Diane Hessan | CEO, Startup Institute
Each year, the Nantucket Conference brings together a small group of creative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and executives. There are several reasons why the Nantucket Conference is a must-attend gathering.
First, there are unique opportunities for exchanging ideas and networking in a relaxing, informal environment. We acknowledge that much of the value of the Nantucket Conference comes from impromptu hallway conversations, serendipitous seatings at lunch, and walks around town. Nantucket is a place for having fun, doing business, and making new connections.
Second, sessions on Nantucket elicit the kind of real-world war stories and insight that you don’t hear at any other conference. We limit the use of PowerPoint and forbid blatant company pitches. Also, since there is precisely no difference in the caliber of people on stage and those in the audience, there is always plenty of opportunity at each session for interaction and debate.
Not your cookie-cutter conference
Finally, this isn’t an event produced by a conference company that churns out dozens of cookie-cutter events each year. Nantucket is organized by a group of people — our Advisory Board — who actually work in the technology space every day.
The Nantucket Conference has forged stronger connections between the talented people building technology companies, the people funding those companies, and the people making technology decisions at larger, more established organizations.
If you’ve attended the Conference before, we’d like to invite you back. If you haven’t, we invite you to find out what makes the Nantucket Conference so special. But no matter which group you’re in, we suggest that you register early, as we are strictly limiting the size of the event, and the vast majority of last year’s attendees indicated that they plan to return.
About the Organizers
The Nantucket Conference is one of three high-level gatherings produced by Future Forward Events, LLC. The other two conferences are:
Future Forward: The New England Technology Summit
Future Forward, www.futureforward.com, brings together New England’s forward thinking corporate technology decision makers with the region’s top entrepreneurs who are delivering ground-breaking technology. Future Forward gives CIOs and other C-level executives a snapshot opportunity to learn about what’s in the pipeline for new technology and it gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn more about the key challenges facing today’s executives in large corporation. Past participants have included John Watkins, CIO of Fairchild Semiconductor, Terry Connor, CIO, Liberty Mutual, Doug Schwinn, CIO, Hasbro, George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, Helen Greiner, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of iRobot and Marina Hatsopoulos, former CEO of Z Corp. Supporters of the program have included Deloitte and Touche, Microsoft and Foley & Lardner.
Convergence: The Life Sciences Leaders Forum
Launched in 2004, Convergence, www.convergenceforum.com, brings together high-level life sciences players from around the Northeast to discuss and debate the most pressing topics of interest to the industry – topics like forging strong corporate partnerships; attracting funding from private and public sources; building successful research organizations; streamlining product development and approval; understanding the coming convergence of biology, software, and medical devices; and staying ahead of regulatory changes. Past speakers have included Robert Langer, ScD, Kenneth J. Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, MIT, Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research, Senator Edward Kennedy, and Henri Termeer, CEO of Genzyme.
The Nantucket Conference asks those of its participants and moderators who are journalists or bloggers to adhere to our “off-the-record” policy.
Feel free to blog, photograph, Tweet, or otherwise report about the Nantucket Conference. However, there may be instances where a speaker requests that something be kept “off-the-record,” and we ask that you respect this by not including these comments in any of your coverage or commentary. If you’d like to label any posts or Twitter messages, please use @ACKCONF.
A limited number of press passes are issued each year, and by accepting a press pass to the event, the conference organizers expect that the recipient will adhere to this policy.
After spending more than fifteen years creating, marketing, and negotiating innovative lending and banking products, primarily in the early stage technology market, Pamela has most recently assumed a new role as Managing Director of SVB Capital. In her tenure at Silicon Valley, Pamela has been involved in shaping the Company’s strategic vision through participation in internal committees aimed at review and analysis of the Bank’s business model, and oversight of the training and indoctrination of new employees, as well as externally through participation in panels, and active participation and membership in organizations including the New England Venture Capital Assoc., TIE, and Web Innovators. A resident of the Back Bay, Pamela also works within the community at large, volunteering at the Woods Mullen Homeless shelter, and participates in projects with the Salvation Army, and Access Boston.
