This Week: March 1 – 7, 2015

Friends,

Visit us Thursday two Feature Events, MassChallenge’s Info Table, and five Office Hours with adept advisors and investors.

In between your Office Hours appointments, attend the Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton panel to listen to a review of VC financing in 2014 and to learn about the expectations for 2015 from the following venture capitalists: Luke Burns, Partner, Ascent Venture Partners; Rob Go, Cofounder, NextView Ventures; and, Paul Flanagan, Managing Director, Sigma Prime Ventures.

Then, Sustainability Collaborative hosts their monthly unConference-style discussion where Sasha Purpura, Executive Director at Food For Free, will lead a conversation on alleviating hunger.

And, like every other Thursday, pay it forward and help us grow the community while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday!

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Thursday – Mar. 5, 2015

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

Feature Events

3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton: Series A Venture Capital Financing: A Review of 2014 and What to Expect in 2015

Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton (MBBP) hosts a panel discussing the various factors that need to be taken into consideration when pricing a venture capital transaction. They’ve gathered a panel of seasoned VCs to discuss these factors and to share invaluable insight to entrepreneurs preparing for a fundraising.

Moderated by:
Scott Bleier, Senior Attorney, Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

Panelists:
Luke Burns, Partner, Ascent Venture Partners
Rob Go, Cofounder, NextView Ventures
Paul Flanagan, Managing Director, Sigma Prime Ventures

Space is limited. Register today! Please visit MBBP’s event page to reserve your spot.

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

This Thursday’s Sustainability Collaborative topic is on alleviating hunger. Sasha Purpura, Executive Director of Food For Free, will facilitate the conversation around the challenges and opportunities for food rescue and distribution in Greater Boston. She will frame up the issues, bring the group up to speed on current efforts, and open the floor for innovative ideas on how to reduce food waste and food insecurity in the Greater Boston area. Folks are invited to share and participate in this unique discussion.

Questions? Email Sierra at sflanigan@ecomotion.us.

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. | David Boundy

Sustainable competitive advantage is key to a successful business. Often, intellectual property is crucial to maintaining that advantage. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets should synergize with business goals in a comprehensive strategy.

Cambridge Technology Law LLC has offices in CIC. They have experience representing startups and investors, in patent acquisition, financing transactions, and dispute resolution, from early stage to liquidity exit. They bring an integrated business approach to using your IP to attract and protect investment, to build and hold market position, and to build business value.

RSVP via email.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso

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

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Steve Davis

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

Reserve 30 minutes with Steve here.

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.

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.

Sheldon’s Office Hours are full.

Info Table

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support early stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Every year, MassChallenge selects 128 of the highest impact ventures from every industry and any stage to participate in a four month startup competition where they receive free office space, mentorship, professional education, opportunities for fundraising, and more – all with no equity taken.

Startup applications for MassChallenge 2015 are open until April 1. Visit MassChallenge.org for more info and send inquiries to contact@MassChallenge.org.

This Week: February 22 – 28, 2015

Friends,

This Thursday we host our 4th theme night on women in entrepreneurship: A Night with Female Founders with four Feature Events, of which, three panel discussions will happen down the hallway in the Havana conference room; meanwhile, TCN UpStart Roundtable will occur in the Cancun conference room located inside the Café.

Also, get advice and seek feedback during six sets of Office Hours with adept advisors and investors throughout the first half of the Café; and learn about supporting organizations at ten Info Tables in the latter half of the Café.

Thursday’s session is sponsored by Cambridge Trust and IBM Cambridge. Make the most of your experience by practicing the Law of Two Feet. And, like every other Thursday, adopt a pay it forward mindset while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday!
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Pic of the Week: Last Thursday’s Intro to Mobile Design and Prototyping workshop.

Thursday – Feb. 26, 2015

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Venture Café: A Night with Female Founders
Sponsored by:
Cambridge Trust

Feature Events

Event location in italic.

4:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Building Strategic Partnerships to Transform Your Business (Havana)

Come early and join Sam Hammar, Director of Strategic Partnerships of Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MassIT, Bobbie Carlton, Founder of Mass Innovation Nights, and Irina Mladenova, President and EVP Product Strategy for Rifiniti, for an informal discussion on Building Strategic Partnerships to Transform Your Business.

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | TCN UpStart Roundtable with Paulina Hill, Polaris Partners (Cancun)

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, hear from Paulina Hill from Polaris Partners.

RSVP here.

5:30 – 6:30 P.M. | Founding a Startup as a Woman: Overcoming Challenges Panel (Havana)

This panel will address the challenges women entrepreneurs face as they build their businesses. Panelists include:
· Manijeh Goldberg (Privo Technologies)
· Melanie Berger (Mariwear)
· Mimi Evans (Fast Turtle Ventures)
· Sarah Boisvert (3D Microfactory and Fab Lab Hub)

Moderator: Jane Mason (Cambridge Trust)

Please RSVP here.

7:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Founding a Startup as a Woman: Finding Solutions Panel (Havana)

This panel will focus on overcoming obstacles and creating solutions to achieve success. Panelists include:
· Bettina Hein (Pixability)
· Beth O’Sullivan and Mary McGowan (Science Club for Girls)
· Jules Pieri (The Grommet)
· Stefania Mallett (ezCater)

Please RSVP here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | IBM Cambridge (Sponsor)

Learn about the programs and services IBM has to offer entrepreneurs and developers at their Innovation Center in Cambridge.

Ask them about Bluemix, our open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing and running apps and services of all types and their Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups which enables emerging companies to harness the power of IBM Cloud and connects them into IBM’s vast global network of clients, consultants, Innovation Centers, developers, and more. They’re also offering up to $120K worth of Cloud credits to eligible startups.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Association for Women in Sciences (AWIS)

AWIS champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, AWIS strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential.

Stop by their table in the Café to learn about the largest multi-disciplinary organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) dedicated to achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Center for Women & Enterprise

Center for Women & Enterprise provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence. They’ve worked with more than 30,200 Massachusetts and Rhode Island entrepreneurs since 1995.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | de la Femme

de la Femme is a Massachusetts organization passionate about promoting the advancement of women and bridging the gender gap. This can be seen in the wage gap and under-representation of women in senior-level positions and the boardroom, from Corporate 100 to startups. Their mission is to provide a centralized network and community where career-focused women can access resources tailored toward their career goals. They provide resources and information to help women efficiently navigate work opportunities and to provide a supportive environment that will nurture female leaders. Their vision is to generate a community of like-minded, high-achieving women, whom help each other to succeed in the workplace.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services. The business management education portion of the initiative is currently available to business owners across the United States. Babson College is the national academic partner that developed the curriculum, and the program is offered at no cost to the business owner, fully funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation. All accepted business owners participate in a 12 week entrepreneurship education program, receive a one-on-one business advisor, and are connected with a professional network of experts and peers. Business owners graduate with a customized 5-year strategic growth plan for their business!

Learn about the program and the application process by stopping by their table in the Café. To learn more and access their online application, please visit www.10ksbapply.com!

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Innovation Women

Innovation Women is an online speakers bureau for entrepreneurial and technical women. A project of Innovation Nights, Innovation Women is designed to provide more opportunities for women to speak at events, be invited to be on panels, and to get more recognition and visibility for their careers and companies. Visibility = opportunity.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support early stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Every year, MassChallenge selects 128 of the highest impact ventures from every industry and any stage to participate in a four month startup accelerator program. 35+% of startups in the 2014 MassChallenge cohort were female founded.

Applications are now open until Apr 1.

Come learn how MassChallenge empowers women in entrepreneurship with mentorship, office space, fundraising opportunities, and even a Women in MassChallenge Showcase!

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | reacHIRE

Chat with Mimi Moss of reacHIRE to devise strategies for re-entering the workforce after a voluntary break. Explore subjects like resume writing, how to handle a behavioral interview, networking, and social media’s role in recruiting.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | WEST

WEST is a learning community that provides women in the enterprise of science and technology with the inspiration, knowledge, and connections to reach their full potential.

