This Week: May 24 – 30, 2015

Friends,

Join us in congratulating the following companies within our community for getting into MassChallenge’s 2015 class: Agora, Cabbige, Danger!Awesome, Energy Harvesters, Irhal, LearnLux, My Exit StrategyReal Food SolutionsResilient Coders, and Splitzee.

As before every Thursday, choose from nine sets of Office Hours and reserve your spots now so you can make Thursday’s Feature Event: MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable. However, be sure to apply beforehand.

Afterward, visit Info Tables to speak with representatives from MA eHealth, swissnex Global Pitchfest, Tuft Biomedical Business Club, and UMass Lowell M2D2.

Hope to see you Thursday,

cropped-venture-cafe-logo.png

Thursday, May 28, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café in Session

Feature Event

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable

Are you a founder of a startup? If so, come join other founders for a peer-to-peer discussion group to talk about the challenges you’re facing and to share advice. Leverage the founder community knowledge to grow your business!

Sign-up for more information and to join the roundtable here.

Office Hours

3:00 – 4:30 P.M. | Maia Heymann, Senior Managing Director, CommonAngels Ventures

Maia Heymann is Senior Managing Director at CommonAngels Ventures. She’s worked with dozens of companies in both Palo Alto and Boston during her 20+ year career as an angel investor, venture capitalist, and tech banker. Her portfolio of personal investments includes over 24 companies. Currently she sits on the boards of Apperian (representing CommonAngels), Fiksu, and Wymsee.

Maia’s Office Hours on Thursday are full. Schedule 30 minutes with Maia here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Investors Collaborative

Investors Collaborative (iC) provides venture capital to select early stage companies in a wide range of industry sectors including software, IT, biotechnology, clean technology, healthcare, energy, communications, hardware, and professional services. They seek to help individuals developing innovative technologies build world class companies.

Investors Collaborative’s Office Hours this Thursday are full. The next available appointments are on June 25. Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Jacquie Kay

As an entrepreneur and educator, Jacquie works globally and locally, advising businesses, leaders, and organizations in planning and managing innovation, ventures and projects. She was founder/president of a successful international development firm for 35 years. In 2012, she started up the Sun Walking Group, helping communities frame projects through a “lab” lens and development fund focused on energy and environment. Jacquie connects technical/financial resources, develops partnerships, and establishes networks, in academia/ business/ government. She is on the Conservation Law Foundation Ventures and BDC Capital boards; has an Ed.D. in Planning, Harvard University; and was a Research Fellow/Lecturer at MIT.

Reserve 30 minutes with Jacquie here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Massachusetts Small Business Development Center – Mark Allio

Mark Allio is Regional Director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s (MSBDC) Boston office and its Minority Business Center. MSBDC is part of a national public business assistance program representing a three-way partnership between the Small Business Administration, Massachusetts Office of Business and Technology, and UMass Boston. The Center provides free one-on-one business advisory services to entrepreneurs and business owners, entrepreneurial training workshops, and special assistance in gaining access to capital.

A former two-time entrepreneur, non-profit administrator, and strategy consultant, Mark regularly meets entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds, providing them with ongoing practical perspective to help them realize the American Dream. More than 2,500 entrepreneurs have attended his workshops on a variety of topics of entrepreneurial interest.

Reserve 15 minutes with Mark.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Trond Undheim, Lead, MIT Startup Exchange (STEX)

MIT Startup Exchange (STEX) is a platform where the world’s most innovative companies and startups can connect to collaborate or partner on new technologies and markets. They are particularly looking for MIT-connected startups that are not aware of their offering.

At the heart of the initiative is an innovation community of:
• 220+ “Global 1000” member companies.
• 172 MIT Faculty who are serial co-founders of startups.
• 1000+ MIT-connected startups (including founded by alums).
• MIT innovation ecosystem players and initiatives.

Products/services include:
• Cluster workshops & Conference exhibitions w/lightning talks
• Startup profiles & database
• Opportunity matching (f2f & online)
• Newsletter & Analytics

Reserve 30 minutes with Trond here.

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Marty Sack

Marty Sack has mentored more than 200 start-ups over the last two years as a volunteer for SCORE. He brings with him the mentoring resources of more than forty additional successful executives, CPAs, small business owners, and other experts in diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free mentoring services.