Laura Fitton, HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Evangelist, previously co-authored Twitter for Dummies and founded oneforty.com. Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value. She founded the first Twitter for Business consultancy, Pistachio Consulting, in 2008 and has been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since 2007.
As an Inbound Marketing Evangelist, she’s excited about showing companies how to grow by helping people buy instead of cramming marketing messages down their throats.
She is a warm and engaging keynoter, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. She also raised $25,000 for Charity:Water in December 2008 in the first ever “donate by tweeting” charity campaign,@Wellwishes. Laura lives in the Boston area with her two daughters and two dogs.
Curious for more? about.me/pistachio
Shayne Gilbert has been fueling the entrepreneurial community since starting Silverweave in 1994. Through Future Forward Events, Shayne creates exclusive programs for high technology and life sciences executives and investors including the Nantucket Conference for technology executives and investors and Convergence: the Life Sciences Leaders Forum for the life sciences industry. Future Forward Events has produced programs on both the East and West coasts as well as internationally.
Given her ability to remain close to the pulse of New England’s emerging businesses, Shayne is often sought to contribute and comment on the impact of the growth of technology and life sciences industries in New England. This work has included Mass Impact: An Upcoming Report on the Growth and Health of the Life Sciences Industry in Massachusetts, on behalf of MIT, and the executive summaries for Engines of Economic Growth: The Economic Impact of Boston’s Eight Research Universities on the Metropolitan Boston Area, produced in 2003 and Entrepreneurial Impact: The Role of MIT in 2008.
The author of 90 Days to Launch (Wiley, 2000), Shayne’s work has been recognized in The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and Wired.
Shayne is also a founder of Campseekers, a clearinghouse for the 90% of camps that don’t reach capacity in this $15 billion industry.
A graduate of Wellesley College and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Shayne lives in Boston with her husband and daughter.
Brent Grinna is the Founder & CEO of EverTrue, a leading social donor management software platform. Brent was inspired to found EverTrue after serving as an alumni volunteer for his alma mater, Brown University. At Brown, he served as Captain of the Varsity Football Team and was a leader of the the Senior Class Gift Campaign. Brent spent four years at William Blair & Company and Madison Dearborn Partners. Prior to founding EverTrue, Brent received his MBA with honors from Harvard Business School. EverTrue is backed by TechStars, Boston Seed and Bain Capital
Marina Hatsopoulos is an entrepreneur, director and angel investor. She is Chairperson of the Board and investor in Levitronix Technologies, the worldwide leader in magnetically levitated bearingless motor technology. She is a Director of Cynosure Inc., a $200 million leader in the laser aesthetics market. She is also a Director and investor in Dear Kates, which sells performance apparel using advanced materials. She is on the Advisory Board of the Nantucket [technology] Conference and the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT. Ms. Hatsopoulos was the Founding CEO and primary investor in Z Corporation from 1994 through its successful sale in 2005. Z Corporation was a market leader in 3D Printing, a technology used to produce physical prototypes from design data at very low cost and high speed. She has also served as Director of the GSI Group, a $300 million supplier of laser-based products, and Contex Holding, a $100 million leading manufacturer of large-format scanners. She was an investor and Director of Tea Forte, a luxury brand of teas and accessories, which was sold to Sara Lee in late 2011.
Scott Kirsner is the “Innovation Economy” columnist at the Boston Globe and he writes the blog Innovation Economy. He is also the author of the books “Fans, Friends & Followers” and “Inventing the Movies,” a technological history of Hollywood. Scott’s writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, BusinessWeek, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsweek, among other publications. Scott is a frequent moderator and event host, and is proud to be one of the founders of the annual Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Convergence: The Life Sciences Leaders Forum. He is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Landry heads up Lead Dog Ventures, a business accelerator and early stage investment firm, providing technical, relationship and financial capital to technology companies of all shapes and sizes. With over 40 years of experience building world class software and software companies, John has served a Chief Technology Officer at several of the world’s largest software companies (IBM, Lotus Development, Dun & Bradstreet, Cullinet, McCormack & Dodge) as well as serving as co-founder, Chairman/CEO at four highly successful startups (and one not so successful!). John has also served on the Board of Directors of over 45 companies ranging from raw start-ups to post-IPO public companies. In 2000, John formed Lead Dog Ventures to package this experience and vision in a form that could aid technology companies worldwide in finding the right technology, the right people, the right investors and the right strategy, enabling them to become the “Lead Dogs” of tomorrow. John is a long-time trustee of the Mass Technology Leadership Council , a Mass Hi-Tech All-Star, an Xconomy Xconomist, a CommonAngel, a TechStars mentor and investor, the past-president of the American Software Association, and a Trustee of Babson College.
