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Funding for the Other 99.54%, Get Your Business Started Without a VC or Angel

  • 02 Nov 2010
  • 7:00 PM - 9:59 PM
  • Emerging Enterprise Center at Foley Hoag, 1000 Winter St. Suite 4000, Waltham, MA.


Registration is closed

Meeting Presentations:

Paul Marshall, 
Professor of Management, Harvard Business School, Presentation

Mark W. Smithers , VP/CTO (Co-Founder) Boston Engineering, Presentation

Charlie Walsh, Founder, Director of Sales and Marketing, Boston Software Corp, Presentation

Each year 600,000 new businesses are started US, but in 2009 venture capital funded just 2,795 companies. Even assuming all the VC deals were for new start ups ( hint: they weren’t) 597,205 or so businesses somehow got up and running without the blessing of a VC partner committee. 

Yet to read the business section of the daily newspaper or the Mass High Tech one would be forgiven for assuming the only path to riches for an entrepreneur is to give up most of the equity and control of their company in exchange for a few million dollars.

While some venture companies do have great success, they are a tiny minority even in the universe of fast growing companies. In 2007 when Entrepreneur Magazine published the 500 hottest companies in America just 3.5% had received venture capital and only 15% had ANY outside capital.

At the November 2nd meeting we will explore the strategies successful entrepreneurs have used to get their business up and growing without outside equity capital. Topics will include: SBIR funding, bootstrapping, business models and cash flow management methods that allow founders to maintain control and equity in their business.



Paul Marshall Professor of Management, Harvard Business School

Paul is affiliated with the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at HBS. He has taught courses including The Entrepreneurial Manager, and Running and Growing the Small Company. In both 1998 and 1999 he received the MBA Class’s Outstanding Professor Award. In 2008 he was named an Honorary Professor by Xiamen University in Xiamen, China.

His most recent job before returning to Harvard was Chairman and CEO of Rochester Shoe Tree Company, Inc. He managed this company during a four-year turnaround and implemented a major reorganization and cost reduction program that improved profitability in the face of declining sales. In 1977 he was a cofounder of Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett, a Management Consulting firm. As a principal of this firm he directed studies to analyze the competitive dynamics within the International Steel Industry and the International Iron Ore Industry. He Co-authored 'Economics of International Steel Trade: Policy Implications for the United States' and was one of the American representatives to OECD conference on Future of the World Steel Industry. He also founded Marshall Bartlett Incorporated and while serving as a principal of this firm he conducted strategic reviews for companies with interests in the Health Care Industry, the Food Packaging Industry, and the Steel Production and Distribution Industry.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with High Honors from the University of Cincinnati and his MBA with High Distinction and his DBA degree from Harvard. He is the co-author of three text and case books: New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur, McGraw Hill Irwin, 2006; Operations Management: Text and Cases, Richard D. Irwin, 1975;Managerial Economics: Text and Cases, Richard D. Irwin, 1973.
He is married to Judith Bartlett Marshall and they live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They have three children—Tiffany, Christopher and Patrick. He has been a member of the Lexington Board of Selectmen, the Cary Library Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors of the Lexington Golf Club. He is Past President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association and a member of the Governor's Local Government Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Tax Reform and the Governor's Task Force on Local Finance. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Union Corrugating Company, Rochester Shoe Tree Company, Inc. and MARTEST, Inc. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Raymond James Financial, BE Aerospace, and Foodbrands America. In 1995 he served as a member of the U.S. Export Import Bank Advisory Committee. In 1983, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering.

Mark W. Smithers , VP/CTO (Co-Founder) Boston Engineering.

Mark is responsible for business development activities, strategic partnerships and internal research and development for Boston Engineering. Mark is adept at creating product development solutions. His career has been focused on the engineering development and manufacture of products and systems within the defense robotics, medical, biotech and electronics manufacturing markets. Mark has in depth knowledge on the innovation process, design technique, advanced engineering tools and manufacturing processes. He is skilled in the ability to develop and ensure congruence between market demand, concept generation, design, engineering, and manufacturing for successful introduction of products and systems into markets.

Prior to starting Boston Engineering, Mark worked as the Director of Mechanical Engineering at Herbst LaZar Bell, Inc. (HLB) in its Boston Office, was a Program Manager at MPM Corporation (Speedline), and was a robotics design engineer at Foster-Miller. He as a B.S.M.E from the University of Lowell and an M.S.M.E for Northeastern University. He is an active member of the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MTLC) Robotics Cluster as well as other entrepreneurial and business organizations in the Boston area.

Boston Engineering Corporation was started in 1995 as a fee for service product and systems engineering firm, which today represents 75% of the sales for the company. However, it has grown to become the leading Value-Added Reseller and service provider for PTC software in New England and has established itself as a leading developer of autonomous robotics through is Advanced Systems Group.

Charlie Walsh, Founder, Director of Sales and Marketing, Boston Software Corp.

Charlie co-founded Boston Software Corp. in 1995, and built the first Windows-based comparative rating system in the country (WinRater) for independent insurance agents. Their software, which rates personal auto and homeowners policies, is used by virtually 100 percent of the Massachusetts insurance distribution system, including over 70 insurance carriers and their agents in the field. Customized versions of their software are also used throughout the country by thousands of independent agents. Their newest software platform (SinglePoint) extends product functionality to the web, and includes policy issuance capabilities, multi-company interface and sales efficiency tools. Charlie Walsh is an expert in the “agency automation” field, speaking at insurance conferences and participating in various panels including the MA Competitive Automobile Rating Task Force and ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development). Prior to his work with Boston Software, Charlie worked as a housepainter, teacher, writer, salesperson, and marketing consultant. A graduate of Villanova University (B.S. In Finance) and UMass (M.A. in Literature), Charlie lives in Brookline with his wife and 3 daughters. He also sits on the board of the Life is Good Kids Foundation.