Marty is the now retired co-founder of LunchDates Dating Service. He also founded and led a national job publication for 26 years, and he was the executive director of a Cambridge based non-profit for 18 years.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | George Mabry

George is an active consultant, mentor and angel investor in the Harvard, MIT, and Boston entrepreneurial communities. With degrees in computer science and business, George co-founded a biotech market research company that was acquired by a global bio-pharmaceutical service provider in 2008. If you are seeking feedback on your business concept, come prepared with high-level materials to explain your idea, including information on the market, team, and how you are addressing the problem / opportunity.

Reserve 30 minutes with George here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Dr. Sheldon Borkin

Get advice from Dr. Sheldon Borkin on growing and funding your company. Sheldon leads Strategic Angels which helps larger software companies become involved in the innovation economy. He is a mentor at both Techstars Boston and MassChallenge, and also a member of both Launchpad Venture Group and Investors Collaborative. Sheldon has done three startups resulting in two IPOs (including WebMD) and one acquisition. He is particular interests in enterprise and SMB software companies across verticals, and those with IoT and/or digital marketing technologies..

Reserve 30 minutes with Sheldon here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MA eHealth

Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) is a state agency focused on driving statewide adoption of Health Technology and Economic Development in Digital Health sector.

MeHI is in the process of launching a set of initiatives that would connect people and resources across the Digital Health ecosystem, create new opportunities for entrepreneurs to test their products in real time settings and open big data in healthcare to entrepreneurs and researchers to spur innovation.

If your idea/product/service/startup touches Digital Health, they would like to invite you to explore their programs and how your startup can benefit from them with improved access to resources and customers.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | UMass Lowell M2D2

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts. Come chat about innovation and entrepreneurship with M2D2 staff.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | swissnex Global Pitchfest

Join swissnex Boston, venture lab, HULT Business School and MassChallenge to see impressive company presentations at the Global Pitchfest 2015! As part of the Venture Leaders Boston Bootcamp, 30 entrepreneurs from all over the world will be going head-to-head for the title of Global Pitchfest Champion.

Have you launched a startup in the Boston area and want to present your idea to a broad audience, get more visibility for your business and win awesome prizes? Apply to the global pitchfest and fight against the Swiss National Startup team in front a big crowd in the Hult Business School in Cambridge.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Tufts Biomedical Business Club

The Tufts Biomedical Business Club (TBBC) is a student run organization whose mission is to cultivate business leaders in the health and life sciences. TBBC is a growing community of graduate, medical, dental and nutrition students, postdocs, physicians, scientists and alumni. It provides members with opportunities to learn about consulting, business development, entrepreneurship, intellectual property and more.

This Week: May 17 – 23, 2015

Friends,

Schedule your Office Hours appointments  with five adept advisors, then get advice and find resources to grow your startup during your meetings on Thursday. Following your meetings in the Café, choose from our three interactive Feature Events:

  • Workshop: How to Hold Visual Meetings
  • Non Dilutive Financing Panel
  • The Problem is Bigger Than You Thought. Now What?

Meanwhile, visit Info Tables to speak with representatives from UMass Lowell M2D2, YEi Start in France, and for MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable, occurring at Venture Café next Thursday.

Hope to see you Thursday,

cropped-venture-cafe-logo.png

 

 

 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café in Session

Feature Events

5:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Workshop: How to Hold Visual Meetings

Sick of PowerPoint? Tired of boring meetings? Learn how to hold visual meetings! Visual meetings use drawing and visual frameworks to keep meetings focused, save time, engage your team, and have fun doing it. In this hands-on workshop you will learn the fundamentals of visual meetings, basic drawing skills, and leave with a toolkit of useful visual meeting frameworks. Absolutely no prior experience is necessary, all materials will be provided. Get ready to transform your next meeting into a great meeting—RSVP today as space is limited!

RSVP here.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Non Dilutive Financing Panel

How do you hold on to your equity while still growing your business?

A lively and informative discussion about non-dilutive sources of capital used as an alternative, bridge, or complement to equity financing. Entrepreneurs and specialty providers will share their experience tapping into and extending these sources to support growth. Bring your questions – this is an interactive panel format.

Panelists include:
Sarah Haig, Silverside Technologies
Bobbie Carlton, Innovation Women
James Desrosiers, GROWTHco
Mike Burke, Liquid Capital

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | The Problem is Bigger Than You Thought. Now What?