Aaron is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Park Square Executive Search. For over 20 years, he has provided organizational development and executive talent management counsel to CEO’s, boards, and investors. He has worked with leading private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies, as well as growth oriented public companies on a global basis. His vertical expertise spans information technology, from software and cloud/Internet infrastructure to technology enabled services, and includes the materials science and cleantech sectors. From a functional perspective, Aaron’s engagements focus on the CEO and C-suite, from sales and marketing to financial and technical leadership.
Prior to Park Square, Aaron was with J. Robert Scott, a global retained executive search firm that had been a portfolio company in the private equity arm of Fidelity Investments. Aaron built and led the firm’s global technology and cleantech practices and worked with leading investor groups and management teams in the US, Europe and Asia to build world-class organizations.
Aaron also founded Compstudy (www.compstudy.com), a comprehensive annual survey and analysis of board and executive compensation for privately held technology, cleantech and life sciences companies. He and his partners at Park Square continue to produce Compstudy and do so in collaboration with Professor Noam Wasserman of Harvard Business School and partners from Ernst & Young and WilmerHale.
Aaron holds a B.A. in Anthropology as well as an M.B.A. from Boston University. He serves as an Advisor to Stax, Inc., a global management consulting firm.
Aaron and his wife Lauren have two children, Sophie and Sammy. In his spare time, Aaron plays tennis, runs and listens to music (often while running). On the off days, he can be found stoking the embers of his VW-sized Texas BBQ, mixing up a homemade hot sauce, or trying to create the perfect play-list from his ever-expanding record (mp3) collection.
Vinit Nijhawan - Managing Director, Office of Tech. Dev., and Director of Enterprise Programs at ITEC, Boston University
Vinit Nijhawan is Managing Director, Office of Technology Development, and Executive-in-Residence at ITEC (Institute of Technology, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization) at Boston University. Vinit also teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship at BU. Vinit has over 30 years experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. Vinit was Venture Partner at Key Venture Partners and over two years sourced over 200 deals and made one investment that was acquired for $430M. Vinit is an advisor and board member to several technology startups and was a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2005. Vinit has participated in over 150 panel discussions and paper presentations, and is a Board Member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm. Vinit earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
Scott Savitz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Data Point Capital, an investment fund focused on the internet. Scott is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially where it aims to raise the bar on the consumer experience. Scott is also the founder and former CEO of Shoebuy.com. Scott founded Shoebuy in 1999, and served as its CEO through its sale to IAC. Under his guidance, Shoebuy grew on average over 55% a year becoming one of the largest online retailers in the country, with over 1 million products and $3.5 billion in inventory available for sale, serving over 8 million visitors a month. Between the sale of Shoebuy in 2006 and Scott retiring from the company in 2011, Shoebuy tripled revenues and grew bottom line faster than top-line. Scott is Executive Chairman of Smart Lunches, a fast growing internet meal service for schools, daycare and camps. He also serves on the boards of Bluestem Brands, Kitsy Lane, Two Ten, and MITX, and serves as an Advisor for Olejo Stores and On The Spot Systems, Inc. He also serves on several committees focused on fostering growth and a more robust economy including the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Co-Chair of 12 X 12. Scott received a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and currently resides in Boston, MA. He is a frequent industry speaker and has received numerous awards and accolades including Ernst & Young’s New England Entrepreneur of the Year.
