This Week: June 21 – 27, 2015

Friends,

We would like to thank Basis Technology for sponsoring Thursday’s international-themed Café, which offers you a chance to think and act globally. Start by reserving your appointments for Office Hours now. Then, in between your meetings on Thursday, mix and mingle in the Café before choosing from the cascade of Feature Events, including TCN UpStart Roundtable in the Cancun conference room in the Café and 3 panels in the Havana conference room outside of the Café. Also, during the latter half of the Café, find resources and learn about opportunities to take your startup abroad at Info Tables for GREAT Tech Awards, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment, Scottish Development International, and Canadian Technology Accelerator located inside the Café.

Hope to see you Thursday,

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Global Venture Café sponsored by Basis Technology

Feature Events

4:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Foreign Talent — an agent for growth in the American Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem — Potential and Challenges

Taking creative ideas and converting them into successful businesses has many challenges. An important one is assembling the right talent. Globalization will continue to define most businesses including those with local models, so access to international talent, knowledge and information is paramount for success. This presents wonderful opportunities to grow businesses in the United States and in particular in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by tapping into foreign talent coming to the our country or already studying here.

The panelists will discuss their experiences regarding the formation and expansion of entrepreneurial ventures, the challenges faced by foreign talent, and thoughts on retaining their expertise and drive for joining or launching startups in the United States.

Panelists:
Gustavo BottanOPT4America
Jeff Goldman — Immigration Law Expert
Lucas Gorganchian – MIT Sloan Fellow and Founder of Snowball Marketing
Brittany D. McDonoughMOITI
Felix MoesnerSwissnex
Terry RussellInterface Ventures
Moderator:
Andi DankertFWD.US

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | TCN UpStart Roundtable

TCN UpStart Roundtables are monthly gatherings at the Venture Café that bring together Boston-area early-stage startups and seasoned entrepreneurs. This free series with The Capital Network, Venture Café, and Silicon Valley Bank is a great opportunity for you to ask burning questions about starting a company and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs in a casual cafe setting.

In line with the Global Venture Café theme, their guest speaker is Thomas Ketchell, CEO of HSTRY. Thomas is a native of Belgium, has built and run his company internationally, and is passionate about immigration reform that supports international entrepreneurs. RSVP here.

5:30 – 6:30 P.M. | International Expansion — When and Where is it Right for You?

Entering foreign markets brings with it growth opportunities for your company as well as many challenges. Hear from several panelists working at young companies, B2B & B2C, that are currently experiencing first-hand global expansion and learn about their process of deciding when to enter, which markets, why and how they developed their initial /current strategy.

Panelists:
Ted Acworth, Vice Founder & CEO, Artaic
Alison Elworthy,VP of Operations, Hubspot
Howard Leyda, Vice President of Marketing & Ecommerce, Coravin
Shekhar Wadekar, Managing Member, coSlide, LLC
Moderator:
Marcia Goldfinger

6:45 – 7:45 P.M. | Building A Global Brand – Tips from the Experts

How can you make sure that your brand transcends cultures and is consistently executed while remaining relevant for your overseas markets? It is a complex and challenging task, but our panel of both B2B and B2C experts have years of experience to share with you. Join us to hear their stories and learn their tips for success.

Panelists:
Carl Hoffman, CEO, Basis Technology
Karen Jasmin, Dir. of Global Marketing Communications, Home Robot Division, iRobot
Brad Rinklin, CMO, Akamai Technologies
Cathy Wissink, Senior Director, Technology and Civic Engagement, Microsoft

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | GREAT Tech Awards

The third annual GREAT Tech Awards will encourage high growth technology companies in the Northeast, USA to select the UK as destination of choice for international expansion.

Six innovative companies, selected by a panel of prestigious judges and advisors, will win a roundtrip flight to London, five nights accommodation at Corinthia Hotel London, accountancy services, legal services, recruitment services, free office space, real estate services, banking services, meetings with investors, property agents, mentors, and government officials, and attendance at the unBound Conference in London.

Applications are open 15 June – 31 July 2015.

Competition categories are: Cleantech, EdTech, FinTech, Health, Lifestyle, and Media.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment

The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) is charged with promoting trade and investment with global partners in Massachusetts and around the world. They offer services to Massachusetts companies and start-ups that seek a global footprint and can discuss grants, professional opportunities, and government support available to innovators and entrepreneurs through the MOITI network.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It attracts inward investment to Scotland and assist Scottish based companies to trade overseas. Scotland was once again ranked as the top destination in the UK for business outside of the city of London, and is home to such US investors as IBM, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, HP, and SAS. Stop by and chat with Jim Dolan to connect with SDI!

