What builds the most value in a tech or medtech startup Company?: ENET Meeting, Sept. 6, 2016

Next month, on Tuesday September 6, 2016 at 630pm I will moderate a panel with three speakers for the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) at the group’s Waltham location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd., 3rd Floor, Great Room, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128).

September 6, 2016 will be the kick-off meeting to ENET’s 26th program year.

For founders and entrepreneurs, just starting out or trying to achieve success in growth, our program topic should be a good one for you- What builds the most value in a tech or medtech startup Company? A starting point will be 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 under served?

To build value in your company, you will be judged first on that value proposition, but then beyond that on the management team you assemble, your technology, your customers, your business model and scaling potential and the market you serve.  Under the lean startup model, you build a small amount, then measure and learn. Constant iterating based on actual results  from customers. In tech companies and specially in med tech and life science companies, the management team is critical to move the company through the inevitable issues you face, to be able to quickly pivot to redirect engineering efforts to keep the company on track to meet its milestones to commercialization.  A key part of management’s ability to execute, will be to manage cash to reach inflection point where clinical or customer impact, IP and franchise value has been established to achieve a favorable exit.
Those are just some of the issues, ENET will exploree on September 6, with our three expert speakers.  Our speakers that night include the CEO of a Boston M&A firm, twice nominated for “Woman Deal Maker of the Year” for her work building value in companies to successful exits, a life sciences investor and director of an organization that brings together executives across med tech and life science fields, and the President of one of the most successful VC/angel firms that invests exclusively in Massachusetts startup compani.

jerrybirdWalter M. (Jerry) Bird, President,  MassVentures, http://www.mass-ventures.com/
MassVentures is a venture capital firm that provides capital for technology startups not adequately served by the venture community, including companies from all across Massachusetts,  as well as first-time CEOs or founders,  Jerry has over 25 years of experience advising and financing entrepreneurial-driven companies, the past 18 in venture capital. Throughout his professional career, Jerry has operated both as an investor and an active partner to entrepreneurs building their companies. His direct investment experience covers dozens of companies and in many cases as the lead or co-lead investor. Several of these companies were acquired by significant publicly-traded companies. Among the companies Jerry has been on the board of are e-Travel (acquired by Oracle), Andover.net (Nasdaq: ANDV, purchased by VA Linux), LinkSoft Technologies (purchased by QuadraMed), NexCen Technologies (purchased by UCMS), and Bitpipe Inc. (purchased by TechTarget).  He currently is a board member or board observer at MassVentures’ portfolio companies Forerun, lifeIMAGE, and Applause (formerly uTest)..  He’s on the boards of Massachusetts Audubon, Crossroads for Kids, and the Massachusetts chapter of the Trust for Public Land. In his free time, Jerry spends time in the mountains on his bike or skiing or hiking.

jordanleefJordan Leef, Healthcare VC and  Director, The BioBreak Organization http://www.biobreak.org/
Mr. is a healthcare venture capitalist and member of the Board of Directors of  the BioBreak Organization, an executive networking organization for the life sciences industry, bringing together senior executives from across the biotech, pharma, medtech, diagnostics and venture capital industries.  He was previously a Financial Analyst for Pharos Capital Group, a private equity firm located in Nashville and Dallas. In this capacity, Mr. Leef worked as a member of the Pharos investment team to provide growth and later-stage capital for businesses in underserved areas of the nation focusing on firms in the healthcare, business services and technology industries. Prior to Pharos, Mr. Leef worked in the Biotechnology Equity Research Group at C.E. Unterberg, Towbin in New York City, where he was responsible for writing research reports, providing sector analysis and valuing drug companies and their pipelines. He also previously worked at Pfizer, Inc. in the U.S. Clinical Operations Division, where he worked with CROs to manage clinical trials and helped coordinate regulatory release of several new compounds. Mr. Leef holds a B.S. degree from University of Pennsylvania.

marguritepiretMarguerite A. Piret,  President & CEO, Newbury Piret & Company, Inc., http://www.newburypiret.com/
Ms. Piret is the president and CEO of Newbury Piret & Company, Inc., a leading Boston-based middle market investment bank.   She has effected numerous financing and sale transactions for public and private companies in industries including manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and financial and business services both in the US and internationally. Previously, she was Managing Director of Kridel Securities Corporation, an investment bank with offices in New York, London and Paris. On behalf of European and American clients, she provided corporate finance services to the medical, biotechnological, environmental, energy and industrial products industries. Prior to Kridel Securities, Ms. Piret was a Commercial Loan Officer at the New England Merchants National Bank (now the Bank of America).  In 2004, Newbury Piret & Co. won the M&A Advisor’s national award for best Industrial Manufacturing Deal of the Year in the Middle Market. Ms. Piret was also nominated for Woman Dealmaker of the Year in 2004 and 2005.  Ms. Piret is an Independent Trustee and Chairman of the Valuation Committee of the Pioneer Mutual Funds. She serves as Trustee of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Foundation.   She holds A.B. and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

For more information or to register for the Sept. 6 ENET Kickoff meeting, go to http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2289358 or http://www.boston-enet.org

Hopefully, this kickoff event 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 on September 6!

* * *

I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Cambridge based group that aids founders, 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, re-elected in May 2015 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”.

Last month, 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 have arranged for ENET, and it drew our largest attendance yet, 219, on a lovely July night – great sunset ovet 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 five (5) earlier meetings in the 2015-16 program year, just completed.

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 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

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 – http://boston-enet.org/event-2005499

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)