“Open Mic Night” – Entrepreneurs Share Startup Stories – ENET meeting, June 20, 2017

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 6pm, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) will hold this event at the group’s Cambridge location:  Pivotal Labs, at 255 Main Street, 6th Floor, in Kendall Square, one door east on Main St. from the Cambridge Marriott in Kendall Square.   The location is right at the Kendall Red line T stop.  If you drive, there is $10 parking after 5pm, at One Broadway.

Back by popular demand is the annual Open Mic and Pitch Night, where entrepreneurs share startup stories to help fellow entrepreneurs! Share your startup story, survive and thrive tips, and the invaluable lessons learned from a setback or failure leading to the ultimate success.

In the spirit of our ongoing eMinute Pitch Program, this night is your chance to present your story in front of a panel of expert judges and seasoned investors in 90 seconds as well as network with like-minded entrepreneurs. Participants will get an opportunity to practice their presentation skills in front of an unknown audience and get an expert feedback from the panel of well-known entrepreneurial leaders. Perfecting that pitch just might come in handy as you never know who you will meet in an elevator for 15 seconds or while grabbing that cup of joe in the coffee shop … BE READY! There also will be ample time to network over pizza and beverages before and after the event. You just never know who you will meet … really!

To celebrate Boston ENET’s 26th year of educating and empowering entrepreneurs, prizes will be given to the winner in each of the following four categories:

1) Audience Favorite, the favorite startup by vote of the audience, and
2) Judges Favorite, the favorite startup by vote of the panel of judges.

Panel of Judges: Our panel of judges are from the entrepreneurial community of mentors, investors (including early-stage investors), and entrepreneurs whose startup ventures are scaling, have exited, and, in some cases, starting their next venture!

Interested? To APPLY, email Dr. Nathalie Goletiani nathalieg2010@live.com.

6:00 – 7:00 PM Registration & networking
7:00 – 7:10 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements
7:10 -8:30 PM – Judges remarks and Open Mic night
8:30 -9:00 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers


Erik Swanson

Erik Swanson, America’s #1 Habits and Attitude Coach, Keynote Speaker, Habitude Warrior Coach, Best-Selling Author.

Professional International Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author, and Success Coach & President/CEO/Founder of: HABITUDE WARRIOR INTERNATIONAL www.HabitudeWarriorConference.com

Mr. Swanson has been an International Success Coach & Trainer for the past 19 years consulting with corporations and associations and keynote seminars throughout the United States, U.K., Australia, and beyond. He is the Founder and CEO of Habitude Warrior International. www.HABITUDEWARRIOR.com where he takes you through a journey of a 50 week long training system to enhance your habits and attitudes. After the first year, you are welcome to become a Certified Habitude Warrior Trainer and conduct your own workshops, seminars and training in your own city with your clients. To find out more about this email us the request at: info@HabitudeWarrior.com

Shereen Shermak

Shereen Shermak, Financial services entrepreneur, passionate about product management. Active angel investor and VC.
Shereen Shermak is driven by entrepreneurship, whether inside an existing business or from an original idea. She loves solving industry problems. She has learned a lot about financial services and startups in general in that process. Most of her career has been in Boston financial services but she has also spent time figuring out how to rebuild small business in the City of New York.

Tara GrecoTara R Greco, marketing evangelist and angel investor in start-ups including medtech, biotech, edtech, CPG, sustainability and women-led startups.

Tara excels at leading organizations, building brands, mining research for insights, and developing new platforms as she has for CoSlide, Care Academy, JFK Library Foundation, RoboSail, VoltreePower, Playrific, Bare Tree Media, Turbine (Warner Bros.), TJX, Stride Rite, Atari, Crayola, Mattel, Tyco Toys, and K’NEX. Taraenjoys leading teams and fostering a spirit of excellence. Tara holds an MBA in Marketing from Temple University and a BS in Business from Skidmore College.

John HannickJohn D. Hannick, strategy, entrepreneurship and venture expert
With more than 12 years’ experience.  Mr. Hannick is a leader in Booz Allen Hamilton’s Commercial Strategy team and head Booz Allen’s Boston iHub. Mr. Hannick has advised major corporations, governments, and startups alike in strategy development, data science and analytics, organizational transformation, change management, and technology implementation. He has consulted more than 25 global organizations in travel and hospitality, retail, financial services, technology, sports and entertainment, and non-profits in a wide array of technology deployments and analyses including predictive pricing, customer segmentation, financial due diligence, investment decisions, public relations strategies, and organizational design.  Mr. Hannick earned a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from Boston College. He also holds an advanced leadership certificate from the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management.

