Hiring Your First Employees, Pitfalls To Avoid: ENET Meeting, Sept. 15, 2015

A week from today, on Tuesday September 15, 2011 at 6pm there will be a panel on this subject for The Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) at the group’s new Boston location: CIC BOSTON, 50 Milk Street, 17th Floor (the “Milky Way” Conference facility) Boston, MA. ENET plans to hold 4 meetings of our 19 meetings for 2015-2016 at this Boston location. It is close to the Red and Orange lines and there is $9 flat rate parking after 4pm at convenient Garage at Post Office Square http://www.posquare.com/



I recruited the moderator and helped recruit one of the speakers. This event will be the second event of  ENET’s 25th year, 2015-2016 program year.


Now, more on this September 15 event …


So you have started your own successful business and realize that you must grow to meet your customers’ needs. Or you are about obtain a large round of venture funding. In each case you need to rapidly scale your enterprise by increasing your workforce. These opportunities require different approaches to hiring. For the small boot-strapped organization, a gradual rate of growth may allow you to hire through professional and acquaintance networks. Web-based recruitment may also be useful. For the VC do-or-die rapid upscale, a skeleton management and technical team is likely in place. However, additional help from professional recruitment service providers or from the venture capitalist’s own internal recruiters is likely in order. And in any case, all of these hiring efforts must adhere to strict state and federal legal requirements.


On September 15th, Boston ENET will host speakers who will talk from their in-depth experience on these very topics. They will provide leads that you can rely on and point out approaches based on experiences that you can emulate. Come and join us to hear how it’s done and to network with eighty others who are facing the same challenges.





Jon Lane, Managing Partner, ProductWorks, Inc., http://www.productworksinc.com

Jon began ProductWorks, Inc. in 1998 after a 20 year career with Data General Corporation where he contributed to DG’s transition from an entrepreneurial company to a Global Fortune 500 enterprise. Promoted to Vice President, Corporate Human Resources in 1994, he had previously been responsible for Corporate Employment as well as Executive Leadership, Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Programs. Jon was interim Vice President of Human Resources at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals supporting their growth from a 15 person start-up until just prior to their recent IPO. He also assisted the co-CEO’s of HiWired in growing their firm from 60 to 160 employees. Jon has a degree from Boston University and has taught in executive programs at Babson College, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.


PeterOneilPeter E. O’Neil, Professional Employer Consultant, Oasis Outsourceing, http://www.oasisadvantage.com   Peter E. O’Neil has been working in the start-up and small business community for more than 20 years. He has been self-employed and a small business owner. In addition, he has worked in several start up and new market divisions of companies including The Interface Group, Adecco HR Services, Administaff, TriNet and Robert Half where he has been recognized as one of the top contributors in the country.  Currently, Peter is a Professional Employer Consultant and works in Waltham for Oasis HR Outsourcing a nationwide provider of Fortune 500 employee benefits, payroll, Human Resources (HR) and compliance services to start-ups, small and growing companies. He is certified as an HR Generalist through the Society of Human Resource Management, (SHRM), and is licensed as an insurance broker in the Commonwealth of MA.  Peter has been a guest speaker for several entrepreneurial programs here in Massachusetts on topics including hiring, insurance, banking and HR issues. He is lifelong resident of MA.

Mitchell Sanders, Partner- CMC Consulting Group, USA, www.cmc-co.net

Mitchell Sanders, MS, PhD, has over 30 years of experience in preclinical animal models and clinical product development in advanced wound care. With ECI Biotech, Mitchell has produced over 12 peer-reviewed publications and 24 worldwide patents in medical device and in vitro diagnostics. Mitchell is an expert in clinical and translational research and is a reviewer for the Wound Healing Society, CIMIT, MassVentures, MIT, WPI, Tech Sandbox, Piranha Pond, SBANE and the Venture Forum. Mitchell has an MS and PhD from WPI in molecular biology and biomedical sciences with 2 Postdocs (biochemistry and pathogen genetics) at the Whitehead Institute/MIT.




BrigidSiegelBrigid Oliveri Siegel is Managing Partner and Founder of Brigid Siegel Associates, a retained executive search firm focused on high technology, biotechnology, clean tech, technology roles at universities, venture capital and private equity clients. Brigid’s  responsibilities encompass the execution and direction of a comprehensive search process from research strategy, candidate development, position and person specification through final candidate selection and offer. Brigid began her career in the high technology industry over 30 years ago and in executive search, 20 years ago. Prior to Brigid Siegel Associates  Brigid was a Partner at  Polachi, a Managing Director with The Onstott Group, a Senior Partner at Heidrick & Struggles and a Vice President with Fenwick Partners. Throughout her retained executive search career Brigid has successfully completed numerous information technology senior executive search assignments for clients ranging from emerging growth companies to multi-billion dollar corporations. Brigid studied at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute. Her executive search industry expertise has been cited in the Boston Business Journal, the New York Post, as well as Hunt Scanlon’s Executive Recruiting Industry Newswire. She was also a member of the Executive Board of the WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) Venture Forum for seven years.


For more information or to register for the Sept. 15 ENET meeting, go to http://enet.camp7.org/event-2005548 or  www.boston-enet.org


Hopefully, this ENET meeting on Hiring First Employees will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at ENET’s new Boston meeting place, CIC Boston / Milky Way Conference facility on September 15!