You set out to solve a problem, but pulling on one thread started to unravel the sweater, and now it’s obvious the problem space is a lot bigger than you thought. Every day, entrepreneurs grapple with the trade-offs of solving a piece of the problem versus going after the whole problem space. How do you find the line between redefining your minimum viable product and scope creep?

Join Shoobx CEO Jason Furtado as he explores these questions, and shares his experience tackling the largest problem space entrepreneurs face—meeting legal obligations—by automating the legal complexities of starting a business. This is an interactive event, so bring questions, and be ready for a great conversation.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Don Greenstein

Don Greenstein, a conflict manager for over 25 years coaches individuals and teams in creating positive collaboration, when difficult conversations and differences exist among entrepreneurs/business owners. He has helped individuals identify and value differences turning them into strengths while working through stressful, conflict situations. Schedule 30 minutes with Don to discuss how to navigate differences individually or as a team.

Reserve 30 minutes with Don here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Marcus Yee

Marcus has over 25 years of sales and sales consulting experience at IBM working in multiple sales and business development roles. He specializes in sales process consulting to shorten sales cycles to customers and to empower IBM business partners. Prior to his current role of working with startups, entrepreneurs, developers, incubators, and VCs in the Cambridge/Boston area, he managed the relationships of IBM partners that drive multi-millions of IBM annual revenues.

Marcus is available to discuss sales strategies as well as partnering strategies that can greatly impact the successes of startup companies.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marcus here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is a business growth and sales channel expert – as the Founder of The CXO Advisory Group, he provides interim COO and VP Sales and Marketing services. Steve works with businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers who want to accelerate revenue growth to the next level and seize the most attractive growth opportunities. He has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs over 25 years helping them improve business development, gain sales traction and has coached them on how to build profitable, scalable and efficient businesses in preparation for venture financing.

Reserve 30 minutes with Stephen here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Jerry Blakeley

Jerry is a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company in 2007. Since then, he has worked as a Counselor for SCORE, providing free mentoring services to startups and in-business clients wanting to grow their businesses. He can help with validation of new business ideas, business roadmaps, and marketing plans. His experience includes sourcing test and measurement products in Asia and distribution in the USA and overseas and he has setup offices in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong where he travelled widely and often.

Reserve 20 minutes with Jerry here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable

Are you a founder of a startup? If so, come join other founders for a peer-to-peer discussion group to talk about the challenges you’re facing and to share advice. Leverage the founder community knowledge to grow your business!

Register for the May 28 roundtable here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | UMass Lowell M2D2

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts. Come chat about innovation and entrepreneurship with M2D2 staff.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | YEi Start in France

YEi Start in France: Grow your business in France, a gateway to Europe! Deadline is May 27, 2015.

The Office for Science & Technology of the French Embassy in the United States is pleased to announce the launch of the 10th edition of the Young Enterprise initiative (YEi Start in France), an accelerator program designed to help American entrepreneurs start and grow their business in France and Europe. This initiative offers to the best startups of the competition training sessions in the U.S. and in Paris on how to do business in France, as well as an immersion week in France for the overall winners. This week includes personalized business connection and meetings fitted to the needs of the startups and access to the best French resources (competitive clusters, large research infrastructures, etc.). For more information, visit www.yeifrance.com.

Applications to the competition are now open here. The deadline is May 27, 2015.

What can you learn from half a million emails?: Q&A Followup from Dakota McKenzie’s Email Marketing Workshop

