Springboard 2010 Alumnae Caucus
The Springboard 2010 Alumnae Caucus was held in Boston and at Babson College on June 1 – 3. The three days of programming included a special presentation at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, our AllThingsLifeSciences/CleanTech: 2010 Bootcamp, a dinner co-hosted by Babson’s Center for Women’s Leadership, and then closed by gathering Springboard alumnae from over the past ten years for our third bi-annual Alumnae Caucus.
“It was a great experience and I heard nothing but rave reviews about the job the Springboard team did in putting together a terrific conference. The experiences and knowledge shared were fascinating and so helpful to those embarking on the path of leadership of a new company. And I learned a few new things myself.” -Joyce Durst, Growth Acceleration Partners (SW2002, MW 2003)
June 1 – With the generous support of Springboard advisor Lore Harp McGovern, we were briefed and feted by three of the Institute’s faculty – Director Robert Desimone, John Gabrieli and Ann Graybiel. The presenters spoke on the cutting edge research that is being conducted at the Institute and shared some exciting new findings in understanding the brain and neurological and psychiatric diseases, including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, dyslexia, and learning disabilities. Springboard alumna and board member, Dr. Pamela Contag, spoke about the importance of the connections between the research conducted at the Institute and the efforts of Springboard companies to bring these breakthroughs to the markets that they were intended to benefit. Participants were also treated to a tour of the facilities and the state-of-the-art neuroimaging lab followed by a lovely reception in the atrium of this fabulous facility on the MIT campus.
June 2 – The AllThingsLifeSciences/ CleanTech: 2010 Bootcamp is an opportunity for us to get to know and continue our SWOT assessment of the 20 companies participating in this year’s forum program. They were videotaped giving a brief bio and a company elevator pitch. Three were selected to work one on one with our presentation coach and all were able to present and receive feedback on their presentation style by the group, enhancing synergies and the connectivity of the class. The program agenda included our time honored morning panel – The Key Elements of a Venture Presentation – moderated by Bruce Deming of Covington and Burling and featuring Bill Fair of Ajax Partners, Ann DeWitt of Flagship Ventures, Susan Rohrer of Merck, Don Williams of Grant Thornton, and Springboard alumna AG Breitenstein (NE01) Humedica. Next was a tutorial by Professor Virginia Soybel on presenting financials to investors. The luncheon was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Following the luncheon, Presentation Coaches Doug MacDougall and Sara Cavanaugh from MacDougall Biomedical Communications conducted an interactive session on effective delivery techniques.
June 3 – 2000…2010…2020 Creating Long Term Value was a dinner in joint celebration of ten years of programming by Springboard and Babson’s Center for Women’s Leadership. Attendees included this year’s forum presenters, our alumnae, sponsors, and faculty and friends from Babson College. The program featured David Stein, Partner with Withers Bergman (dinner sponsor) who provided practical advice on effective business strategies, managing finances, selecting business advisors, and maintaining perspective for long term growth. Advisory Council member Betsy Myers, was interviewed about her upcoming book on authentic leadership styles and insights from her years running the White House Women’s Office and as COO for the Obama Campaign.
The June 3rd Caucus was a day of conversation among peers who have “been there, run that.” Attendees called the event “a huge success,” citing outstanding speakers, participants, content and the value of the platform Springboard provides where a peer group of experts who have a keen understand of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs building high-growth businesses share their insights and solutions. A panel of Springboard’s Advisory Council members set the tone by addressing the importance of finding the right advisors for both the entrepreneur and the company. Babson professors Patti Greene and Candida Brush led a workshop exploring organizational culture and interviewed alumna and Tikatok founder, Sharon Kan (ATM08), who recently sold her company to Barnes & Noble.
After lunch, alumnae participated in a series of solution sessions on strategic topics including Alternative Funding, Strategic Partnering, Negotiating Equity Terms, Managing Human Capital and Win-Win Exit Strategies. Throughout the day, alumnae delivered ‘essays’ highlighting their perspectives on the process of leading high growth businesses: Christine Adamow (NE01), CEO Africa Biofuel & Emission, spoke about Global Opportunities referring to her new adventures launching a renewable energy company in Africa; Jen Baird (MW05), Jenuity Consulting entitled her essay To Boldly Go referring to her recent exit from the company she founded; Joan Fallon (ATLS09), CEO Curemark, spoke about her success in uncovering New Ways of Investing in Innovation, and Susan Hunt Stevens (NE00), founder of Practically Green, shared insights on Effective Use of New and Social Media.We concluded the day with Sam Horn and Denise Brosseau leading a session on mapping out strategies and tactics for Springboard’s Next Decade. Results of these sessions and other input received re: strategic planning will be presented in the Fall 2010.