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Building & Using Boards: Directors, Advisors

  • 21 Apr 2015
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Microsoft Technology Center, One Cambridge Center, in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

Meeting Presentations:

Jack Derby is Chairman of and investor at Common Angels. Presentation

Jay Habegger, Co-Founder and CEO, OwnerIQ, Inc. Presentation

Jean Hammond is Partner at LearnLaunch. Presentation

Trying to build a start-up company? Trying to get a product or service to market? Trying to recruit key players? Trying to raise capital? If you face these questions in your early stage company, and run into roadblocks and unforeseen obstacles, you may wish there was someone on your side, who’s “been there, done that”, to offer useful advice. It can get lonely at the top, and a Board can offer a key supportive resource.

 Whether that Board is just an informal group of business advisors that meets with you at a restaurant once a quarter, or a board of technical or scientific advisors, or a formal board of directors, having and using a board can offer access to contacts, expertise, information, experience and advice. It can serve as a key resource at the most critical times in the life of an early stage company.

 The three speakers on the panel for this ENET meeting have all been directors and advisors to numerous companies in various life science, high tech, consumer and other product and service fields. Two of the three speakers are also active angel investors and all have been CEOs, so they will offer both management and investor perspectives on building and serving on boards.  They will discuss recruitment and the benefits of informal advisors, more formal boards of directors, and other “sounding” boards focused on marketing.  The panel will also suggest tax, legal and compensation techniques for cash-strapped start-ups, discuss liability issues of directors, and present the investor perspective on how creation and use of a board adds value, as you seek to raise money for expansion.  The meeting moderator will be ENET chairman and Boston startup attorney Robert Adelson.



Jack Derby is Chairman of and investor at Common Angels, www.commonangels.com and Chairman of Reiser, Inc. He is a director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and seven companies. He is President of Derby Management, a management consulting firm specializing in both emerging and middle market growth companies, and Professor of Marketing at Tufts, and Lecturer at MIT in Business Planning and Marketing.  Jack’s background includes past positions as CEO of Mayer Electronics Corporation, President of CB Sports, President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix Corporation and President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems, before he formed in 1990, Derby Management. Jack is extremely active in the New England emerging and middle market business communities. Jack has been named to Mass High Tech’s All Star Team.  Jack has been the Founder or Co-founder of 12 companies. Jack has also served at Chairman of the Association for Corporate Growth,  Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Vice Chair of the Smaller Business Association of New England, President of the University Club of Boston. Jack is a graduate of Boston College, the University of Chicago and the United States Peace Corps.  He divides his time between working in Boston, living and snowboarding in southern Vermont during the winter and living and surfing on the beach in NH whenever he can.


Jay Habegger, Co-Founder and CEO, OwnerIQ, Inc. www.owneriq.com/ is a digital media pioneer.  His current company, OwnerIQ, based in Boston's Innovation District, is pioneering the concept of Path to Purchase Media by transforming consumer's interactions with products and brands along the path to purchase into powerful new online advertising solutions and marketing channels.  Prior to OwnerIQ, Jay was the CEO and President of Bitpipe, leading the company from its beginnings through its sale to TechTarget in 2004 in a $40M transaction. While at Bitpipe, Jay pioneered the development of online media that leveraged technology company white papers for lead generation.  In both his companies, Jay built, developed and utilized Board of Advisors, including customer advisors that enabled his companies to grow and succeed


Jean Hammond is Partner at LearnLaunch, an Institute, Accelerator and Campus that together support the growth of greater Boston’s edtech cluster.  www.learnlauch.com    Jean is an active angel investor focusing on early stage high tech start-ups. She was honored with the highest award for angels in the US, the Hans Severiens Award in 2014. She was a founder of the Boston branch of Golden Seeds (focused on investing in women-managed businesses) and a member of Launchpad Venture Group and Hub Angels.  She is also the founder of JPH Associates and a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in the high-tech industry. Her entrepreneurial activities include co-founding and managing Quarry Technologies and AXON Networks and, following 3Com’s acquisition of AXON, focusing 3Com's WAN strategy.  She has played an active board level role with a number of her Boston area investments including Crimson Hexagon, Hire Reach, Home Portfolio, Instream Media, iTeam, Peach Underneath, Pixibility, Playrific, Ten Marks, ZipCar, and a number of others.   Her activities with nonprofits include being on the board of The Technology Capital Network and Mentor at MassChallenge and TechStars.  She earned a M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Biology from Boston University.



Robert Adelson, business and tax attorney and partner at the Boston law firm of Engel & Schultz LLP (www.engelschultz.com ), and Chairman of Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) is the meeting moderator and co-organizer.  Rob began his legal career as an associate at major New York law firms Dewey Ballantine and later Weil Gotshal & Manges, before returning home to Boston in 1985 where he has since been a partner in small and medium sized firms before joining his present firm in 2004.  Rob represents entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies, independent contractors and employees and executives.  His main practice areas are: Business formation, allocation of equity and angel and VC finance; Commercial contracts, licensing, alliances; Executive employment, stock, options and severance; Trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets; M&A. For his work representing CEOs and C-level executives, Rob has a personal website www.exectuiveemploymentattorney.com Rob is a frequent speaker on business law topics and author of numerous articles published in Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech and other publications.  He has been named among the “Top 20 Boston Startup Lawyers” by ChubbyBrain.com, a website that provides tools for entrepreneurs. Rob has been on the ENET Board since 2002 and Chairman since 2009 and is also a Co-Founder and Board member of the 128 Innovation Capital Group.He holds degrees from Boston University, B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University (Chicago), J.D., Law Review, and New York University,  LL.M. in Taxation.