As part of the Cafe on April 30th, Dakota McKenzie of Yesware ran a Email Marketing Workshop covering a breakdown of ~500,000 emails they had reviewed.  The workshop had a great deal of interest and after a few of the Cafe guests asked for more information following the workshop Dakota was able to answer a few more questions and a link to the presentation.
Vencaf 29april2015 - 3
Dakota’s presentation was intended to make the audience consider how tracking email performance on a sales level helps you save a significant amount of time and money. The context of a marketing email is very different than a sales email and some of the information in this presentation supported that claim.
Question 1
Where did this data come from?
Answer:
9 high-tech B2B companies that are customers of Yesware.
Question 2
It looks like some of the templates used had very high open rates and low reply rates. What would attribute to that?
Answer:
Although I cannot be certain, it is likely that the context of the email or call to action were not direct enough. Sure, the subject line was a great choice based on the open rate, but the message within the email clearly didn’t resonate well with the recipient. Clearly you should keep the keywords you’re using in the existing subject line, but maybe you should change the body of your template. With the power of email tracking, you can compare the performance of open and reply rates with your new template vs. the old one. A/B testing can and should also be done by salespeople, not just marketers and engineers.
Question 3
Why do more people open and reply to emails in the morning and at night?
Answer:
Mobile devices make us more connected than ever which allow us to check our email than ever before. During the morning commute, you can see an uptick in open and reply rates because people are preparing for their days. The middle of the day is usually filled with plenty of work to do and meetings to participate in. Towards the end of the day, open and reply rates increase because people have more time to check their inboxes.
To investigate even further, the volume of emails being sent (gray bars on slide 19) significantly decrease in the morning and at night because fewer people are sending emails. If an email lands in the recipients inbox during those off hours, it’s likely sitting at the top of the inbox competing with fewer emails. Tools like Send Later will allow you to send emails during those off hours.

From Ski Hats to Audio Apps: The Stepping Stones to Entrepreneurship

Write the books you want to read, compose the music you want to hear, and build the tools you want to use. That’s exactly what the founders of Clammr, a social audio app start-up, are doing.  Parviz Parvizi joins us from the Clammr team.

After consulting at McKinsey, shaping coffee policy with the Tanzanian government, and selling ski hats in law school, Parviz shares his adventure of building a product he and his partners found themselves wishing they had throughout their own daily routines. No matter what part of the globe his work has taken him, we learn that success and opportunity always come down to one fundamental, human thing…

Clammr Co-Founders: Oren Goldfinger, Ken Ito, David Silverman, and Parviz Parvizi

Host: Katya Margolin, Content Creator & Multimedia Storyteller

www.katyacreates.com

Guest: Parviz Parvizi, Co-Founder of Clammr

http://www.clammr.com/

Music Credits:

“Aquemini,” Outkast

“Ghostwriter,” RJD2

This Week: May 10 – 16, 2015

Friends,

Join us Thursday for nine Office Hours and three Feature Events; plus Info Tables for Open Data Science Conference, occurring May 30-31 at the Boston Convention Center, and MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable, happening here at Venture Café on May 28.

This month’s TCN UpStart Roundtable welcomes Phil Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of AudioCommon. AudioCommon won “Best Bootstrapped Company” at 2013 SXSW Music Accelerator.

Meanwhile, Youth CITIES Mini-Hack offers an opportunity to pay it forward by helping local youth tackle important community issues.

Afterward, help rethink human-computer interactions to make the user experience more seamless during an experiment with MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces research group.

Until Thursday,

cropped-venture-cafe-logo.png

 

 

 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café in Session

Feature Events

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | TCN UpStart Roundtable with Phil Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO, AudioCommon

Join us for the TCN/SVB UpStart Roundtable with Phil Cohen, co-founder and CEO of AudioCommon and U.S. Air Force veteran. This is your chance to get face-to-face time with this dynamic entrepreneur, with an incredible story of determination, bootstrapping, and luck that made him the success he is today.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Youth CITIES Mini-Hack

Monthly Mini-Hacks, organized by CIC, Youth CITIES, and Belmont High School teacher Josh Goldfine, aim to build solutions to local community issues. Each session addresses one topic by employing a range of decision making and problem solving styles. Join this month’s Mini-Hack at Venture Café. After a collaborative discussion, each participant will share an elevator pitch version of what is believed to be the best solution. Mini-Hacks are open to middle or high school teens, college students, entrepreneurs, educators, and other professionals.

Please RSVP here.

6:00 – 7:30 P.M. | MIT Media Lab’s fluid interfaces: Networking Experiment

The fluid interfaces research group from the MIT Media Lab is researching the use of technology and wearables to improve networking experiences.

The Fluid Interfaces research group radically rethinks human-computer interaction with the aim of making the user experience more seamless, natural and integrated in our physical lives. Their goal is to design and develop interfaces that are a more natural extension of our minds, bodies and behavior. They aim to design novel form factors that leverage the full range of sensory capabilities and control modalities of the user while exploring the following themes:

1.  Interfaces that perceive the user, her current context and actions and offer relevant services and information based on that awareness;

2.  Interfaces that offer a more natural interaction experience, that allow a user to use the functionality without diverting their attention or disrupting their actions;

3.  Wearable interfaces that augment the human senses and capabilities;

4.  Interfaces that are designed for more specific or limited applications making innovative use of their physical shape, size and materials.

