Boards of Directors and Advisors: April 21, 2015

Building and Using Board of Directors and Boards of Advisors: ENET meeting, April 21, 2015

In two weeks, on Tuesday April 21, 2015 at 630pm I will moderate a panel on this subject for The Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) at the group’s Cambridge location: Microsoft Technology Center, One Cambridge Center (Kendall Square, next to Marriott hotel), Cambridge, MA. There will be networking from 6:30-7:30pm and the program will begin after 7:30pm.

Trying to build a start-up company? Trying to get a product or service to market? Trying to recruit key players? Trying to raise capital? If you face these questions in your early stage company, and run into roadblocks and unforeseen obstacles, you may wish there was someone on your side, who’s “been there, done that”, to offer useful advice. It can get lonely at the top, and a Board can offer a key supportive resource.
Whether that Board is just an informal group of business advisors that meets with you at a restaurant once a quarter, or a board of technical or scientific advisors, or a formal board of directors, having and using a board can offer access to contacts, expertise, information, experience and advice. It can serve as a key resource at the most critical times in the life of an early stage company.
The three speakers on the panel for this ENET meeting have all been directors and advisors to numerous companies in various life science, high tech, consumer and other product and service fields. Two of the three speakers are also active angel investors and all have been CEOs, so they will offer both management and investor perspectives on building and using boards. They will discuss recruitment and benefits of informal advisors, more formal boards of directors, and other “sounding” boards focused on marketing. The panel will also suggest tax, legal and compensation techniques for cash-strapped start-ups, discuss liability issues of directors, and present the investor perspective on how creation and use of a board adds value, as you seek to raise money for expansion.
Speakers are:

Jack Derby is Chairman of and investor at Common Angels and Chairman of Reiser, Inc. He is a director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and seven companies. He is President of Derby Management, a management consulting firm specializing in both emerging and middle market growth companies, and Professor of Marketing at Tufts, and Lecturer at MIT in Business Planning and Marketing. Jack’s background includes past positions as CEO of Mayer Electronics Corporation, President of CB Sports, President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix Corporation and President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems, before he formed in 1990, Derby Management. Jack is extremely active in the New England emerging and middle market business communities. Jack has been named to Mass High Tech’s All Star Team. Jack has been the Founder or Co-founder of 12 companies. Jack has also served at Chairman of the Association for Corporate Growth, Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Vice Chair of the Smaller Business Association of New England, President of the University Club of Boston. Jack is a graduate of Boston College, the University of Chicago and the United States Peace Corps. He divides his time between working in Boston, living and snowboarding in southern Vermont during the winter and living and surfing on the beach in NH whenever he can.


Jay Habegger, Co-Founder and CEO, OwnerIQ, Inc. is a digital media pioneer. His current company, OwnerIQ, based in Boston’s Innovation District, is pioneering the concept of Path to Purchase Media by transforming consumer’s interactions with products and brands along the path to purchase into powerful new online advertising solutions and marketing channels. Prior to OwnerIQ, Jay was the CEO and President of Bitpipe, leading the company from its beginnings through its sale to TechTarget in 2004 in a $40M transaction. While at Bitpipe, Jay pioneered the development of online media that leveraged technology company white papers for lead generation. In both his companies, Jay built, developed and utilized Board of Advisors, including customer advisors, that enabled his companies to grow and succeed.


Jean Hammond is Partner at LearnLaunch, an Institute, Accelerator and Campus that together support the growth of greater Boston’s edtech cluster. Jean is an active angel investor focusing on early stage high tech start-ups. She was honored with the highest award for angels in the US, the Hans Severiens Award in 2014. She was a founder of the Boston branch of Golden Seeds (focused on investing in women-managed businesses) and a member of Launchpad Venture Group and Hub Angels. She is also the founder of JPH Associates and a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in the high-tech industry. Her entrepreneurial activities include co-founding and managing Quarry Technologies and AXON Networks and, following 3Com’s acquisition of AXON, focusing 3Com’s WAN strategy. She has played an active board level role with a number of her Boston area investments including Crimson Hexagon, Hire Reach, Home Portfolio, Instream Media, iTeam, Peach Underneath, Pixibility, Playrific, Ten Marks, ZipCar, and a number of others. Her activities with nonprofits include being on the board of The Technology Capital Network and Mentor at MassChallenge and TechStars. She earned a M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Biology from Boston University.

For more information on, or to register for, this April 21, 2015 ENET event tomorrow night, go to

Hopefully, this ENET panel as well as the information on my earlier TiE Boston presentation will be quite helpful to founders, entrepreneurs wand would-be entrepreneurs for the small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at our new ENET meeting place, Constant Contact in Waltham, tomorrow night!

* * *

I remain active in ENET, a mainly Waltham-based group that aids entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies. I have been on the ENET Board for the last twelve years, and the past five years since 2009 served as ENET’s Chairman. In May 2013, I was elected by ENET members to my 3rd two-year term as Chairman.

