sparklabs, Maru180, Seoul

We are busy — but that doesn’t stop us.

Between us we have 7 children, with 5 of them belonging to Rachel. Life is hectic but that doesn’t prevent us from dreaming and aiming high. We both recognised the new possibilities made available to us through technology. Our paths up to the point of enrolling in MITx Entrepreneurship 101 were completely different but we both juggled our passion for lifelong learning, for connecting with others in a global playground, and for balancing family duties with our creative aspirations in a similar way: carried forward with the energy of passion and determination.

Our relationship strengthened when we talked about the patience, resilience and negotiation skills that we had developed through our roles as “family CEOs”. This role continues to fuel us with a richness, expertise, world vision and ideas that put future generations as a priority.

To meet more than 70 awe-inspiring Bootcampers from 35 countries from around the world just blows your mind. The wealth of perspective gained through the diversity of the group and the experiences of the teachers and mentors is indescribably vast and profound. We are so much richer for the experience.

Rachel describes her experience at Bootcamp as ‘the most overwhelmingly powerful, world-changing, group-energy I have ever experienced.’

The rest is not history, but the future. And it’s damn exciting.

A message for all of you who want to scratch that entrepreneurial itch inside — you can learn how to be an entrepreneur. MIT have the best teachers in the world who can show you how. All you need is access to the internet and a bit of fire in your belly. Who knows, you may end up discovering a burning entrepreneurial spirit and end up at the next MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

Don’t let anything stop you.

Co-authored by fellow-Bootcampers 2016, Sally Coldrick and Rachel Hentsch

If you missed Part 1, click here to read it.
If you missed Part 2, click here to read it.