Their diverse membership represents industries ranging from information technology and biopharmaceuticals to cleantech and environmental sciences. WEST is a community and forum, for early, mid-career, executive, and entrepreneurial women in STEM careers. WEST members are committed to developing themselves as leaders through education, mentorship, networking, and information sharing. WEST encourages women to cultivate entrepreneurial thinking and creative risk-taking.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Women in Technology International (WITI)

WITI is a leading global organization empowering women in business and technology to attain their professional goals and dreams. With a global network of smart, tech-savvy women, WITI has powerful programs and partnerships that provide connections, resources, opportunities and a supportive environment. Since 1989, WITI has delivered value to individuals, small businesses, and corporations.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Bobbi Carlton

Bobbie Carlton has combined more than 30 years of marketing, PR and social media marketing experience. She works with startups and small companies to help them hone their message and gain more visibility for their company and new products. She founded Mass Innovation Nights, a monthly new product showcase; Carlton PR & Marketing, a boutique agency; and Innovation Women, an online speakers bureau for entrepreneurial and technical women.

Reserve 30 minutes with Bobbie here.  Bobbie’s Office Hours are full.

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, their next available appointments: 3/26. Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Golden Seeds – Ann Barlow, Deb Kemper, and Gail Hoffman

Golden Seeds is the early-stage investment firm with a focus on women leaders. Meet with Golden Seeds members, Ann Barlow, Deb Kemper and Gail Hoffman, and seek advice on your start-up from experienced investors.

Reserve 30 minutes with Ann here. (2/25 update: FULL)
Reserve 30 minutes with Deb here. (2/25 update: FULL)
Reserve 30 minutes with Gail here. (2/25 update: FULL)

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Foley Hoag – Meredith Haviland and Janine Ladislaw

Questions about legal issues about forming of your business, issuing equity or protecting your intellectual property? Stop by Foley Hoag Office Hours with Meredith Haviland and Janine Ladislaw for an opportunity to have your questions answered.

Reserve 30 minutes with them 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.

Joe’s Office Hours on Thursday are now full. He returns next Thursday. Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

4:30 – 6:30 P.M. | Jennifer Jordan

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

Reserve 30 minutes with Jennifer here. (2/25 update: FULL)

Seeing Startups Through Two “I”s

Seeing Though Two “I”s : Entrepreneurs from Italy and India recount challenges and opportunities.

Horst interviews Gayatri Sarkar and Camillo Mekacher-Vogel two entrepreneurs with very different backgrounds and personal journeys. Camillio is a native of Italy who recently started an Italian ride-sharing service which has recently partnered with MIT. He came to the Boston area as part of his partnership with MIT to research the urban mobility space and to collaborate with researchers. Gayatri, on the other hand, is a native of India. Being in the process of receiving her PhD in Physics she felt inspired to become a software engineer and became a database administrator for IBM. After a few years with IBM and Hewlett Packard, Gayatri wanted to “add value to society” by forming an organization which is aims to be the on-line version of the Venture Cafe.

From Venezuela with Love: a married couple’s entrepreneurial journey via Hult

Daniel Payares Luzio and Ana Gutierrez are natives of Venezuela who are receiving an accelerated 1 year MBA from the HULT International Business school. Daniel and Ana, recently married couple, discuss challenges and risks in starting up companies in Venezuela as well as the difficulties facing immigrant entrepreneurs in the US. They provide good insight into the opportunities of the Boston startup ecosystem. Ana and Daniel a particularly impressed by the networking and knowledge sharing opportunities in the Boston area in general and the Venture Cafe specifically.

  • Interviewees – Daniel Payares Luzio and Ana Gutierrez
  • Interviewer – Horst von Wendorff

UMass it like You Mean it! – Customer connections using social media

  • Interviewee – Werner Kunz
  • Interviewer – Horst von Wendroff

UMass it like You Mean it!: UMass professor shares tips on how to make authentic connections on social media.

