“EntrepreneurSHIP 2017” – Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor to conclude ENET program year: July 13, 2017

Boston Harbor Cruise BoatI am again arranging the final event of the program year for The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET).  This event is our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor to occur just TWO DAYS from now on Thursday evening, July 13, 2017.

This cruise, our “EntrepreneurSHIP 2017  will be joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group and  The EntreTech Forum..   The cruise sponsor is HR Knowledge and its representative Peter O’Neil peter.oneil@hrknowledge.com  .

This is the 15th   ENET summer networking cruise that I’ve arranged.  The group will cruise out of Rowes Wharf in Boston with a light dinner served aboard.  Over 200 attended last year.  Five of the last six cruises have had over 150 people in attendance, and that attendance or more is expected this year.  So, it makes for a good networking opportunity for early stage entrepreneurs and investors.

Boston sunsetThis is also an enjoyable and casual ending to ENET’s 26th programming year, September 2016 to July 2017, just concluding.  We also invite back our speakers from our 19 program meetings in 2016-2017 to join us.

You get to see all the wonderful sights of Boston Harbor at sunset.  Great networking and great food (catered by Off The Vine Caterers), all at a very reasonable price!   There is close access to the T and if you drive in, there is even parking across the street for $7.00 for the evening.

Hopefully, this networking event will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope you will make it to join the EntrepreneurSHIP 2017 next week on Thursday July 13!   There’s still time, book today

For more information or to register for the cruise, go to  http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834 or www.boston-enet.org

Tweet this event

If you use Twitter and would like to tweet this event, here are my 6 tweets and re-tweets that you are welcome to re-tweet or use for your own tweets about this event –

@BostonENET annual #networking harbor cruise is coming up next week. Seats fill up fast. http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834  Sign up now! #entrepreneurs

.@BostonENET #lifescience #tech #founders #entrepreneurs #networking @EntrpreneurSHIP #harborcruise Thu 7/13 630p http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834 

Join @BostonENET ‘s Boston Harbor Networking #cruise – our “EntrepreneurSHIP” will set sail on July 13! Details at http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834 

Boston Harbor Cruise Boat

Join #startup #founders #entrepreneurs @BostonENet sunset #networking Boston #harborcruise – Thu 7/13 -630pm http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834 

Boston Harbor Cruise Boat

#lifescience #tech #founders #entrepreneurs #networking @EntrpreneurSHIP 2017 Boston #harborcruise Thu 7/13 630p http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834

Boston Harbor Cruise Boat

.@BostonENET #lifescience #tech #founders #entrepreneurs #networking @EntrpreneurSHIP #harborcruise Thu 7/13 630p http://boston-enet.org/event-2541834 

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.  www.boston-enet.org

A member of the ENET Board since 2002, I have served as Chairman of this non-profit group since 2009.  In May 2017, I was elected to my fifth 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 2016-17 program 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

Rob Adelson receives IEEE awardOn 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:  http://www.boston-enet.org/IEEE-USA-Professional-Achievement-Award

Besides my work as ENET Chair, I have organized and moderated three of ENET’s meetings of the current 2016-2017 program year and five (5) meetings in the 2015-16 program year, just completed.

Last month, on June 6, 2017, I was meeting organizer and moderator for ENET’s meeting at our Waltham location at Constant Contact.  We had 70 in attendance for our presentation on M & A and Successful Exits”.

At that ENET meeting, we took up the question:  Does this single-minded dedication to launch and grow the business have to exclude thoughts of potential future exits? On the contrary, an exit strategy is an important element of the overall business strategy that describes the vision of how you will eventually capitalize on your investment. This is important because the decisions about how you structure and operate the business can have huge implications down the road.

That night, we heard from three (3) experienced panelists, who had prepared companies and participated in successful exits that have come in various sizes and forms. They talked about exit strategy planning and, just as important, what exits look and feel like in real life to an entrepreneur, an investor and M& A advisors.

