Venture Café Foundation

Venture Café Foundation



The Venture Café Foundation connects innovators to make things happen. We believe that anyone with idea should feel empowered to become a successful entrepreneur. We believe in strengthening and expanding the innovation community through direct relationships and deep networks. Our Office Hours program allows individuals in the early stages of their startup or business idea to connect with experts in fields across all industries to receive individualized advice. We offer Office Hours at all three of our locations in Boston: District Hall, The Roxbury Innovation Center, and Venture Café Thursdays. The Venture Café Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit foundation, part of a global network of Cafés that intend to connect entrepreneurs to resources across the world. Our mission is to accelerate innovation through our spaces, programs, and conversations -- fostering collaboration, igniting creativity, catalyzing action, and yielding solutions to the problems facing humanity today, locally, and globally.


Al Chase

Al Chase Dr. Al Chase is the Founder of White Rhino Partners, an Executive Coaching and Executive Recruiting practice based at CIC. Dr. Chase provides coaching for a variety of start-up Founders, CEOs, and other leaders Topics most often covered in coaching start-ups include: hiring, team building, strategic planning, investor and board relations, branding, communication, and leadership challenges.

Le Zhang

Le Zhang 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.

Elliot Laffer

Elliot Laffer A proven problem solver with a history of getting people and organizations, both professional and volunteer, to operate at a higher level of accomplishment. As a regional sales manager, I built up my regions to become the top performers at both firms for which I had that role. On the volunteer side, I had a leadership role in three successful public review processes that were key to the success of three of the largest private developments in Boston history.

Barbara Clarke

Barbara Clarke As a consultant, economist and investor, Barbara Clarke is passionate about inclusive innovation. She has seen the challenges and opportunities faced by companies and individuals when solving complex problems. She founded The Impact Seat to work with companies and individuals to bridge this gap. As an angel investor and partner in three venture funds, she has invested in 25 companies. She can speak on all startup topics, especially intellectual property, branding, growth and funding.

Ramesh Advani

Ramesh Advani He is an experienced senior executive with over 30 years of global management in the financial services, high technology medical and materials manufacturing industries. As a former V.P. of Finance with Fidelity Investments, he was instrumental in Fidelity's India Operations. Ramesh has also held senior finance, operations, technical customer service, information technology & marketing positions in the medical diagnostics manufacturing industry with Corning, Chiron, Novartis, and Bayer.

Michael Delmage

Dr. J. Michael Delmage is a seasoned executive in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries with over 25 years of experience successfully bringing promising products to market . He brings a unique blend of passion and expertise as a Board Member and key manager in the development and commercialization of cutting-edge biotechnology products, therapeutic drugs, medical devices, and OTC aesthetics.

Ken Narducy

Dr. Ken Narducy brings a unique combination of business acumen (MBA) and research scientist (PhD). He has positioned companies to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in new business value and competitive advantage via licensing, M&A analysis, R&D, strategic planning, technology and intellectual property generation, and commercialization. He has developed biotech/pharma technologies for startups, and biomedical/chemical products for divisions of Abbott, Schering-Plough, and CooperVision.

Joana Rosario

Joana Rosario helps to strategize, facilitate, and disseminate translational research so that a greater proportion of academic research will develop into successful life science companies. A full life cycle professional, she combines 35+ years of health innovation, strategic research development, & commercialization to help new and established life science companies to achieve undiluted funding, and to form effective partnerships with academia, government, non-profit organizations and industry.

Jacquie Kay

Jacquie Kay As an entrepreneur and educator, Jacquie works globally and locally, advising businesses, leaders, and organizations in planning and managing innovation, ventures, start-ups and projects. She founded two for-profit companies, WPI, Inc. and The Sun Walking Group, and, was founder of the Asian Community Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation. WPI, Inc., for 35 years, under Jacquie’s guidance, was a successful international development firm.

Chuck Goldstone

Chuck Goldstone Startups often falter, not because their technologies aren't good, but because the stories they tell about them aren't. It's about content and intent: Finding your Core Story...the right message that says who you are. Making it clear/ engaging. Finding and articulating a compelling story. Creating strategies for any audience. Movings investors and markets to action. You'll chat with Chuck Goldstone, who for more than two decades has helped organizations find their voice.

Mimi Evans

CEO and Founder, Fast Turtle Ventures
Mimi Evans I am currently CEO and Founder of Fast Turtle Ventures and member of Beacon Angels, a Boston-based Angel Investment Team, dedicated to helping startups with all aspects of financial fortitude (fundraising, business development, sales and financial organization). I also run workshops and Quarterly Pitch Days where I work with other angel groups and VCs looking to fund top entrepreneurs.

