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Giants of the Startup Community, Founders Who Made It Big Tell What's Important

  • 01 Sep 2015
  • 6:30 PM - 9:45 PM
  • Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd., 1st Floor Great Room, Waltham (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128)


Registration is closed

Meeting Presentations:

Anthony DiPaolo is CEO, of Work 'N Gear, a workwear and healthcare fashion retailer. Presentation

Venkat Kolluri is co-founder of Chitika Presentation

Successful entrepreneurs have said that fearlessness, resilience, and being true to oneself are three of the most important qualities an entrepreneur must have when starting his/her own business. ENET is assembling a panel of successful founders who made it big in different fields who will tell you what was important in their success. On September 1, 2015, the kick-off meeting to ENET's 25th year, we will hear stories of entrepreneurial challenges, surprises, disappointments, victories and triumphs. We hope you will join us. Learn from the experts: founders who have had the courage and tenacity to step out on their own, and navigate the rough waters of the unknown, and made it big in doing so. If you are thinking of starting your own business, or if you are already a company founder, learn from those who have gone before you. What they have experienced may help you avoid a pitfall or two, and accelerate your own company's progress. Why reinvent the wheel when others willingly share their wisdom? Our meeting begins with an open networking session. A question and answer session follows the presentation, and panelists are available afterwards for responses to individual questions.



Diane Hessan is a successful entrepreneur, marketer and author. She is currently CEO of Startup Institute,  https://www.startupinstitute.com/ which is dedicated to helping people transform their careers and find jobs they love. Via SI’s programs, people gain the skills, mindset and networks to succeed in the exciting startup world. Since its inception only 2 years ago, over 1000 students have gone through Startup Institute programs, in Boston, New York, London, Chicago & Berlin.   She is also Chairman of C Space (formerly Communispace),  www.cspace.com/ ,  where she was CEO for 13 years.   A leading customer collaboration agency, Communispace was sold to Omnicom in 2011 and now has over 500 employees, and offices in over a dozen countries. Diane also co-authored the book  Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage,  a Business Week best-seller, now  published in 11 languages.  Diane has received many honors, including  the Most Admired CEO award and Boston Power 50 award from the Boston Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (National Finalist).   Diane serves on many boards, including Tufts University, Panera, and Horizons for Homeless Children. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. She has 2 grown daughters, and is also founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that sings about business.  


Anthony DiPaolo is CEO, of Work 'N Gear, a workwear and healthcare fashion retailer. http://www.workngear.com  Tony is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with over 30 years of experience in retail, manufacturing, product development, product sourcing and domestic and international sales. His company Work 'N Gear is the largest retail chain in the United States specializing in the work apparel and footwear industry. Work 'N Gear operates more than 45 retail stores throughout the Northeast and Midwest. In 1990, Tony acquired Herman Survivors from Stride Rite Corporation, and raised its sales from $8 million to $50 million before selling the company to Walmart in 2001. In 2002, Tony purchased Work 'N Gear, which was in bankruptcy, raised $40 million in VC investment and with new management focused on the workwear marketplace. In 2011, DiPoalo launched Scrubology -- a new "store-within-a-store" concept that caters to healthcare consumers. In partnership with Sears Holdings Corporation, Scrubology was launched in 39 Sears and Kmart locations across the United States. Committed to his community, with Work 'N Gear, he developed the "Boot Trade" program that each year before the cold of winter hits program provides thousands of pairs of gently worn boots to the homeless in 12 northern states. In telling the ENET audience what was important in his success, Tony will focus on his specialties: Negotiation, financing, leadership and brand repositioning. Tony is a graduate of George Washington University.       

Venkat Kolluri is co-founder of Chitika https://www.chitika.com/ and has served as President & CEO since the company's inception. Venkat oversees all of Chitika's operations, including it's strategic direction and product planning, as well as corporate development. Venkat also co-founded new, local, mobile, advertising company, Cidewalk,  https://www.cidewalk.com which was awarded "Recognition of Positive Impact on the Neighborhood and Local Economy", by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2015.  Previously, Venkat worked at Upromise, leading the Partner Services group in the Database Marketing & Analytics division. Prior to Upromise, he worked at Lycos as the Principal Technologist in the Marketing Services group and spearheaded the development and launch of several innovative Advertising and Marketing Automation products and services across the Lycos Network. Venkat's work has been published in several journals and conferences. Venkat holds a Ph.D. in Information Science from University of Pittsburgh.   In 2009, Chitika won the Red Herring award as a Top 100 Global Finalist and in 2010 the DPAC Award as Finalist for Best Mobile Advertising Network Innovation.  In 2011, Venkat received from TiE Boston the Crystal Award for a Charter Member who built his company from the ground up.  In 2013, Chitika was named among the "Healthiest Employers" and received the Public Private Partnership award from the Westborough EDC.  In 2014, named Website Magazine's "Top 50 Digital Ad Brands to Know".  And in 2015, Venkat was nominated for the ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award.



Robert Adelson, business and tax attorney and partner at the Boston law firm of Engel & Schultz LLP is the Chairman of the IEEE Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network. Rob has been an attorney for over 30 years specializing in business, tax, stock and options, employment, contracts, financings, trademarks and intellectual property. Rob began as an associate at major New York City law firms 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. 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.  www.ExecutiveEmploymentAttorney.com