Simeon Simeonov is the founding CTO of Swoop which brings search advertising to content. Sim invests in passionate entrepreneurs through FastIgnite and helps them build great companies. Sim blogs at blog.simeonov.com, tweets at @simeons and lives in the Greater Boston area with his wife, son and an adopted dog named Tye.
Sim was the founding CTO of Ghostery, a global marketing technology company, and Thing Labs, a social media startup acquired by AOL. Sim used to be executive in residence at General Catalyst Partners and technology partner at Polaris Venture Partners where he invested in the online, enterprise and mobile sectors and helped start five companies the firms invested in. Before his days as an investor, Sim was vice president of emerging technologies and chief architect at Macromedia (now Adobe). Earlier, he was a founding member and chief architect at Allaire, one of the first Internet platform companies whose flagship product, ColdFusion, ran thousands of sites such as Priceline and MySpace.
Alyssa Stern is the Vice President of Future Forward Events, LLC where she manages the high level programs operated by the company. The Nantucket Conference, launched in 2000, delivers an exclusive program for executives and investors in the region’s emerging technology industries. Future Forward: The New England Technology Summit, introduced in 2001, brings together CIOs and other corporate technology influencers with the executives of emerging technology companies. Convergence: The Life Sciences Leaders Forum brings together executives and investors in the life sciences industry. In 2008, the company introduced The Conversation, a program series focusing on the future of entertainment. Today, the company annually produces events in New England, New York and California.
Alyssa is also Vice President of Silverweave Inc. As a program management consultant, she helped manage the launch of the MIT Biotech Forum and worked with the Deshpande Center on the Ideastream Symposium for a number of years.
Prior to Future Forward Events and Silverweave, Alyssa worked at Hay/McBer, a human resources consulting firm, as Manager of New Products and Services. She has managed training events and conferences since 1996. Alyssa received both her undergraduate degree and Masters in Business Administration from Boston University.
James Chung – Founder and President of Reach Advisors
Scott Cohen – Founding Managing Partner of Financial Media Holdings Group, Inc.
Kristen Collins – Managing Partner, KMC Partners Public Relations
Lisa DeSisto – Vice President and General Manager of Boston.com
Ralph Folz – Co-founder, President and CEOof Molecular
Michael Gaiss – Senior Vice President of Marketing, Highland Capital Partners
Alex Goldberg – Managing Director, Canary Ventures
Alexander F. Kleiner, III – Founder of Frictionless Commerce Incorporated
Michael Greeley – General Partner, Flare Capital Partners
Michael Hirshland – General Partner, Polaris Venture Partners
Matt Lauzon – Founder, Gemvara
John McEleney – CEO, Belmont Technology Inc.
George Neble – Partner, Assurance & Advisory Business Services at Ernst & Young
Patrick Rafter – Founder and Principal, Valuecasters
Alison Taunton-Rigby – CEO of RiboNovix, Inc.
Bill Warner – President, Warner Research; Founder, Avid Technology and Wildfire Communications
Meet the next generation
“The vast majority of the networking helped lead to many other connections throughout the Greater Boston area. I have had the chance to pitch several of the investors I met while on the island, all of whom have had very valuable feedback. And because I was not fundraising while I was there last year, those that I met were more than willing to stay connected over the past several months.”
— Charles Denault, Founder, Simple Charters
Each year, we make a handful of passes available to young entrepreneurs who want to participate in the Nantucket Conference. If you are an entrepreneur who hasn’t yet turned 30, applications for the 2016 young entrepreneur passes will open in March. Please contact us if you would like to receive an e-mail when applications open.
Applications are now closed for the 2015 Young Entrepreneurs Program for entrepreneurs under the age of the 30. Finalists have been selected by our underwriters: 10X Venture Partners, BUzz Lab and Technology Development at Boston University, Common Angels, Dharmesh Shah, InnoLoft at Constant Contact and UNHInnovation. Note that all finalists are responsible for lodging and transportation to the conference. For questions, please contact Sasha Sommerville.
