This Week: January 25 – 31, 2015

Friends,

Join us for another Theme Night Thursday with 4 Feature Events focused on Life Sciences and 6 different sets of Office Hours.

First, learn from Glenn Robertelli, an alumnus of C3; Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2008 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year; and now, COO at Admetsys, during TCN UpStart Roundtable, a casual conversation bringing serial entrepreneurs and early-stage startups together, moderated by Silicon Valley Bank’s Hunter Nadler.  Then, discover how LabCentral serves as a launchpad for high-potential life sciences startups by visiting their Info Table before joining an Info Session with Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to learn about the competitive grants available through their Milestone Achievement Program (MAP).  After gathering valuable information about LabCentral and MAP, journey down the hallway to Havana for a panel discussion about funding life science startups from the entrepreneurs’standpoint.

And, like every other Thursday, make new connections, pay it forward, and find resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday!

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Thursday – Jan. 29, 2015

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

Life Sciences Events

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

TCN UpStart Roundtable, a monthly gathering at Venture Café, 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, Silicon Valley Bank’s Hunter Nadler leads a discussion  with serial entrepreneur Glenn Robertelli, COO of Admetsys and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2008 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

RSVP here.

4:30 – 7:00 P.M. | Info Table: LabCentral

Chat with LabCentral staff and learn about their mission to help create the next generation of powerhouse biotech companies.  They provide entrepreneurs and innovative life-sciences startups with the space and resources they need to test out, challenge, and nurture early ideas.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Mass Life Sciences Center Info Session

Learn about the new Milestone Achievement Program (MAP), a competitive grant program from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center that will funds critical milestones for early-stage life sciences companies.  Grants are between $50,000 and $200,000 and the application deadline is Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at noon EST.

7:00 – 8:00 P.M. | The Genesis of Life Science Startups

In the current Life Science funding environment, how do you fund a startup?  Come learn from the challenges and successes faced by this terrific group of startups and discover how they were able to grow and adapt under challenging conditions.

Lisa Bond, Senior Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, BioAxone Biosciences

Agustin Lopez Marquez, President & Co-Founder, Sqz Biotech

James M. Shanahan, VP of Business Development & Founder, SynDevRx

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. | 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.

iC’s Office Hours this Thursday are FULL.

3:30 – 5:30 P.M. | John Kogan

John Kogan has been a SCORE Mentor for 10 years and is now the co-chairman of the Boston chapter.  He brings with him the mentoring resources of more than fifty additional successful executives, CPAs, small business owners, and other experts in diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free mentoring services.

John has firsthand experience in building & managing technology based consulting and service businesses.  He teaches marketing and business planning at SCORE Workshops.  John’s knowledge is based on 34 years in the I/T consulting business, 3 years in a software start up, and membership in 4 nonprofit boards.  Most importantly, he has helped over 500 SCORE clients start new small businesses or manage existing ones.

Reserve 30 minutes with John here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Jodi-Tatiana Charles

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

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 by email; the following time are is still available: 3:30, 5:00  & 5:30 P.M. (Update: 1 slot remaining: 5:00 P.M.)

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. | 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.

Boston as a Connecting & Mentoring Hub for International Startups

Horst interviews Christa Bleyleben, Managing Partner at MassGlobal Partners, about introducing foreign emerging Science and Technology companies to the American market. MassGlobal Partners brings companies from all over the world into CIC for stays that range from 2-4 months in order to introduce them to the American innovation ecosystem.  Mass Global organizes these programs primarily by working with multiple foreign governments,

This Week: January 18 – 24, 2015

Friends,

Schedule time for Office Hours with up to 7 adept advisors before attending our first feature event, a Mintz Levin seminar hosted by attorneys Chris Lhulier and Jonathan Ursprung, to learn about the key concepts of convertible debt financing options, and potential future effects of using debt as a financing tool for startups.  Then, connect with community members in the Café, before our second feature event where you can share thoughts about how to build the economy of tomorrow during an open discussion with Innovate Massachusetts Alliance.

Hope to see you Thursday,

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Thursday – Jan. 22, 2015

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

Feature Events

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Mintz Levin Seminar: Financing with Debt – Convertible Debt and Beyond

Early stage companies and their investors are increasingly turning to convertible debt as a primary form of fundraising.  Emerging companies also utilize convertible debt as a bridge between rounds.  This form of investment is relatively inexpensive and quick to document, but it carries certain unique considerations for the company’s future finances that should be weighed carefully before funding.

At this seminar, Mintz Levin attorneys Chris Lhulier and Jonathan Ursprung will cover the key concepts of convertible debt financing and its potential impact on the company, its next equity round, and future secured and unsecured debt financings and lines of credit.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Innovate Massachusetts Alliance

Innovate Massachusetts Alliance is an umbrella organization comprised of individuals who care about the future of the broadly defined ‘Innovation Economy’.  They’re geographically diverse – from Boston to the Berkshires; Gloucester to New Bedford.  They represent entrepreneurs and industries from technology, to robotics, to arts, to food trucks, to urban agriculture.

They’re developing a non-partisan agenda of policies that support job creation, workforce readiness, and economic competitiveness.  Their hope is that bringing together a geographically diverse group of people representative of the richness of industry in Massachusetts will increase every group’s ability to have a positive impact.

They’re crowd-sourcing the agenda with caucuses around the Commonwealth. What gets included – non-competes, STEM education, local policy – will be up to you.  Anything that helps build the economy of tomorrow is on the table.

Office Hours

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’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. | 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.

Jared’s Office Hours this Thursday are full.

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.  (Update: FULL)

3:30 – 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.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here. (Update: FULL)

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.  He will be available to discuss fundraising alternatives and also strategies about raising seed stage, angel, and VC capital.