ENET Speakers Salls, Alternative and Crane

  • Kerri Salls, founder of This Way Out Group LLC –  entrusted by owners to reduce risk and maximize value, transforming an income generating business into a wealth producing asset owners can monetize, using exit planning as a framework. A thought leader in the field, Kerri is the host of the podcast Exit This Way, author of HARVEST Your Wealth, Don’t Murder Your Business, How to Manage a Gaggle of Advisors to Build Your All-Star Exit Team, and the home-study program: Selling Your Business for Maximum Profits, and co-author of Why Plan For Due Diligence in The Sale Of My Company? Her articles are published by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors, M&A Source, the Exit Planning Exchange and numerous directories.
  • Peter Alternative, Partner, Mirus Capital Advisors   –  brings 20 years of experience advising middle market, technology-based companies. He has been a financial advisor to both public and closely-held companies on divestitures, capital raising, recapitalizations, strategic acquisitions, mergers and cross-border transactions. He has managed and closed dozens of engagements with companies in numerous segments of information technology and professional services, with a focus on enterprise software. Peter has spoken to a number of executive groups, including Gartner Research Emerging Technology conference, the EO Birthing of Giants program at the MIT Enterprise Forum, The CFO Roundtable and The Financial Management Association on topics ranging from capital markets to mergers and acquisitions.
  • Christopher Crane, President and Chairman of Vartopia LLC, a high-tech SaaS provider, as well as owner of hotels and restaurants in York Maine.  – Originally a math high-school teacher, Mr. Crane became an entrepreneur in the early 80’s selling and programming Digital Equipment Corporation mini computers. Over the ensuing years’ Mr. Crane, with a partner, purchased many similar companies that were in financial difficulties and created a public company with five vertical market divisions called ASA International. In 1996, Mr. Crane left the company and purchased and ran TradePoint System, a supplier of software to the International Trade industry. In 2004 Mr. Crane sold TradePoint systems and then returned to ASA to help dismantle the public company and sell two of the company’s divisions.

There were speaker slides from my June 6, 2017 ENET panel, from each of the three speakers.  LINK:  http://boston-enet.org/event-2314327

Earlier in the year, on March 21, 2017, I was meeting organizer and moderator for ENET’s meeting at Cambridge location at Pivotal Labs just outside Kendall Square.  We had 50 in attendance for our presentation on Sales Models – Online, Inside, and Field Sales – How and When to Choose a Sales Model for Your Startup”.

On March 21, our first focus will be to help the founders with the question of how and when to choose a sales model for your startup company.  In that early stage the goal should be to start to generate sales as soon as possible, with a minimum viable product. This is the first phase of customer discovery and validation, to establish an impactful value proposition.  As Jack Derby (one of our speakers) has written ” At the outset, just focus on selling some stuff for the simple purpose of having customers who are paying you money and from whom you can learn the following:

  • Why they bought your product
  • How they are using those same products
  • What do they want to see in the future, so that …
  • You have the ability to work closely with these early customers and determine the financial value that they receive at their companies.

The company will next want to determine a scalable selling platform and a cost-effective sales model.  We will then have focused on the different sales models on which our three speakers were each expert.

Jack Derby, Mark Ruthfield and Liz Cain

  • Jack Derby is Head Coach and President @ Derby Management,a 25-year-old boutique management consulting firm, focuses its expertise in three primary services for its 400+ customers: Business & Strategic Planning; Sales & Marketing Productivity Improvement; Senior Management Development Coachin www.derbymanagement.com/   He is an active angel investor and past Chairman of Common Angels, rebranded to Converge Venture, as well as a major figure in the New England entrepreneurial landscape having served as the Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Association for Corporate Growth and number for profit and non-profit boards.  He has also taught as MIT and Tufts, where students at the latter voted him “Teacher of the Year.”
  • Mark Ruthfield, Vice President of Sales, Executive Team @t Zafus, which empowers B2C marketers to maximize customer lifetime revenue..https://www.zaius.com/ Mark is a Sales Business Leader, Executive Management Team Leader, Corporate Officer with over 20+ years of business experience in leading technology companies in start-up, turn-around, and accelerated growth situations.
  • Liz Cain, VP Go-To-Market   @ OpenView Venture Partners   – Building repeatable and scalable customer acquisition models,  Liz has worked in many areas of a software as a service company including technical support, event and customer marketing, sales operations, client/account management and inside sales. I currently oversee OpenView Go-to-Market practice delivering recruiting, market insights and marketing/sales strategy services to our portfolio.

