This Week: August 31 – September 6, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, join us for Sustainability Collaborative and network with people familiar with Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grants following their panel discussion about how to best utilize the equity-free program from the Federal government, one of the biggest funders of early-stage small companies.

And, like every other Thursday, seek advice during office hours, start conversations and share stories, or take casual meetings in the Café while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, September 4, 2014

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

Feature Events

5:00 – 6:00 P.M. | SBIR Panel
Location: Havana Conference Room

The Federal Government is one of the biggest funders of small companies, particularly early stage companies, through their grant programs and especially through Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grants.  Each Federal agency that spends more than $100 million on extramural research and development has to contribute 2.8% of their research budget to these awards.  So for big agencies like the NIH and DoD these budgets are substantial  – in 2010 Health and Human Services, which includes the NIH, had an SBIR budget of over $600 million while the DOD’s was approaching $1.2 billion.

For many emerging companies these funds allow the entrepreneurial founders to develop the technology to a stage at which they can demonstrate the technology and attract other funding.  And a major benefit for these entrepreneurs is that this funding is a grant – there is no equity taken and no loan to be paid back.  The process of getting an SBIR award though can be slow and there are many rules on how the money can be spent.

This workshop will review the SBIR program, the pros and cons of the funding, what you need to do before you apply, tips on improving your chances of winning, and, importantly, what you need to know and do when you get an award.  Our panel of SBIR experts will outline the program and be there to answer your questions as to how you can take advantage of this funding.

5:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Jameson and Co. - Understanding the Strings Attached to Government Funding Awards
Location: Café Table

Federal government grants and contracts (SBIR/STTR, BARDA, BAA, APRA-E, R01, R23, U01) are a great non-dilutive way to build your business, but come with financial and regulatory strings attached. Learn how to navigate the minefield from the straight talking CPAs with the national reputation who happen to be locals.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Sustainability Collaborative
Location: Cancun Conference Room

Venture Café Foundation has partnered with EcoMotion to bring the Sustainability Collaborative to monthly Venture Café gatherings during the first Thursday of each month. Sustainability advocates are given the chance to share and participate in a collaborative discussion around sustainability innovation in mini unConference style.

Join them to engage in meaningful discussion and connect with like minded innovators and entrepreneurs.

Questions? Contact Sierra at sflanigan@ecomotion.us.

Office Hours

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso
Location: Veracruz Conference Room

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.

Sign up for office hours with Joe here.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Tina Weber & Brett Chisholm: Let’s talk Marketing and Sales
Location: Café Table

Tina Weber and Brett Chisholm of A Starting Line will be on hand to chat marketing and sales.  Brett has deep experience with helping startups take products to market and corporate technology sales; while Tina has helped a variety of clients in industries ranging from fashion e-commerce such as Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, and Rue La La; to healthcare/pharma such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and Abbott Laboratories with marketing technologies.

Reserve 30 minutes with Tina and Brett here.

This Week: August 24 – 30, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, join us for a special theme night focused on the food and beverage industry. Afterward, branchfood hosts an after party at Firebrand Saints.

And, like every other Thursday, start conversations and share stories while also finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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

Feature Events

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | TCN UpStart Roundtable with Tracey Noonan – Wicked Good Cupcakes®
TCN UpStart Roundtable, a monthly gathering, brings together Boston-area early-stage startups and seasoned entrepreneurs. This free series from 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 setting. This Thursday, hear from Shark Tank winner Tracey Noonan of Wicked Good Cupcakes.

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Panel: What’s Next in Food & Bev?
Whether it’s procuring, eating, or enjoying the social aspects of its consumption, food is important. TechStars CEO David Cohen said, “If there’s a bigger market, I don’t know what it is.” CB Insights noted that $146 million went into food and beverage deals in 2013. The New York Times recently claimed that delivery startups are all the rage today and pointed out that John A. Deighton, author of a Harvard Business School case study on Webvan-the largest dot-com flop in history-said he’s been asked to teach it three times in the last year. Given this attention on the industry and growing investor interest, what can savvy and hungry (pun intended) entrepreneurs glean from this?

