Negotiating Contracts: A Critical Entrepreneurial Skill: ENET online Webinar, Feb. 1, 2022

with post-webinar online virtual networking

Tonight, Tuesday February 1, 2021 at 7pm, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) will hold an online webinar on this subject, which is a timely subject for which I had organized the meeting including recruiting all the speakers and meeting moderator (I will be in transit on Feb. 1 so was unable to moderate – thank you to Bill Byrnes for being my “pinch-hitter” tonight).

Because of the COVIN-19 / Coronavirus pandemic, ENET changed its meeting on March 17, 2020 to a free Webinar, and on March 19, 2020 held its monthly Board meeting as a virtual meeting rather than an in-face meeting at a Chinese restaurant. At the March 19, 2020 Board meeting, it was voted that all the remaining meetings for the program year 2019-2020 would be changed to free online webinars, and as the pandemic continues,  ENET has been holding webinars ever since and plans to  continue to do so through to the conclusion of the 2020-2021 program year, which ends in June 2021.  Additionally, the Board cancelled plans for its year-end networking cruise of Boston Harbor for both July 2020 and for July 2021.  There is hope that, with the increasing pace of vaccinations in Massachusetts and the US generally, ENET may be able to resume in-face meetings at some point in its next program year – Sept. 2021 to June 2022, and hopefully, in July 2022, be able to again host a sunset networking cruise of Boston Harbor – “EntrepreneurSHIP 2022” – something we would all look forward to!

The price to attend tonight’s webinar is just $10 (and free to ENET members). 

This $10 fee includes both the webinar and admission for added online networking via  zoom, with the networking to occur post webinar (830 – 9pm).   The post-webinar networking would give those who attend the webinar the chance to mingle and ask more personal questions of the evening’s speakers who often join the post-meeting networking. 

Below is my write-up on tonight’s meeting as well as further information that I hope might encourage you to on zoom and remotely attend ENET’s webinar tonight.

As an entrepreneur, founder or co-founder of a startup or early stage company, you have to wear many hats. You are the recruiter for co-founders employees and contractors, you are the fund-raiser fit seed investment, you are the salesperson to enlist suppliers, alliance partners and beta testers, you are the financial wizard who had to keep all of this afloat on a shoe string budget.

Yet, one thread that runs through so many of these critical responsibilities and challenges you face, is the ability to negotiate contracts. It’s a key entrepreneurial skill, one that you want to master snd it is the topic for ENET’s Feb. 1 webinar.

For this topic, ENET will be offer three expert speakers, each covering a different aspect of contracts negotiations for the startup company and its founders. Our first speaker will discuss organizational contracting as you get the startup launched. Contracts among the founders and with seed investors. The second speaker discussed early stage contacting for life science companies including patent licensing, contracting with universities, sponsored research and getting your life science startup launched with its technology secured. The third speaker shares experience in startup and early stage contracting for tech companies including software development and contracting to get products or services to market for first revenues, including sales, marketing, VAR and distribution agreements.


7:00 – 7:10 PM – ENET Chairperson’s announcements

7:10 – 7:25 PM – eMinute Pitch – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations

7:25 – 8:10 PM – expert speakers on the night’s topic

8:10 – 8:30 PM – Moderator and Audience Q & A with the speakers

8:30 – 9:00 PM – Networking on Zoom (meet with speakers & moderator)

(all times are USA Eastern Daylight time, webinars will not be recorded)


Candice M. Hughes
PhD, MBA, CEO, Board Member, Speaker, Author, Biotech, Digital Health

A serial entrepreneur and innovation expert with biopharma compliance expertise, Dr. Hughes is known for turnarounds and startup launches. At Hughes BioPharma, founded in 2005, Dr. Hughes restructures R&D operations processes and compliance at global biopharmas, having worked with 50% of the largest 25 global pharmas and smaller biotechs. An early digital health startup founder, she also founded a gold standard healthcare division at a venture capital backed media firm. Living Loud Living Long for 50up women digital well-living community and media startup was founded by Dr. Hughes in 2021.
Dr. Hughes received her PhD in Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine and MBA with Beta Gamma Sigma honors at Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.

