Product Development in Life Science & Tech Startups: ENET Meeting, Jan. 5, 2016

TOMORROW night, on Tuesday January 5, 2015 at 630pm I will moderate a panel on this subject for the the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) at the group’s Waltham location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd., 1st Floor, InnoLoft, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128).

Whether you want to sell a new kind of vehicle or a new app, you’ve got to develop your idea into a real product that customers are willing to pay for. Do you try to develop the product in house or do you outsource the development? How do you fund your product development? How do you make sure you’re developing the right product for your market?

The panelists have broad and deep experience in developing many different types of products in life sciences and tech fields and will offer guidance in matching your product to your market, practical suggestions for making the most of your development budget, and effective advice for avoiding product development pitfalls. And share a few stories from their own product development adventures. One of our speakers is CEO of a product development company focused on tech fields and one is serial entrepreneur and CEO and angel investor in a broad array of life science ventures. Our moderator is a recognized attorney for startup companies and ENET Chairman.


ENET 1-5-16 Steve OwensSteve 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.

ENET 1-5-16 Richard Gill PhDRichard Gill, PhD, Board Director and Investor, Launchpad Venture Group ( ) Dr. Gill is a seasoned entrepreneur, CEO, investor, and board member. He is a longtime investor and director at Launchpad Venture Group, the largest angel investing group in the Northeast. Dr. Gill is active on the board of several startups. Dr. Gill’s most recent operational role was President & CEO of TruTouchTechnologies, an alcohol testing and biometric device company, where he remains a board member. Prior to that he has been President & CEO at Genome Therapeutics, ActiveCyte, AnVil, Signet and ProNAi. He also held executive positions at Unilever and British Technology Group. He has executed business strategies, moved candidates into clinical trials, overseen M&A activities and much more. His degrees are inPhysiology and Biochemistry, Chemistry plus a PhD in Endocrinology.


Molly Farison, Co-founder and CEO at Lilypad Scales (, is an experienced electrical engineer and product developer with significant product development history. She has experience in consumer and healthcare markets working with factories in the U.S. from starting her present company, Lilypad Scales, which developed from scratch a functional and durable product with 5-star reviews on Molly also led two capital raises and gave presentations that landed her company a spot in MassChallenge in 2013 and won the Babson BETA Challenge ($20k prize) in 2014. Molly manages an interdisciplinary team that has included engineers, doctors, salespeople, and graphic designers. Molly had prior work experience at Altaeros Energies, Rockwell Automation and NASA. She graduated Olin College of Engineering, with a B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, and was co-inventor on the patent relating to Lilypad Scales’ first product, the Lilypad Scale for Manual Wheelchairs.

ENET 1-5-16 Kevin WinterKevin Winter, Sales Engineer/Programs Manager at Kalow Technologies ( Kevin Winter, is enjoying his 4th year as Sales Engineer/Programs Manager at Kalow Technologies (, using his manufacturing and product experience to help customers (i.e. for small startup companies in New England and large worldwide corporations) convert their ideas into productive, profitable offerings. Kalow is an Electro-mechanical Contract Manufacturer located in lower state Vermont. Kevin started his professional experience by joining GE, right out of college, and was with them for 18 years. This time included a 3 year Manufacturing Management Training Program including 6 assignments, 4 locations, and 6 different products and afforded him extensive Manufacturing experience.


For more information or to register for the Jan. 5 ENET meeting, go to or

Hopefully, these presentations on bootstrapping your startup company will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at ENET’s Waltham meeting place, Constant Contact tomorrow night at 630pm!

* * *

I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Boston /Cambridge based group that aids entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies. I have been on the ENET Board since 2002, and served as Chairman since 2009, just re-elected in May 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 planned for 2015-16: 10 meetings in Waltham, 4 in Boston, 5 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.

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

October 6 ENET Speakers:

joanneJoanne Lang, Founder and CEO of AboutOne,
Joanne is the founder and CEO of AboutOne a gamified online organizer that adds filing and reporting capabilities to popular calendar and contacts applications. Using AboutOne products, users can quickly store and manage multi-media memories and household paperwork. Before starting AboutOne in 2010, Joanne was an executive on SAP’s original cloud technology team. She recognized that she had Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for business, but nothing in the middle to help manage her home life. She designed AboutOne based on her experiences as the mother of four. Joanne was named one of Forbes Top Ten Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, and Philadelphia Magazine’s 20 Coolest Start-Ups Oct 2013, received seed funding from Ben Franklin SEP, Series A funding from Golden Seeds and MAG, and was accepted in the Astia and DreamIt portfolios. Joanne shares her insights on both what to do and *not* to do when launching a product and marketing. Her talk will be on “How to Bring Your Product to Market Bootstrapped Style”. For those bootstrapping their companies, hers will be a talk you won’t soon forget. Joanne is a graduate of the University of Manchester Business School, and her passion is her four children, all boys aged 5 to 11. Joanne flew in special from Philadelphia (at her own expense) where she lives to give this presentation and returning that night to be with her family – so ENET was most grateful for her to come and share her insights with us on October 6!