Cynthia Gilbert

Cynthia Gilbert Ms. Gilbert's practice focuses on strategic development, protection, and management of patent portfolios for clients in a variety of high technology areas, including computer and computer-related technologies, electronic commerce technologies and business methods, network security and architecture, and remote access technologies.

Steve Davis

Steve Davis Join Steve to discuss operational, marketing, sales and funding strategies that you and your company may be facing. Steve Davis is a business growth and sales channel expert. Steve works with businesses, entrepreneurs and service providers who want to accelerate revenue growth to the next level and seize the most attractive growth opportunities. He is an active advisor, mentor and coach in the New England, MIT, MassChallenge, Seedcamp and Swissnex startup communities.

Sheldon Borkin

Sheldon Borkin Sheldon leads Strategic Angels which helps larger software companies become involved in the innovation economy. He is a mentor at both Techstars Boston and MassChallenge, and a member of both Launchpad Venture Group and Investors Collaborative. Sheldon has done three startups resulting in two IPOs (including WebMD) and one acquisition. He is particularly interested in enterprise and SMB software companies across verticals, and those with IoT and/or digital marketing technologies.

Matt Cloyd

Matt Cloyd Matt Cloyd brings three years of public sector product development experience to Venture Café. Matt specializes in inclusive product development, building with -- not for -- customers, as well as running "hackathons for good". Bring your questions about anything related to "build with"-style design, running hackathons, Rails apps and APIs, data modeling and standards, spatial data, and working with the public sector.

New Leaf Legal

New Leaf Legal 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 Cafe to talk shop with Jess and Shannon!

Mitch Tyson

Mitch Tyson Mitch is a former CEO and is currently helping to build the cleantech ecosystem. He coaches entrepreneurs and serves on corporate, non-profit, and governmental boards. He is Chair of the New England Clean Energy Council, a partner in Clean Energy Venture Group, and serves on the boards of both Venture Café Foundation and Greentown Labs. If you want to talk to someone about the challenges you're facing as an entrepreneur he'd be glad to chat.

Jeff Janer

Jeff Janer Thinking about where you want to end up is not something founders always do when they come up with a new startup or business idea. But that’s one of the things Jeff can pass along from the 5 startups he started in the Boston area. Four of his companies have been acquired, so the 5 lessons learned related to strategy, sales, marketing and recruiting were keys to his success.

Tricia Young-Shaw

Tricia Young-Shaw At TLE Consulting Group, we work with aspiring entrepreneurs whose business ideas do not depend on deals with big companies or venture capitalists for success. We are particularly committed to helping those who are in transition explore entrepreneurship as a means of creating opportunity for themselves. What We Offer: -Management consulting services for community businesses looking to scale -Start-up and management training workshops -Start-up counseling for aspiring entrepreneurs

Joe Caruso

Joe Caruso Please use bit.ly/vc-jcoh to book in Kendall. 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 dispute resolution.

George Mabry

George Mabry George is an active consultant, mentor and angel investor in the Harvard, MIT, and Boston entrepreneurial communities. With degrees in computer science and business, George co-founded a biotech market research company, acquired by a global bio-pharmaceutical service provider in 2008. If you are seeking feedback on your business concept, come prepared with high-level materials to explain your idea, including information on the market, team, and how you are addressing the problem/opportunity.

Hyejin Lee

Hyejin Lee Hyejin Lee is CEO at THE MEME, Cambridge-based user experience design consultancy. As founder and thought leader of the firm, Hyejin has over 20 years of professional and academic experience in various design disciplines. With companies seeking her design expertise for their business problems, she has worked with various types of industry including consumer electronics, healthcare, robotics and start-ups.

Robert Donahoe

Robert Donahoe Talk strategy with a fellow innovator and founder who maintains an active IP Legal practice. Bob Donahoe focuses on “getting to yes” – assisting founding teams achieve their business goals with a strategic and efficient approach. He currently represents startups and global companies in technologies such as medical device, wearables and software. Bob recently led the development and business team that created a top-ranked (and patented) mobile sports app.

Mike Burtov

Mike Burtov Mike is the founder and CEO of GeoOrbital and has over 15 years experience in starting-up and seeing companies thought their lifecycle. Mike is able to help with gauging product market fit, go-to-market strategy, marketing, advice on fundraising, navigating the Boston/Cambridge startup eco-system, team-building and crowdfunding (he has raised over $1 million on one Kickstarter campaign).

John Bailey

John Bailey 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.

Christine Dunn

Christine Dunn Christine Dunn has spent more than two decades working in media and communications. She has worked with and for major media outlets, from Bloomberg to the Boston Globe, and then struck out onto the entrepreneurial path and built an award-winning strategic communications firm, ArcPoint Strategy. Christine most enjoys working with innovators on commercializing their ideas and with entrepreneurs on bringing their ideas to market.