Bryan Natale
Corporate Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP

Bryan C. Natale is a partner in the firm’s corporate group. Bryan represents clients in transactional matters with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, venture capital financings, distressed acquisitions, debt and equity financings, licensing and outsourcing, and securities and corporate governance. Bryan works extensively with private equity sponsors, venture capital funds, financial institutions, closely held and venture-backed emerging growth companies, privately held middle-market companies, and private equity-backed portfolio companies across many industry sectors, including health care, technology and software, industrial and manufacturing, media and marketing, retail and consumer products, and financial services.
On behalf of his clients, Bryan drafts and negotiates primary and ancillary transaction documents, investment-related documents, commercial agreements, and corporate governance document.

Attorney Matthew A. Karlyn
Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP

Matthew has a B.A from Union College, a J.D. from Temple University, and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and is authorized to practice law in Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York. He is a partner at the Boston, MA office of Morrison & Foerster LLP. He has 23 years of experience in working with companies in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical device, and technology industries on a wide range of commercial life sciences, licensing, and technology transactions. His clients range from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, and he regularly advises companies on matters involving IP commercialization, complex collaboration transactions, licensing initiatives, subscription-based economics, and business transactions related to the procurement, development, commercialization, and use of technology and life sciences products. He has also worked with a number of clients on corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity and venture capital financing.

Moderator & Organizers

William Byrnes, Esq.
Founder, Byrnes & Associates

Bill is an attorney and senior executive with 25+ years of experience building value by commercializing information and technology. Bill’s focus involves a unique application of his legal and business management experience on the day‐to‐day management of all elements of the product, sales, and contract life cycles as the core of the business. The effect of this focus can convert expense into value driven to the bottom line with increased shareholder value as the results.

Robert Adelson
Principal, Business and Tax attorney @ Adelson & Associates, LLC. Chair Emeritus @ Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET)

Rob has been an attorney for over 30 years specialized in business, tax, stock and options, employment, contracts, financing, trademarks and intellectual property. Rob began as an associate at major New York City law firms before returning home to Boston in 1985 where he has since been a partner in small and medium sized firms before joining Engel & Schultz LLP where he was a partner from 2004 to 2019. When the senior partners retired, he moved his law practice to his own firm, Adelson & Associates, LLC, effective 1/1/2020. Rob represents entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies, independent contractors and employees and executives. Rob is a frequent speaker on business law topics and author of numerous articles published in Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech and other publications, plus more than thirty articles since 2016 on executive employment topics published by CEOWorld magazine. He has been named among the “Top 20 Boston Startup Lawyers” by, a website that provides tools for entrepreneurs. Rob has been on the ENET Board since 2002, was Vice Chair 2005-2009, and ENET Chairman 2009-2019. He was also a Co-Founder and Board member of the 128 Innovation Capital Group (2004 -2015). In 2016, he received the IEEE USA Professional Achievement award for “extreme dedication to the entrepreneurship community.” He holds degrees from Boston University, B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University (Chicago), J.D., Law Review, and New York University, LL.M. in Taxation

For more information, or to register go to   (Please note capacity is limited so pre-registration is necessary)

Hopefully, this ENET webinar will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope you will join us online at 7pm tonight!

My Continuing role as ENET Chair Emeritus, Frequent Moderator and Occasional Speaker…

I remain active in ENET, a Waltham/Burlington  and Cambridge/Boston based non-profit group, affiliated with IEEE, that aids not only engineers interested in becoming entrepreneurs, but seeks to aid all tech and life science founders, entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies in Eastern New England and beyond.

