Compensation and Equity for Early Stage Leadership Teams: ENET Meeting, Jan. 17, 2017

Two week from tonight, on Tuesday, January 17, 2016 at 6pm, I will moderate a panel with three speakers, on this subject, for the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), at a new location for the group in Cambridge, Pivotal Labs, at 145 Broadway, 3rd Floor, just outside of Kendall Square, across the street from Akamai Technologies and just two doors down from Biogen.


It’s been said that 70% of the investment decision of an early-stage company is the team.  That’s so because so often everything goes wrong and only great teams can respond to competitors, markets, funding environments, staff departures, PR disasters and the like.

Yet, how do your build that early stage leadership team to attract investment if you don’t have the cash to pay competitive salaries and benefits?

That’s the conundrum of ENET’s presentation in Cambridge, Tuesday January 17th.

Our speakers will discuss use of startup equity as a key weapon of choice to recruit needed talent to build you’re A-team.   We will discuss allocation of equity and vesting.  We will discuss using compensation and equity addressing the key team needs of your startup for:

  • Domain expertise
  • Connections
  • Experience with related ventures
  • Ability to make significant contributions
  • Part-time vs. full-time

Our three speakers are all prominent angel investors and serial entrepreneurs.  One has founded a number of tech companies and was named “2013 Angel Investor of the Year”.  Our second speaker was managing director of Tech Stars and currently holds key positions mentoring New England startup companies.  Our third speaker is likewise a prominent and much recognized angel investor, serial CEO, co-founder and inventor in the world of New England medical device and health IT startups. Each has plenty to tell us about compensation and equity issued recruiting early stage teams in  tech and medical device fields.



andy_palmerSpeaker: Andy Palmer. Co-Founder/CEO @ Tamr (aka CueBall)  is an angel and seed investor and serial entrepreneur who specializes in accelerating the growth of mission-driven startups. Andy has helped found and/or fund more than 50 innovative companies in technology, health care and the life sciences. Andy’s unique blend of strategic perspective and disciplined tactical execution is suited to environments where uncertainty is the rule rather than the exception. Andy has a specific passion for projects at the intersection of computer science and the life sciences.  See  Most recently, Andy co-founded Tamr, a next generation data curation company and Koa Labs, a start-up club in the heart of Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.  Andy was honored as “2013 Angel Investor of the Year” by the New England Venture Capital Association.  He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, and has an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and has been a research affiliate at MIT. Andy has also written on the subject for this meeting, in his article “The Simple Truth: Happy People, Healthy Company:  How generosity can be a competitive advantage for early-stage startups.”

katie_raeSpeaker: Katie Rae, Managing Director @ Project 11, a pre-seed venture fund investing in tech-driven startups. Katie is Co-Founder, Chairman @ Startup Institute, teaching people how to join great startups and be effective on day 1, and Chairman of Techstars Boston. Previous to Project 11, for a period of about 4 years, Katie was Managing Director of Tech Stars Boston and also for 4 years she a lecturer at MIT.  Katie has also been an exec @ Microsoft, Eons, Lycos, AltaVista.  Katie is a graduate of Oberlin College and has an MBA from Yale School of Management.

nancy_briefsSpeaker:   Nancy Briefs, Entrepreneur in Residence @ M2D2 UMASS Lowell and Angel Investor with MA2.  For 5 years and into 2016, Nancy was CEO @ InfoBionic. She also co-founded InfoBionic where her company is disrupting the $3B Global market for remote monitoring and detection of arrhythmia with our proprietary MoMe® Kardia system Her career includes 30 years as an Entrepreneur, CEO, Angel Investor, Independent BOD Member and Business Advisor.  Her sweet spot has been the introduction of new technologies in cardiovascular medicine and surgery. Prior to InfoBionic,  Nancy has held management positions at five prior med-tech startups, four of which resulted in a liquidity event. She was awarded the Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Emerging Companies in 2003, the NH Biotech Council “Spirit Award” in 2009 and the “Leadership & Inspiration: Award from Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology in 2010.  Nancy is a current angel investor in MA2 and has served on the Boards of MDMA (Medical Device and Manufacturers Association), CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Apama Medical and InfoBionic. An entrepreneur inventor, Nancy is listed on seven issued and two pending US patents. Nancy has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Golden Gate University and a BA and BSB from Emporia University.



