Concert, lecture, lunch, office hours, game

Sanders Theater

On Monday, October 31st, I attended a chamber music concert by Howard Skempton, marking his 75th birthday with Carson Cooman on piano/organ, and David von Behren on violin, at Harvard’s Memorial Church. Honestly, more impressive than the music, is the sad memorial of the long list of students that lost their lives fighting in WWII. Then again, the USA population was mostly spared from the horrors that Europe brought unto itself. But I guess that wasn’t enough to learn, and here we are, not even a century later, fooling around with fascism again. Will we ever learn?

That’s the question I asked myself as I walked down the main corridor of Harvard Law School, where I had lunch with Harvard neighbors friends. All those state men, brilliant people that made history, warning us to keep fighting and not take anything for granted. Because, yes, it can also happen here. Or rather, it is also happening here.

On a lighter note, a day after my Expert in Residence office hours at the Harvard Innovation Labs on Wednesday, I attended an Entrepreneurship class by Prof. John Boyce at the Sanders theater (it was the only way to catch him, Prof. Paul Bottino and Prof. David Weitz at the same time). It’s almost hard to concentrate while sitting on the oak benches that host 1,000 students. The last time I attended a class there, I was an undergrad student, and we were discussing Metaphysics. How things change!

On Friday I took my daughter to a high school football game, and on Saturday to the Harvard vs Columbia game. We keep making the same rookie mistake: showing up early, getting tired, and leaving in the last quarter right before the game takes a dramatic turn. I guess the pros show up at half-time, and the hardcore fans stick it up all the way ‘til the end. Lesson learned.

Office Hours and Reception at Harvard, and Workshop at MIT

EiR at iLabs

On Tuesday I was invited to attend a Workshop at MIT, held office hours for students at the Harvard Innovation Labs, and attended a Reception at Harvard… all before heading to the airport to fly to London!

First, I attended the MIT Digital and Strategy Conference Workshop, organized by the MIT Startup Exchange and the ILP.

Then I walked across town and across the river to the Harvard Innovation Labs for my office hours appointment, as Expert in Residence, with several students. It’s always refreshing and fascinating to listen to such bright (and privileged) individuals and to feel their enthusiasm. Always a pleasure to give back, in this case advice from my decades of experience.

Then, I rushed across the river again to attend the Harvard University ‘Welcome Reception for International Scholars’ at the Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center. So many scholars from all over the world! It was truly amazing.

With no time to waste, my wife took me to the airport to catch a flight to London. Quite a busy day!

Here are some photographs.

First days of Harvard life

Harvard

Post originally posted here.

Almost a month after we moved to Cambridge, MA (USA) to start my appointment as Innovation Fellow at Harvard University, we can finally say we’ve gotten into the rhythm.

In a post in my Harvard Blog I listed some of the logistical steps we had to take in order to move and normalize our life in this side of the Atlantic.

After that, this first few weeks have been about getting familiarized with the environment (classes, supermarkets, transportation, schedules, etc). For that, we took long walks around campus. Fortunately, we live by the Charles River, next to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, so it’s all within comfortable walking distance.

Of course, we paid particular attention to libraries, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (both in Cambridge and Alston), Harvard Innovation Labs, classrooms, dining halls, ice cream parlors, etc.

Here are some photos.

We also attended the season’s opening (American) football game between Harvard and Merrimack at Harvard Stadium, which turns out to be the oldest collegiate stadium in the USA.

Photos of the game here.

Of course, as I remain a Venture Partner at NLC, I also attended in Boston a couple of events related to that work: a Technology Transfer event (AUTUM) and an Early Stage Investment Event (RESI).

Photos of the event.

So we can finally say we’re settled, which means… time to travel again!

Appointed Innovation Fellow: t-92

IKEA

On June 1st, 2022 I was appointed Innovation Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and a few days later also as an Expert-in-Residence at the Harvard Innovation Labs (Hi).

My wife, my daughter and I had 92 days to get ready and go. Here’s a quick and simplified list, in no particular order, of what we had to do, obviously in parallel:

Logistics:

  • Plane tickets
  • Pack the house
  • Cancel utilities
  • Find a new home for our kittens (thank you, sis!)
  • Get an apartment in Cambridge (deal with realtors, landlord, inspections, fees, deposits, etc)
  • Open a bank account in Cambridge

Get a Visa:

  • Fill out Harvard online form for HIO
  • DS2019
  • DS-160 barcode
  • I-901 and Pay SEVIS fee
  • US Embassy appointment + pay fee
  • Report Embassy appointment to HIO
  • Translations
  • Solvency certificate
  • Embassy Interview
  • Receive Visa

Shopping (small sample):

  • Mattresses
  • Beds
  • Desks
  • Couch
  • Sheets
  • Towels
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Groceries
  • Plates, silverware
  • Night/coffee tables, etc

Buy a car:

  • Choose one
  • “Assignment of Title” on the back of the vehicle’s “Certificate of Title”
  • Insurance
  • Transfer title and Registration at DMV (title and registration Application for Registration and Title Form TTLREG100, with stamp to certify insurance)
  • Title and registration fees
  • License plates or stickers
  • Safety and emissions inspection at a Massachusetts Inspection Station within 7 days of completing registration
  • Correct RMV registered address
  • Parking permit

Register my daughter in her new school:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization Record
  • Health History Form
  • Proof of Cambridge Address (signed lease)
  • Proof of Occupancy (dated within 30 days)
  • Previous school transcript
  • Language placement test
And so much more I don’t even want to remember it!
But here we are, settled, and living an experience of a lifetime, again.