We’re having issues with our calendar, so we’ve consolidated the events happening in the Café this Thursday here. There’s 10 different sets of Office Hours and Info Tables for, a program of Venture Café Foundation, UMass VDC’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit, and Venture Leaders Life Sciences Pitch Contest 2017.

Join us Thursday at Venture Café Kendall for our weekly Café Night featuring two different panels. First, Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton hosts a panel on successful exits. Then, MassVentures’s Vice President Jennifer Jordan moderates a panel on how artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing healthcare.

Come early for open networking and Office Hours (don’t forget to reserve your appointments now), then learn from experienced entrepreneurs during our back-to-back panels. The complete schedule is listed below.

Hope to see you Thursday,


Thursday – May 18, 2017

3:00 – 8:00 P.M. | Café Night at Venture Café Kendall in Session
Venture Café, 1 Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02140

Feature Events

4:30 – 6:00 P.M. | Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton’s Tales from the Trenches: Reflections on Successful Exits
The event is FREE but preregistration is needed as this event will fill up quickly. Please RSVP here.

The journey from promising idea to company formation to eventual exit is fraught with challenges and uncertainty; success depends upon many factors and a lot of luck. As experienced entrepreneurs and investors will say, there is no one-size-fits-all plan to achieving a 10x multiple. In this program, a panel of successful entrepreneurs from different industries will share stories about how they built and eventually sold their companies to large strategic acquirers.

Please join the lively discussion from their impressive panel of entrepreneurs focusing on questions such as:

How did your business plan change since inception?
Looking back at the lifecycle of your company, what should you have done differently?
In your view, is securing venture or angel funding necessary to scale and grow a business?
What value did your investors, advisors, and board contribute to your success?
Were there instances where the tension between management, investors and the board seemed insurmountable and, if so, how did you overcome this?
Regarding term sheets, what aspects required your personal attention and what was comfortably handled by your attorneys?
Were there multiple exit opportunities available to you and, if so, how did you choose?
What advice would you give entrepreneurs aspiring to be acquired?
The panel discussion will be preceded by a review of Q1 Series A financing activity in the northeast.

Moderated by:
Scott Bleier, Member, Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton

Nic Encina, Vice President & Managing Director, Innovation Lab, PerkinElmer
Diane Hessan, Chairman, C Space
David Hughes, President and CEO, Raven Fly, Inc.
Al Reed, CEO / Co-Founder, Demiurge Studios

The event is FREE but preregistration is needed as this event will fill up quickly. Please do so here.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Artificial Intelligence & the Future of Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are revolutionizing all industries, and one that can benefit enormously from these technologies is the medical sector. ML can enable cost reduction, increased efficiency, and process optimization. Ultimately, this can improve patient experiences, and save lives.

What does the future of healthcare ideally look like? And how do new technologies fit in?

Join the discussion on the Future of Healthcare with a dialogue between technical and medical experts, and discuss solutions for tomorrow’s hospitals.

RSVP here.

Jennifer Jordan – MassVentures

Panel members:
Ronald Dorenbos – Management Consultant
Agustin Lopez Marquez – nference
Nicola Palmarini – IBM Research / Cambridge Research Center
Dr. Steve Horng – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Office Hours

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Chuck Goldstone – Content, Storytelling, & Marketing
It’s about the story. Startups often falter, not because their technologies aren’t good, but because the stories they tell about them aren’t. We’ll chat about both content and intent: Stepping back to find the right message for each audience (be it investor or market), making it clear and engaging, making it memorable (differentiating it from others competing for attention), and moving audiences to action. Bring your decks, your goals, your challenges, and an open mind about finding and articulating a compelling story. You’ll chat with Chuck Goldstone, who for more than two decades has helped organizations find their voice.

Reserve 30 minutes with Chuck here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Jodi-Tatiana Charles – Branding, Marketing
Marketing and Branding

Bring your marketing and brand questions for a one-on-one consult where Jodi-Tatiana Charles will give feedback and brainstorm ideas with you.