Rusty Irving

Rusty Irving Currently leading one of GE’s flagship R&D program “Digital Twin” across the global GE enterprise. Rusty Irving has a proven track record of building new organizations from start up. Numerous examples of launching entire new product lines. These systems range from monitoring and diagnostics of medical imaging equipment, aircraft engines and locomotives to RFID tagging of mobile assets to digitally underwriting insurance policies.

Hal Charnley

Hal Charnley With over two decades of experience as a CEO, board member, or advisor leading expanding technology companies, Hal brings pragmatic perspectives to those looking to "get to the next level". Whether its building the team, raising capital, handling those tricky co-founder issues, or brainstorming your next great idea, Hal is here to help. He believes 80% of the challenges every business faces are common across all markets - you're not alone! Bring your questions, pitch deck, challenges and ideas.

Michael Gale

Michael Gale Michael Gale of WithumSmith+Brown, has an extensive background in US and International Taxation. In addition to working for PWC, Michael has run a top Pharma company US Tax department as well as business aspects of a startup. This gives Michael a good background to talk about the tax, accounting, and funding concerns of companies from startup to revenue-producing commercial enterprise. He is able to help you think about taking on new partners, funding, or entering into new areas.

Sankeetha Selvarajah

Sankeetha Selvarajah Selvarajah Law P.C. has a focus on corporate governance and business law across retail, technology and manufacturing sectors. Provides general counsel on all aspects of entity selection, business formation, corporate maintenance, funding and contractual review. Contractual review includes shareholder agreements, vendor agreements, asset/purchase sale agreements, franchise agreements, NDA & Non-compete, employment, contractor agreements sales & licensing agreements, and tenant/commercial leases.

Illiana Rabago and John MacDonald

Illiana and John run a consulting firm that is dedicated to helping innovative companies in life sciences and technology find the right message to clearly define the value they bring to investors and partners. They tailor their design and development to craft strong distinct messaging for attracting the right interest.

Marcus Yee

Marcus Yee 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 specializes in strategic and sales process consulting to shorten sales cycles to customers. In 2015, he was on a team that works with startups, entrepreneurs, enterprises, developers, incubators, and VCs.

Nadine Boone

Nadine Boone Ms. Nadine D. Boone is currently Lead Business Opportunity Specialist and Lead Economic Development Specialist at SBA-Massachusetts District Office (MADO) working with Government Contracting Division and Marketing and Outreach across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Boone has worked for the U.S. Small Business Administration for 18 years in various positions. She can help with the SBAs 3Cs: Counseling, Contracts, and access to Capital.

Paul Cosway

Paul Cosway Professor Paul Cosway is a lecturer of strategy and innovation at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Previously, Cosway served as a Consultant at Galatea Associates, founder of and managing partner at Ressen Design, managing partner at marchFIRST, founding partner of Mitchell Madison Group, and system architect and engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. He has 30 years of international experience in managing, strategizing and problem solving at the nexus of business and technology.

Investors Collaborative

Investors Collaborative Investors Collaborative (iC) provides venture capital to select early stage companies in a wide range of industry sectors including software, IT, biotechnology, clean technology, healthcare, energy, communications, hardware, and professional services. They seek to help individuals developing innovative technologies build world class companies.

Coppelia Marincovic

Coppelia Marincovic Coppelia Marincovic is Investment Manager for North America at Solvay Ventures. SV has a focus on energy transition, sustainable resources, health and industry 4.0. In addition to providing capital to startups, SV leverages Solvay capabilities to generate partnerships between the start-ups and Solvay's BUs. Before SV, Coppelia was at McKinsey, helping biotech companies grow and solve their operational issues. Coppelia can provide advice on how to pitch to investors and improve business plans.

Kevin Wiant

Kevin Wiant Kevin is Executive Director of Venture Café Boston, a nonprofit Foundation that connects the innovation community by managing spaces, programs and conversations. Previously, Kevin has been on the management teams of several early stage companies in the mobile, telecommunications, web and software industries. His executive roles have been in business development, sales, marketing, product management and corporate development.

Kerry Bowie

Kerry Bowie Prior to cofounding Msaada Partners, Kerry acquired extensive experience as an environmental engineer and manager with Texas Instruments in Dallas and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Kerry holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from MIT and the University of Michigan, respectively, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.  Kerry is able to assist entrepreneurs with Business Fundamentals, Financial Management/Reporting, and Strategic Planning.

Jodi-Tatiana Charles

Jodi-Tatiana Charles 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.

