** Our CEO Lunch Program has officially ended. We have notified all of 2012 winners. We look forward to your submission during BREW 2013**
What can you expect in 2013? More CEOs! More opportunities to meet with some of the most respected and successful CEOs in Massachusetts! Here is a look at our list of 2012 CEOs:
Founder and CEO, BzzAgent, Inc.
Dave Balter is the founder and CEO of BzzAgent, Inc. which he launched in late 2001. Previous to BzzAgent, Dave ran and sold two promotions agencies, and even wore a suit to work for a few years in the financial marketing industry. Since its launch, BzzAgent has been featured everywhere from the CBS Evening News to the BBC to The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and is the subject of two Harvard Business School cases. Today, across North America and the United Kingdom, BzzAgent remains at the forefront of the changing media and marketing landscape. Dave co-founded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association in 2004 (WOMMA) and has authored two books on the subject of Word of Mouth, Grapevine and The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II.
In 2007, Harvard Business School dubbed Dave one of Boston's “Hottest Technology CEOs.” Dave was named to the “40 under 40” list by The Boston Business Journal and Advertising Specialty Institute, and in 2008, Dave was recognized as a Future Legend by the AdClub. Dave also sits on the advisory boards of the Wharton Future of Advertising Project, Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, Mass Technology Leadership Council, Social Media Advisory Council, FitnessKeeper, Perkstreet and the Boston Boys & Girls Club Marketing and Communications Committee.
Jay is passionate about growing tech startups. Having founded three, and worked at several started by others, he's spent the bulk of his career creating value for young companies. From his engineering, product management, industry analyst, or founder / executive roles, he has learned how to help young companies discover product/market-fit, build great teams, acquire key customers to establish value, and raise the capital to accomplish all of this. Most notably, he co-founded Acquia in 2007, which was named the #8 overall (#1 software) company in the 2012 Inc. 500 list.
Steven K. Conine
Chairman and Co-Founder, Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores)
Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores) is a large online retailer of Home Goods that will do over $500M in sales this year. Steve has played a variety of roles inside Wayfair (the business was started in his house in 2002). He focuses primarily on the technology and systems that run the business.
Steve has extensive executive leadership experience in private and public technology companies. Steve was a Founder, Member of the Board, and Chief Technology Officer of Simplify Mobile, a software company providing mobile phone management solutions to large enterprises. Steve was responsible for architecting and developing the software for this business. Simplify Mobile was sold to Tangoe, an enterprise software company offering a full telecommunications management solution.
Before starting Simplify Mobile, Steve served as Chief Operating Officer for the London Office of iXL, a publicly traded global technology consulting firm. He was responsible for London-based operations, and was involved in sales, service delivery, and operations in the UK market.
Steve also previously co-founded and served as a top executive of Spinners Incorporated, an IT services firm. Spinners provided custom application development services to Fortune 500 companies including AOL Time Warner, The New York Times, JP Morgan Chase, and Merrill Lynch. Steve was integral to the architecting and development of all of the technology solutions Spinners created. Steve led Spinners to revenue and net income growth of 300 percent per year while maintaining a 30 percent net income margin. Spinners was sold to iXL in 1998.
Steve holds a BS from Cornell University, and lives in Boston, Mass., with his wife and three young children.
Founder, Derby Management
Prior to forming Derby Management, a management consulting firm specializing in both emerging and middle market growth companies, in 1990, Jack’s background included positions as CEO of Mayer Electronics Corporation, President of CB Sports, President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix Corporation and Executive Vice President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems. Derby Management focuses on four services to its customers most of whom are early stage companies in a variety of industries in complex markets.
- Sales & Marketing Optimization
- Senior Management Coaching to CEOs and Vice Presidents of Sales
- Business & strategic planning
- Fundraising for early stage companies
Jack is also a professor at Tufts University’s School of Engineering where he teaches a course in Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing. Additionally, he is a Lecturer at MIT where he has been teaching classes in business planning and in sales and marketing in the Mechanical Engineering Department for 13 years.
Jack is extremely active in the New England emerging and middle market business communities. Jack has been named to Mass High Tech’s All Star Team. Additionally, he was Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Vice Chair of the Smaller Business Association of New England, and is currently Chairman of the Association for Corporate Growth of Boston, the largest business association in the U.S. focused on M&A and private equity. Corporately, Jack is currently a Director at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Accounting Management Solutions, The Alliance Companies, Beacon Hospice, Brainshark Corporation, Common Angels, Research Frontiers, Rome Snowboards and Ntirety Inc. Jack has been an active board member in 10 other companies. Jack is a graduate of Boston College, the University of Chicago and the United States Peace Corps.
