Non-dilutive Funding and Ways to Bootstrap Your Startup Company: ENET Meeting, Sept. 20, 2016

A week from tomorrow, on Tuesday September 20, 2016 at 6pm, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), will hold a meeting with speakers on this subject,  at the Microsoft Technology Center, 255 Main Street /One Cambridge Center, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA.


Are you a founder? Are you trying to start your own business but don’t have a trust fund to get it off the ground?  Are you looking for ways to raise capital without giving up a huge chunk of equity?  Non-dilutive Funding and bootstrapping could be your solution.


As a savvy entrepreneur you have many funding options to choose from. Very few startups actually require VC funding as a initial funding source. If you want to learn about practical methods to finance your startup using creative techniques without giving up equity, this event is for you!


So if you’d like to avoid giving up equity before you have to, please come join us on September 20,  and listen to successful speakers how they did it. This session will bring together experts who have built great companies, who have used non-dilutive funding or bootstrapping techniques to move ahead from bright idea through prototype or minimum viable product, beta, and beyond without giving up equity.



john_toomeyJohn Toomey, CEO, Celeriss, Inc.,

Mr. Toomey is currently the CEO and one of three founding shareholders of Celeriss, Inc an innovative broadband solution company. He is also a partner with The Portfolio Partnership, a group of senior executives that work alongside company management to help them scale their companies either organically or by acquisition. Prior to this John was CEO of Visible Inventory, Inc a startup company using sensor based technology to manage and control inventory. In a turnaround situation the company raised the funding and reengineered the products for the targeted markets. Visible Inventory was sold to its largest customer and now has a large installed base of it products.  John was also one of three founding shareholders of White Mountain DSP, Inc. a technology startup taken to a mature company and subsequently acquired by Analog Devices, Inc.  John has held senior management positions at Warren Power Systems, Inc, GCA Corporation and Baird Corporation, all technology based companies.   John holds a BSBA majoring in Accounting from University of Massachusetts and an MBA concentrating in Management and International Business from Southern New Hampshire University.

rick_lusigneaRichard (Rick) Lusignea, President, Fulcrum Solutions, Inc.

Rick is a business development professional specializing in capture and proposal management to obtain federal, state, and commercial funding for contract research and development. Through Fulcrum Solutions Inc. Mr. Lusignea works with entrepreneurial companies to identify and qualify non-dilutive funding sources, and strategically align client capabilities with customer requirements. Rick is an expert in proposal writing, managing large and small proposal teams, and obtaining funding that leads to new products. Mr. Lusignea has over 20 years’ experience and has developed new business with most of the US government agencies. In addition to Fulcrum Solutions, Rick led new business development activities as the Capture Director at QinetiQ North America, Business Development Manager at Boston Engineering Corporation, and COO of Triton Systems Inc. Rick led efforts at Foster-Miller Inc. to grow a successful operating division almost entirely through non-dilutive contract R&D funding, employing over 20 professionals. He also negotiated several successful commercial licensing agreements, resulting in millions of dollars in non-dilutive fees and royalties. Rick holds a BS from Lehigh University and a SM from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in Mechanical Engineering.



stacey_arbetterStacey Arbetter, Co-founder & CEO of Mutt Maps, Inc., http:/

Stacey is a Serial Entrepreneur of several successful startups including the leading supplier in North America of an industrial product for the transportation industry and, previously, the largest independent exporter of automobiles in the U.S., excel at identifying market opportunities. She is motivated by new challenges where complex, innovative problem-solving skills and business strategy can bring direct and immediate value to an enterprise.  Stacey’s latest startup is Mutt Maps.  Mutt Maps is a web app developing a community for pet owners that delivers community-reviewed, geolocated, pet-friendly places, services and products.


kgDr. Karthik Ganesan, Program Director, Cognizant Technology Solutions,

Dr. Karthik Ganesan is the American Program Director for Business Consulting and Enterprise IT at Cognizant Technology Solutions, a NASDAQ listed, Fortune 500 US corporation. He manages a multimillion dollar portfolio of services for corporate customers, leading globally distributed teams to provide domain knowledge and technical   services.  Dr. Ganesan’s experience spans applying optimization and domain knowledge skills to manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and retail operations in large corporations

Both Stacey Arbetter and Karthik Ganesan are members of ENET’s Executive Committee.  Stacey works on marketing for ENET and Karthik is in charge of an ENET meeting segment called the “EMinute”  when entrepreneurs (typically 2 or 3 at each ENET meeting) get 90 seconds to present their companies to the meeting.


For more information or to register for the Sept. 20 ENET  meeting in Cambridge,  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 the Microsoft MTC in Cambridge  on September 20!


For additional ENET  information on

Bootstrapping & Non-Dilutive Funding…



On October 6, 2015, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on “Innovative Ways to Bootstrap Your Startup Company.”   We had three great speakers, a full house in Waltham and great audience questions.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our three ENET speakers, go to


joanneOne of the highlights of the October 6 ENET meeting was the presentation of  Joanne Lang, Founder and CEO of AboutOne,   Joanne is  based in Philadelphia and flew in special, at her own cost, to give her presentation for ENET.  Joanne’s slides, “”Bring Your Product to Market Bootstrapped Style… and Keep it there” –  were also excellent, a great and continuing resource for founders and entrepreneurs to use and reference, LINK


On November 13, 2012, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on “Bootstrapping 101: Alternative Ways to fund a Startup without an Angel or VC.” That night in Waltham, ENET has a 3 person panel of CEOs or former CEOs who built and funded their companies by bootstrapping including Karl Buttner, chief Mentorship Officer of Mass Challenge.  For more information, including speaker slides, see  –


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.


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”.

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 Tuesday, 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.


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 compani.

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

The five (5) earlier meetings in the 2015-16 program year, just completed, included -.

On May 17, 2016, I was organizer, moderator and a speaker  on ” Impact Entrepreneurship and Your Triple Bottom Line”,   with Cheryl Kiser, Mark Donohue and Rebecca Hamilton, an all star panel on this subject, where I concluded the proceedings speaking about certified B corps and Chapter 156E the newly enacted benefit corporation law in Massachusetts.  to see my slides and others, go to

On April 5, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on “Strategic Alliances for M&A and Successful Exits”.  We had three great speakers including Charles Lax on Grand Banks Capital and Richard Kimball of Bigelow & Associates.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our four speakers,  go to

On January 5, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the ENET meeting on Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups.”   We had four wonderful and quite complimentary speakers, a full house in Waltham, with 112 in attendance,  and great audience questions.  We began with the big picture of product development across life science fields and then focused on a single company’s successful development, launching and sales of a customer-driven medical device / consumer product.  Then moving to tech, our third speaker focused on key design issues and our 4th speaker closed on scaling and production issues.  To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our four speakers,  go to


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)