Andreas Randow

Andreas Randow You built something? It solves a problem. Great. You think you understand your market. Do you? Let's figure out together where you're at and what needs to be done to turn your product into a functioning company. Andreas has expertise in SaaS, Software & Data Architecture, Mobile Applications, Startups, Big Data / Deep Learning / AI, Data Acquisition & Imaging, and Turnkey Business Development. Andreas works with East Horizon Investments.

Bill Larrenaga

Bill Larrenaga Bill is a Director with The CFO Center, the largest international provider of CFO resources, services, and solutions to the small and medium sized enterprise sector. Bill was previously a Partner of KPMG LLP, one of the Big Four CPA Firms. He has experience in high tech, manufacturing and retail and distribution industries. Be sure to bring your business plan including your high level pitch document, the problems you are addressing, the size of market, your team, the product offering, etc.

Ed Greer

Ed Greer Edward is member of the Scouting & Exploration Network in Dow’s Ventures and Business Development group. He is responsible for finding and evaluating technologies and opportunities that complement Dow’s robust R&D pipeline and have the potential to contribute to the Company’s long-term success.

Marty Sack

SCORE Mentor
Marty Sack 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.

Neheet Trivedi

Neheet Trivedi Neheet Trivedi, founded and recently sold a company in the food / consumer goods space, Anchor Nutrition. He's especially adept at helping early stage companies think through customer discovery, team building and dynamics, and fundraising. He also has worked in machine learning, AI, and e-commerce, and extensively in emerging markets around the world.

Mike Sandman

Mike Sandman Mike Sandman had a career in composites manufacturing and then became a consultant in the field of competitive intelligence. During his 25 years in manufacturing he developed materials ranging from Kevlar-reinforced sailcloth to fishing rods and radomes. In his consulting work, he helped firms offering software for computer security, internet search, settop TV boxes, and workgroup collaboration as well as in products that ran the gamut from cheese to jet turbine blades.

Kristin Polito

Kristin Polito Senior Associate Director, Working Professionals MBA Programs, Babson College Provided senior leadership for Babson’s Blended Learning and Evening MBA Programs, and directed the recruitment and admissions efforts for these programs Additional expertise in financial services strategic planning, mutual fund supermarkets, competitive analysis, defined benefit plans, and venture capital portfolio management Also serves as university adjunct professor of management and entrepreneurship.

Woody Benson

Woody Benson Passionate BOD Member and Adviser. Specialist in Go to Market, Marketing, Sales, BD & Team Building IPO’s: Shiva, Elastic Networks, MCK, LogMeIn Previous Exits: DataRevolver (Millenial Media), Datasnap.IO, Maven Networks (Yahoo), Altiga Networks (Cisco), Aptus Networks (Nortel), SalesNet (Oracle via RightNow), 5:1 (Yahoo), m:metrics (comScore), KickApps (KIT Digital), Quantum Bridge (Motorola), ViaWear (Richline, Berkshire Hathaway)

Phil Crutchfield

Phil Crutchfield Phil has over twenty years experience in banking and Venture Capital. His banking experience also includes ten years with the Federal Government in the FDIC. Phil’s government responsibilities involved contracting with the Government and Small Business & Minority Outreach. His other background experience includes a number of years serving on the Boards on various Non-profit Social Service and Recreational organizations. This activity included Strategic Planning, Marketing and Fundraising.

Sissi Liu

Sissi Liu Sissi Liu a cleantech startup mentor with experience in venture investing and entrepreneurship. She’s invested in and served on boards of cleantech companies as well as mentored budding entrepreneurs. Most recently, Sissi headed up business development for the North American region at Joule, a pioneer in converting waste CO2 into valuable fuels and chemicals. Join her to chat about your business challenges and generate ideas for solutions to overcome them.

Stephanie Lustgarten

Stephanie Lustgarten If you have a Life Science clinical question, bring it to Stephanie Lustgarten. She has nearly 15 years of experience in clinical development in the life sciences/biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry with a focus in oncology. Additionally, she has experience in phase I through phase III clinical trials and has lead global regulatory submissions from a clinical data sciences perspective, including New Drug Applications (NDA) and Marketing Authorization Application (MAA).

Services


District Hall

75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA

617-982-3213

Wednesday
10:00am - 6:00pm

Venture Café Kendall

One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA

617-758-4128

Thursday
3:00pm - 8:00pm

Roxbury Innovation Center

2300 Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA

(617) 858-6462

Tuesday
10:00am - 9:00pm

District Hall

75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA

617-982-3213

Venture Café Kendall

One Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA

617-758-4128

Roxbury Innovation Center

2300 Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA

(617) 858-6462

Follow us on Twitter @VentureCafe