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Turkish Consulate: Office of the Commercial Attaché to New England

The Turkish Ministry of Economy opened a new office in Boston to serve New England states. Alperen Kacar, Commercial Attaché, based in the Turkish Consulate in Boston, has been active to meet the increasing demand on partnership opportunities, investment and trade connections between area businesses and Turkish counterparts Please stop by to learn more about opportunities across the Anatolian Peninsula.

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Canadian Technology Accelerator

Canadian Technology Accelerator hosts over 30 Canadian companies annually, hailing from the ICT, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and Cleantech sectors. The program is acclaimed in Canada and part of a greater international network of 12 accelerator programs in North America, India and the UK. Canadian companies receive mentoring, and access to a wide range of industry resources and programming. CTA@Boston actively seeks to make connections with the corporate and investment community. Please come by and say hello!

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Chuck Goldstone

It’s about the story. Startups often falter, not because their technologies aren’t good, but because the stories they tell about them aren’t. We’ll chat about both content and intent: Stepping back to find the right message for each audience (be it investor or market), making it clear and engaging, making it memorable (differentiating it from others competing for attention), and moving audiences to action. Bring your decks, your goals, your challenges, and an open mind about finding and articulating a compelling story. You’ll chat withChuck Goldstone, who for more than two decades has helped organizations find their voice.

RSVP 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.

Reserve 15 minutes with iC 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.

RSVP 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.

Sign up for his office hours 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.

This Week: June 14 – 20, 2015

Friends,

Please join us in welcoming experienced executive, Hal Charney, and former VC, Katherine Oates, to our Office Hours roster.  This Thursday, they’ll be amongst 7 other adept advisors holding Office Hours in the Café.  Plan accordingly and reserve your Office Hour appointments on the earlier side, so you don’t miss the MBBP & TiE Boston fireside chat with experienced entrepreneurs Deepak Taneja, CTO Identity at RSA, the security division of EMC, and Gaugarin Oliver, President, TiE Boston,  Then, choose between the workshop on building your startup’s team or a roundtable on how to make the most of a hackathon.

Hope to see you Thursday,

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

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

Feature Events

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton & TiE Boston present a Fireside Chat with Deepak Taneja and Gaugarin Oliver

Please join TiE-Boston and Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton for a discussion of important legal issues related to startup companies and a fireside chat and interactive Q&A session with serial entrepreneurs Deepak Taneja and Gaugarin Oliver as they discuss the life cycles of their companies from formation to acquisition.

Please RSVP here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | UMass Lowell M2D2 Info Table

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.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MosaicHUB Build Your Startup Team the Right Way

To build a successful startup you need to build an “A” team, which will serve as a strong foundation to launch, iterate and grow rapidly. Building this “A” team takes more than identifying the skills you need to bring on board. You also need to make sure team members have a complimentary approach to tackling challenges and moving quickly to survive in the startup world.

Come join us to find out if you are a Visionary, Architect, Builder, or Cultivator and what this means to building out your team. Discover what attributes, beyond technical skills, you should look for in a co-founder or other team members.

To maximize the value of your time at this workshop, take the simple 10 minute test beforehand at http://www.myezog.com/surveys.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Roundtable: Everything You Wanted to Know About Hackathons

What are the benefits of participating in hackathons? How can I find events? How can I come up with good ideas that can be implemented over a weekend?

Working with constraints under a limited deadline, creating something clever and useful, forming a team or going it alone, and public speaking under pressure are all aspects of a well-done hackathon. Doing a hackathon can even be seen as a simulation of creating a startup.

Eric Boehlke of truevis.com will speak on the subject.

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.

Schedule 30 minutes with Maia here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Jodi Tatiana-Charles

Marketing and Branding

Bring your marketing and brand questions for a one-on-one consult where Jodi-Tatiana Charles will give feedback and brainstorm ideas with you.

• Mentoring Topics
• Marketing/Branding Strategy
• Media/Customer Acquisition
• Business Model Development/Strategy

Biography
Jodi has enjoyed bringing people and companies together for over three decades. As a strategic marketing/branding specialist she has combined her passion for branding with her love of business development. After working on her Global MBA at Babson College and traveling to 14 countries within a year, and starting two businesses, she continues to be inspired to share her knowledge and expertise with clients worldwide.

Prior to creating two businesses, she led the marketing and branding of MassChallenge at its inception, managed and coordinated the Massachusetts Conference for Women, a one day event providing a forum for more than 7500 women, engaged as Deputy Press Secretary to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, produced the award winning NECN program NewsNight hosted by Chet Curtis and Jim Braude, and demonstrated leadership as WXKS Associate Producer for the legendary radio program The Matty in the Morning Show, where she was nominated “Producer of the Year”.

RSVP for 20 minute slots via email.

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

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 – SCORE

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.

