District Hall would not be what it is without our incredible community of business, organizations, and individuals that use our space in creative and amazing ways. We’re obsessed with talking about them. Read all of our Featured Partner stories here!

This week, we’re spotlighting Intelligent.ly, an organization that helps startups to develop leadership skills by connecting them with experienced entrepreneurs and startup pros. We chatted with Gabriela McManus, Executive Director, and Stacy Kadesch, Senior Program Coordinator.

In one sentence, what does Intelligent.ly do? DSC_0602

Built by serial entrepreneurs who have scaled and exited successful startups, Intelligent.ly breaks the mold on leadership development, providing a series of actionable workshops for emerging leaders at rapid-growth companies.

What is your mission? How long have you been operating?

Our mission is to create a community of leaders in Boston. In 2012, Dave Balter and Sarah Hodges launched Intelligent.ly as a gathering place to help emerging leaders learn from a network of peers across Boston. Over four years, we’ve helped thousands of people from the startup community learn new skills, supporting over 50 companies with our leadership development programs.

Our mission is to create a community of leaders in Boston.

Who are your stakeholders?

We serve the Boston startup community, supporting companies in developing leaders. When we launched four years ago, we began to see a clear trend – companies in hyper growth mode were promoting people from within, without investing the time and resources new managers need to succeed. We quickly saw an opportunity to play a critical role in developing our next generation of leaders, but we knew we had to reinvent the stale approach many people associated with management training. The Intelligent.ly experience had to be fresh and had to resonate with startups. We immediately responded with a series of workshops centered on peer collaboration, expert facilitation, and practical application. You’ll never sit in on a session that’s stuck in the clouds of philosophy at Intelligent.ly – our programs are focused on tactics and actionable advice, to help leaders make an immediate impact when they return to the office.

Tell us about an event that you’ve hosted at District Hall. What was the experience like? 

District Hall is our primary venue for Exchange, an immersive six-session workshop for new managers in rapid-growth companies. The program gets people up and moving, working through challenges with peers, and putting what they learn into practice on the spot. District Hall’s Assembly space has been the perfect environment for fostering creativity and innovation. Participants are surrounded by the energy of peers from the startup ecosystem during all-day sessions (and the delicious catering doesn’t hurt). After a long day of brain-busting learning, we’re always ready to head to Gather for a cocktail!

Boston is such a supportive ecosystem – there’s no better place to build a company. The energy, desire to support, and people here are unmatched. We have so much talent flowing out of our universities, and so many experienced entrepreneurs and startup leaders who are open to mentoring our next-generation of leaders.

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What’s ahead for you?

After our first year operating Exchange, we recognized a new gap in the market – support for individual contributors. People on the front lines were being overlooked for their ability to distill important information into strategic action to help companies grow. In response, we launched EMERGE, a one-day workshop that transforms individual contributors into leaders. The event draws over 60 emerging leaders from companies across Boston to explore how to think strategically, leverage their strengths, and turn ideas into action through compelling storytelling. We’re looking forward to welcoming another inspiring group at our final EMERGE 2016 program on October 6th.

As we look ahead, our focus will continue to remain in Boston in the near-term. Our city is overflowing with exceptional talent, and our goal is to become the new normal for leadership development in Boston.

What makes Boston special?  

Boston is such a supportive ecosystem – there’s no better place to build a company. The energy, desire to support, and people here are unmatched. We have so much talent flowing out of our universities, and so many experienced entrepreneurs and startup leaders who are open to mentoring our next-generation of leaders.

District Hall’s story is one that highlights that power of what we’re able to achieve when we collaborate. It’s about people coming together to make something for the community at large.

What is your favorite thing about Boston’s innovation community?

Someone once said to us that New York is a network and Boston is a community. Boston is truly a community. District Hall’s story is one that highlights that power of what we’re able to achieve when we collaborate. It’s about people coming together to make something for the community at large.

Where can we find you online? In person? 

Visit us online at www.intelligent.ly. Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Drop by our office at 500 Harrison in the South End (and visit with our artist-in-residence, Seth Minkin!).


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