Chairman, Sparta Group LLC, A123 Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks and Curata
Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is the Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, A123 Systems (AONE), Sycamore Networks (SCMR), Tejas Networks and Curata. Prior to co-founding Sycamore Networks, Dr. Deshpande was founder and chairman of Cascade Communications Corp. Dr. Deshpande serves as a member of the MIT Corporation, and his generous donations have made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Dr. Deshpande holds a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.E.from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D from Queens University in Canada.
He and his wife are involved in several non-profit initiatives that include support for MIT, IIT, Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the Social Entrepreneurship Sandboxes in India and USA. Deshpande co-chairs a National Council to support President Obama's innovation and entrepreneurship strategy with Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan and Steve Case co-founder of AOL.
CTO and Co- Founder, Kayak
Paul English is Chief Technology Officer and cofounder. Before starting KAYAK, Paul was a lifelong technology entrepreneur. He co-founded Boston Light Software, a small business e-commerce platform that was sold to Intuit. At Intuit, Paul became Vice President of technology and led small business Internet and product strategy, company-wide innovation process, and tech recruiting.
Paul was briefly an entrepreneur in-residence at Greylock, a co-founder and Director of Intermute, the founder of the World Xiangqi League, cofounder and Chairman of Mancala, Inc., Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product Management at Interleaf. He also did contract programming for the US Air Force, operations research programming for Data General, programming for a medical device company, and even some video game software and sound-effect development.
Paul is involved in nearly every aspect of our company, but he spends most of his time leading product strategy and design, customer support and recruiting. Paul is obsessed with customer feedback. (He hates bad customer service so much that he launched the www.gethuman.com initiative to help consumers fight back against bad phone systems.)
Paul received a BS and MS in computer science from University of Massachusetts. Paul regularly lectures on entrepreneurship topics at Boston-area universities, and was named Chief Technology Officer of the year by Mass Technology Leadership Council in 2009. He's also a Director at Partners-In-Health and Village Health Works, and is an advisor to JoinAfrica, FanSnap, Roost, LinkedIn, and Pixable.
Chairman & CEO, Co-founder, Carbonite and several other companies
David Friend has been a successful technology entrepreneur for over 25 years. After serving as President of ARP Instruments, he co-founded four companies: Sonexis, FaxNet, Pilot Software, and Computer Pictures Corporation. In 2010, David was named Ernst & Young Entreprenuer of the Year in the Emerging Technology category for the New England Region. He has been featured in USA Today, Tech Capital, The Boston Globe, Mass HiTech, Fortune, Forbes and Tom Peter's best-selling management book, The Pursuit of Wow!
David has been a lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and is an active supporter of music and the arts in Boston. He is a trustee (emeritus) of the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
David holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Yale University and attended the Princeton University Graduate School of Engineering where he was a David Sarnoff Fellow. He is an avid marathoner, distance cyclist, windsurfer, and hiker.
CEO, WiTricity Corporation
Eric Giler is the Chief Executive Officer of WiTricity Corporation of Watertown, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. WiTricity Corp. was founded in 2007 to commercialize an exciting new technology for wireless electricity invented two years earlier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Prior to WiTricity, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groove Mobile, the world’s leading mobile music service from 2006 until its acquisition by LiveWire Mobile in early 2008.
Eric was the founder and served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Brooktrout Inc., a leading supplier of advanced hardware and software products for system vendors and service providers in the electronic messaging market, from 1984 until its acquisition by EAS Group, Inc. in 2005. Under Eric’s leadership, Brooktrout grew to over $150M in annual revenue, and had a successful IPO in 1992.
Eric serves on the boards of directors of Soundbite Communications in Bedford, Massachusetts and Muse Research in Menlo Park, California. In addition, he serves as a Trustee of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, is on the President’s Advisory Council for Berklee College of Music, and is a Corporation Member of Partners HealthCare. He is the author of eight patents.
Eric holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
CEO, Constant Contact
Gail Goodman is CEO of Constant Contact, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals and online survey tools for small organizations. She is also the author of “Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins In a Socially Connected World.” Gail has led the company from pre-product, pre-funding to more than 450,000 customers, more than $200m revenue run rate and an IPO (CTCT) in October 2007.
