Some stu­dents arrive on campus with a thriving entre­pre­neurial spirit, eager to soak up knowl­edge and seek out new oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn and make a lasting impact. Matt Bilotti, DMSB'15, exem­pli­fies this aura of con­fi­dence and curiosity.

“I see every expe­ri­ence as a way to adopt a skill, learn a lesson, or walk away with a new story,” said Bilotti, a busi­ness major with con­cen­tra­tions in entre­pre­neur­ship and new ven­ture management.

When he took over as pres­i­dent of Northeastern's Entre­pre­neurs Club in April 2012, its weekly meet­ings were attended by an average of 90 stu­dents, most of whom were studying busi­ness. Since then, new pro­gram­ming and aggres­sive out­reach has helped increase average meeting atten­dance to about 130 stu­dents, including many engi­neering and com­puter sci­ence majors.

Bilotti, for his part, has taken a cue from the club's new mem­bers, expanded his entre­pre­neurial reach beyond Northeastern's walls. On his cur­rent co-​​op at Hub­Spot, he is one of 12 people ded­i­cated to the online mar­keting company's Sig­nals team—a free tool that helps sales­people follow up with cus­tomers more effi­ciently. His work involves leading cus­tomer sup­port and product man­age­ment, as well as cre­ating a touchless-​​support system. He's also the res­i­dent “Cus­tomer Hap­pi­ness Expert;” when cus­tomers call with com­plaints or con­cerns, he takes their feed­back to his team, which helps develop solu­tions to their problems.

Bilotti is also a man­aging partner of Dorm Room Fund Boston, the local arm of a student-​​run ven­ture firm that invests in student-​​run com­pa­nies. As a member of the invest­ment man­age­ment team, Bilotti helps stu­dents take their ideas from dorm room to market. In fact, North­eastern stu­dents Matt Voska, E'17, and Alan Guichard, L'14, recently received funding from Dorm Room Fund Boston to get their small plane-​​sharing ven­ture Fly­tenow off the ground.

“It's exciting to rep­re­sent North­eastern in Boston's greater stu­dent entre­pre­neur­ship com­mu­nity,” said Bilotti, who was named a 2013 BostInno 50 on Fire finalist for Education.

What's more, Bilotti is also exploring social entre­pre­neur­ship through Northeastern's inter­na­tional experiential-​​learning pro­grams. In the summer of 2012, he par­tic­i­pated in a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram to the Dominican Republic and Cuba, where stu­dents worked with poverty-​​stricken busi­ness owners to secure microloans to help grow their busi­nesses. This summer, he will head to South Africa for another entrepreneurship-​​focused Dia­logue pro­gram through Northeastern's Social Enter­prise Insti­tute. There, Bilotti and his peers will help local entre­pre­neurs create more sus­tain­able sources of income.

While he's accom­plished a lot over the last few years, Bilotti noted that failing has been an impor­tant com­po­nent of his pro­fes­sional and entre­pre­neurial growth at North­eastern. In the summer of 2012, he worked on co-​​op as a product man­ager at influencers@, a startup founded with sup­port from IDEA, Northeastern's student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator. His job involved building, launching, and growing Chat­terMob, a two-​​sided mar­ket­place where users earn prizes in exchange for answering simple market research ques­tions. Unfor­tu­nately, Chat­terMob didn't pan out—it proved a chal­lenge to get people to pay to have their ques­tions answered.

Still, Bilotti said his co-​​op was a rewarding expe­ri­ence, one that taught him the ins and outs of working at a startup. Ear­lier this semester, he took to Twitter to share his expe­ri­ence with the North­eastern com­mu­nity, tweeting, “#iheart­coop because it gave me the oppor­tu­nity to be entre­pre­neurial and expe­ri­ence trying to build a com­pany from the ground w/​ @ChatterMob.”

“I failed a lot and made mis­takes along the way, and those all taught me so much about how I can do things better,” Bilotti explained. “I see the whole expe­ri­ence as a mas­sive learning oppor­tu­nity for everyone involved.”