A member of the ENET Board since 2002, I was the longest serving Chair in the almost 30-year history of this non-profit group, elected to five 2-year terms, serving from May 2009 through May 2019. During the period of my leadership, ENET’s annual program has grown from 10 meetings per year to 20 for the most recent 2018-19 program year.  I continue to serve on ENET’s Ad Board and its Executive Committee as Chair Emeritus, and have signed up to organize and moderate the most meetings/ webinars for 2021-22 among the most active ENET Board members, while continuing to serve as the annual cruise director (which we all hope will resume in July 2022) . 

Our ENET program year goes from September through July. Our group has 20 meetings per year:  10 meetings in the Boston suburbs (Waltham at Constant Contact through December 2019 and Microsoft Burlington beginning January 2020); 10 meetings in Kendall Square, Cambridge at Draper Labs; and we end the program year with a July sunset networking cruise of Boston Harbor.  Each program meeting has 1-hour networking, 1 hour 3-4 expert speakers on startup topic, then ½ hour final networking.   Attendance is 60-120.  Our meetings are attended mainly by founders and those working in startup and small companies in the tech, e-commerce, clean energy, medical device, medtech and life science spaces – really, the whole of the New England innovation economy.

We also archive meeting slides, so that those who cannot attend, including entrepreneurs and founders from around the USA and beyond can freely view slides from more than 100 past ENET meetings, since 2007.  See –

COVID-19 Note:  As said above, ENET has held online webinars in place of its normal Burlington and Cambridge, MA face-to-face group meetings from March 17, 2020 through to the present and will do so for the remainder of the 2020-2021 program year that ends in June 2021, all in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  These webinars were initially free, but beginning with ENET’s October 6, 2020 webinar, ENET also introduced online networking and began charging $10 for non-members who register, with existing members able to attend without charge and past memberships extended by seven months (the period ENET had free webinars).  For those interested in ENET membership, the annual charge is $75, or $65 if you are a member of IEEE, or $45 if you are a student or veteran.  For more information or to become an ENET member, go to –

Rob Adelson receives IEEE award

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:

On July 18, 2019, I arranged, as cruise director, the final event of the 2018-19 ENET program year, our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor.  In this cruise, that we called the “EntrepreneurSHIP 2019”, ENET was joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group, Women in Bio – Greater Boston chapter, IEEE WIE – Women In Engineering and The EntreTech Forum.  This was the 17th annual cruise I have arranged for ENET, and it drew our largest attendance of the year 192 – perfect night for and evening cruise, views of  the USS Constitution / “Old Ironsides” with the cannon shot and taps at sunset and other great sights of Boston Harbor and great food and networking for all aboard.  The cruise sold out two days before we set off from Rowes Wharf.

COVID-19 Cruise Note: As said above, ENET voted to cancel the cruise planned for July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has also voted to hold no cruise in July 2021.  ENET hopes to schedule our 18th annual Boston Harbor sunset networking cruise for July 14, 2022, with that decision likely to be made in Autumn 2021.   

Boston ENET annual boston harbor cruise

View of Sunset over Boston’s Tobin Bridge from our ship 7/18/2019 – photo by ENET Chair Millie Kwan

Besides my past work as ENET Chair, and annual cruise director, I am also active in organizing, moderating and occasionally being an expert speaker at ENET meetings.

In the current 2021-2022 program year, I organized and moderated the kickoff meeting last month and am working on others for later this program year.   In the most recent completed ENET program year 2020-2021, I  organized and moderated three (3) ENET webinars, and when one speaker could not attend due to Covid issues, was a pinch-hit 3rd speaker.   Below is information on, and links for slides presented at, these four 2020 – 2021 ENET meetings or webinars: 

PRESSURE – TEST YOUR STARTUP IDEAENET online Webinar, Sept. 7, 2021

Below is the article for the Sept. 7, 2021 ENET webinar that, as webinar principal organizer and moderator, I prepared.