They are particularly interested in applications which augment a people’s abilities in the areas of learning, understanding, decision-making and collaboration.

Office Hours

3:00 – 4:30 P.M. | Maia Heymann

Maia Heymann is Senior Managing Director at CommonAngels Ventures. She’s worked with dozens of companies in both Palo Alto and Boston during her 20+ year career as an angel investor, venture capitalist, and tech banker. Her portfolio of personal investments includes over 24 companies. Currently she sits on the boards of Apperian (representing CommonAngels), Fiksu, and Wymsee.

Maia’s Office Hours for the month of May are full. Schedule 30 minutes with Maia on June 18 here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Mark Allio

Mark Allio is Regional Director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s (MSBDC) Boston office and its Minority Business Center. MSBDC is part of a national public business assistance program representing a three-way partnership between the Small Business Administration, Massachusetts Office of Business and Technology, and UMass Boston. The Center provides free one-on-one business advisory services to entrepreneurs and business owners, entrepreneurial training workshops, and special assistance in gaining access to capital.

A former two-time entrepreneur, non-profit administrator, and strategy consultant, Mark regularly meets entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds, providing them with ongoing practical perspective to help them realize the American Dream. More than 2,500 entrepreneurs have attended his workshops on a variety of topics of entrepreneurial interest.

Reserve 15 minutes with Mark.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Investors Collaborative

Investors Collaborative (iC) provides venture capital to select early stage companies in a wide range of industry sectors including software, IT, biotechnology, clean technology, healthcare, energy, communications, hardware, and professional services. They seek to help individuals developing innovative technologies build world class companies.

Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Bill Larrenaga

Bill is a Director with The CFO Center, the largest international provider of CFO resources, services and solutions to the small and medium sized enterprise sector. Bill was previously a Partner of KPMG LLP, one of the Big Four CPA Firms. He has extensive experience working with senior management and Board of Directors in high tech, manufacturing and retail and distribution industries. He has led client service teams in providing risk based, process driven internal audits that provided value. He can help you organize your financial operations and business plans. Please be sure to bring your business plan including your high level pitch document, the problems you are addressing, the size of the market, your team, the product offering, etc.

Reserve 30 minutes with Bill here.

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Marty Sack

Marty Sack has mentored more than 200 start-ups over the last two years as a volunteer for SCORE. He brings with him the mentoring resources of more than forty additional successful executives, CPAs, small business owners, and other experts in diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free mentoring services.

Marty is the now retired co-founder of LunchDates Dating Service. He also founded and led a national job publication for 26 years, and he was the executive director of a Cambridge based non-profit for 18 years.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Brad Curley

Brad Curley is an experienced angel investor (Boston Harbor Angels), board member (Siamab Therapeutics, North Shore InnoVentures), and advisor (CPA, KPMG) to early stage companies. He will be available to discuss fundraising alternatives and also strategies about raising seed stage, angel, and VC capital.

Reserve 15 minutes with Brad here.

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Jennifer Jordan

Stop by and chat with Jennifer Jordan, Vice President of MassVentures, an early-stage venture capital fund dedicated to investing in Massachusetts high growth technology companies. MassVentures is currently focused on Series A investments in software, data, analytics, crowd-sourcing, and the intersection of healthcare and IT.

Please bring a high level pitch deck, covering at least:

a.) The problem you are addressing
b.) The size of the market
c.) The team
d.) The product offering
e.) The exit strategy

Reserve 30 minutes with Jennifer here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Dr. Sheldon Borkin

Get advice from Dr. Sheldon Borkin on growing and funding your company. Sheldon leads Strategic Angels which helps larger software companies become involved in the innovation economy. He is a mentor at both Techstars Boston and MassChallenge, and also a member of both Launchpad Venture Group and Investors Collaborative. Sheldon has done three startups resulting in two IPOs (including WebMD) and one acquisition. He is particular interests in enterprise and SMB software companies across verticals, and those with IoT and/or digital marketing technologies.

