Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups: ENET Meeting, Jan. 3, 2017

TONIGHT, on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 6pm, the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), will hold a meeting with four speakers on this subject, at the group’s Waltham location:  Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd., 3rd Floor, Great Room, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128)


This meeting is co-sponsored by the IEEE Consultants Network (CNET)


Pre-meeting Dinner at 5:15 PM (sharp) at Bertucci’s, Waltham, (Exit 27B, Route 128)


When any intrepid, smart, maybe even somewhat geeky entrepreneur gets a great idea for a new technology-based product, there are a few steps to take before achieving sustainable profitability; steps that may include applied research, product development research and production. Assuming the envisioned product is something that the world wants or needs, whether in the life sciences or the high tech sector – or perhaps a little of both, lots of questions need be considered in defining the path forward. What is the target market? Is it direct to consumer or B to B? What kind of user interface will be best – cloud infrastructure, phone app, specialist service provider (e.g., hospital), or something else? Is there a regulatory approval path to consider? Is there a need for prototyping and manufacturing? Can it be done independently or is a large company partner needed?


Join us in Waltham to gain insights on these topics, and more, with our panel of exceptionally experienced med tech and high tech entrepreneurs who will share their wisdom in what promises to be a lively, enlightening discussion.



  • 630 -730 PM Registration & networking
  • 730 -740 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements
  • 740 -755 PM E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
  • 755 -855 PM – 4 expert speakers on the night’s topic
  • 845 -900 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A
  • 900 -930 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers


Speaker: Steve Owens, founder of Finish Line PDS ( has over 30 years of successful product development experience in many different industries and is a sought-after adviser and speaker on the subject. Steve has founded four successful start-ups and holds more than twenty-five patents.  Steve has worked for companies such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes.  He has experience in the Internet of Things, M2M, oil and gas, and industrial controls.  Steve’s insight into the product development process has generated millions of dollars in revenue for start-ups and small businesses. Finish Line PDS provides product and technology development management, mechanical design, and development of electronics, firmware and sensors, as well as design verification testing and other services. Finish Line PDS is a proud sponsor of the Boston ENET.

paul_hartungSpeaker: Paul Hartung is the Founder, President and CEO of Sonivance Inc. Paul is a long-time life sciences and technology executive with a proven track record in launching successful startup businesses and leading Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to Sonivance, Paul served as President & CEO of Cognoptix, which developed an innovative eye scan for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Paul was previously Vice President of Operations at Winphoria Networks, a successful mobile communications startup acquired by Motorola.  He serves on the Board of Directors of SemiNex Corporation, a manufacturer of semi-conductor lasers, and Medical Development Group (MDG), a leading medical technology professional organization, and the Business Advisory Board of Metria Innovations and Forsythe Institute, and mentors entrepreneurs at MIT Venture Mentoring Service, Mass BioTech Council’s MassCONNECT, Tech Sandbox and The Capital Network.  He has extensive experience in technology and medical device industries, including managing manufacturing for Summit Technology, Inc., a leading developer of the LASIK procedure and other laser eye correction procedures.  He has held senior management roles at 3Com, Trumpf, Laser Fare and GE.  Paul graduated with honors from MIT with an MS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is an active speaker, author and inventor on a number of patents.

martin_sklarSpeaker: Martin Sklar, founder and CEO of AblaCor Medical Corporation, is a highly-accomplished leader, inventor, consultant and engineer. He has extensive experience in business development, intellectual property development, project management, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, technical analysis, and product introduction in the medical technology industry. Martin’s product development activities have contributed to over $1 billion in revenues for clients and employers from start-up through Fortune 100 companies. Martin has 12 issued patents and 8 patents pending. His experience was gained while working in areas of surgical instrumentation, production automation, implants, laboratory automated instrumentation, and drug delivery devices.

Martin has worked with Betagen Corp. (sold to Gene-Trak Systems), Corning Glass Works, Hewlett Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Millipore Corporation, Orion Research, Visualization Technology, Inc. (sold to GE Healthcare), Waters Corporation, among other start-up and early stage companies. In 2001, Martin co-founded, and later became the first President of the not-for-profit Medical Development Group, (“MDG”), a medical business and technology industry group. He also co-founded AlvaMed, LLC., a for-profit medical device consulting company and Medical Development Partners, LLC. (“MDP”), a medical device consulting company. Martin helped AlvaMed and MDP by developing a significant client base and establish each company as a major resource for development of medical products.