Pressure testing is a 360-degree check of a business strategy or plan that reveals blind spots within the organization and assumptions that may be held by members of the team. It is a stress test to evaluate plans before committing resources into action to identify risks and opportunities.  One of the biggest mistakes made by startup company founders and entrepreneurs: charging in with an inadequate understanding both of the problem they want to address and the practicability of the solution they have in mind.

Among the rigorous “pressure tests” that can be applied to the entrepreneurial idea, are the following:

  • Defining the business need or problem and articulating the revenue-generating solution,
  • Developing a qualified advisory group,
  • Defining and segmenting a target population,
  • Identifying the most competitive alternative, and
  • Addressing operating realities.  

At the end of each test the entrepreneur and team seek to issues and to thus spot early and inexpensively those ideas that aren’t worth pursuing.  Successful pressure testing can save a startup company a lot of money and potentially save the founder and entrepreneur form a lost opportunity and an unsuccessful ventures.

This is all part of our topic for the evening “Pressure – Test your Startup Idea.”  The discussion will also include how pressure testing is done in different entrepreneurial settings, and from different viewpoints.   Our first speaker is an accomplished scientist and life science C-level executive and entrepreneurs, who will discuss pressure testing in STEM-based entrepreneurship.   Our second speaker, a consultant, author, and company founder, will approach pressure testing as part of her strategies for digital transformation, product marketing, business processes, and branding.  She will also emphasize the importance of having the right people within the startup (and circle of advisers) to conduct a pressure test.  Our third and final speaker, with offer the viewpoint of the angel investor which is important for founders and entrepreneurs to know as you may be right now or later be seeking angel investment to grow your startup company. Our third speaker who is co-chair of an important Massachusetts focused angel fund and chair-emeritus of the angel investors association will speak about pressure testing from the viewpoint of the investor, its relevance, benefits and importance for a startup that wants to gain angel investment.  The panel was moderated by ENET Chair Emeritus Rob Adelson.  Unfortunately, the first speaker had serious COVID issues in her family and reluctantly had to cancel her appearance, but the remaining two speakers, along with an extended fireside chat led by the moderator, made for a fully informative evening for the ENET webinar audience.


David Verrill

David L. Verrill, Founder/Managing Director   @ Hub Angels Investment Group, Chair Emeritus @ Angel Capital Association .     The Hub Angels began meeting in March 2000 with the notion of matching active, early stage investors with technology-driven, start-up companies.  Location preference for Massachusetts, but also the Northeastern states and Eastern Canada. Investment: $250K – $750K purchase of preferred equity, (far) less than $10 million pre-money valuation, board representation, active investors. Hub Angels currently manages a portfolio of more than 40 companies across six funds. The Hub funds and Members have invested more than $40 million in a broad range of sectors including Mobile/Media, Internet/Web Services, Software, Life Sciences, and Electronics/Industrial. David’s professional career began as a research scientist at the Center for Blood Research in Boston focusing on the MHC of genetically engineered mice. After receiving his master’s degree from Sloan in 1987, he spent a decade at MIT raising capital from industry and facilitating technology transfer. David still holds a partial appointment at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. In 1996 he joined Xerox as Manager of International Sales and Business Development for the Adaptive Products Division before it was sold. In 1998 David joined third party marketing firm Winchester International Group as Managing Director. In 2000 Winchester helped found the Hub Angels, an early stage investment group in Boston. David sits on the Boards of several Hub portfolio companies, and is Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association. David was educated at Bowdoin College and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

 Mary Brodie, Digital Transformation & Customer Experience Strategist, Founder  @ Gearmark.  Her main work is as a  senior business and marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience working with leaders and executives – from startups to Fortune 500s – to translate their corporate vision into compelling strategies and actionable plans.  She has strong expertise in customer experience, particularly creating cohesive strategies for digital transformation, product marketing, business processes, and branding that result in successful launches, increased product adoption, lead generation, and revenue growth.

As founder of Gearmark, Mary has been helping companies create memorable customer experiences, online and offline, for over 20 years. From apps to content strategy to lead gen programs, Mary has helped companies achieve results that contribute to the bottom line.  Mary is author of Revenue or Relationships? Win Both –  She is an Adjunct Lead Digital Marketing Instructor at  Kansas State University, and a graduate of Simmons University with BA and MA degrees.

The Pathways to a Successful ‘Scale-Up’ENET online Webinar, April 6, 2021

Below is the article for the April 6, 2021 ENET webinar that, as webinar principal organizer and moderator, I prepared.

There are important strengths that startup company founders and entrepreneurs have to launch companies, to prove a value proposition, to establish some traction in the market, and that success might land you seed investment.   But to land an A round, you need to establish a business model that can scale to a level that can justify the kind of return A round investors would seek.

The ENET  webinar on April 6, 2021 is on that important topic of scaling your company. 

  • How do you establish a business model that can scale?   
  • How do you implement the scale-up of your business?  …including what resources you are going to need to bring to bear to successfully commence the scale up of your business.
  • What are the inflection points? …  At what level of scaleup, will you achieve an inflection point sufficient that your company might attract potential acquirers and a potential liquidity event for you and your investors.
  • How do you scale to a successful exit / liquidity event?

This is all part of our topic for the evening “Pathways to a Successful Scale-up.”  The discussion will also include how there are different pathways to scaleup in different fields, and how scaleups vary between tech, life science and e-commerce companies.

Our three, well experienced speakers, are each drawn from different sectors of the economy, including technology companies, life science/medical device, staffing, commerce and beyond from the diverse experiences of our panel, moderated by ENET Chair Emeritus Rob Adelson.

After each of the speakers offers a presentation of different aspects of the topic, we will end the evening with a fireside chat, with audience and moderator questions for each of the speakers on the panel.   There will be more than an hour of online networking available to registrants .

There will be more than an hour of online networking via Grapevine, available to registrants before the meeting, and a half hour networking post-meeting, that would give attendees the chance to “meet” virtually the speakers and moderator.


Jennifer Crawford, Co-Founder @ Sparent, LLC, Fairfax, Virginia,  virtual assistant agency staffed by stay-at-home moms with skills to spare. Sparent provides virtual assistant services as well as virtual staffing.  Since 2015, Jennifer has been and remains Founder  @ PodFest Productions, LLC, the first podcasting conference in the DC area. This intimate conference informs, educates and empowers a diverse group of podcasters to share their unique voice with the world.  Besides those companies in business, Jennifer also works and performs in the entertainment field.  She is Co-Founder & Managing Imp (Imp Wrangler) @ The Improv Imps, where she performs with a group of people who love being funny together in front of an audience, with performances  all over the DC metro area in both long and short form improv. Since her college days at George Mason University, in the period between 1991 and 2015, Jennifer has been owner and founder of several other companies, including a  4-year stink as CIC (chick in charge) @ Soundry Productions, where the company opened its doors after converting an auto body shop into a public coffee shop, performance space, art gallery and early co-working space for the creative class.

Ken Stauffer, Chair of The Board Of Trustees @ Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. East Elmhurst, NY.  Ken has spent 30+ years in the telecommunications industry. He began his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ after receiving his AAS from Vaughn College, a BSEE from Pratt, and an MSEE from Polytechnic University in New York City. Ken left AT&T in 2000 to become an entrepreneur as part of a management team founding EPIK Communications–a $460M start-up in Florida. He designed EPIK’s advanced services strategy, created both the Product Innovation Group and EPIK Labs, implemented a suite of “enlightened” IP and Ethernet products, and served as EPIK’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Technology Officer. He also led a team to create the vision for “The NAP in 2011of the Americas” in Miami which was later sold by Terremark to Verizon in 2011 for $1.4B. In Jan 2003, Ken formed Technology Assurance Labs to provide consulting, design, and testing services to venture capital groups, network equipment manufacturers, and service providers. He also founded Cypress Equipment, a product sales company. Starting in 2010, Technology Assurance Labs develops RFID products for the rail industry and IoT products for the propane and natural gas industry.  Ken served as CEO for both companies for 15 years, before stepping down to become Chair of the Board of Directors @Vaughn College.  Ken is also a Life Senior Member of IEEE, and he co-founded the IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative in 2015 and currently serves as the 2020-2021 Chair of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee.