There were speaker slides from my March 21, 2017 panel.  Also, Liz Cain was a wonderful substitute for Emmanuelle Skala, VP Sales & Customer Success @ DigitalOcean, you can view the slides of the three speakers plus those from Emmanuelle at LINK:  http://boston-enet.org/event-2314313

On January 17, 2017, I was meeting organizer and moderator for ENET’s first meeting at Cambridge location at Pivotal Labs just outside Kendall Square.  We had 100 in attendance for our presentation on Compensation and Equity for Early Stage Leadership Teams”.

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 was the conundrum of our ENET presentation on January 17th.  Our 3 speakers discussed use of startup equity as a key weapon of choice to recruit needed talent to build you’re A-team.   We discussed allocation of equity and vesting in both tech and medical device companies with an all-star panel. Unfortunately, we do not have slides from this presentation but videos were taken of each speaker that we hope to post soon at the ENET website.

Our speakers that night (pictured below) were –

Andy Palmer et al

  • 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.
  • Nancy Briefs, Entrepreneur in Residence @ M2D2 UMASS Lowell and Angel Investor with MA2.  For 5 years and into 2016, Nancy was CEO @ InfoBionic. Her career includes 30 years as an Entrepreneur, CEO, Angel Investor, Independent BOD Member and Business Advisor.

There were no speaker slides from my January 17, 2017 panel.  However, there is video for each of the speakers from this event.  You can view the videos at LINK:  http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2314292

Several months earlier, on September 6, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the kick-off meeting to ENET’s 26th year. For that meeting in Waltham, our subject was What builds the most value in a tech or medtech startup Company?  It was a great evening for ENET where our founders of startup companies heard first about defining the value proposition of your company’s product or service.

  • Do you fix a problem that has real and measurable consequences to inaction?
  • Is this problem a top priority to your target customer?
  • Is the market significant?
  • Is the market underserved?

Then, our audience heard about key means of building value in your company after that value proposition is established to attract angel investment in tech and life science companies.  Then, finally about building value for an exit / liquidity event.

Piret et al

Our speakers on September 6, 2016 (pictured above), were

  • Marguerite A. Piret, President & CEO, Newbury Piret & Company, Inc., http://www.newburypiret.com/ a Boston M&A firm, with Marguerite twice nominated for “Woman Deal Maker of the Year” for her work building value in companies to successful exits,
  • Jordan Leef, Healthcare VC and Director, The BioBreak Organization http://www.biobreak.org/ a life sciences investor and director of an organization that brings together executives across med tech and life science fields, and
  • Walter M. (Jerry) Bird, President, MassVentures, http://www.mass-ventures.com/ the President of one of the most successful VC/angel firms that invests exclusively in Massachusetts startup companies.

For links to the meeting write up I prepared and the speaker slides from that meeting, LINK:

Additionally, in prior years, I’ve moderated and/or spoken at a number of ENET panel presentations, including presentations on the following subjects:

  • “Building and Using Board of Directors and Boards of Advisors”, April 2015 (moderator),
  • “Founder Agreements and Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting yourself, Managing expectations ”. February 2015 (moderator & speaker)
  • “Entrepreneur Success Stories ” , September 2014 (moderator),
  • “Raising Money from CrowdFunding , May 2014 (moderator),
  • “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company” , September 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)