Reserve 30 minutes with Sheldon here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MosaicHUB Founders Roundtable

Are you a founder of a startup? If so, come join other founders for a peer-to-peer discussion group to talk about the challenges you’re facing and to share advice. Leverage the founder community knowledge to grow your business!

Register for the May 28 roundtable here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Open Data Science Conference

The #ODSc Conference brings together most influential practitioners, innovators, and thought leaders in the open source and data science fields to discover, develop, and accelerate the adoption of open source in data science.

Open source data science is revolutionizing the way we analyze information.

Be among the first to understand how you can leverage the promise of the #ODSc revolution
Explore 70+ technical and non-technical talks to grow your expertise
Discover latest applications and breakthroughs
Connect with other innovators across industries and disciplines

A siblings story: Solve for family before solving for X

How do entrepreneurs find problems to solve? Sometimes they can be as close as family.

Neheet Trivedi, the CEO and Founder of Nausea Away, the makers of a protein bar that helps mitigate and prevent nausea and motion sickness. Neheet started his business after graduating MIT Sloan School of Business and identifying a need for a reliable, healthy, alternative for his sister and others suffering from nausea. Listen in to hear him talk about the lessons learned and the future of his business.

Interviewer: Skye Flanigan

This Week: May 3 – 9, 2015

Friends,

We’re pleased to welcome Jere Doyle to our Office Hours roster. See who else is offering Office Hours this Thursday and reserve your appointments now.

Then, join us on Thursday for a diverse set of events beginning with Mintz Levin’s It’s Not Enough to Have a Good Idea: Crafting a Story that Engages, Awes, and Moves Investors to Action. Afterward, mingle in the Café before returning to the same room for From Strategy to Shelf: An Insider’s View on Bringing Food Products to Market. Or, attend the monthly Sustainability Collaborative to continue the conversations generated during the Sustainability unConference held at District Hall on April 22.

Meanwhile, chat with representatives from Lean Startup Machine, Open Data Science Conference, PROPEL, and UMass Lowell M2D2 at their Info Tables in the Café.

Hope to see you Thursday,

cropped-venture-cafe-logo.png

 

 

 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café in Session

Feature Events

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Mintz Levin’s It’s Not Enough to Have a Good Idea: Crafting a Story that Engages, Awes, and Moves Investors to Action

It’s not enough to have a great idea or business plan: you need to effectively tell your story. Whether pitching for the ear or the investor wallet, start-ups often flounder, not because their technology or business plan isn’t good, but because they stumble in telling their story. In the beginning, every start-up needs to be a communications company ― telling the right story to each audience (whether investor or the market) at the right time and making sure it lands and adheres. Crafting an engaging pitch that is clear and memorable, and that separates you from the rest of the stunningly competitive landscape, is one of the most difficult, yet important, tasks a company can tackle.

We’ll look at the art and the underlying science of persuasive communications, dispel myths about the pitch presentation, and provide best practices for the most successful start-ups.

Speakers to include Chuck Goldstone, Founder and CEO, !deaworks, Chuck Goldstone Communications; also, Executive Director, New Venture Institute; and Scott Samuels, Member, Mintz Levin.

RSVP here.

6:00 – 7:30 P.M. | Sustainability Collaborative

Join this month’s Sustainability Collaborative for a recap on the 3rd Annual Sustainability unConference, which took place on Earth Day 4/22 at District Hall. The goal of the 2015 unConference was to capture the shared vision through multi-media that can pave the way for a comprehensive report and action plan for advancing sustainability in Boston. Join them to build out this shared vision, brainstorm on how Boston can step up sustainability and reach its collective potential as a global model and hub for sustainability innovation.

The Venture Café Foundation has partnered with EcoMotion to bring the Sustainability Collaborative to monthly Venture Café gatherings.

Questions? Contact Sierra at sflanigan@ecomotion.us

6:30 – 7:45 P.M. | From Strategy to Shelf: An Insider’s View on Bringing Food Products to Market

The challenges of bringing a food product to market can be daunting. Thinking that you have a great idea, and, actually, making it a reality, can be worlds apart. How many times have you heard the words: “We were undercapitalized.” This is one of many statements, among others, that food owners say, time-and-time again.