On September 2, 2014, I moderated a panel for The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) in Waltham, MA on “Entrepreneur Success Stories”, and can now provide links to three separate videos of the presentations that evening.

We had three excellent speakers for that evening, all serial entrepreneurs with successful exits in the consumer, high tech and life sciences fields. One of our three entrepreneur speakers has authored a well-known book on entrepreneurship, one is also a senior lecturer on entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and one also works as a principal and investor in a major Boston venture capital firm. Below is more information on each video and the speakers.


  • ENET Video #1 (High Tech): Achieving success over the long term as a high tech startup via bootstrapping, funding and successful exit.

Author of “The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide: How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, and Cash In for Success” , high tech entrepreneur, Bernd Schoner speaks about his company’s long term success and recognizing small successes along the way, over more than 10 years in building a product and work force, bootstrapping , then attracting venture capital and then a successful exit.
LINK: (17 minutes)

  • ENET Video #2 (Consumer): Serial Entrepreneur speaks about achieving the right culture for financial and personal success in startups led by Women CEOs

A consumer products entrepreneur on her third startup, Janet Kraus is mother of twins and currently CEO of Peach, a new product and sales concept women’s lingerie that she hopes in time will overtake Victoria’s Secret, with emphasis on women consumers over age 30. Janet has had two successful exits, one a huge exit and the other more sideways but still all money back to investors. She will talk about team and culture and building a nurturing environment, some of the distinctions seen a female founded and run company, and how entrepreneurship is part of her DNA. Janet is also a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.
LINK: (16 minutes)

  • ENET Video #3 (Life Sciences): Scientist, Inventor, VC and Serial entrepreneur (all in one person!) speaks on “building the concerto” – all the key pieces you need to fit together to build a successful life sciences startup

A serial life sciences entrepreneur and VC, Geoff von Maltzahn is both a principal at Flagship Venture Labs that funds and launches life sciences startups and also currently CEO of several life science startups. Geoff is also author of numerous patents. How does he do it all? Effortlessly and with elegance. As you will hear on our ENET video, when Geoff talks about “building the concerto” with all the different pieces that need to be brought together for a successful life sciences startup company. He responds to questions from meeting co-organizer, scientist and ENET member Andy Synder.
LINK: (22 minutes)

For more information on the event and speaker bio’s for this Sept. 2, 2014 ENET Kickoff meeting, go to or My legal assistant John Papale2nd also served as a co-organizer for this September 2014 ENET meeting

  • Additionally, in prior years, I’ve moderated and/or spoken at a number of ENET panel presentations, including presentations on the following subjects:
    “Raising Money from CrowdFunding” , May 2014 (moderator)
  • ““Co-Founders and Core Team – finding them, protecting yourself, managing expectations”. February 2014 (moderator & speaker)
  • “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company” , September 2013 (moderator)
  •  “Online Finance and Crowd Funding” , April 2013 (moderator),
  • “Bootstrapping 101: Alternative Ways to fund a Startup without an Angel or VC”, November 2012 (moderator)
  • “Seed and Angel Financing” , October 2012 (moderator),
  •  “Getting Stuff for Free”, April 2012 (moderator),
  •  “Transforming Your Idea into a Successful Company”, September 2011 (speaker and moderator),
  • “Get Going! Launching a Successful Business”, September 2010 (moderator),
  •  “Licensing Technology”, February 2010 (moderator),
  •  How to Select and Retain Management for your Startup Company”, February 8, 2008 (speaker and moderator)
  •  “Getting Initial Money to go from Nothing to Something”, October 2007 (speaker and moderator)
  • “Strategic Alliances and Partnerships: to build, finance, and develop early stage companies”, November 2006 (speaker and moderator)
  • “Building Boards of Advisors and Boards of Directors”, March 2006 (moderator)
  •  “Protecting Your Intellectual Property”, January 2006 (speaker)

For each of the above presentations, my slides and those of the other speakers on my panel are also available at the ENET web site at this link – . I hope this information is helpful to you in your business. Again, if you would like more information on our group, go to

For both the September 2013 and February 2014 meetings, I was aided by my son,. William Adelson 1st as co-organizer. William recruited 2 of the 4 speakers on September 3. During his service with ENET, William also worked as Social Media Co-Manager and was elected to the ENET Ad Board. He is a Second Lt. in the Massachusetts National Guard, and now on leave from ENET, as he left in late February 2014 to attend the U.S. Army flight school in Ft. Rucker, AL. William’s training is to be an Army helicopter pilot, a 16-month training program. William has been flying small Army helicopters, and recently graduated to the stage of learning to fly Blackhawk helicopters. He expect to graduate the program in July 2015 when he will return to Massachusetts and the civilian sector, even as he continues his service in the Massachusetts National Guard.


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