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Project, Hobby… or COMPANY?

  • 17 Sep 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Draper, Hill Building, One Hampshire St. Cambridge, MA


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Ania Knap, Ph.D., Founder – Ania Creative Designs

Ilsa Webeck, MBA, Founder, MedTech Strategies

Michael Morisy, Co-founder and Chief Executive of the MuckRock Foundation  

Great startups begin with intrepid entrepreneurs, bursting with creativity, energy - and the ability to cope with sleep deprivation is often helpful. Also, an essential component of a successful startup is a great idea – an idea that can be commercialized or monetized in some way. Some successful companies have been spawned from a hobby - say, for example, Mark Zuckerberg’s online student directory and photo sharing program - or an interesting research project that can be massaged into a commercial product, like HUMIRA® (adalimumab), from Cambridge Antibody Technology. However, not all projects or hobbies will ever be anything more than an interesting tool or a pleasant way to pass the time. Our panel of experts will help to clarify what it takes to make a company.

Join us for a compelling discussion and some great networking.


6:00-7:00 PM - Registration & networking

7:00-7:10 PM - ENET Chairman's announcements

7:10-7:25 PM - eMinute - Up to 3 startup companies’ presentations

7:25-8:15 PM - Three expert speakers on the night's topic

8:15- 8:30 PM - Audience / Speakers Q & A

8:30 - 9:00 PM - Final networking includes meeting presenting speakers

A question and answer session follow the presentation, and panelists will be available afterward 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 afterward.


Ania Knap, Ph.D., Founder – Ania Creative Designs

Ania started her post-graduate career as a scientist at Yale, with a professor who received a Nobel Prize while she was there. She moved on from the academic excitement to the pharmaceutical business, beginning at Ciba-Geigy/Novartis and eventually worked into the biotech arena where she cofounded MaxThera, an antibacterial therapeutic startup. After exiting MaxThera, she turned her attention to artistic pursuits and is now developing a rug hooking business from what had previously been a hobby interest and side hustle. In its early conception, Ania Creative Designs, a.k.a. ACD was mostly focused on the creation and sales of artistically designed and handmade jewelry. That focus has shifted over the years, and today, the ACD mission encompasses exploring, creating, inspiring, and teaching the art and science of rug hooking and dyeing. Ania inspires others to hook rugs and enables them to succeed. Together with Monique Frechette, she writes a blog on the subject entitled, ”My Mother’s a Hooker.”

Ilsa Webeck, MBA, Founder, MedTech Strategies

founded MedTech Strategies, a boutique, strategic research consulting firm, with the knowledge that all companies, regardless of their size, need to develop a product/service value proposition and understand the business of healthcare to be successful.  She works with companies on technology initiatives focused on identifying value and actionable outcomes for growth. Her past roles include corporate planning, product management, and early product strategy at Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Spine, Biogen, and Health Advances. Ilsa holds a BA in Biology from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business.  She is an invited lecturer at the Boston Biomedical Innovation Center and is a member of the Medical Development Group (MDG) board.

Michael Morisy, Co-founder and Chief Executive of the MuckRock Foundation  

Foundation is a non-profit government transparency startup based in Cambridge, MA. MuckRock works with over 2,700 newsrooms around the world to help request, analyze, and share information key to helping society understand our world. In addition to newsrooms, MuckRock’s portfolio of open source services are accessible to all, helping advocates, researchers, and ordinary people better understand their communities.

Previously, Michael was an editor at the Boston Globe, where he launched the paper's technology vertical. He has been awarded a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship at the University of Missouri, the John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Network Fellow at Harvard University. Michael graduated in 2007 from Cornell University with a degree in English.


Maureen Mansfield, ALM 

CSO, MANSFIELD  LAW  ~ Protect Your Passion ~

Vice-Chair, IEEE Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (IEEE Boston ENET) 

Maureen is passionate about protecting passions and implementing strategies to protect, build, scale, and commercialize startups, inventions, and early-stage companies with MANSFIELD  LAW  ~ Protect Your Passion ~

Her experience helps entrepreneurs build innovative products and services, often with cutting-edge technologies. Maureen co-founded and bootstrapped a startup to a funding event that launched during her graduate studies. After sharing her startup story at ENET, Maureen was asked to volunteer and now serves as a Vice-Chair, Alliance Partners. After starting her career with her dream job, she has helped companies, from family-owned businesses to Fortune 50s, on projects of local, national, and international scope, in both the public and private sectors. During this journey, many companies enjoyed their most successful years to date as Maureen initiated and implemented systems that improved business processes, analytics, and contract compliance, often discovering new, profitable markets while building efficiencies for both the companies and their clients, saving time and money to bottom lines. Through prior board appointments at nonprofits, Maureen co-founded two charities that continue today.

Maureen holds several BAs in selective programs from The University of Iowa and earned a Masters with honors from Harvard University. Scholarships and Dean’s Lists enabled Maureen to complete her degrees. Also, Maureen holds certificates in Project Management.

You can follow Maureen on Twitter @MaureenManALM.


eMinute Presentations will be 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.

Reservations: Please register at https://boston-enet.org/event-3454831/Registration

COST AND RESERVATIONS:This meeting is free to ENET members and $10 for non-members. To expedite sign-in for the meeting, we ask that everyone -- members as well as non-members -- pre-register for the meeting 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.

LOCATION: Draper, Hill Building, One Hampshire St. Cambridge, MA 02139. The address is One Hampshire St, but the entrance is actually on Broadway. Attendees must arrive at Draper before 7 pm. Entrance is locked after 7 pm.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Kendall Square stop on the Red Line.

PARKINGEvening discounted parking available at Blue, Yellow, and Green Parking Garages http://greaterbostonparking.com/kendall.html. Metered parking is often available after 6 pm

REFRESHMENTS: Pizza, salad and soft drinks will be served at this meeting.

PARKING: Parking Near Draper - Kendall Center Blue, Yellow, and Green Parking Garages. Metered parking is often available after 6pm.

REFUND POLICY: If you cancel your registration before the event, ENET will refund your registration fee in the form of a credit towards a future ENET event.