Reserve 15 minutes with Brad here(Update: FULL)

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Jeffrey Stoler – SideCar Angels

Chat with Jeffrey Stoler, a Partner at Holland & Knight, the Managing Director of SideCar Angels, and a veteran member of Launchpad Venture Group, the largest angel investing group in the Northeast and one of the most active groups in the United States in both deal volume and dollars invested.

Until an electronic scheduling option is determined, to reserve 30 minutes with Jeff, please email us at info@vencaf.org and specify your ideal time, starting at 4 P.M.  (Update: FULL)

4:30 – 6:30 P.M. | Jennifer Jordan – MassVentures

Stop by to 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

Jennifer’s Office Hours this Thursday are full.

Dress Like a Friend – Making clothes that bring New Englanders together

Horst interviews Joseph Robinson and Jelani Waheed, the founders of THR33Z a Boston-centric urban clothing line.

Having been cell-mates while incarcerated in a Massachusetts jail Joseph and Jolani have both lost friends and family to violence. THR33Z was born out of a passion to build community and to unify all the people of New England.  The founders of THR33Z share their inspirational story and their drive to reduce violence. Joseph and Jolani discuss their biggest challenges in growing a socially conscious clothing line which is quickly becoming New England’s hottest trend.

This Week: January 11 – 17, 2015

Friends,

This Thursday, we present another portion of our LIVE interview series collaboration with TheEditorial.com by welcoming serial entrepreneur and author, David Rose.

Also, get feedback and find resources to grow your startup during Office Hours with 5 adept advisors; mingle with others; and, pay it forward while helping us build a more inclusive innovation economy.

Hope to see you Thursday!

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Thursday – Jan. 15, 2015

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

Feature Event

5:00 – 6:00 P.M. | The Editorial @ Venture Café with David Rose

TheEditorial @ Venture Cafe is a new LIVE interview series with Startups in and around Cambridge, Harvard, MIT and Boston hosted by Heidi Legg, Founder and Editor of the popular online visionary series TheEditorial.com.

Heidi Legg from TheEditorial.com will interview David Rose, product designer, serial entrepreneur, MIT Media Lab researcher LIVE at Venture Café.  Heidi is very excited to interview David about his new book, Enchanted Objects, coming out this Spring and about his MIT Lab, Ditto; his Ambient Orb and about design; human desire; and, the internet of things.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Mark Allio – 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 – 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.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Jeff Stoler – SideCar Angels

Meet with Jeffrey Stoler, a Partner at Holland & Knight, the Managing Director of SideCar Angels, and a veteran member of Launchpad Venture Group, the largest angel investing group in the Northeast and one of the most active groups in the United States in both deal volume and dollars invested.

To reserve 30 minutes with Jeff, please email us at info@vencaf.org.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | George Mabry – CommonAngels Ventures

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.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Dr. Sheldon Borkin – Strategic Angels

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 has 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.

Integrating Innovation & Entrepreneurial Educational Programs with Businesses Communities

Guest: Mark Mone
Host: Horst von Wendorff

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Chancellor talks about the drivers of student entrepreneurship and regional innovation from a university and regional point of view. The conversation also covers some of effects of student entrepreneurs and why it has become a major focus on campuses across South-Eastern Wisconsin and the nation.

This interview with  occurred during Mark’s visit to The Venture Café seeking inspiration for entrepreneurship programs at home.

Photo credit: WUWM

This Week: January 4 – 10, 2015

Friends,

We hope you got a lot of stuff done (and had some fun too) during our holiday hiatus and are now ready to get even more done in 2015.

On that note, to start 2015 we’re pleased to offer 3 Feature Events* and 3 different sets of Office Hours.  Participate in Youth CITIES Mini-Hack before attending a discussion on the culture of innovation in Wade Roush’s former beats–Wade is former Boston and San Francisco editor at Xconomy).   Meanwhile, visit Sustainability Collaborative to chat about urban heat island effect and how to mitigate it with the City of Cambridge and Climate CoLab.

Hope to see you Thursday!

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*Please note The Editorial @ Venture Café with David Rose has been rescheduled for next Thursday.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thursday, January 8, 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.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Boston vs. San Francisco: Two Cultures of Innovation

Boston and San Francisco boast remarkably strong, but remarkably different, innovation cultures.  Entrepreneurs in the two regions draw energy and inspiration from different sources, and prioritize different goals.  If you’re an innovator looking for the best place to grow your startup, how do you choose between them?

In this interactive session, Wade Roush, acting director of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship program at MIT and former Boston and San Francisco editor for Xconomy, will share his experiences covering startups in both regions and help founders weigh their strengths and shortcomings as innovation hubs.

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

Come meet City of Cambridge staff and learn about sustainability initiatives at the city-level.

The focus of this month’s Sustainability Collaborative will be to talk about one sustainability initiative in particular – a new Climate CoLab contest.  MIT’s Climate CoLab and the City of Cambridge are currently running a contest that seeks fresh, innovative approaches on what to do about the urban heat island effect in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Questions? Email Sierra Flanigan.

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

Office Hours

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

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

Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 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. | 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.

Venture Café selected to Operate Roxbury Innovation Center

Roxbury Innovation balcony1Venture Café is honored and excited for being selected by the City of Boston to operate the Roxbury Innovation Center.  Please see the City of Boston’s announcement.

As we mentioned in the City’s announcement, we look forward to working with the community to create a space for experimentation and conversation that highlights all of the innovation and entrepreneurship happening locally, and connects to resources that make ideas and businesses grow faster.  Our vision is about connecting people, so that every person with an idea can build it, grow it, become a successful entrepreneur.  We are excited to collaborate with the Skylab team, the Boston Public Schools, and many others to achieve this vision.

Stay tuned for more updates on this very exciting program.