• Mentoring Topics
• Marketing/Branding Strategy
• Media/Customer Acquisition
• Business Model Development/Strategy

Jodi has enjoyed bringing people and companies together for over three decades. As a strategic marketing/branding specialist she has combined her passion for branding with her love of business development. After working on her Global MBA at Babson College and traveling to 14 countries within a year, and starting two businesses, she continues to be inspired to share her knowledge and expertise with clients worldwide.

Prior to creating two businesses, she led the marketing and branding of MassChallenge at its inception, managed and coordinated the Massachusetts Conference for Women, a one day event providing a forum for more than 7500 women, engaged as Deputy Press Secretary to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, produced the award winning NECN program NewsNight hosted by Chet Curtis and Jim Braude, and demonstrated leadership as WXKS Associate Producer for the legendary radio program The Matty in the Morning Show, where she was nominated “Producer of the Year”.

Reserve 30 minutes with Jodi-Tatiana here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | John Bailey – CFO / Finance, Cash Flows & Forecasting, Business Strategy
For more than 20 years, John Bailey has worked in accounting and finance roles from startups to Fortune 500 clients. John has advised numerous startups and is also a mentor at MassChallenge and Cornell University. Gain insight on basic finance needs, complex financial modeling, strategy, financial planning, cash flow management, and everything in between. Just bring yourself and be ready to discuss your pain points and company direction.

Reserve 30 minutes with John here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Le Zhang – Building Scalable Software Technology Platforms, Fundraising, Enterprise Sales
Le is the founder and CEO of Squadle, an IoT platform company that helps automate multi-unit restaurant operations for the likes of Sonic Drive-In and Chick-fil-A. Squadle is backed by 500 Startups, Bolt VC, Accomplice, Walnut Ventures, and more. He is named in several patents in the IoT field.

Le has experience building technology companies from scratch, building scalable software technology platforms, fundraising, and in enterprise sales.

Reserve 30 minutes with Le here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Marcus Yee  – Business Development, Sales, Shortening Complex Sales Cycles, Go-to-Market Strategies
Marcus recently left IBM after more than 20 years of services to join force with an IBM Watson business partner and a predictive software startup. He sees the future as one of predictive. Any startups or enterprises that process the predictive capabilities will have the competitive edge.

He has over 20 years of sales and sales consulting experience at IBM working in multiple sales and business development roles. He specializes on strategic and sales process consulting to shorten complex sales cycles. He developed and managed strategic relationships with IBM partners that drove millions of IBM annual revenues.

In 2015, he was on a team that works with startups, entrepreneurs, enterprises, developers, incubators, and VCs in the Cambridge/Boston area. He joined IBM Research’s Accessibility team in 2016 but continues to regularly consult with startups and established companies on their go to market strategies, their risk exposures, and their sales and channel models. He made connections within IBM where applicable and refers startups to appropriate mentors, VCs, or angel investors when appropriate. He views sales as the critical success factor for all businesses whether it is selling its ideas to investors or its products to customers.

In addition to holding office hours at the Venture Café, he is also a mentor at MassChallenge.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marcus here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | New Leaf Legal – Entity, Team, & Investment Structuring, IP, Contract Needs
New Leaf Legal, focuses on creatively developing Corporate, Entertainment, and IP infrastructures for their start-up clients as well as helping established companies embark on new and entrepreneurial paths. Stop by the Café to talk shop!

Reserve 30 minutes with New Leaf Legal here.

3:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Vinit Nijhawan – University Spin-Off Advice, Entrepreneur, Investor, Academic
Vinit is an entrepreneur, investor, and academic:
– Led Boston University Office of Technology Development, launched 8 VC backed spinoffs
– Teach entrepreneurship and technology development to graduate students: MBA, ENG, LAW, MED
– Co-founder of LearnLaunch EdTech Accelerator
– CEO and/or Founder of 5 startups
– Past Partner at Key Ventures and Board of MassVentures

As Vinit’s advice is focused on college or university technology spin-offs, please only sign up if you are a college or university student, professor, or staff.