A leading panel of experts are here to help you navigate your way. From product development to packaging, marketing to manufacturing, and distribution and finance, they will try and give you some key learnings and contacts, for each of these areas. Whether you are a startup or large company, the information will be relevant.

Creating a network of colleagues and advisors is one of the most important factors in being successful. So, come join the discussion, and attend this exciting and educational event.

Panelists:

  • Carol Coutrier | President, Massachusetts Specialty Foods Association
  • Bonnie Shershow | Founder, Bonnie’s Jams
  •  Lisa Sutton | Founder, Kitchen Local
  • Trish Karter | Founder, Dancing Deer

RSVP here. This event is at capacity, we regret to inform you that RSVPs are no longer being accepted.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Don Greenstein

Don Greenstein, a conflict manager for over 25 years, coaches individuals and teams in creating positive collaboration, when difficult conversations and differences exist among entrepreneurs/business owners. He has helped individuals identify and value differences turning them into strengths while working through stressful, conflict situations. Schedule 30 minutes with Don to discuss how to navigate differences individually or as a team.

RSVP here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Jere Doyle

A life long serial entrepreneur, Jere Doyle is now an adviser and investor to many start-ups and a passionate coach to many CEO’s through both Doyle Enterprises and The Oyster Angel Fund. He helps Founders and CEOs grow their companies and nurture success—and his main focus is on how to launch products and drive customer acquisition at the right price while maximizing lifetime value of your customers.

As an entrepreneur, Doyle has built two startup companies—Prospectiv and Global Marketing—into recognized industry leaders. Now he is helping other CEOs to build winning teams, launch innovative products, and spearhead effective customer acquisition and sales strategies across the Globe.

He is also inspiring the folks he works with stories of how those five personal qualities can drive success in any project, career, or venture. His basic message is that successful entrepreneurs must learn how to leverage five personal assets, five ingredients of a truly successful entrepreneurial life. He calls these the “Five Ps”—Passion, Patience, Persistence, Principles, and Pride.

Reserve 15 minutes with Jere here.

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Marty Sack

Marty Sack has mentored more than 200 start-ups over the last two years as a volunteer for SCORE. He brings with him the mentoring resources of more than forty additional successful executives, CPAs, small business owners, and other experts in diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free mentoring services.

Marty is the now retired co-founder of LunchDates Dating Service. He also founded and led a national job publication for 26 years, and he was the executive director of a Cambridge based non-profit for 18 years.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Steve Davis

Meet with Steve Davis, a business growth strategist who has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 20 years. He’s Founder of CXO Advisory Group, a company that works with businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers to accelerate revenue growth. Steve helps you strategize to build a profitable, efficient business capable of growing to scale.

Reserve 30 minutes with Steve here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Lean Startup Machine

Lean Startup Machine is officially back in Boston on July 17-19 at Workbar. This three-day educational conference will put you through a mental workout practicing lean startup methodology in a fun, competitive format.

Keynote speakers Dave McLaughlin of Vsnap & the City of Boston, and C Todd Lombardo of Constant Contact will open the event on Friday night. Then, it’ll be open season to pitch ideas, form teams, gather experimental data, and iterate through the weekend. On Sunday, an expert panel of judges will decide which teams were the leanest and meanest.

RSVP here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Open Data Science Conference

The #ODSc Conference brings together most influential practitioners, innovators, and thought leaders in the open source and data science fields to discover, develop, and accelerate the adoption of open source in data science.

Open source data science is revolutionizing the way we analyze information.

Be among the first to understand how you can leverage the promise of the #ODSc revolution
Explore 70+ technical and non-technical talks to grow your expertise
Discover latest applications and breakthroughs
Connect with other innovators across industries and disciplines

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | PROPEL Program

PROPEL is a startup acceleration program for prototype development from Fraunhofer TechBridge and Greentown Labs. They are seeking complementary innovations to enable a smarter, interconnected, resource-efficient world through sensing and intervention. They’ll be here to answer your questions about the program and application process.

Each selected team will receive an award valued at $40,000 to support their product’s development – consisting of incubation and prototyping space at Greentown Labs, technical guidance through Fraunhofer TechBridge, exposure to industry strategic partners and investors, and up to $10,000 in non-dilutive funds. Interested startups must apply by May 18.

For more information, please visit their website.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. |UMass Lowell M2D2

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts. Come chat about innovation and entrepreneurship with M2D2 staff.