Ask Venture Café Founder and Founder/CEO of CIC Tim Rowe about his “Five T’s of business” and the second word you hear after “Team” is “Trend”–followed by “Twist”, “Teflon®”, and “Trillions”.  So, what’s next in food and bev?

Join us for an interactive discussion as we ask our panelists about nascent and proliferating industry trends. Also, start thinking about other related topics and questions that you’d like the panel to address because you’ll have the chance to bring them up.

Panelists:
Rachel Greenberger, Director, Food Sol at Babson College
Darnell Adams, Managing Director, Crop Circle Kitchen
Lauren Abda, Managing Director, The Food Loft
Andrew Share, Partner, Nixon Peabody

7:00 – 7:45 P.M. | Showcase
• Asulia
A MassChallenge participant, Asulia makes delicious fusion veggie foods. Their dumplings have 2-3 servings of veggies in every box. A percentage of profits support girls’ education in developing countries.

The Craic and Blonde
At The Craic & Blonde their vision is to not only excite audacious palates with Haitian flavor, but also increase awareness of the beautiful Haitian culture! They’re offering pikliz (pick-lese), a traditional spicy relish that is used like hot sauce. Try a simple avocado salad by combining ripe avocado with pikliz and salt. Use pikliz as a topping on your eggs, oysters, grilled meats (it’s exceptional on burgers and hot dogs!), sandwiches, seafood, in Bloody Marys, and more…the list is as endless as your imagination!

CogniTea
CogniTea is a cognitive and energy boosting tea specifically crafted to help you focus and feel alert. They created the tea as a healthier and smarter replacement for coffee and energy drinks, without the crash, jitters or headache. It’s made with 100mg of L-Theanine, an amino acid extracted from green tea, that is scientifically shown to promote these positive mental effects.

CookRadar
CookRadar is building a social homemade food-related community together and a homemade food marketplace to facilitate the connection of people and the sharing of traditional food and recipes.

• Follow The Honey
Follow The Honey travels the world bringing the finest of “transparency of source” honeys and bee-inspired offerings to you and your sweet ones. In addition to raw untreated honeys, the Harvard Square store offers beeswax candles, mead kits, honeyed chocolates, books both scholarly and esoteric, propolis tincture, beauty products & more–your all purpose gifting honeypot.

• KIND Snacks
There’s healthy. There’s tasty. Then there’s healthy and tasty. At KIND, they believe you deserve both—they call it our brAND philosophy. That’s why you’ll find all of their snacks are pretty much the nirvana of healthful tastiness. What began with just 8 bar varieties in 2004 has grown to over 22 bars and 6 Healthy Grains snackable clusters, and a multitude of new recipes being perfected and refined to their standards in the KIND kitchen.

So whether your snacking style is choosy or adventurous (or a little bit of both), here’s something to celebrate: they’ll always be thinking up new ways to delight your taste buds and keep your body happy.

• Phfeast
Phfeast is a unique social loyalty program because all dining rewards earned are donated to local families, children, and others in need.

RSVPicnic
RSVPicnic modernizes a classic picnic experience. They feature a prix fixe, small batch menu from Artú in an electic mix of hand selected vintage baskets and luggage pieces. They’ve also teamed up with the Wine Bottega, in the North End, to select the perfect pairing for your meal.

SomethingGUD
A public benefit corporation, Something GUD delivers fresh local food right to your door. Shop online and order from the best local farmers, fisherman, bakers & foodmakers.

Info Tables

4:00 – 7:00 P.M. | The Food Loft
Located at 535 Albany Street, The Food Loft is a collaborative co-working space dedicated food and food-tech entrepreneurs.  It’s also home to Harvard Common Press, a James Beard Book Award publisher and an investor in several food-tech startups including Yummly, Crowdly, and recently acquired Caviar (Square).

4:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Crop Circle Kitchen
Crop Circle Kitchen (CCK) operates Boston’s only non-profit shared-use commercial kitchen and culinary business incubator. CCK aims to promote entrepreneurship, create sustainable employment with meaningful access to career advancement, improve access to local, healthy food, and strengthen the regional food economy.  For the past five years, CCK has achieved this mission by providing hourly rental of a fully-equipped shared-use kitchen in Jamaica Plain to around 30-40 food businesses monthly, and by integrating technical assistance to support businesses as they start up and grow.

CropCircle Kitchen is proud to announce the opening of CCK Pearl, a 36,000 sq ft food production facility located on Quincy St. in Dorchester, an addition to their current shared kitchen space in Jamaica Plain. This new facility includes a commissary for contract processing, a large sharedkitchen space for rent, and individual tenant spaces for lease. CCK Pearl is designed specifically for business owners looking to take the next step in growing their food business – it has the capacity to support medium sized food businesses as they grow.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | J.D. Kemp
JD is Co-Founder of Crop Circle Kitchen and FoodEx. An in-the-trenches entrepreneur with passionate interests in the food system, economic development, sustainable agriculture, and the application of technology to under-served industries and cultures. He loves to find the core issues that link business, social, economic, and environmental opportunities; and then to forge and fund business plans to harvest these opportunities in unison. Through these two ventures and beyond, JD has helped launch over 120 small food businesses since 2008.

Email us to reserve 20 minutes with JD.

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. | Chris Bergen – Nixon Peabody
Chris Bergen is an attorney with a corporate practice that includes the representation of private equity funds, portfolio companies and venture capital investors. Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, Chris worked as an associate in the corporate department of a leading international law firm based in Boston.

Chris is available to offer advice about:

  • Seed investment rounds and negotiating terms of equity investments
  • Obtaining funding and negotiating commercial contracts
  • NP Capital Connector — how participation in the program is a great way for emerging companies to get noticed and obtain financing

Email us to reserve 15 minutes with Chris.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Rob Coulter - Nixon Peabody
Rob Coulter has extensive experience in helping entrepreneurs from their earliest pre-formation discussions through multiple preferred equity financing rounds and beyond. Specifically in the F&B space, Rob has advised on general corporate concerns as well as with niche-specific issues such as a craft brewer that required a lot of focused attention on distributor contracts and a restaurateur that needed guidance in the areas of real estate and land use. The regulatory overlay can be particularly dense in the F&B arena and Rob has helped entrepreneurs prepare for and effectively navigate these issues. Rob believes that in the early stages, it is important to structure a company so that it can accept future investments without a lot of unnecessary legal work and he can guide entrepreneurs with that goal in mind as well as help them keep an eye on issues like governance and protecting intellectual property. If a company is looking for growth capital or even executive talent, NPCC can help facilitate introductions and Rob looks forward to sharing more with the attendees on how they can take advantage of this great complimentary resource his company has to offer.

What Rob can speak about during office hours:

  • helping entrepreneurs from their earliest pre-formation discussions through multiple preferred equity financing rounds and beyond.
  • general corporate concerns as well as with niche-specific issues such as distributor contracts and real estate and land use.
  • how to navigate regulatory issues
  • how to structure a company so that it can accept future investments without a lot of unnecessary legal work and
  • important issues such as governance and protecting intellectual property.

Email us to reserve 15 minutes with Rob.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Scott Sanders
Scott Sanders is a sales, marketing, and analytics professional in the food and consumer packaged goods industry. He is director of CPG Analytics for Pivotstream, where he specializes in sales and marketing insights. He also has has provided consulting services for several clients, including Market Performance Group, a strategy consultant and sales management services company.

Scott has long been involved in the consumer goods industry through his family’s syrup manufacturing business. Scott started there while in high school and is still providing consulting services for them today for their Bosco Chocolate Syrup brand. Early in Scott’s career, he created a public relations campaign that resulted in the placement of Bosco on Seinfeld, where it became embedded in American pop culture as George Costanza’s ATM code.

In addition, Scott managed marketing analytics strategy for clients at Acosta Sales & Marketing, a consumer packaged goods sales agency that outsourced sales departments for about 25% of the U.S. grocery industry. His clients have spanned a wide range of blue-chip companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant Food), Heinz, Clorox, Dr Pepper Snapple, Georgia-Pacific, and Welch’s.

