Keeping Focus on Business: Feb. 14, 2013

Tough Love (on Valentine’s Day)– Getting the Entrepreneur to Focus on the Business rather than the Idea – Feb. 14, 2013


Ten days from now, on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 730am, I will serve as moderator for the meeting of 128 Innovation Capital Group (128 ICG), at the IBM Conference Center, 404 Wyman Street, North Entrance in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Our speaker, whom I recruited, will be Ben Littauer,   an active angel investor, member of Boston Harbor Angels, Walnut Venture Associates, and Launchpad Venture Group.


Ben Littauer is a business and technology management consultant with expertise in Internet and communications technologies, as well as healthcare IT. Currently he spends his time as an active angel investor, in the three angel groups mentioned and as a mentor for Mass Challenge and The Capital Network.  Ben is also  a judge for Mass Challenge, MITX Innovation Awards, and various academic competitions.


Ben will speak on Valentine’s Day on “Tough Love – Getting the Entrepreneur to Focus on the Business rather than the Idea”.   In his various endeavors. Ben works with young companies and often finds it necessary to engage in “TOUGH LOVE.” As a mentor of exciting entrepreneurs, he helps them focus on the many different aspects of creating a successful enterprise, rather than spending all their time focusing on the original idea that was the reason they started their company.


Ben was co-founder, President, and CTO of Baranof Software, the leading vendor of service-level management software for messaging and Internet applications. Baranof was sold to Tally Systems in 1997.  He has worked for Cisco Systems, Tumbleweed Communications, On Technology, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Lotus, and BBN. In addition he has worked with a number of startup ventures including,, and



For more information or to register for this meeting, go to


Hopefully, this topic and meeting will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.


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I remain active at 128 ICG, a Waltham-based group that aids and provides a networking opportunity to entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies.


128 Innovation Capital Group (, is now in its 8th year since, as a founder, I helped that group re-emerge from the 128 Venture Capital Group (founded in 1982).  I’ve been a 128 ICG board member since 2004 and recruited speakers and moderated  16 of the 36  past meetings of 128 ICG in 2010-2012, including the following:


  • Will you be fired as CEO after taking Venture Capital funding?  November 8, 2012,  with Greg Dracon, Principal, .406 Ventures.


  • Finding Your Optimal Investor – Due Diligence for Entrepreneurs,  August 9, 2012, with Luke Burns, Partner at Ascent Venture Partners.


  • We Can’t All be Facebook … Nor Do We Want To Be!  July 12, 2012, with Rick Grinnell. Managing Director, Fairhaven Capital Partners. 


  • Structuring your Financing for Capital Efficiency and Exit Strategy,  April 12, 2012, with William McPhee, an investor with Boston Harbor Angels and Board member at The Capital Network.   


  • Alternative Funding Models for Clean Technology.  February 9, 2012, with Eric Emmons, Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital and head of the Siemens Venture Capital’s Energy Fund.   


  • What’s Your Company’s Value Proposition? How Are You Viewed by Investors, Customers and Employees? October 13, 2011, with Jack Derby, member of Common Angels.   


  • Management Team, Board of Directors, Advisory Board – How to Best Utilize  Your Company’s Talent, August 11, 2011, with Jenny Freeman, M.D., member of Boston Harbor Angels.   


  • How Social Marketing Transformed the Gaming Sector: Social Gaming vs. Traditional Gaming, February 10, 2011, with Dayna Grayson, Principal at North Bridge Venture Partners.   


  • The 5 Things you MUST KNOW about Raising Angel Investment, October 14, 2010, with Hambleton Lord, Managing Partner of Launchpad Venture Group.


Mobile Innovation in New England: Entrepreneurial Opportunities for the Future, April 8, 2010, with Sean Marsh, CoFounder and General Partner, Point Judith Capital.


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