  • 600 -700 PM Registration & networking
  • 700 -710 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements
  • 710 -725 PM E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
  • 725 -815 PM – 3 or 4 expert speakers on the night’s topic
  • 815 -830 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A
  • 830 -900 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers


For more information or to register for the January 17 ENET meeting in Boston, go to LINK:



If you use Twitter and would like to tweet this event, here are four of my tweets that you are welcome to re-tweet or use for your own tweets about this event –

@andyhpalmer CEO @Tamr_Inc speaks on happy people for healthy companies @BostonEnet @pivotallabs MA 1/17/17 #startup

@ktrae of @p11 @techstars Boston speaks on #equity & #compensation in #startups @BostonEnet @pivotallabs MA 1/17/17

@nancybriefs speaks on #equity #compensation in #meddevice #startups @BostonEnet @pivotallabs #Cambridge 1/17/17

Join @andyhpalmer @ktrae @nancybriefs @attorneyadelson on #equity in #startups @BostonEnet @pivotallabs MA 1/17/17



Hopefully, this meeting on compensation and equity for early stage leadership teams will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope to see you at Pivotal Labs in Cambridge in two weeks, 6pm on January 17!






My Continuing role as ENET Chairman

and frequent speaker & moderator…




I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Cambridge based non-profit group, affiliated with IEEE, that aids tech and life science founders, entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies.


A member of the ENET Board since 2002, I have served as Chairman of this non-profit group since 2009.  In May 2015, I was elected to my fourth 2-year term as ENET Chair.  During the period of my leadership, ENET’s annual program has grown from 10 meetings per year to 19 for 2015-16 year just completed:  10 meetings in Waltham, and 9 in Kendall Square Cambridge, plus our annual cruise of Boston Harbor to end the program year.  Each meeting has three or more speakers on a subject of interest to entrepreneurs and company founders, in life science, tech and other areas of New England’s innovation economy.  Each meeting also has ample networking time before and after the presentations to allow entrepreneurs to meet each other and later meet with the speakers


On January 30, 2016, at a ceremony at the national meeting of IEEE-USA in Las Vegas, NV, the President of that organization Peter Eckstein (pictured below) presented me with the IEEE-USA professional achievement award for “extreme dedication and contributions to the IEEE entrepreneurial community”.  For more information on that award, see LINK:




In the prior program year, Sept 2015 to July 2016, I organized and moderated five of 19 ENET’s meetings, that included moderating and speaking at these meetings -.



On May 17, 2016, I was organizer, moderator and a speaker on ” Impact Entrepreneurship and Your Triple Bottom Line”, with Cheryl Kiser, Mark Donohue and Rebecca Hamilton, an all-star panel on this subject, where I concluded the proceedings speaking about certified B corps and Chapter 156E the newly enacted benefit corporation law in Massachusetts.  to see my slides and others, go to



On April 5, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on “Strategic Alliances for M&A and Successful Exits”.  We had three great speakers including Charles Lax on Grand Banks Capital and Richard Kimball of Bigelow & Associates.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our four speakers, go to


On January 5, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups.”   We had four wonderful and quite complimentary speakers, a full house in Waltham, with 112 in attendance, and great audience questions.  We began with the big picture of product development across life science fields and then focused on a single company’s successful development, launching and sales of a customer-driven medical device / consumer product.  Then moving to tech, our third speaker focused on key design issues and our 4th speaker closed on scaling and production issues.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our four speakers, go to


On October 6, 2015, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on “Innovative Ways to Bootstrap Your Startup Company.”   We had three great speakers, a full house in Waltham and great audience questions.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our three ENET speakers, go to


joanneLangOne of the highlights of the October 6 ENET meeting was the presentation of  Joanne Lang, Founder and CEO of AboutOne,   Joanne is based in Philadelphia and flew in special, at her own cost, to give her presentation for ENET.  Joanne’s slides, “”Bring Your Product to Market Bootstrapped Style… and Keep it there” –  were also excellent, a great and continuing resource for founders and entrepreneurs to use and reference, LINK