Meeting Co-Organizers

maureen mansfieldMaureen Mansfield, ALM, Chief Contract Officer, MANSFIELD LAW, Twitter: @MaureenManALM

Maureen Mansfield, ALM, is a business development, corporate development, and strategy professional for companies in the private and public sectors. Currently, Maureen is at Mansfield Law where she works with entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, startups, and emerging growth companies. Previously, she cofounded a boot strapped startup that has progressed to a $10 million term sheet agreement. She currently serves as an advisor and mentor for several startups and related entrepreneurial ventures. She is a member of the Executive Board of The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (Boston ENET), where she leads Alliance Partnerships.

Prior to joining Mansfield Law in 2009, Maureen was a New England Director of Business Development for the award-winning firm Syska & Hennessy, Inc., With S&H, she focused on business development and corporate management strategy for major accounts locally, nationally, and internationally. After helping to bring in its most successful year, Maureen was awarded a seat on the board of directors. Previously, Maureen was a Senior National Accounts Manager at Abbott Laboratories where she focused on contract compliance, increasing revenues, and sales. She initiated and innovated contract management and auditing procedures that resulted in a new nationwide cost center the produced annual savings of over $1 million.  She also helped cofound two holiday charities that continue today.
Maureen received two BAs from the University of Iowa, one in Journalism and one in Communication. Maureen also received a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Management with a Concentration in Finance & Control from Harvard University.

nathalie goletianiDr. Nathalie Goletiani, M.D., inventor, founder and CEO of POWERFEM Therapeutics; Instructor in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Goletiani is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of POWERFEM Therapeutics, a company devoted to novel, networked treatment methods for the care of those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness. Her extensive clinical research into the hormonal effects of nicotine, opioid and cocaine use lead her to new concepts and mechanisms in understanding and treating psychiatric disorders, in particular, disorders experienced by underserved female populations. At Harvard’s McLean Hospital, she was charged with rebuilding and responsible for all the operations of Clinical Research Program, including simultaneously running multiple clinical trials. Based on her patented work, she founded POWERFEM Therapeutics, an independent company devoted to creating new treatments and healthcare solutions. POWERFEM incorporates novel disease concepts and treatments to design cost-effective, integrated mental and substance abuse care solutions across multiple provider networks.

Dr. Goletiani has received numerous national and international awards including most recently the Harvard Livingston Award for the investigation of complex underlying mechanisms in the neurobiology of women. She also received a Harvard University Zinberg Fellowship specifically to support her research on alcohol and drug use disorders. Her research provides a valuable basis for psychotherapeutic public policy decision making on issues of substance abuse and the integrated treatment of mental illness. She has extensively published the results of her research in peer reviewed journals.
Nathalie completed basic and clinic fellowships at the Harvard School of Public Health and at Harvard Medical School. In addition, she has been trained at and conducted medical research at Tbilisi State Medical University, University of Amsterdam and King’s College in London.

For more information or to register for the June 20 ENET meeting in Cambridge, go to LINK:  http://boston-enet.org/event-2314340 or www.boston-enet.org

Tweet This Event

If you use Twitter and would like to tweet this event, here are three (3) of my tweets and re-tweets that you are welcome to re-tweet or use for your own tweets about this event –

@BostonNewTech Great panel of judges! @HabitudeWarrior @greco @JDHannick & Shereen Shermack @BostonENET #PitchNight 6/20 #startups #founder

Open Mic Night

#Boston #Startups: Pitch to Mentors & Investors! @BostonENET‘s Annual #OpenMic Night & #PitchNight 6/20 6pm http://bit.ly/2qoi63p  #MA

Open Mic Night

#Boston #Startups: Pitch to Mentors & Investors! @BostonENET‘s Annual #OpenMic Night & #PitchNight 6/20 6pm http://bit.ly/2qoi63p  #MA

Open Mic Night

Sample Pitches that I gave at Earlier ENET Open Mic night…

Pitch your startup to a friendly audience and get feedback from experts. Win prizes. You get 90 seconds. Only catch? NO decks. Hone your message – while “flying without a deck.