Reserve 30 minutes with Vinit here.

3:00 – 5:30 P.M. | Marty Sack – SCORE – Startup Help, Marketing, Monetizing & Funding Strategies 
Marty Sack has mentored more than 200 start-ups over the last two years and is a regular business mentor at the Venture Cafe. As a Certified SCORE Mentor he brings with him the resources of more than forty additional successful executives, Venture Capitalists, Marketing and Digital Marketing experts, small business owners, and other Professionals from diverse areas of business and non-profits–all volunteers offering free business advice and mentoring services.

Marty is the now retired co-founder and CEO of LunchDates Dating Service. He also founded and was publisher and long time owner of a national job publication, and he was the Executive Director of a Cambridge based non-profit for 18 years.

Reserve 30 minutes with Marty here.

3:00 – 6:00 P.M. | Joe Caruso – Strategy, Business Model, Team, Fundraising, Effectiveness of Pitch
For the last 20 years Joe Caruso has served has been an “Advocate for entrepreneurs” as a mentor, coach, and personal advisor to CEO’s and entrepreneurs. In recent years, he has served an investor, advisor, and active director with dozens of companies, public and private. He also maintains an active consulting practice dealing with structuring and negotiation of acquisitions, strategic partnerships and financings, and issues related to dispute resolution.

Reserve 30 minutes with Joe here.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Hal Charnley – Pragmatic Perspectives and Advice
With over two decades of experience as a CEO leading technology companies through their expansion stages, Hal brings pragmatic perspectives and advice to those looking to “get to the next level” with their businesses. Whether its building the executive team, raising capital, handling those tricky co-founder issues, or brainstorming your next great idea, Hal is here to help. He’s seen dozens of businesses as CEO, Board member or advisor and believes that 80% of the challenges that every business faces are common across all markets – you’re not alone! He has raised in excess of $100M in venture and private equity and has been involved in over a dozen acquisitions on both buy-side and sell-side. Bring your questions, pitch deck, challenges, and ideas.

Reserve 30 minutes with Hal here.

Info Tables

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | is a comprehensive, centralized online platform designed to connect, support, and grow Greater Boston’s world-class technology and early-stage community. Developed in a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Venture Café Foundation, Gust, and a wide number of partners from Boston’s startup community, StartHub serves as Greater Boston’s homepage for the startup ecosystem.

Visit with StartHub staff at Venture Café to learn more!

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | UMass VDC’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit
On Wednesday, 5/24, 4-8 pm, Venture Development Center (VDC) at UMass Boston is hosting an event “Success Stories and Strategies for International & Immigrant Entrepreneurs, or, How to Make It as a Startup When All Odds Are Against You”, featuring their Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) program that creates a legal path for international entrepreneurs to launch high growth startups in Massachusetts and two panels with successful entrepreneurs that went through the program, sharing what they were able to achieve as part of the program, as well as VCs, immigration attorneys, and serial entrepreneurs that understand the need for a startup visa.

5:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Venture Leaders Life Sciences Pitch Contest 2017
Early June, Swissnex will co-organize the Venture Leaders program 2017, where the 10 best Swiss startups in Life Sciences will visit Boston for a one-week business development boot camp. The program includes: executive workshops, company visits, business development with VCs and angel investors and …a pitch competition against 10 US startups on board of the Majesty with the beautiful setting of the Boston Harbor!

You want to pitch your Life Science startup and compete against challengers from Switzerland?

Don’t look any further: the 2017 Venture Leaders Pitch Competition comes back to Boston this June!

Investors, experts, and a large international audience will be your jury for this 2nd edition.

Rules are simple: 1 minute, 1 slide, 1 person—no video or animation. May the best win!

Join them to pitch against the Swiss startups Thursday, June 15, 2016 – from 6:00 – 9:00 P.M.