Martin is a member of several professional associations including MDG, Heart Rhythm Society, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. His education includes a Master of Engineering degree from Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

rahul_chaturvediSpeaker: Rahul Chaturvedi is the Co-Founder and CEO of Clora, a technology platform that matches life science companies with vetted consultants. Clora’s goal is to reduce the time and cost of getting a product to market by dramatically increasing access to top-tier talent in a highly-fragmented industry.

Rahul has been an executive at several early stage, high-growth startups that have raised >$110MM. Prior to Clora, Rahul spent the last decade as the head of clinical development at various drug, biotech, and medical device companies. He was the VP of clinical development at Kaleido Biosciences (a Flagship VentureLabs company), GI Dynamics, and Avedro. His clinical development work has spanned orphan diseases to global epidemics and has resulted in 6 product approvals to date. He has a penchant for leveraging technology across various facets of development, including drug discovery, clinical operations, patient recruitment, safety, and resource allocation.



roger_frechetteModerator: Dr. Roger Frechette is the Co-Founder and Principal of New England PharmAssociates, a consultancy offering on-demand executive and business advisory services to life sciences enterprises. Dr. Frechette has been a volunteer with Boston ENET since 2014, and supports area start-ups as a mentor for MassBio’s MassCONNECT Program and the MTTC’s Platform Program. His consulting work has led to roles as the US East Coast Ambassador for Medicon Valley Alliance, a life sciences cluster organization based in Copenhagen, and as a Co-Founder of Frontiera Therapeutics, a startup developing therapeutics for vascular leaks. New England PharmAssociates was an early sponsor for the North Shore InnoVentures biotech incubator, where Dr Frechette served as a mentor and advisor to the Incubator management team. Previously, Dr. Frechette was Co-Founder of MaxThera, an antibacterial drug discovery company. MaxThera was sold in 2010 to Biota Holdings Limited, a Melbourne Australia anti-infectives company.  Prior to starting MaxThera, Dr. Frechette was a drug discovery and life-sciences consultant following his role as Project Director at Paratek Pharmaceuticals (Boston). At Paratek he led the team that discovered PTK0796 (currently in Phase III clinical trials) with strategic partner Glaxo-Wellcome, and the pre-clinical development program that was carried out with a multinational team of consultants and contractors.  Previously, he was Associate Director of Chemistry at RiboGene (Hayward, CA), where he built the chemistry department and managed two drug discovery programs in collaboration with strategic partner Dainippon Pharmaceuticals. He began his career as a medicinal chemist at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (J&J, Raritan, NJ). In his spare time, he serves of steering committees for well-regarded Boston area conferences, including the annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day and MassBio’s Signature event the Annual CRO/CMO Symposium. Dr. Frechette was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University, earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wesleyan University and his BA in Chemistry from College of the Holy Cross

For more information or to register for the January 3 ENET meeting in Boston, go to LINK:



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

@rahulc CEO @CloraSciences Martin Sklar, Paul Hartung  on product dev for #meddevice #startups @BostonEnet 1/3/17

Join @rofrechette Steve Owens @FinishLine_PDS on #tech #lifescience product dev 1/3  @BostonEnet #Founders  #startup


Hopefully, this meeting on product development in tech and life science fields will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.  Hope to see you at  Constant Contact 630pm TONIGHT!


For additional ENET  information on

Product Development for Startups …


I helped the moderator with this meeting.   I also organized and moderated another ENET panel on n Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups.” that was held in Waltham January 5, 2016.


On January 5, 2016, 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.


richard_gill Our speakers that night included Dr. Richard Gill, serial CEO and investor in life science companies. To see my write up on the meeting and slides from each of our four speakers, including excellent slides from Dr. Gill, go to



The slides of our October 2012 panel tell how investors approach the problem of making a good investment?  The slides also go behind the scenes of the decision making to discover the process our three panelist-investors use to choose and to invest in emerging and seed stage companies.


Hopefully, these presentations on Seed and Angel Financing will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent.





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 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.


Two months ago, 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.



marguritepiret jordanleef 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 compani.

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)