Scott has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School.

Email us to reserve 30 minutes with Scott.

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 – 7:00 P.M. | Ron Sarni
Ron Sarni is Development Director at Co-Creation Ventures and President and Founder of Boston Food Truck Alliance. The Alliance’s mission is to further advance, support and proliferate the mobile food truck industry in the greater Boston area.

Co- Creation Ventures is Stock Pot Malden’s incubator and venture capital fund for multicultural food entrepreneurs, specializing in food trucks and focused on local economic development in the diverse community of Malden, Massachusetts. They’re backed by a small, brilliant group of socially conscious angel investors who built the fund to help launch and/or grow multicultural, unique and promising food businesses. Their in-house staff of consultants and food business experts provide tools, consulting and business planning services, marketing assistance, and administrative support to help their independent food entrepreneurs flourish. They welcome applications for coaching and/or investment money from aspiring and existing food entrepreneurs, particularly those with a commitment to diversity and the local economy.

Stock Pot Malden Kitchen is a Malden-based commercial kitchen/commissary that leases licensed, state-of-the-art kitchen space to food trucks, food product entrepreneurs and caterers. As of August 2014, they’re still accepting new tenants seeking commercial kitchen space.

Email us to reserve 15 minutes with Ronald.

3:30 – 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.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Ron Ackman
Rob Ackman has spent the last 30+ years as a Marketing Manager/Director in the quick serve and full serve restaurant industry with such brands as Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Applebee’s, Uno’s and TGI Fridays.  He has worked with small and large franchisees to help them build sales and profits. Additionally, Ron is member of SCORE’s Boston chapter.

Reserve 30 minutes with Rob here.  

This Week: August 17 – August 23, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, in addition to office hours, chat with members of Impact Hub Boston and learn about the benefits of joining their Hosting Team.

And, like every other Thursday, start conversations, share stories, or take casual meetings in the Café while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, August 21, 2014

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

Feature Event

4:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Info Table: Impact Hub Boston

Impact Hub Boston, coworking and community space for social innovation and social entrepreneurship, is located in the same building as the new CIC Boston. If you’re looking to join a community or events for social good, they’ll be at the Café to answer questions about their space, community, and upcoming events.

Office Hours

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 is 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. | Jared Cosulich

Jared Cosulich is the Director of the Boston office for Pivotal Labs.  He is an expert in user experience, agile software development, pair programming, and test-driven development. He can provide advice about developing software in a more agile fashion, growing an effective engineering team, and focusing a product roadmap to test assumptions more effectively and zero in on product-market fit.

Reserve 30 minutes with Jared here.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | George Mabry

George Mabry 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 biopharmaceutical 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.

This Week: August 10 – August 16, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, join mosaicHUB for their Build Your Business Workshop: Setting Priorities and Managing Your Time.  Also, in addition to our returning experts, we’re pleased to welcome both State Representative (8th Suffolk District) Jay Livingstone and Cape Ann Development Group for office hours.

And, like every other Thursday, start conversations, share stories, or take casual meetings in the Café while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

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

Featured Events

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Office Hours: State Representative Jay Livingstone, 8th Suffolk District

Give feedback and provide ideas or suggestions on both local neighborhood issues and statewide policy priorities during State Representative Jay Livingstone’s office hours in the Café.

Raised in North Attleboro, MA, Jay Livingstone graduated from the University of Connecticut and George Washington University Law School.  He has served as an assistant Attorney General in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as an assistant district attorney for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, and an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University Law School.  A current resident of Beacon Hill, Jay serves as an employment discrimination and criminal defense attorney at Regan, Lane & Messinger LLP.

Reserve 15 minutes with Jay here.

6:30 – 7:45 P.M. | mosaicHUB’s Build Your Business Workshop – Setting Priorities and Managing Your Time

As a business owner, you are forced to be a jack-of-all-trades with only 24 hours a day.  As you probably heard before, you can’t manage your time to create more time.  You can only manage your actions.  So what can you do to fit in all the things you need to do for your company to thrive?

This course will teach you how to set priorities and do the important stuff for your business.  Marina Darlow, Founder and CEO of Vision Framework, will show you how to streamline operations, make delegations easy and effective, and reach your goals with useful tools and different management techniques.

Whether you are just starting out or running a business, these tips and tools will help you get at least 3 more hours of productive time a day, and feel both efficient and effective.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Len Hafetz & Ed Friedman - 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. | Mark Allio – Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)

Mark Allio is Regional Director of the MSBDC’s 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 here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso – Bantam Group

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. | Marty Sack – SCORE Mentors

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.

5:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Cape Ann Development Group

Cape Ann Development Group is a premier software consulting firm specializing in big data, mobile and custom web development. They’re offering technical office hours for entrepreneurs interested in getting input on their product and technology. They can provide advice on matters such as:

* Are you developing your technology in a most cost-effective way?
* How fast should it take to develop your MVP and how much should you be expected to spend?
* Are you making the best use of open source components?
* Pros and cons of developing everything in house vs. outsourcing some of the work to specialists.
* Are you being charged more than you think you should by local big data and mobile consultants?
* What is a realistic time and cost to develop your mobile app, web app, or big data platform?

Reserve 30 minutes with Cape Ann Development Group here.

This Week: August 3 – August 9, 2014

Friends,

To better serve you, we’re surveying the community.  Please take a moment to fill it out.

This Thursday, Pivotal Labs’ Jared Cosulich joins our office hours roster and EcoMotion hosts Sustainability Collaborative, a collaborative unConference-style discussion around sustainability and innovation.

And, like every other Thursday, chat with our visiting experts, start conversations, or have casual meetings in the Café while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, August 7, 2014

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

Featured Event

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

Venture Cafe Foundation has partnered with EcoMotion to bring the Sustainability Collaborative to monthly Venture Café gatherings during the first Thursday of each month.  Sustainability advocates are given the chance to share and participate in a collaborative discussion around sustainability innovation in mini unConference style.

Join them this Thursday in Cancun (the room! 5th floor) to engage in meaningful discussion and connect with like minded innovators and entrepreneurs.

Questions?  Contact Sierra at sflanigan@ecomotion.us.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Jared Cosulich - Pivotal Labs

Jared Cosulich is the Director of the Boston office for Pivotal Labs.  He is an expert in user experience, agile software development, pair programming, and test-driven development.  He can provide advice about developing software in a more agile fashion, growing an effective engineering team, and focusing a product roadmap to test assumptions more effectively and zero in on product-market fit.

Reserve 30 minutes with Jared here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Steve Davis – CXO Advisory Group

Meet with Steve Davis, a business growth strategist who has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 20 years.  He is 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.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Jerry Blakeley - SCORE Mentors

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.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Brad Curley - Boston Harbor Angels

Brad Curley is an experienced angel investor (Boston Harbor Angels), board member (Sialix), and advisor (CPA, KPMG) to early stage companies. Get feedback while discussing fundraising alternatives and also strategies about raising seed stage, angel, and VC capital.

Sign up for his office hours here.

This Week: July 27 – August 2, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, we welcome Mimi Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of SalesQuest (acquired by OneSource) to our office hours roster.   Also, learn about intricacies, opportunities, and challenges of starting a craft brewery during our roundtable on the business of brewing with RiverWalk Brewery’s founder, Steve Sanderson.  Stay after the roundtable to chat informally with Steve at his table in the Café.

And, like every other Thursday, chat with our visiting experts, start conversations, and have other casual meetings in the Café while finding resources to grow your startup.

We hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, July 31, 2014

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

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Office Hours: 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 – 6:00 P.M. | Office Hours: Steve Davis

Meet with Steve Davis, a business growth strategist who has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 20 years.  He is 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. | Office Hours: Mimi Evans

Meet with Mimi Evans, formerly a technology executive and CEO/Founder of SalesQuest.com which was acquired by OneSource Information Services.  She is currently an Angel Investor and Advisor to early-stage start-ups.  If you want to grow your business organically or get the attention of investors, her focus is around business development, securing early customers and monetization.

Reserve 30 minutes with Mimi by signing up upon arrival.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Office Hours: 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.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Office Hours: 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 biopharmaceutical 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.

Sign up for office hours with George here.

5:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Roundtable: Starting a Craft Brewery

An increasingly competitive niche within the beer industry, “craft beer” is hot, new beers appear regularly to quench a diverse and growing thirst even as beer production, as a whole, has fallen.

Steve Sanderson, Founder of RiverWalk Brewing, explored multiple avenues in his quest to start a brewery and concluded that doing so wasn’t easy.  Still, Steve persisted on his route toward a physical brewery in Newburyport, a journey that included captaining the winning home brew team in a short-lived reality show on The History Channel, participating as a guest brewer at Harpoon, and creating several award-winning beers.

Learn about the business of brewing and the intricacies of starting a brewery as Steve shares experiences from his transition from home brewer to business owner.  After the roundtable, chat informally with Steve at his table in the Café.

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Info Session: Startup Leadership Program

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.

 

This Week: July 20 – July 26, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, in addition to office hours, we’re having an education technology theme night. To start, we welcome Andrew Joseph, Co-Founder of TenMarks (Amazon) for TCN UpStart Roundtable.  For the second half of our theme night, LearnLaunch and Teachpoint host a pitch session and product showcase.

 We hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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

3:00 – 4:30 P.M. | Office Hours: Brad Curley

Brad Curley is an experienced angel investor (Boston Harbor Angels), board member (Sialix), and advisor (CPA, KPMG) to early stage companies.  Get feedback while discussing fundraising alternatives and also strategies about raising seed stage, angel, and VC capital.

Reserve 15 minutes with Brad here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Office Hours: Michael Frank

Michael Frank is a seasoned, results-driven technology company executive with 35 years of experience in operating, investment, and advisory roles.  He enjoys working with entrepreneurs to help start-up and early-stage companies in business strategy, business/corporate development, fundraising, management mentoring, and board structuring.  His experience and network of senior technology professionals can help accelerate a company’s path to revenue.   Michael focuses on software, communications, and Internet infrastructure markets.  His particular interests include cloud computing, digital media, e-commerce, enterprise computing, Internet infrastructure, and mobile/wireless technologies.

Reserve 30 minutes with Michael here.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Office Hours: 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.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. |  TCN UpStart Roundtable with Andrew Joseph, Co-Founder, TenMarks (acq. Amazon)

TCN UpStart Roundtable, a monthly gathering, brings together Boston-area early-stage startups and seasoned entrepreneurs. This free series from The Capital Network, Venture Café, and Silicon Valley Bank is a great opportunity to ask burning questions about starting a company and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs in a casual setting. This Thursday, hear from Andrew Joseph, Co-Founder of TenMarks, an Amazon company.

5:00 – 6:00 P.M. | LearnLaunch Pitch

LearnLaunch and TeachPoint are co-hosting a pitch night.  A select group of early stage entrepreneurs will have the chance to showcase their products to an audience of educators and edtech entrepreneurs.

After the showcase, learn more about the participating companies listed below and provide feedback about their pitches at their respective tables in the Café.

RSVP on Eventbrite.

Companies pitching include:

CourseKicker
CourseKicker

 

Gradeable
Gradeable

 

 

 

 

 

Hstry
Hstry 
Steve Albanese
LearnBolt

 

School Yourself
School Yourself

 

This Week: July 13 – July 19, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, we’re pleased to welcome FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) for a special fireside chat with CIC’s Tim Rowe (@rowe) where you can meet the commissioner and ask questions while hearing about key communication issues, including net neutrality.

Also, meet David FogelMark Allio, Marty Sack, or Jennifer Jordan during their office hours and learn about available resources from either Startup Leadership Program or YEi accelerator at their respective info tables in the Café.

