Pressure testing is a 360-degree check of a business strategy or plan that reveals blind spots within the organization and assumptions that may be held by members of the team. It is a stress test to evaluate plans before committing resources into action to identify risks and opportunities. One of the biggest mistakes made by startup company founders and entrepreneurs: charging in with an inadequate understanding both of the problem they want to address and the practicability of the solution they have in mind.
Among the rigorous "pressure tests" that can be applied to the entrepreneurial idea, are the following:
Defining the business need or problem and articulating the revenue-generating solution,
Developing a qualified advisory group,
Defining and segmenting a target population,
Identifying the most competitive alternative, and
Addressing operating realities.
At the end of each test the entrepreneur and team seek to issues and to thus spot early and inexpensively those ideas that aren't worth pursuing. Successful pressure testing can save a startup company a lot of money and potentially save the founder and entrepreneur form a lost opportunity and an unsuccessful ventures.
This is all part of our topic for the evening “Pressure – Test your Startup Idea.” The discussion will also include how pressure testing is done in different entrepreneurial settings, and from different viewpoints. Our first speaker is an accomplished scientist and life science C-level executive and entrepreneurs, who will discuss pressure testing in STEM-based entrepreneurship. Our second speaker, a consultant, author, and company founder, will approach pressure testing as part of her strategiesfor digital transformation, product marketing, business processes, and branding. She will also emphasize the importance of having the right people within the startup (and circle of advisers) to conduct a pressure test. Our third and final speaker, with offer the viewpoint of the angel investor which is important for founders and entrepreneurs to know as you may be right now or later be seeking angel investment to grow your startup company. Our third speaker who is co-chair of an important Massachusetts focused angel fund and chair-emeritus of the angel investors association will speak about pressure testing from the viewpoint of the investor, its relevance, benefits and importance for a startup that wants to gain angel investment. The panel will be moderated by ENET Chair Emeritus Rob Adelson.
There will be about an hour of online networking, available to registrants before the meeting, and a half hour networking post-meeting, that would give attendees the chance to “meet” virtually the speakers and moderator.
6:00 – 6:45 – Networking on Zoom
7:00 - 7:10 PM - ENET Chairperson's announcements
7:10 - 7:25 PM – eMinute Pitch - Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
7:25 - 8:10 PM - expert speakers on the night's topic
8:10 - 8:30 PM – Moderator and Audience Q & A with the speakers
8:30 – 9:00 PM - Networking on Zoom
(all times are USA Eastern Daylight time)
A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion, and panelists will be available afterward for responses to individual questions.
David L. Verrill, Founder/Managing Director @ Hub Angels Investment Group, Chair Emeritus @ Angel Capital Association . The Hub Angels began meeting in March 2000 with the notion of matching active, early stage investors with technology-driven, start-up companies. Location preference for Massachusetts, but also the Northeastern states and Eastern Canada. Investment: $250K - $750K purchase of preferred equity, (far) less than $10 million pre-money valuation, board representation, active investors. Hub Angels currently manages a portfolio of more than 40 companies across six funds. The Hub funds and Members have invested more than $40 million in a broad range of sectors including Mobile/Media, Internet/Web Services, Software, Life Sciences, and Electronics/Industrial. David's professional career began as a research scientist at the Center for Blood Research in Boston focusing on the MHC of genetically engineered mice. After receiving his master's degree from Sloan in 1987, he spent a decade at MIT raising capital from industry and facilitating technology transfer. David still holds a partial appointment at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. In 1996 he joined Xerox as Manager of International Sales and Business Development for the Adaptive Products Division before it was sold. In 1998 David joined third party marketing firm Winchester International Group as Managing Director. In 2000 Winchester helped found the Hub Angels, an early stage investment group in Boston. David sits on the Boards of several Hub portfolio companies, and is Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association. David was educated at Bowdoin College and the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Mary Brodie, Digital Transformation & Customer Experience Strategist, Founder @ Gearmark. Her main work is as a senior business and marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience working with leaders and executives – from startups to Fortune 500s – to translate their corporate vision into compelling strategies and actionable plans. She has strong expertise in customer experience, particularly creating cohesive strategies for digital transformation, product marketing, business processes, and branding that result in successful launches, increased product adoption, lead generation, and revenue growth.
As founder of Gearmark, Mary has been helping companies create memorable customer experiences, online and offline, for over 20 years. From apps to content strategy to lead gen programs, Mary has helped companies achieve results that contribute to the bottom line. Mary is author of Revenue or Relationships? Win Both - https://www.revenueorrelationships.com/ She is an Adjunct Lead Digital Marketing Instructor at Kansas State University, and a graduate of Simmons University with BA and MA degrees.
Robert A. Adelson, Principal, Business and Tax attorney @ Adelson & Associates, LLC. Chair Emeritus @ Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET).
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 Engel & Schultz LLP where he was a partner from 2004 to 2019. When the senior partners retired, he moved his law practice to his own firm, effective 1/1/2020. 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, plus more than thirty articles since 2016 on executive employment topics published by CEOWorld magazine. 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, was Vice Chair 2005-2009, and ENET Chairman 2009-2019. He was 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.