The 2015 Recipients include:
Janet Aronica, Cube Riot
Dave Bisceglia, The Tap Lab
Brin Chartier, Tablelist
Rebecca Liebman, LearnLux
Alex LoVerde, Wymsee
Toni Oloko, PracticeGigs
Lauren Rhodes, MediaBite
Chris Yim, LibertyX
If you are someone who would like to underwrite a pass so that an Under 30 entrepreneur may attend, please get in touch. Underwriters may choose the entrepreneur they’d like to sponsor from the list of applicants, or they can ask the conference organizers to choose.
Continuing the conversations
Continuing the conversations that take place each year at Nantucket, Future Forward Events hosts programs in the greater Boston area throughout the year. Each program delves further into a specific topic discussed among a targeted group of executives. For more information about participating in one of these programs, please contact Alyssa Stern.
March 27, 2008
Consumer Tech in Boston…Stalking the Wily Consumer
This dinner discussion was led by a group of consumer-oriented executives and entrepreneurs who shared their experiences developing and marketing compelling products for consumers. The conversation was led by Steve Krampf, Co-founder and CEO, Chestnut Hill Sound; Harry West, VP of Strategy and Innovation, Continuum; designer of Reebok’s pump sneaker, the Swiffer, nTag’s intelligent nametag, and OLPC’s $100 Laptop; Antonio Rodriguez, Founder, Tabblo; General Manager, HP Publishing Services; and Carl Yankowski, CEO, Ambient Devices; former CEO of Palm Computing and President of Sony Electronics.
The dinner discussion addressed topics including how do you gain true insights into consumer behavior? Can consumer products be too innovative? How do you think through pricing strategy? Is free the future of consumer tech? How do you communicate with consumers and generate buzz without a multi-million dollar ad budget? How do you develop the right partnerships with retailers and distributors?
Thanks to our Sponsor:
Entrepreneurs on the Edge
February 13, 2008
Cambridge Innovation Center, 5th Floor
Entrepreneurs on the Edge is an after-work cocktail conversation geared to entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in exploring new fields and technologies.Entrepreneurs on the Edge is like “show-and-tell” for the digerati: a series of demos around a specific sector, along with an interactive discussion of the challenges that entrepreneurs in this particular sector are facing. We begin with schmoozing over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, move into a very interactive hour of demos and discussion, and then wrap up with more networking and hands-on demo time. Attendance is free, but attendees are screened: the audience is comprised of company founders and active investors only.
The theme for the February 13th event was Seeing in New Ways: Next-Gen Display Technology. Speakers included: Adam Bogue, VP, MERL/DiamondTouch; Peter Kazlas, PhD, Director, Device Development, QD Vision; David Rose, Founder, Ambient; Mark Spitzer, Founder and CTO, Myvu; and Rob Zehner, Senior Display Architect, E Ink.
Listen to Dan Bricklin’s Podcast of the program.
Thanks to our sponsors:
March 15, 2007
The Best Advice I’ve Ever Given / The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten
A Candid Discussion About Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship
This dinner discussion was led by Jeffrey Beir, Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners; Jeff Bussgang, General Partner, IDG Ventures; Woody Benson, General Partner, Prism Venture Partners; Dean Goodermote, CEO, NSI Software and Venture Partner, ABS Capital; and Lucy McQuilken, Investment Manager, Intel Capital. Investors regularly offer advice to the management of their portfolio companies — who usually accept it, and on occasion, ignore it. Entrepreneurs offer advice to other entrepreneurs. Our dinner discussion, led by a panel of speakers who have been both entrepreneurs and investors, focused on the role advice plays in trying to build successful companies: good advice, bad advice, advice accepted, and advice ignored.
Thanks to our Sponsor:
March 28, 2006
The State of M&A in New England
Upstairs on the Square
Michael Cody, Vice President of Corporate Development, EMC and David Friend, Founder and CEO of Carbonite, led the conversation at this dinner moderated by Marina Hatsopoulos, Director at GSI Group; Director at Contex Holding and a member of the Advisory Board of Z Corporation.
Our speakers addressed issues like: What makes a good acquisition in today’s market? What are some of the perils start-ups face when engaging in M&A discussions? What are typical (and atypical) deal terms, the challenge of closing deals, and of making them work afterwards?
Thanks to our Sponsor: