Achieving investment even if you aren’t Facebook: July 12, 2012

We Can’t All be Facebook … Nor Do We Want To Be!

On Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 730am, I will serve as moderator for the meeting of 128 Innovation Capital Group (128 ICG), at the IBM Conference Center, 404 Wyman Street, North Entrance in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Our speaker, whom I recruited, will be Rick Grinnell. Managing Director, Fairhaven Capital Partners (

The topic for the meeting is:  “We Can’t All be Facebook … Nor Do We Want To Be!”

When a company becomes as successful as Facebook has, Investors notice a large uptick in the number of new entrepreneurs who copy the underlying concept but, they assure us, with a unique twist, or aimed at a unique audience. Rick Grinnell of Fairhaven Capital will discuss why it is not necessary to emulate Facebook or Google to impress investors and to convince them to write you a check.

Rick co-founded TD Capital Ventures in 2001 and Fairhaven Capital Partners in 2007.  He has invested in and served on the boards of companies including:  Brabeion (acquired by Archer Technologies/EMC), Bridgeport Networks (acquired by Counterpath), Co3 Systems, Dataupia, Everypoint, EqualLogic (acquired by Dell), Prelert, and VeloBit.

Rick held senior marketing positions within the Content Bridge Division of Adero (acquired by Inktomi) and ClearOne Communications (acquired by Gentner Communications and rebranded ClearOne), and held senior engineering and marketing positions at PictureTel (acquired by Polycom.) He has also worked for General Electric, at its Corporate Research and Development Center, and Fidelity Ventures.

Rick earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He is a Charter Member of TiE, a member of Sigma Xi, and holds a United States patent.

Rick is on the Board of Overseers at the Museum of Science in Boston, and is active with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and Boston Medical Center.

For more information or to register for this meeting, go to

Hopefully, this topic and meeting will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.

*      *     *

I remain active at 128 ICG, a Waltham-based group that aids and provides a networking opportunity to entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies.

128 Innovation Capital Group (, is now in its 8th year since, as a founder, I helped that group re-emerge from the 128 Venture Capital Group (founded in 1982).  I’ve been a 128 ICG board member since 2004 and recruited speakers and moderated  13 of the 27  past meetings of 128 ICG in 2010-2012, including the following:

  • Structuring your Financing for Capital Efficiency and Exit Strategy.  April 12, 2012, with William McPhee, an investor with Boston Harbor Angels and Board member at The Capital Network.   
  • Alternative Funding Models for Clean Technology.  February 9, 2012, with Eric Emmons, Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital and head of the Siemens Venture Capital’s Energy Fund.   
  • What’s Your Company’s Value Proposition? How Are You Viewed by Investors, Customers and Employees? October 13, 2011, with Jack Derby, member of Common Angels.   
  • Management Team, Board of Directors, Advisory Board – How to Best Utilize  Your Company’s Talent, August 11, 2011, with Jenny Freeman, M.D., member of Boston Harbor Angels.
  • How Social Marketing Transformed the Gaming Sector: Social Gaming vs. Traditional Gaming, February 10, 2011, with Dayna Grayson, Principal at North Bridge Venture Partners.   
  • Habits of Highly Effective Management Teams, November 11, 2010, with Elliot Katzman, General Partner of Commonwealth Capital Ventures.  
  • The 5 Things you MUST KNOW about Raising Angel Investment, October 14, 2010, with Hambleton Lord, Managing Partner of Launchpad Venture Group.
  • Mobile Innovation in New England: Entrepreneurial Opportunities for the Future, April 8, 2010, with Sean Marsh, CoFounder and General Partner, Point Judith Capital.

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