Horst interviews Werner Kunz a marketing professor at the University of Massachusetts. Coming from a mathematical background he brings a unique perspective to social media marketing and the unique challenges that arise as marketing becomes a two way interaction with the customer unlike traditional advertising. Werner shares ideas about creating an authentic interaction with the customer using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Werner is also involved with the Digital Media Lab at the University of Massachusetts which uses video to promote activities on social media. Look out for Warner’s upcoming Social Media Day May 7th at UMass.

David Rose, serial entrepreneur & Internet of Things researcher, interviewed by TheEditorial.com

Heidi Legg from TheEditorial.com interviewed David Rose, product designer, serial entrepreneur, MIT Media Lab researcher LIVE at Venture Café on January 15th.   Heidi talked with David about his new book, Enchanted Objects, and about his MIT Lab Ditto, his Ambient Orb and about design, human desire, and the internet of things.

DavidRose_headshot

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST LINK HERE

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.

This Week: February 15 – 21, 2015

Friends,

We hope you’ll join us this Thursday for two Feature Events and three Info Tables, and Office Hours with six adept advisors dispersed throughout our 3:00 – 8:00 P.M. networking session.  This Thursday’s session is sponsored by Founder Shield which provides custom insurance packages for startups.

First, find a mentor during SCORE Mentor Match at their table in the Café.  The Boston SCORE chapter provides free confidential consulting to small business entrepreneurs and contains over 50 mentors.

In the Cancun room, get an introduction to mobile design and prototyping with Guilherme Schmitt of Intrepid Pursuits.

Meanwhile, at the Founder Shield Info Table (this Thursday’s sponsor) in the Café, discover how they’re  making the insurance market for venture-backed startups easier to navigate while chatting about your own startup with New York Venture Community President, Benji Markoff.

Also, applications for both MassChallenge and Techstars accelerators are currently open.  Visit both of their Info Tables in the Café to learn about their respective application processes and how they can help startups win.

Please see the full schedule below for more details about this Thursday’s events.  And, like every other Thursday, embrace serendipity while finding resources to grow your startup.

Hope to see you Thursday!

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Pics of the Week: Did you see the Patriots mural @DistrictHall?

(Commentary: No excuses. Play like a champion!)

Thursday – Feb. 19, 2015

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

Feature Events

4:00 – 6:00 P.M. | SCORE Mentor Match

SCORE mentors deliver FREE and confidential advice for your business needs. Whether you are a start up or existing business, our mentors will help you achieve your goals. You will also have access to many of the 50 SCORE Boston Chapter Mentors with a myriad of expertise in business and non-profits.

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

6:00 – 7:00 P.M. | Intro to Mobile Design & Prototyping

Join Guilherme Schmitt, UI Designer from Intrepid Pursuits, as he walks through current mobile design trends and an interactive prototyping session to bring your app ideas to life. Using Keynote and Sketch, Guilherme will teach you how to rapidly conceptualize, mock up, and prototype your app idea to make presenting and fundraising a breeze!

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Founder Shield

Displaying FounderShield-Logo4Color.pngThis Thursday’s session is sponsored by Founder Shield, a company that offers custom insurance packages for startups. Stop by their Info Table to learn about how they’re making the insurance market for venture-backed startups easier to navigate while chatting about your own startup with New York Venture Community President, Benji Markoff.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support early stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Every year, MassChallenge selects 128 of the highest impact ventures from every industry and any stage to participate in a four month startup competition where they receive free office space, mentorship, professional education, opportunities for fundraising, and more – all with no equity taken.

Startup applications for MassChallenge 2015 are open until April 1. Visit MassChallenge.org for more info and send inquiries to contact@MassChallenge.org.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | TechStars

Techstars provides $118,000 in seed funding, intensive mentorship, and an amazing network of 103 mentors in Boston and 95 alumni companies for 7-10% equity in your company. Plus, they recently finished raising their third Techstar Ventures fund totaling $150 million.

Applications for the 2015 Summer class are due on March 15.

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’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.

3:30 – 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. | 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.

Reserve 15 minutes with Brad here.

3:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Don Greenstein

Don Greenstein has been a conflict manager for over 25 years dealing with a broad array of issues. He 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.

Reserve 30 minutes with Don to discuss how to navigate differences individually or as a team here.

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

Update: Sheldon’s Office Hours through March are now full.

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.

Sheldon’s Office Hours this Thursday are full. Next appointments available are: 3/5/15 and 3/19/15. Reserve 30 minutes with Sheldon here.

 

This Week: February 8 – 14, 2015

Friends,

Tired of shoveling snow?  Then, join us Thursday for two Feature Events, six sets of Office Hours, MassChallenge’s Info Table, and our weekly networking session in the Café.

Our first Feature Event, Youth CITIES Mini-Hack, happens down the hallway in the Havana Conference Room.  Then, drop into the Cancun Conference Room for our second Feature Event, The Editorial @ Venture Café, our LIVE interview series in which Heidi Legg interviews GestSure’s Sharon Fan to discover how GestSure, a medical device company, capitalized on the exposure they received after being featured in Microsoft’s 2014 Super Bowl ad.

MassChallenge will be in the house at an Info Table to talk about their application process which opens on Wednesday.

Check out photos of last Thursday’s Café on Facebook and here’s our latest Studio blog posts:

Also, mark Feb. 26 on your calendar for what’s is always one of our most popular Thursday Theme Night: A Night with Female Founders.

Hope to see you Thursday!

Pic of the Week: Greetings from Venture Café Boston, including District Hall Hosts & Staff.

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Thursday – Feb. 12, 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.   In this session, hack through iterations of value propositions for integrating technology into clothing with a physician-turned-health-IT-entrepreneur.  Please RSVP here.

6:00 – 6:45 P.M. | The Editorial @ Venture Café with Sharon Fan, GestSures

Super Bowl Fever is upon us. How does a startup grow after they are featured by the big guys in a Super Bowl Ad?  Find out when Heidi Legg interviews Sharon Fan, Sales Engineer and Operations Lead at GestSure, a medical device company that enables surgeons to access digital data through simple hand gestures that was featured as part of Microsoft’s 2014 Super Bowl Ad.

Info Table

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support early stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached.  Every year, MassChallenge selects 128 of the highest impact ventures from every industry and at any stage to participate in a four month startup competition where they receive free office space, mentorship, professional education, opportunities for fundraising, and more—all with no equity taken.

Startup applications for MassChallenge 2015 are open from February 11 to April 1.  Visit MassChallenge.org for more info and send inquiries to contact@MassChallenge.org.

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Mark Allio

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

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

Reserve 15 minutes with Mark.

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

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

iC Office Hours this month are FULL, next available appointments: 3/12/15, 3/26/15, and 4/9/15.  Reserve 15 minutes with iC here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Bill Larrenaga

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

Reserve 30 minutes with Bill 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.

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.

I am so sick of McDonalds – A story of a mobile app that finds Halal food while traveling

  • Interviewee – Irfan Ahamd
  • Interviewer – Horst von Wendroff

Horst interviews Irfan Ahamd a native of Pakistan who is visiting the Boston area for three weeks in order to research and evaluate the go-to-market strategy his new idea.  Irfan if working on a new travel app designed for Muslims to be able to find Halal food, prayer times and the direction of Mecca from anywhere in the world. Irfan shares stories of his international travels and his difficulties in practising Islam around the world. After the popularity of irhal.com, a website that Irfan built in 2010 he understood the need for a mobile first platform which has so far had great reception from the Muslim community.

Making it easier to be green – A Northeastern student making sustainability simple

  • Interviewee – Devon Grodkiewicz, Green Cambridge
  • Interviewers – Horst von Wendorff and Gary Lavine

Horst and Gary interview Devon Grodkiewicz working at Green Cambridge to foster more sustainable endeavors in the Cambridge area. Making an impact by bringing together the community and organizations to raise awareness of environmental concerns and solutions. Devon tells about one of the organizations Green Cambridge is helping called Potluck Solar which enables cooperative solar energy projects.