I had spoken at an earlier ENET Open Mic Night that offered more time and allowed me to offer two stories from my work representing executives and small companies …

  • Biotech COO – Employment Negotiation

The first story I told was from the employment field representing a biotech COO negotiating his employment agreement relocating to the DC area. In that story, I worked hard to negotiate the employment agreement over a number of weeks, securing a good potential severance package, favorable terms on relocation allowing temporary housing as long as needed, key requirements on initiatives the company had to take, favorable equity terms, and even a provision for the company to pay most of my legal fees. Over the course of negotiations my client developed great rapport with the CEO he would work for, a key reason he was taking the job.

The week after he accepted the position and reported to duty, the CEO was fired and replaced with a “cowboy” who wanted to bring in his own team.  My client had a very difficult next two years.  Yet, his lifeline was that contract.  It was so strong and in his favor including key terms for its enforcement that the company couldn’t wiggle out – when he left he obtained the severance he desired and landed well on his feet.

Moral of the story – As good as relationships are, things can change – make sure you have a good contract.  That can sometimes be our only lifeline.

  • Small Tech Company – M&A Negotiations

The second story, was from my work representing small companies, where a small Massachusetts technology company sought to acquire a Connecticut company in the same and related fields.

Representing the purchaser, I drafted an agreement that provided all the key warranties of product quality, customers, inventories, financial statements, assets, regulatory affairs, litigation, environmental and other liabilities.  I had the key protections we would want for survival of warranties, indemnification and hold back of a portion of purchase price to assure payment of the indemnity. The price had been mutually agreed and executive retention was handled elsewhere so there was no earn-out, but then strange things began to happen.  My client made a number of trips to Connecticut and telegraphed his strong desire to close the deal and each time the seller came back with changes to the contract.  First was a weakening of warranties, then a shortening or survival of warranties and finally a drastic limitation of the ceiling for indemnification, so that it covered less than 15% of purchase price unsecured.  All the while the seller was not forthcoming and allowed big gaps to occur in its disclosure, despite our efforts at due diligence.

I warned the client that these terms verged on being an as-is where is acquisition, bad terms for the buyer.   But on a divided vote the Board voted to go forward and to do so even if due diligence was not completed.  I did all I could and we closed.  And sure enough, there proved to be numerous and considerable liabilities which far exceeded the indemnification ceiling.

Yet the moral of the story here is different – As important as the contract is, I advise the client on legal but the client decides – we don’t let the legal tail wag the business dog.  Because of the liabilities, this acquisition ended up costing the client an additional 25% above the amount paid at closing.  Yet, of the acquisitions I had done for this client, this one, with the worst legal terms was the best business wide and financially most profitable.  This was an excellent product and management team fit and this target company was well situated in a target market so the acquisition also enabled my client to enter into a market for which it had no prior experience and yet yearned to enter.  The synergy was so good for my client the extra cost was well worth it.

Hope you can join us and tell your company and entrepreneur story ☺ Pizza will be served.

For more information on, or to register for, this June 20, 2017 ENET event a week from tonight, go to http://boston-enet.org/event-2314340

Hopefully, this event will be helpful to founders, entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs for the small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope to see you at our ENET meeting at Pivotal Labs in Cambridge, two weeks from tomorrow night!

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.  www.boston-enet.org

A member of the ENET Board since 2002, I have served as Chairman of 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

Rob Adelson receives IEEE awardOn 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:  http://www.boston-enet.org/IEEE-USA-Professional-Achievement-Award

In the prior program year, Sept 2015 to July 2016, I organized and moderated five of 19 ENET’s meetings, that included moderating and speaking at these meetings –

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 http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2017624

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 http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2017600

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 http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2017595

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 http://boston-enet.org/event-2017582

Joanne LangOne of the highlights of the October 6 ENET meeting was the presentation of  Joanne Lang, CEO at Artz LLC and Founder of Colliders Pre-Accelerator, see  http://joannelang.net/ and http://colliders.org/. 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  http://boston-enet.org/resources/Documents/Presentation_Lang.pdf