Additionally, I have moderated and spoken at two past ENET panels which have taken up the issue of recruiting and retaining employees and superior management teams.


To view my power points for the presentation “How to Select and Retain Management for your Startup Company”, see LINK: https://robadelson.wordpress.com/2012/01/

(15 slides on Legal Steps to Build and Keep your Team, including (1) Team Building on a Shoestring / Thinking out-of-the-box to Recruit/Retain, and (2) Building Value on a Firm Foundation / Appear Generous but Demand Value)


Here are also links to those two meetings I moderated and spoke at on this subject – LINK: http://enet.camp7.org/event-42373

LINK: http://enet.camp7.org/event-3313

Slides for both of those meetings had been available at the ENET website until as late as July 2015. However, in that month and August, the ENET website was re-done to make the site more accessible to mobile devices and google SEO. That process is still ongoing, so, it will still be some time before those slides are restored to the site.


*     *     *


I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Boston /Cambridge 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 since 2002, and served as Chairman since 2009, just re-elected in May 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 planned for 2015-16: 10 meetings in Waltham, 4 in Boston, 5 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.


On September 1, 2015, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the kick-off meeting to ENET’s 25th year. For that meeting in Waltham, our subject was “Giants of the Startup Community, Founders who made it Big, tell what’s Important”.   It was a great evening for ENET where our founders of startup companies heard stories of entrepreneurial challenges, surprises, disappointments, victories and triumphs.


Our Speakers that evening were –



Startup Institute is dedicated to helping people transform their careers and find jobs they love. Via SI’s programs, people gain the skills, mindset and networks to succeed in the exciting startup world. Since its inception only 2 years ago, over 1,000 students have gone through Startup Institute programs, in Boston, New York, London, Chicago & Berlin.   She is also Chairman of C Space (formerly Communispace), www.cspace.com/ , where she was CEO for 13 years.   A leading customer collaboration agency, Communispace was sold to Omnicom in 2011 and now has over 500 employees, and offices in over a dozen countries. Diane also co-authored the book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage, a Business Week best-seller, now published in 11 languages. Diane has received many honors, including the Most Admired CEO award and Boston Power 50 award from the Boston Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (National Finalist).



Tony is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with over 30 years of experience in retail, manufacturing, product development, product sourcing and domestic and international sales. His company, Work ‘N Gear, is the largest retail chain in the United States specializing in the work apparel and footwear industry. Work ‘N Gear operates 40 retail stores throughout the Northeast and Midwest. In 1990, Tony acquired Herman Survivors from Stride Rite Corporation and increased sales from $8 million to $50 million before selling the company to Walmart in 2001. In 2002, Tony purchased Work ‘N Gear, which was in bankruptcy.


  • Venkat Kolluri is co-founder of Chitika http://www.chitika.com  and has served as President & CEO since the company’s inception.

Venkat oversees all of Chitika’s operations, including its strategic direction and product planning, as well as corporate development. Venkat also co-founded new, local, mobile, advertising company, Cidewalk, which was awarded “Recognition of Positive Impact on the Neighborhood and Local Economy”, by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2015. In 2009, Chitika won the Red Herring award as a Top 100 Global Finalist and in 2010 the DPAC Award as Finalist for Best Mobile Advertising Network Innovation. In 2011, Venkat received from TiE Boston the Crystal Award for a Charter Member who built his company from the ground up. In 2013, Chitika was named among the “Healthiest Employers” and received the Public Private Partnership award from the Westborough EDC. In 2014, named Website Magazine’s “Top 50 Digital Ad Brands to Know”. And in 2015, Venkat was nominated for the ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award..



To see slides from the September 1 ENET event, go to – http://enet.camp7.org/Calendar-of-Events


I also arranged ENET’s last meeting of the 2014-2015 program year, our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor on July 16, 2015. This cruise, our “EntrepreneurShip 2015” was also be joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group, IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE) and the EntreTech Forum. This was the 13th ENET summer networking cruise that I’ve arranged. 151 attended on a lovely evening with good food and company and great views of the sights of Boston Harbor and even Boston Light at the outer edge of the Harbor.



Also during the now ending 2014 – 2015 ENET program year, I organized and moderated three ENET meetings.



  • April 21, 2015 – Building and Using Board of Directors and Boards of Advisors , that featured Jack Derby, Jean Hammond and Travis Conners (substitute for Jay Habegger who was called away on a family matter).


  • February 3, 2015 – Founder Agreements and Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting yourself, Managing expectations, , that featured Kartik Shah, Gail Hoffman, and me as third speaker (to substitute for Harry Glorikian who was called away for last minute Board meeting), with my co-organizer Stacey Arbetter as moderator.


  • September 2, 2014 – “Entrepreneur Success Stories”, which featured successful entrepreneurs from different fields – high tech, consumer and life sciences. The three presentations for this 2014-2015 kickoff meeting were taped and you can view the tapes if you wish on the links below.




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

LINK:   http://youtu.be/mBBQ3hAnPRI   (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

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_pSimCgHKg&feature=youtu.be     (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

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP1bf9Fx6-A&feature=youtu.be (22 minutes)


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)