How to Find, Select, and Build Your Co-Founding Team: ENET Meeting, Oct. 18, 2016

A week from tonight, on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 615pm, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), will hold a meeting with speakers on this subject,  at WorkBar, 711 Atlantic Ave., Boston.


This is a new location for ENET, which we arranged after we learned that the Microsoft Technology Center, where we had been meeting, was to be closed after September.  For those using the “T”, this is quite close to South Station.  For those driving into Boston in need of parking, my suggestion is the Post Office Square garage, which offers a flat $9.00 rate  to park from 4pm weekdays all through the night, and it is about a 10 minute walk from our meeting location. LINK:


Most successful start-ups have more than one founder, actually an average of 2.4.  Since the year 2000 more than ninety percent of the billion-dollar start-up companies began with co-founders. Our Boston ENET meeting on October 18, 2016, will help entrepreneurs find, select and build their co-founding teams. It is essential that the importance of having co-founders is understood as it is critical to growing your company to a huge success.



Our panelists for the meeting include successful founders and early stage company investors. Kent Plunkett, the CEO and founder of, Gerry Wilson, the CEO and Founder of Yoonew and Steve Hubermas, Founder and CEO of VeriLync Capital Solutions are the panelists.





kent_plunkettKent Plunkett, CEO and President, CCP


A serial entrepreneur with deep experience in starting and growing companies, Kent is thrilled to be back at the helm of the company he founded in 1999. During his tenure as its Chairman and CEO for eleven years, grew from a start-up through its successful initial public offering in 2007; was acquired by Kenexa in 2010 and subsequently, by IBM. Before acquiring the company back in January 2016, Kent was the CEO of Intronis, another SaaS leader.


Kent holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and A.B. in Economics and Government from Georgetown University. He is a three time Inc. 500 CEO, a six-time Deloitte Fast 50 awardee and recipient of the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year Award for business services. Kent is accredited by WorldatWork as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP®)



gerry_wilsonGerry Wilson, Partner, OmniAnalytics, NY.


He has produced data monetization strategies for an online media conglomerate, conducted data management platform evaluations and participated in business plan and go-to-market strategies for customers in the B2B marketing data space. Prior to OminAnalystics, he was the Vice President, Data and Technology Solutions for MediaLink, LLC. Previously, he was a cofounder and Managing Director at Verto Media, LLC., an advertising technology company specializing in programmatic solutions for the digital audio industry. He has also held positions with Appnexus, inc., Do It Media, LLC. and YooNew, Inc.   Gerry has a Master of Business Administration in Financial Management and Entrepreneurship from the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a Bachelor of Science and Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.


steveSpeaker: Steve Habermas, Founder and CEO, VeriLync Capital Solutions,


Steve Habermas is the founder and CTO of VeriLync Capital Solutions. VeriLync provides alternate lending solutions to business owners with a mission to make it easy for businesses to quickly obtain the optimal financing solution for growing their companies so that they can focus their time and resources on running their businesses rather than financing them. Steve has 20 plus years of diverse leadership and operational execution experience that fuel his desire to fulfill VeriLync Capital Solutions mission.  Steve then worked in the high-tech software product industry as a senior executive. He was the VP of Engineering for several successful software product companies in the Boston area including Tele Atlas (acquired by TomTom), Axeda (acquired by PTC), and Verivo Software (assets acquired by Appery). Steve is recognized as an expert in applying Agile processes and bringing innovative products to market. As a business executive, Steve became frustrated that the customers he served were routinely limited in their ability to expand due to capital constraints. So, he launched VeriLync Capital Solutions to address this challenge.  Steve graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy with a BS in electrical engineering. He also earned a MS in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley,





brigidOliveiriBrigid Oliveri Siegel, Partner,  Ward Howell International, Inc.,


Brigid Siegel is a partner and management consultant at Ward Howell, Inc. where she conducts retained executive searches. In this capacity, she focuses on finding and developing leaders as well as building effective managing teams which will guarantee success in any technology, life sciences or biotech field.  Brigid began her career in the high technology industry over 30 years ago and in executive search, 20 years ago. She was a principal at Brigid Siegel Associates, 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 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 and is currently a Boston ENET Vice Chairperson and an Executive Board member.


For more information or to register for the Oct. 18 ENET  meeting in Boston,  go to



Hopefully, this meeting on bootstrapping will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope to see you at WorkBar Boston  on October 18!


For additional ENET  information on Co-Founding Teams …


On February 3, 2015,  I organized, moderated and spoke at a similar ENET panel “Founder Agreements & Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting Yourself, Managing Expectations”.


If you would like more information on that February 2015 Founders’ panel, go to


At that link you can find the slides of panelist Kartik Shah who dealt in depth with such issues as How do you find a co-founder for your startup company?  Who makes a successful and investable core team?  LINK:



You can view my slides from the February 2015 ENET Founders panel, at

My slides were entitled – “Founder Agreements & Stock Vesting

Building a Team, Protecting Yourself, Managing Expectations”, and deal in some depth with the issue of key protections founders should seek.


My Continuing role as ENET Chairman and frequent speaker & moderator…


I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Boston/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 the 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:




This past summer, on July 14, 2016, I arranged, as cruise director, the final event of the 2015-16 ENET program year,  our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor.  In this cruise, that we called the EntrepreneurSHIP 2016 ,  ENET was joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group, WIE – IEEE Women In Engineering,  The EntreTech Forum, and the Massachusetts Bio Pharma Networking Group (MABPNG).  This was the 14th annual cruise I’ve  arranged for ENET, and it drew our largest attendance yet,  219, on a lovely July night – great sunset over the outer Harbor Islands.  The cruise sold out the day before we set off from Rowes Wharf. .




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


Last  month, 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.

picture1 picture2 jerrybird
Our speakers on September 6, 2016  (pictured above),  were

  • Marguerite A. Piret,  President & CEO, Newbury Piret & Company, Inc., 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 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, the President of one of the most successful VC/angel firms that invests exclusively in Massachusetts startup company.

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)