Mark Bonifacio, President @ Bonifacio Consulting Services LLC, a manufacturing consultancy firm that works with medical device OEM’s and contract manufacturers to help them grow organically and through mergers and acquisitions. So, scale-up of life science companies to a success event, is Mark’s work and business. Mark leverages his education, decades of global manufacturing experience and extensive international network to provide unique value. In his early career, Mark worked for several major medical device OEM’s then co-founded APEC, a medical device contract manufacturer. Mark built APEC from the ground up, and sold it to Freudenberg Medical in 2007. He established Bonifacio Consulting Services soon after. Today, Mark assists organizations in business growth, strategy and tactical execution, M&A, joint ventures and licensing. He also advises on cost-reduction initiatives, operational and organizational improvements. Notable clients include TE Connectivity, MedPlast, Wendel, Onex, Medtronic and Millipore, among others. With a B.S. in plastics engineering from the University of Lowell (now UMASS-Lowell), Mark brings deep engineering and operational expertise along with an entrepreneurial drive. Mark is well-known in medical device manufacturing and is a regular speaker and contributor for industry events and publications.

PIVOTING: Why, When, And How – ENET online Webinar, March 2, 2021

Below is the article for the March 2, 2021 ENET webinar that, as webinar organizer and moderator, I prepared.

For the founder and entrepreneur launching a startup company, as well as the CEO and officers in a startup or early stage company, it is important to understand the market for your products or services, the needs of your customers and the value proposition you offer, and to be able to make adjustments and even radical changes of direction as facts and circumstances warrant.

That ability to make the needed adjustments and more radical changes to address the current market and customer needs is often called pivoting and the ability to pivot.

For angel investors and VCs, generally the most important thing they look for in a potential startup or early stage company investment, is the quality of the CEO and management team. That is true in tech, life science, e-commerce and across the board, but most true in the evolving world of the innovation economy. And one of the big reasons investors place so much emphasis on the quality of management, is that surprises happen, things seldom go according to script. The quality CEO will recognize when the business plan is just not working. If mistakes are made, the wise CEO recognizes the mistake in timely fashion, then promptly makes the needed pivot before too much time and money is lost – to find the right approach, and to do so more than once as needed until the company is back on course and succeeding in its mission.

Pivoting and its importance to the startup and early stage companies has become all the more critical in these fast changing times as result or the enormous changes wrought on business, the economy and everyone lives as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 2, 2021, PIVOTING is the topic for our ENET webinar panel.

To address this topic, ENET will present three CEO speakers, all with much experience to share from successful pivots they led and achieved in their startup and early stage companies, plus lessons they have learned and will share with us. Some of the experiences shared will include pivoting in the face of COVID-19. Our speakers are all founders and CEOs, one in life sciences, one in tech, and a third with a company that provides a mobile app launching platform for nonprofits. Additionally, one of our three speakers is also an angel investor. Our moderator and chief meeting organizer is Boston attorney and ENET Chair Emeritus Rob Adelson.

Hope you will join us for this timely ENET webinar 7-830pm ET on March 2, and perhaps for online networking before and after the speakers. The webinar will include 20 minutes of audience and moderator Q and A. In the second round of networking 830-9pm, you will have the chance to join tables of four with each of the three speakers and our moderator at four separate tables. This gives you a second chance for follow-on questions and to further get to know our speakers in a more personal way.