 

This Week: April 26 – May 2, 2015

Friends,

Come to the Café this Thursday to up your email game at our first Feature Event, Email Marketing Workshop with Yesware’s Dakota McKenzie; or, learn about agile and lean development from Rally CTO, Ryan Martens, during our second Feature Event, Agile Boston.

Also: get advice and feedback during 5 sets of Office Hours; or, find a mentor during Score Mentor Match or chat with Lean Startup Machine representatives at their Info Tables around the Café.

Hope to see you Thursday,

cropped-venture-cafe-logo.png

 

 

 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café in Session

Feature Events

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Email Workshop: What can you learn from a half a million emails?

Dakota McKenzie of Yesware will be discussing what they have learned from analyzing 500,000 sales emails written by 1,000+ anonymous inside sales professionals at top performing companies.

Our research reveals key insights, including:
– Which words you should avoid in your subject lines
– How to target recipients to maximize success
– The optimal number of emails to send to an unresponsive prospect
– When to send an email to maximize open and reply rates

6:00 – 7:30 P.M. | Agile Boston hosts Ryan Martens, CTO, Rally

For this Agile Boston event, Rally founder, Ryan Martens, will speak and answer questions on business agility. Ryan will describe how any business can apply the very powerful principles of Agile software development.

He is an expert in helping companies adopt Agile and Lean practices, loosely defined as methods for delivering small batches in quick cycles to speed learning and innovation. Ryan heads the Office of the CTO team, which manages Rally’s strategic steering process as well as professional services innovation.

In 2012, Ryan launched Rally For Impact, whose mission is to mobilize citizen engineers to solve the world’s toughest problems. Ryan’s vision of a tech company with a social mission led to Rally being placed on B Lab’s Best For The World list (2012), Rally’s status as a certified B Corporation, and Ryan’s talk at TEDxMileHigh, among others.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Investors Collaborative

Investors Collaborative (iC) provides venture capital to select early stage companies in a wide range of industry sectors including software, IT, biotechnology, clean technology, healthcare, energy, communications, hardware, and professional services. They seek to help individuals developing innovative technologies build world class companies.

Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Marty Sack

Marty Sack has mentored more than 200 start-ups over the last two years as a volunteer for SCORE. He brings with him the mentoring resources of more than forty additional successful executives, CPAs, small business owners, and other experts in diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free mentoring services.

Marty is the now retired co-founder of LunchDates Dating Service. He also founded and led a national job publication for 26 years, and he was the executive director of a Cambridge based non-profit for 18 years.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Steve Davis

Meet with Steve Davis, a business growth strategist who has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 20 years. He’s Founder of CXO Advisory Group, a company that works with businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers to accelerate revenue growth. Steve helps you strategize to build a profitable, efficient business capable of growing to scale.

Reserve 30 minutes with Steve here.

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Dr. Sheldon Borkin

Get advice from Dr. Sheldon Borkin on growing and funding your company. Sheldon leads Strategic Angels which helps larger software companies become involved in the innovation economy. He is a mentor at both Techstars Boston and MassChallenge, and also a member of both Launchpad Venture Group and Investors Collaborative. Sheldon has done three startups resulting in two IPOs (including WebMD) and one acquisition. He is particular interests in enterprise and SMB software companies across verticals, and those with IoT and/or digital marketing technologies..

Reserve 30 minutes with Sheldon here.

Info Tables

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | SCORE Mentor Match

SCORE mentors deliver FREE and confidential advice for your business needs. Whether you are a start up or existing business, our mentors will help you achieve your goals. You will also have access to many of the 45 SCORE Boston Mentors with a myriad of expertise in business and non profits.

Stop by at their table to get matched up with a mentor!

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Lean Startup Machine

Lean Startup Machine is officially back in Boston on May 8th at Hack/reduce! This three-day educational conference will put you through a mental workout practicing lean startup methodology in a fun, competitive format.

Keynote speakers Dave McLaughlin of Vsnap & the City of Boston, and C Todd Lombardo of Constant Contact & TEDx will open the event on Friday night. Then, it’ll be open season to pitch ideas, form teams, gather experimental data, and iterate through the weekend. On Sunday, an expert panel of judges will decide which teams were the leanest and meanest.

RSVP here.

Connecting the Innovation Community