Entrepreneur Success Stories: Sept. 2, 2014

Entrepreneur Success Stories: ENET Meeting, Sept. 2, 2014

Next month, on Tuesday September 2, 2011 at 7pm I will moderate a panel on this subject for the IEEE Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) at the group’s Waltham location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trepalo Rd., 3rd Floor, The Great Room, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128). This event will kick off ENET’s 24rd year.

Successful entrepreneurs have said that fearlessness, resilience, and being true to oneself are three of the most important qualities an entrepreneur must have when starting his/her own business. Tonight’s meeting on “Entrepreneur Success Stories” will offer examples of those success stories from serial entrepreneurs and business people, in consumer, high tech and life science fields, who have overcome the odds to be extremely successful today.

We have 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.


As said, I will moderate. Here’s some further information on our speakers:

  • Janet J. Kraus, CEO, Peach, http://www.peach.company, a women’s intimate apparel company, http://www.peachunderneath.com/   and       Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. A Yale graduate and two time business founder, with two successful exits, Janet has been involved in every stage of the entrepreneurial process including idea generation, product development, building teams, fund raising, identification of key strategic partners, business development and direct sales, operational scaling, crisis and recovery, buying and exiting companies.       In 1997, Janet co-founded Circles, a concierge and events company which grew to be a $60 million company, with nearly 1000 consultants, before being sold to Sodexo in October 2007. After Circles, Janet led Spire, a company designed to create social resource sharing platforms specializing in travel and leisure. Janet sold Spire to Perfect Escapes in 2010. Janet is a recipient of Boston’s 40 under 40 and was a finalist of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Circles were awarded the Small Business of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Janet sits on advisory boards of six start-up companies and The Capital Network (TCN).


  • Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Ph.D, is New Ventures Principal at Flagship Ventures, http://www.flagshipventures.com/ where he focuses on inventing technologies and starting breakthrough companies within Flagship VentureLabs. As one experienced in start-up founding, leadership, serial entrepreneurship, Geoff is an Inventor, founder and entrepreneur of breakthrough life science and sustainability ventures that help address global challenges, create large markets, and provide significant value to society. He is a founder of the companies Symbiota, Seres Health, Pronutria, Sienna Labs, Nanopartz, and others, and has served as President at Symbiota, Chief Technology Officer at Seres Health, and VP Product Discovery at Pronutria. In Seres Health, Geoff led the discovery of the first clinically-validated microbiome therapeutic, and the build-out of its discovery platform. In Pronutria, Geoff built the first platform to discover a new class of therapeutic proteins that deliver tailored amino acid combinations to treat a variety of muscle and metabolic diseases. He has been named an inventor on over 100 patents and applications and received more than 20 awards and honors for entrepreneurship and innovation, including the prestigious Lemelson-MIT student prize. He was awarded a Ph.D. from MIT; a M.S. from UCSD; and a S.B. from MIT.


  • Bernd Schoner, VP Business Development, ThingMagic Division, Trimble Navigation http://www.trimble.com/   is the author of “The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide: How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, and Cash In for Success” (McGraw-Hill, May 2014). In his book Bernd provides the reader with a complete life cycle guide to technology entrepreneurship and tells the story of ThingMagic, the tech startup he cofounded after graduating from MIT the dot-com bust, navigated through market crises and internal turmoil, and the global financial meltdown intact, and eventually sold it to a multibillion-dollar, multinational public technology company (See http://www.berndschoner.com). During his time at ThingMagic Bernd served in various positions including Managing Partner of ThingMagic LLC where he managed the operations including customer acquisition, customer management, and technical operations, and later President of ThingMagic Inc. where he was at various times responsible for engineering, development, manufacturing, international sales, key account sales, and business development.. Bernd holds masters degrees in electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen and in industrial engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. He earned his Ph.D. from the MIT Media Laboratory in 2000.


For more information or to register for the the Sept. 2 ENET Kickoff meeting, go to http://www.boston-enet.org/meetings/entrepreneur-success-stories-0 or www.boston-enet.org


Hopefully, this kickoff event will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at ENET’s Waltham meeting place, Constant Contact on September 2!


*     *     *


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 eleven years, and the past four years and continuing as ENET’s Chairman. In May 2013, I was elected by ENET members to my 3rd two-year term as Chairman.


I arranged ENET’s last meeting, our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor to occur Tuesday evening, July 15, 2014. This cruise, our “EntrepreneurShip 2014” was also be joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group, IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE) and the EntreTech Forum. This was the 12th ENET summer networking cruise that I’ve arranged. 179 attended on a lovely evening with good food and company and great views of the sights of Boston Harbor including the U.S.S. Constitution at the 202nd  anniversary of its naval victories in the War of 1812 when it got its nickname “Old Ironsides”. It was a most enjoyable and casual ending to ENET’s 23rd year, September 2013 to July 2014, just concluded.


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 – http://www.boston-enet.org/meetings/meeting-archives .   I hope this information is helpful to you in your business. Again, if you would like more information on our group, go to www.boston-enet.org


For both the September 2013 and February 2014 meetings, I was aided by my son William Adelson, 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 to attend the U.S. Army flight school in Ft. Rucker, AL. William completed SEER survival training on May 25, and was home last week for several days leave, and has recently begun piloting helicopters, as his training progresses. William’s training is to be an Army helicopter pilot, a 16-month training program.


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