Along the way, she learned a variety of lessons on customer/market fit, reaching and converting customers at a low price point, conversion and retention from free trials, building and scaling teams, executive team management and alignment, balancing strategy and execution, building and managing the board and financing both VC and public. Gail is a first-time CEO and is still learning as it goes in building a world-class company.
Chairman and CEO Zipcar
You can drive a Zipcar forward, backward, left or right, but Scott Griffith – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zipcar – has taken Zipcar straight up.
Since taking the wheel in February of 2003, Scott steered Zipcar to first place as the world’s leading car sharing network. In the fall of 2007, Scott led Zipcar’s merger with Flexcar, managing the integration of the company fleets, technology and membership base under the Zipcar brand and service. In 2010, Scott navigated the successful acquisition of London-based Streetcar, the UK’s fastest growing car club, in an effort to expand the benefits of car-sharing throughout the UK and globally. Most recently, in April 2011, Scott led Zipcar through a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) to become publicly traded company on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "ZIP."
For his accomplishments at Zipcar, Scott was named a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2009, selected as one of Huffington Post’s 2010 Game-changers in transportation, and dubbed Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 2010 Social Entrepreneur CEO of the Year. He was recently honored by nonprofit research and consulting firm Root Cause as the recipient of their first Business Innovator Award in May 2011. In addition, BusinessWeek named Scott one of its “Best Leaders of 2006,” and he was the recipient of Babson College's ELiTE Award for entrepreneurship. As a leading authority on the benefits of car-sharing and transportation issues, Scott has been interviewed by the world's top news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, FORTUNE, Newsweek, The New York Times, CNN, CNBC, USA Today, Associated Press, CBS-TV, FOX-TV, ABC World News Tonight and Time Magazine.
Prior to Zipcar, Scott held senior level positions at The Boeing Company, Information America, an Atlanta-based provider of online public record information, and The Parthenon Group, a boutique business strategy and investment firm.
Scott earned his BS in engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
President and CEO, Communispace
Diane helped found Communispace in 1999, raising nearly $20MM in venture capital, and pioneering the creation of online communities to help marketers generate consumer insights. Since then, Communispace has managed nearly 550 communities for over 120 global clients and has won a string of awards for innovation, excellence, and culture. With 400 employees, Communispace has seen revenues triple over the last four years, and it boasts a 90% client retention rate.
Diane has spent her 30-year career helping companies become customer-focused—both as a business executive, and as co-author of the best-selling book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. She has received many awards and citations for her leadership, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (National Finalist), and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year. She sits on over a dozen boards, from the Advertising Research Foundation to the Boston Philharmonic, where she is the Chairman. Over the last 5 years, Diane has been deeply involved in the Boston startup community: mentoring people, keynoting at events, and inspiring entrepreneurs.
A graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Business School, she is the mother of two grown daughters and co-founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that sings about business.
CEO, The Life is good Company
Bert Jacobs is the co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist of The Life is good Company. A $100 million privately held business based in Boston, MA, Life is good® spreads positive vibes with its colorful collection of apparel and accessories. Jake, Life is good’s iconic hero with the contagious smile, teaches men, women and children that optimism is fun, healthy, and empowering. In 1994, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, Bert and his brother John officially launched Life is good. Today, Life is good products are sold by over 4,500 retailers nationwide, and in 30 countries worldwide. Bert, John, and The Life is good Company are living proof that “Optimism can take you anywhere.” Believing that consumers are already overwhelmed by too much “noise” in the marketplace, Life is good has never spent a penny on traditional advertising of its products. 100% of the company’s growth is attributable to consumer word-of-mouth.
Seth Priebatsch was born in Boston, MA at the age of 7. At the age of 12, he founded his first web start-up. It failed gloriously, achieving profits several times those of Twitter. After completing his freshman year at Princeton (the official requirement to achieve the term dropout), Seth took a "leave-of-absence" to pursue SCVNGR. The goal? To build the game layer on top of the world. As Chief Ninja of SCVNGR, Seth is solely responsible for corporate acquisition of all Nerf-based technologies. An avid supporter of blood drives, Seth consistently donates plasma for use in large-screen televisions.
Founder and CEO, Karmaloop, Inc. / Karmaloop TV
Greg Selkoe is the Founder and CEO of Karmaloop.com, one of the world’s largest and most- respected online retailers of “streetwear” (footwear, apparel and accessories). The company is a natural extension of his lifelong interest in “global concrete culture” – fashion, graffiti, hip-hop and electronic music, street art, and breakdancing (the latter remains a hobby to this day). Greg founded Karmaloop in 2000 at the age of 25, following three years as an urban planner for the City of Boston. Soon afterwards, he entered Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, completing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy in 2005. When the company began, Selkoe had no retail or business experience, and Karmaloop was run out of the basement of his parents’ Boston home.