P.S. Joanne’s slides, “”Bring Your Product to Market Bootstrapped Style… and Keep it there” – were also excellent, a great resource, LINK

craigCraig Bloem, Founder and CEO, LogoMix, Inc.,
Craig is an experienced serial entrepreneur focused on marketing and product strategy. He has over 10 years experience in marketing, business development and product management for developing internet businesses. From 2009 to 2011 her was co-Founder and CEO of Performable, a marketing software platform for businesses looking to optimize their marketing, sales and customer service efforts. Performable was acquired by Hubspot for a reported $20 million. Then, in 2011, Craig launched LogoMix to provide small businesses with easy-to-use tools to design and purchase identity products including logos, business cards, pens, polo shirts and other promotional products. Bootstrapped from the get-go, LogoMix has successfully scaled to reach more than 300,000 customers worldwide, and 25 million global users. Craig will relate his best techniques in successfully bootstrapping his companies. Craig is a graduate of Ithaca College, with a BS, Marketing and Management.

neilDr. Neil Goldfine, Founder, JENTEK Sensors, Inc.,
Dr. Neil Goldfine is the founder, president and chief engineer of JENTEK Sensors, Inc., an Engineering Science company with award winning products for non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring used on a wide variety of industrial, commercial, and government applications. For JENTEK, SBIR grants provided financial resources and infrastructure that have been critical to the company’s growth. The company now employs 27 and the SBIR programs have been credited with allowing the company to grow to critical mass in 10 years rather than 30 years. The program also allowed JENTEK direct access to DoD customers and their defined needs which has also been important to the company’s success. Neil will speak on the SBIR programs and related benefits to bootstrapping companies. Neil has a Ph.D. MIT (1990), M.S. MIT (1985) B.S.E.E. University of Penn, B.S.M.E. University of Penn. (1981), and also has to his credit over 50 patents, numerous publications and technical awards

On September 1, 2015, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the kick-off meeting to ENET’s 25th year. For that meeting in Waltham, our subject was “Giants of the Startup Community, Founders who made it Big, tell what’s Important”. It was a great evening for ENET where our founders of startup companies heard stories of entrepreneurial challenges, surprises, disappointments, victories and triumphs.
To see slides from the September 1 ENET event, go to –

I also arranged ENET’s last meeting of the 2014-2015 program year, our annual Sunset Networking Cruise of Boston Harbor on July 16, 2015. This cruise, our “EntrepreneurShip 2015” was also be joined by our partners MDG – Medical Development Group, IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE) and the EntreTech Forum. This was the 13th ENET summer networking cruise that I’ve arranged. 151 attended on a lovely evening with good food and company and great views of the sights of Boston Harbor and even Boston Light at the outer edge of the Harbor.


Also during the now ending 2014 – 2015 ENET program year, I organized and moderated three ENET meetings.

• April 21, 2015 – Building and Using Board of Directors and Boards of Advisors , that featured Jack Derby, Jean Hammond and Travis Conners (substitute for Jay Habegger who was called away on a family matter).

• February 3, 2015 – Founder Agreements and Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting yourself, Managing expectations, , that featured Kartik Shah, Gail Hoffman, and me as third speaker (to substitute for Harry Glorikian who was called away for last minute Board meeting), with my co-organizer Stacey Arbetter as moderator.

• September 2, 2014 – “Entrepreneur Success Stories”, which featured successful entrepreneurs from different fields – tech, consumer and life sciences. The three presentations for this 2014-2015 kickoff meeting were taped and you can view the tapes if you wish on the links below.

Additionally, in prior years, I’ve moderated and/or spoken at a number of ENET panel presentations, including presentations on the following subjects:

  • “Raising Money from CrowdFunding” , May 2014 (moderator)
  • “Co-Founders and Core Team – finding them, protecting yourself, managing expectations”. February 2014 (moderator & speaker)
  • “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company” , September 2013 (moderator)
  • “Online Finance and Crowd Funding” , April 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)