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Using Senior Advisors and a Board of Directors in Your Startup Company

  • 01 May 2018
  • 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Constant Contact, Inc., Reservoir Place, 3rd Floor Great Room, 1601 Trapelo Rd., Waltham, MA


Registration is closed


Gail Hoffman, Angel Investor and Managing Director of Golden Seeds

Leslie Williams, BS, RN, MBA, Director, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, ImmusanT, Inc.

Rick Williams, Managing Director of Williams Advisory Partners, LLC

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, advisors and mentors to numerous companies in various life science, high tech, consumer and other product and service fields.  One of the three speakers is also an active angel investor and two 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.


GAIL HOFFMAN, Angel Investor and Managing Director of Golden Seeds.  Gail is based in the Boston Office, and her involvement includes deal flow, membership, education, and operations. She is an active early-stage investor, mentor to entrepreneurs, and board member. Prior to Golden Seeds, Gail spent many years in private equity at Boston Ventures Management, where she focused on the communications, media, and entertainment industries. Gail earned an MBA with high distinction in Finance from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

LESLIE WILLIAMS, BS, RN, MBA, Director, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, ImmusanT, Inc.   Leslie has more than 25 years of industry experience in healthcare, management, commercial product development and marketing. In 2010 she founded ImmusanT, Inc., which subsequently acquired the assets of Melbourne, Australia based Nexpep. She has built and led the team since inception. In 2015 Williams received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Iowa in recognition of her accomplishments in her professional life. Prior to founding ImmusanT, she was President & CEO of Ventaira Pharmaceuticals, which became a significant player in the pulmonary drug delivery market under her leadership. While President & CEO of Ventaira Pharmaceuticals, she was recognized as one of the top 100 leaders in life sciences by PharmaVOICE magazine. She served on the Boards of Hepregen Corporation and CDI Bioscience. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Capital Network (TCN) and is on the Executive Board of the University of Iowa School of Pharmacy. She also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Life Science Leader as well as The Journal of Advanced Therapies and Medical Innovation Sciences. In addition, she serves as a mentor in the Boston University Kindle Program.  Ms. Williams holds an MBA from Washington University, John Olin School of Business, and a BS degree with honors in nursing from the University of Iowa. Before entering industry, she was a critical-care nurse at Duke University, Medical College of Virginia and at the University of Iowa.

RICK WILLIAMS, Managing Director of Williams Advisory Partners, LLC. Rick has a wide breadth of experience, including medical technology, financial services, real estate, management consulting and public/private engagement developed through his wide-ranging roles as an executive and board director.  Prior to founding Advisory Partners, Rick was a founding Partner of the Newport Board Group practice in New England. He was Founder and President of The Equity Company, an award winning multifamily real estate development company. He is Chairman of the Board of Point Care Technologies and former Chairman of a quasi-public bank/VC firm providing financing to companies with limited access to conventional financing.  Rick is past President of the Harvard Business School Association of Boston. He was a management consultant with the global consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc., working on business strategy and acquisitions and the economic and strategic impact of government policy and regulations on a broad spectrum of industries. Before that, he was a physicist with Itek Corp, where he developed space and defense related photo & electro/optical systems.


ROBERT ADELSON, business and tax attorney, partner at Boston law firm of Engel & Schultz LLP, and Chairman of The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network.  Rob has been an attorney for over 30 years specialized in business, tax, stock and options, employment, contracts, financing, 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 (2004 -2015). In 2016, he received the IEEE USA Professional Achievement award for “extreme dedication to the entrepreneurship community.” 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. His website - www.ExecutiveEmploymentAttorney.com


6:30-7:30 PM - Registration & networking

7:30-7:40 PM - ENET Chairman's announcements

7:40-7:55 PM - E Minute - Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations

7:55-8:45 PM - 3 expert speakers on the night's topic

8:45-9:00 PM - Audience / Speakers Q & A

900-930 PM - Final networking includes meeting presenting speakers

A question and answer session follows the presentation, and panelists will be available afterwards for responses to individual questions.  As with every ENET meeting you will also get the chance to network with the panelists and other meeting attendees, both before the start of the meeting and afterwards.

eMinute: eMinute Presentations will be given at the start of the meeting. These very short presentations enable young startup entrepreneurs to gain experience in presenting their summary business plans to expert panels and audiences.

Directions: Constant Contact is adjacent to RT 128 / 95 at Exit 28B.

See: http://www.constantcontact.com/about-constant-contact/office-location-waltham.jsp

Reservations: ENET Constant Contact meetings are free to ENET members and $20 for non-members. No reservations are needed for the pre-meeting dinner. To expedite sign-in for the meeting, we ask that everyone -- members as well as non-members -- pre-register for the online. Pre-registration is available until midnight the day before the meeting. If you cannot pre-register, you are welcome to register at the door.