Slides from two of the three  speakers are available at

My slides from March 2, 2021 – I played “pinch hitter” becoming the webinar’s 3rd speaker when our scheduled  speaker cancelled due to a Covid-19 family matter – also  available at


Morgan Berman, Founder & CEO @ MilkCrate, powering program engagement and impact tracking for nonprofits. Morgan is an internationally award-winning entrepreneur and local community leader in Philadelphia. She is the founder and CEO of MilkCrate – a mission driven tech company helping other mission driven organizations achieve their impact goals. Their platform powers the apps for some of the world’s leading nonprofits and municipal programs. She has presented at Forbes 30 Under 30, was listed by the UN Foundation as one of the “Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch” in the world and invited to the White House for Clean Energy Plan talks. She has been a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Fellow at the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, and an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow. She regularly travels the country sharing her story as a female tech founder, B Corp leader, and jiu jitsu fighter. Some of her favorites have been presenting at Grace Hopper, keynoting for Wharton’s Social Impact Summit, and giving the Cum Laude speech at her high school alma mater. In her free time she mentors young entrepreneurs, helps other mission driven groups, and competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Johannes Fruehauf, MD, Founder, CEO LabCentral/Biolabs. Partner at Mission BioCapital. Biotechnology entrepreneur and investor with a track record of building and growing successful companies. Physician-scientist experienced in the development of complex biologics programs from bench into the clinic, including the first oral RNAi drug to enter the clinic. Co-founder and General Partner at BioInnovation Capital, now Mission BioCapital. .Founder/Co-founder of LabCentral, Cambridge Biolabs, BioLabs North Carolina, Philadelphia, San Diego, New York, Princeton, Tufts, Los Angeles; BioInnovation Capital, ViThera, Cequent, German Life Science Accelerator. Specialties: Company building, Structure of Innovation, Venture Capital, Biologics development, translational science, clinical trials, drug delivery, oligonucleotide therapeutics, startup financing, preclinical and clinical development, technology licensing and development, entrepreneurship, international relations.

Mark Karsdorf

Mark Karsdorf, CEO and Founder @ Intrepid Homes. Cambridge based entrepreneur. Founder of Intrepid, a software development studio acquired by Accenture in 2017 as well as Timbre (live music discovery app) and Intrepid Labs (Kendall Sq based coworking studio). His career goals have been and remain to build successful companies in the thriving Boston/Cambridge community, and to help others do the same. His prior company from 2010 to 2020, where he was CEO and Founder was a software contracting firm, specialized in iOS development, and have done a variety of projects, large and small, across the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad platforms.

Knowing Your Competition To Set Your Startup Apart!ENET online Webinar, October 6, 2020

Below is the article for the October 6, 2020 ENET webinar that, as webinar organizer and moderator, I prepared.

For the founder and entrepreneur launching a startup company, it is important to understand the market for your products or services, and to understand your competition when you enter that market.

When you are seeking angel or VC investment or trying to recruit co-founders and first employees or contractors, all will be looking for your competitive analysis and how, from your knowledge of the market, you can set your startup apart, including the following:

  • Knowledge and mastery of the place your company’s products or services fill in your target marketplace;
  • What market niche you intend to enter and can dominate
  • Your plan for how your company will penetrate the target
  • Identity of your chief competitors, both direct competitors and indirect competitors that could be substitutes for your product or service
  • The value proposition that you offer that will enable you to overcome the normal tendency for no change
  • Strengths of the competition and your plan to overcome those
  • Weakness of your competitors and your plan to avoid those same weaknesses
  • Barriers to entry you would seek to create to surmount new competition once you gain market traction

At the October 6, 2020 ENET webinar, our online attendees heard from three deeply experienced panelists, one of whom is an angel investor, two are entrepreneurs and all three deeply involved in product or service marketing in tech, life science and consumer fields, who will share their knowledge and experience with the ENET audience for this webinar on the critical issue of market mastery, competitive analysis and how to use those to set your company apart. We all discovered there is much to learn in this important area for your startup to achieve traction and success.

Slides from two of the three  speakers are available at


Tom Meyer, Managing Partner @ Nassau Street Ventures at Alumni Ventures Group.

Tom Meyer is an experienced investor and venture capitalist, CEO, and strategic consultant. Tom was CEO of the venture-backed, big data, software company, Connotate, and enterprise software company, IntroMaps. At Iron Mountain, he launched and ran the Digital Record Center, an award winning, cloud based, content management solution. He was also CEO of Russet Communications, a wireless company which he acquired, grew, and successfully sold. He brings a global perspective to business, having lived in Europe and Asia, and worked in 40 countries around the globe. Tom has an engineering degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. he offers help and support to promising young entrepreneurs.

Alisa de Gaspe Beaubien, Chief Operations Officer @ Groupize, a company she and her husband co-founded. They developed software for people to manage events, meetings, weddings, sporting tournaments and more. Groupize evolved into an online place where corporate travel planners can easily book 10 or more hotel rooms for meetings—and Groupize’s technology makes the experience smoother for participants. Prior to Groupsize, Alicia was Vice President @ DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., from 2005 to 2013, a company that designs and leads luxury bike trips in the world’s most amazing places – from the rolling hills of Tuscany and storied medieval villages of Provence to the Andean foothills of Argentina’s wine country and the lush vineyards of Sonoma. Prior to that she was vice President @ Yankee Holidays 1994 to 2004, She is a graduate of Endicott College, with Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management

David Uffer, Partner @ Alira Health. The company is an International advisory firm offering integrated strategy, innovation, and execution services, and dedicated to healthcare in areas of pharma, life sciences, med tech, diagnostics and HIT. Prior to Alira, from 2013 to 2017, David was Director, Business Development & Licensing @ Covidien (Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group), where he worked in the areas of M&A, licensing, distribution, co-development, equity investments, pipeline development. In the prior period 1990 to 2013, David held a series of senior management and marketing positions with the following different well-known life science companies: Hologic, Inc., Bovie Medical Corporation, Integra LifeSciences, Boston Scientific, Abbott Diagnostics (Abbott Laboratories). He holds a B.A. degree from Clark University in International Relations, and an MBA degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Here is a further list of other thirty-five (35) ENET panels I have organized and/or been moderator and occasionally been a speaker over the last 15 years since 2006:

  • “M&A and Successful Exits”  (June 2020) (Co-Organizer)
  • “Sustaining Your Early Stage Life Science Company during the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis”  (May 2020) (Moderator)
  • ”Pointers for Term Sheet & Deal Negotiations” (Feb. 2020) (Co-Organizer)
  • “Funding Your Startup Without a VC or an Angel (Nov.  2019) (Moderator)
  • “Entrepreneurial Bootstrapping Basics (Sept. 2019) (Moderator)
  • “Making Your Pitch a Money Magnet” (April 2019) (Moderator)
  • “Seeding with the Angels”(Nov. 2018) (Moderator)
  • “Winning – Startup Success Stories and Lessons Learned” (Sept. 2018) (Moderator)
  • “Using Senior Advisors and A Board of Directors in Your Startup Company “ (May 2018) (Moderator)
  • “How to Find, Select, and Build Your Co-Founding Team “ (Feb 2018) (Organizer)
  • “Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups “(Jan 2018) (Moderator)
  • “From Zero to Funded: What Do You Need to Get Seed/Angel Investment? (Nov 2017) (Organizer)
  • Case Studies in Extremely Successful Startups. (Sept. 2017) (Moderator & Speaker)
  • M & A and Successful Exits”. (May 2017) (Moderator)
  • Compensation and Equity for Early Stage Leadership Teams” (January 2017) (Moderator)
  • “Impact Entrepreneurship and Your Triple Bottom Line” (May 2016) (Moderator & speaker)
  • “Strategic Alliances for M&A and Successful Exits” (April 2016) (Moderator),
  •  Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups.”   (January 2016) (Moderator)
  • “Innovative Ways to Bootstrap Your Startup Company.” (October 2015) (Moderator)
  • “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)
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