Since those early days, under Selkoe’s leadership Karmaloop.com has experienced consistent and, more recently, explosive growth on its way to becoming a hugely successful, multi-platform e- commerce site, lifestyle network and a global epicenter for “Verge Culture” (fashion- and tech-savvy 18-34 year-olds known as the first generation to “grow up on the internet”). Karmaloop.com reported 2011 revenues of $130 million, showing 81% growth over 2010’s impressive mark of $72 million.
Greg Selkoe’s unwavering dedication to building community, fostering culture, and driving innovation has not only led to the success of Karmaloop.com and Karmaloop TV, but also fuels and informs contributions he makes to a wide variety of philanthropic organizations. Greg sits on the board of the Kanye West Foundation, works with the Boston Public Health Commission on its youth anti-violence programs, and during the 2008 presidential campaign was a spokesperson for Vote for Change and helped to register young voters in partnership with Declare Yourself. He is the founder of the Future Boston Alliance – a group dedicated to improving cultural life in Boston and retaining local creative talent – and is involved in organizations including: Kidult Youth Conference; Youth Design; the Boston Ballet; Friends of the Public Garden; the Emerald Necklace Conservancy; the Institute of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Fine Arts; the Animal Rescue League; and UNICEF. In 2009, Greg was invited to the White House as one of America’s “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35.”
Selkoe is one of the nation’s leading experts on youth marketing, culture, retailing and social networking trends. He has appeared as a guest on TV networks including Fox Business, Fox News, CNBC and Bloomberg Television, and he and Karmaloop.com have been featured in high-profile national print media such as USA Today, Entrepreneur and the Wall Street Journal, among many others. Greg has been a featured blogger for the Huffington Post since early 2010.
In addition to his Master’s in Public Policy from The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Selkoe holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Rollins College in Florida.
Founder and CTO, HubSpot
Dharmesh is the founder and CTO of HubSpot. HubSpot provides marketing software for small businesses. The company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has raised over $50 million in venture capital, has over 5,000 customers and 260 employees. Dharmesh is the co-author of "Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs" published by Wiley in October, 2009. The book has been one of the top 20 marketing books on Amazon for over a year. He also authors OnStartups.com, a popular startup blog with over 200,000 members in its online community. He is an active member of the Boston area entrepreneurial community, an angel investor in over 20 startups and a frequent speaker on the topic of startups and internet marketing. Dharmesh has a B.S. in Computer Science from UAB and an M.S. in the Management of Technology from MIT.
President and Founder at Co-Flow Investing, LLC
I love the process of starting and building great companies. In 1987 I started Avid Technology, Inc. We built a great product and a great team, and today Avid is the world leader in video, film, and music editing systems.
In 1991 I started Wildfire Communications along with co-founders Nick d'Arbleloff, Rich Miner, and Tony Lovell. We built a ground-breaking speech-based electronic assistant that worked over the phone. Wildfire was sold to Orange, PLC in 2000. In 1999 I started FutureBoston which built advanced mapping tools that let you understand the story of a place by looking precisely aligned maps over time. This is now the Boston Atlas – a great online resource maintained by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. In 2002 I created a shared workspace called the Collaboration Space at Warner Research, in Cambridge, near Fresh Pond. I believe that shared workspaces are one key to creating the energy and relationships for startups. Now called the Brickyard Collaboration Space, it is run by the owner of the building.
Starting in 2004, and continuing to today, I began work on a book about "How to Build Your Startup From the Heart." This book is based on my experiences and on what I've learned from angel investing over the years.
In 2008, working with Tom Hopcroft and Heather Johnson at MassTLC, we created a new type of conference focused on helping early stage entrepreneurs. Called the MassTLC Innovation unConference, the most recent event sponsored 160 entrepreneurs and gathered over 600 people to help them.
My focus now is on helping entrepreneurs with tools that are part of my Build Your Startup From the Heart work. One of those tools is very early stage investing, usually about $25,000. I generally like to be the very first money into the company. I'm willing (and even prefer) investing so early that the only traction is in the entrepreneur's head. I choose my investments based mainly on the entrepreneur, and not on the details of the idea.