 We hope to see you Thursday,

venture cafe logo

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

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

Mark Allio is Regional Director of 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 here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Office Hours: David Fogel

Chat about the financial challenges startups face with David Fogel, Managing Director at Swifton CFOs LLC and a member of Mass Medical Angels, TiE Angels, and Beacon Angels. Swifton provides emerging businesses with strategic financial leadership (“outsourced CFOs”). David’s expertise lies in constructing a reliable financial framework to attract investors. Get 30 minutes with David here.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Office Hours: 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.

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Office Hours: Jennifer Jordan – Mass Ventures

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, crowdsourcing, 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

Schedule time with Jennifer here.

5:30 – 6:30 P.M. | Fireside Chat: FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

Join Tim Rowe (@Rowe) and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) for a fireside chat. You’ll have the opportunity to meet Commissioner Rosenworcel, ask questions, and hear more about key communications issues, including net neutrality.

Commissioner Rosenworcel was sworn into office in 2012. Prior to joining the agency, Commissioner Rosenworcel served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, under the leadership of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and, before that, Senator Daniel K. Inouye. In this position, she was responsible for legislation, hearings, and policy development involving a wide range of communications issues, including spectrum auctions, public safety, broadband deployment and adoption, universal service, video programming, satellite television, local radio, and digital television transition.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Info Table & Interactive Session: Startup Leadership Program

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. Stop by their table in the Café for a general overview of the program starting in September – then participate in a deep dive to learn more.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Info Table: YEi

Young Entrepreneurs initiative (YEi) is an accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs grow their business in France and Europe. Any early-stage innovative company with less than 30 employees and/or less than $2 million in annual revenue is eligible.

YEi offers a free immersion week in France including training, connections and mentoring for the laureates. This immersion will be located in the Paris area and in one French region whose innovative ecosystem best fits the needs of each laureate.

YEi is organized by The Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy, the Invest in France Agency, and RETIS.

This Week: July 6 – July 12, 2014

Friends,

This Thursday, in addition to investor and advisor office hours, we’re pleased to welcome staff from the U.S. Department of Transportation who will be available to chat about their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Also, please consider participating in Youth CITIES Mini-Hack in the Havana Conference Room down the hallway.

We hope to see you Thursday!

venture cafe logo

Thursday, July 10, 2014

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

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Office Hours: 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. | Office Hours: Michael Frank

Michael Frank is a seasoned, results-driven technology company executive with 35 years of experience in operating, investment, and advisory roles. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs to help start-up and early-stage companies in business strategy, business/corporate development, fundraising, management mentoring, and board structuring. His experience and network of senior technology professionals can help accelerate a company’s path to revenue. Michael focuses on software, communications, and Internet infrastructure markets. His particular interests include cloud computing, digital media, e-commerce, enterprise computing, Internet infrastructure, and mobile/wireless technologies. Reserve 30 minutes with Michael here.

 3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Office Hours: Sudhir Desai

Do you know what you need to do to ensure viability, vitality, and value for your enterprise now and also for the future? The Living Enterprise Collaborative brings together cutting edge master strategy, business design, financial modeling and valuation to address this question for companies of any size or life cycle stage. From a cellular to an enterprise level, they can help you tackle practical issues that either enhance the health and value of your company or push it onto life support. Drop by their table to chat.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Office Hours: Steve Davis

Meet Stephen Davis a business growth strategist who has been a mentor and advisor to entrepreneurs for over 20 years.  He is Founder of CXO Advisory Group, a company that works with businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers to accelerate revenue growth. Steve can help you strategize to build a profitable, efficient business capable of growing to scale. Reserve 30 minutes with Steve here.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | Office Hours: Brad Curley

Brad Curley is an experienced angel investor (Boston Harbor Angels), board member (Sialix), 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. Register for office hours here.

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.

5:00 – 7:00 P.M. |  Info Table: U.S. DOT Small Business Innovation Research Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive, awards-based program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research or research and development (R/R&D) that addresses high priority research areas within the U.S. DOT. The U.S. DOT SBIR program favors research that has the potential for commercialization through products and applications sold to the private sector transportation industry, state DOTs, U.S. DOT, or other federal agencies. Stop by their table in the Café to learn about topics in the solicitation coming July 14 and other funding opportunities.