Sign up for his office hours here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Hal Charney

With over two decades of experience as a CEO leading technology companies through their expansion stages, Hal brings pragmatic perspectives and advice to those looking to “get to the next level” with their businesses. Whether its building the executive team, raising capital, handling those tricky co-founder issues, or brainstorming your next great idea, Hal is here to help. He’s seen dozens of businesses as CEO, Board member or advisor and believes that 80% of the challenges that every business faces are common across all markets – you’re not alone! He has raised in excess of $100M in venture and private equity and has been involved in over a dozen acquisitions on both buy-side and sell-side. Bring your questions, pitch deck, challenges and ideas.

Reserve 30 minutes with Hal 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.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Katherine Oates

Working on an exceptional MedDevice or HealthTech idea? Want some feedback on your business plan from an experienced investor?

Come meet with Katherine Oates, a former VC investor who now runs the Technology Scouting program at Smith & Nephew. She has reviewed over 500 business plans and has listened to hundreds of pitches.

Smith & Nephew, a global medical device company, is committed to supporting early-stage technologies that could make a big impact on the health of people around the world. Smith & Nephew has businesses in Orthopedics, Sports medicine, Trauma, Gynecology, and ENT (Ear, Noes & Throat).

Reserve 30 minutes with Katherine 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.

This Week: June 7 – 13, 2015

Friends,

This Wednesday we’re pleased to host another Civic Innovation Conversation with Microsoft’s Innovation and Policy Center; and this time, the focus is on how data helps the neighborhoods.

Then, Thursday’s Café offers 7 different sets of Office Hours and opportunities to pay it forward during Youth CITIES Mini Hack where you’ll help youth address local community issues. You can also chat with M2D2 representatives at their Info Table in the Café or attend an Info Session on Startup Leadership Program.

Hope to see you Thursday,

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

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

Feature Events

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.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | UMass Lowell M2D2 Info Table

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.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Startup Leadership Program Info Session

The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a highly selective, 80-hour, 6-month world-class training program and lifetime network for outstanding founders and innovators. SLP Fellows have founded 1,000 companies that have raised $400 million, and include breakthrough and award-winning startups like Savored, TomNod, Ixigo, NatureBox, SideTour, Micello, Momelan, Novira, Runkeeper, Sensobi, Shareaholic, Solar Junction, Voicetap and Ubersense.

Chat with some of their alumni if you would like to learn more about the program and about how it can expand your network and help translate your ideas into exciting businesses.

Office Hours

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 – 5:00 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.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Investors Collaborative (iC)

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. | Jodi Tatiana-Charles – Marketing and Branding

Bring your marketing and brand questions for a one-on-one consult where Jodi-Tatiana Charles will give feedback and brainstorm ideas with you.

• Mentoring Topics
• Marketing/Branding Strategy
• Media/Customer Acquisition
• Business Model Development/Strategy

Biography
Jodi has enjoyed bringing people and companies together for over three decades. As a strategic marketing/branding specialist she has combined her passion for branding with her love of business development. After working on her Global MBA at Babson College and traveling to 14 countries within a year, and starting two businesses, she continues to be inspired to share her knowledge and expertise with clients worldwide.

Prior to creating two businesses, she led the marketing and branding of MassChallenge at its inception, managed and coordinated the Massachusetts Conference for Women, a one day event providing a forum for more than 7500 women, engaged as Deputy Press Secretary to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, produced the award winning NECN program NewsNight hosted by Chet Curtis and Jim Braude, and demonstrated leadership as WXKS Associate Producer for the legendary radio program The Matty in the Morning Show, where she was nominated “Producer of the Year”.

RSVP for 20 minute slots via email.

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.

5:00 – 7:45 P.M. | Linda Plano

A great pitch gives you an edge
A critical founders’ skills is your ability to translate your value proposition into a compelling pitch. Without one, it’s difficult to be heard above the noise of the legions of other entrepreneurs pitching to the same people for money and resources.

Get Perfect Pitch
Linda Plano, PhD, has worked with nearly 600 mostly high tech entrepreneurs over the last ten years, and they have gone on to raise well over $250M. Come prepared with your current 1-minute elevator pitch that is tuned for the ears of your audience.

Reserve 30 minutes with Linda here.

For the love of Foreign Language and Text Analytics

Or how to understand what the world is telling you even if you don’t speak the language.

Horst interviews Heather Phipps and Itai Rolnick of Basis Technology during a special Big Data event at the Venture Cafe. Heather talks about her love of linguistics and data-analytics leading her to Basis. Having learned programming at the age of 5 Itai has long had a passion for programming as well as for helping “high impact” startups. They both talk about Basis’ free analytics software program for qualified companies and how Basis uses it to improve the product cycle.

This Week: May 31 – June 6, 2015

Friends,

Ash Egan and Chuck Goldstone join our Office Hours roster this Thursday. Most of their appointments are already filled, so be sure to reserve yours now before it’s too late.

That said, it’s going to be a fun-filled week because it’s CIC Arts Week; and, as part of the festivities, this Thursday’s Café is a special Arts-themed Café sponsored by CIC and featuring 8 different events. Plus, there’s Sustainability Collaborative and a panel on Cleantech in the Developing World.

Also, if you haven’t already RSVP’ed, please consider attending the June 10 Civic Innovation Conversation on how data helps neighborhoods with Microsoft’s Innovation and Policy Center.

Hope to see you Thursday,

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

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

Art Events

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Artisan’s Asylum Info Table

Artisan’s Asylum will be tabling to offer local artists information about resources available to them.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | BRAIN-Arts Info Table

BRAIN Arts lets Bostonians experience genuine and raw live music and art. By supporting artists to travel to the area, they are making Boston a destination for up-and-coming touring acts. Their newspaper, the Boston Compass, and their web-magazine, the Boston Hassle, reach 25,000 people each month who are hungry for more grassroots culture in Boston.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | CIC Info Table

CIC, a sister organization to Venture Café and the physical space within which Venture Café operates, is hosting the Café on June 4th to meet people who may be interested in joining their team.

CIC’s mission is to change the world through innovation by developing ecosystems that allow exceptional entrepreneurs to innovate faster and better. This is done by providing the physical infrastructure through space and services and by cultivating a supportive, vibrant community to allow for and encourage success.

CIC is expanding locally, domestically, and abroad and is hiring in an array of different fields including architecture and design, operations, recruiting, expansion, finance, IT, and more! If you or someone you know is interested in working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, you may be interested in attending. There will be CIC team members onsite to meet you and answer your questions.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Deborah Davidson, Catalyst Conversation Info Table

Deborah Davidson connects scientists and artists in partnerships that spur fascinating talks and projects. She is a font of knowledge and a wonderful resource to hear more about the local art and innovation scene.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Emery Wenger Office Hours

Local artist, Emery Wenger, will be staffing an info table in Venture Café on the topic of being a professional artist and how to monetize your art! Come meet Emery and ask him about what he does, how he does it, and perhaps learn how to apply this to your own creative goals.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Molly Akin, Cambridge Arts Council Info Table

Molly Akin, Director of Marketing & PR at Cambridge Arts Council, joins us to provide information and resources regarding the local arts community. Come talk to her about upcoming events and more!

6:00 – 6:45 P.M. | The Future of 3D Printing and Art

Hear from Fab Lab Hub’s Sarah Boisvert and discover the possibilities.

6:45 – 7:30 P.M. | 3D Printing Demonstrations

Join Sarah back in the Café for 3D printing demos.

Environmental Events

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

Cambridge is IN IT to WIN IT, and is counting on your ideas to help the City win a $5 million prize! The Georgetown University Energy Prize pits 50 cities across the country against each other for two years to develop game changing approaches to energy efficiency. Seth Federspiel from the Cambridge Energy Alliance will introduce the Prize and then turn it over to you to brainstorm the big, innovative, and transformative technologies, services, and strategies needed to reduce energy use throughout the city. Creative thinkers from all disciplines welcome!

7:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Cleantech in the Developing World Panel

Come hear entrepreneurs share their stories about solving cleantech challenges abroad, building a team, pivoting, raising money and overall growing a business in a developing market.

  • Sam White, Director, Promethean Power Systems, Inc
  • Emily Cunningham, Co-Founder & COO, MoringaConnect
  • Spencer Taylor, CEO & Co-Founder, Evaptainers
  • Jason Kass, President & Founder, Toilets for People
  • Katie MacDonald, Director, Cleantech Open Northeast (Moderator)

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Ash Egan

CommonAngels Ventures (CAV) is one of Boston’s leading early stage funds, composed of leaders in the tech community. Meet and get feedback from Ash Egan, Analyst at CAV. Ash helps CAV support its current portfolio of 30+ companies, enjoys exploring the Boston tech ecosystem, and is always interested in assisting entrepreneurs however he can.

RSVP here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Chuck Goldstone

It’s about the story. Startups often falter, not because their technologies aren’t good, but because the stories they tell about them aren’t. We’ll chat about both content and intent: Stepping back to find the right message for each audience (be it investor or market), making it clear and engaging, making it memorable (differentiating it from others competing for attention), and moving audiences to action. Bring your decks, your goals, your challenges, and an open mind about finding and articulating a compelling story. You’ll chat with Chuck Goldstone, who for more than two decades has helped organizations find their voice.

RSVP 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.

RSVP here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | New Leaf Legal

New Leaf Legal focuses on creatively developing Corporate, Entertainment, and IP infrastructures for their start-up clients as well as helping established companies embark on new and entrepreneurial paths. Stop by the Cafe to talk shop!

Reserve 30 minutes with New Leaf Legal 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. | Stephen 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.

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,

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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,

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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

Connecting the Innovation Community