Programs / Events

    • Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • WPI Rubin Campus Center

    Looking for money to grow your new venture, without having to give up equity? Have you considered grants as a funding source?

    Learn more about funding with fewer tradeoffs at The Venture Forum’s March 10 meeting. Come to an interactive session where attendees can learn from people on both sides of the equation – those who have won grants, and those who have chosen winning applicants.

    After hearing a brief overview of grant funding basics, participants will break into tables for small group mentoring with one of six speakers (see their bios below). Attendees will change tables every 10 to 15 minutes for new perspectives on the topic. By the end of the evening, meeting attendees will gather insights, define or build their grant strategy and be ready to take the first steps to pursue grant funding.

    Introducing Grant Funding 101 will be Natalie Rudolph, PhD and Giacomo Basadonna, MD, PhD, FACS. In addition, Mitchell Sanders, MS, PhD, Al Prescott, Dan Lilly and Art Martin will participate in the small group mentoring sessions.

    Dr. Natalie Rudolph is the Principal of Rudolph Biomedical Consulting with 24 years of experience in the biotech and biomedical industries. She held scientific and management positions at two start-up biotechnology companies, where she helped to develop and support three lines of biomedical assay reagents, managed an intellectual property portfolio, and coordinated technology licenses and extramural research collaborations. For the last 17 years, she has worked with small companies and research institutions to develop R&D project strategies and fund them through non-dilutive grants and contracts in excess of $30M.

    Dr. Rudolph holds a BS from Cook College of Rutgers University, and an MS and PhD in biochemical genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She completed postdoctoral research in cell and molecular genetics at the University of Rochester Medical School and Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Giacomo Basadonna is the Director of the Global Medical Affairs Division of CMC Consulting. Dr. Basadonna has 25 years in academic surgery. He is the current chairman of the NIAID/NIH Data Safety Management Board with author of 100+ scientific articles and book chapters and is a reviewer for the major medical journals. He is a tenured professor at University of Massachusetts and Yale University Schools of Medicine; Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; Director, UMass Organ Transplantation Division and Yale University Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Services. Dr. Basadonna received his MD and PhD, University of Milan.

    Mitchell Sanders is a Senior Partner of the Global Medical Affairs Division of CMC Consulting. He is serial entrepreneur with 30+ years’ experience in securing capital for medical device, biotech, and life science startups. In the past 15 years, Sanders has secured $22M in non- dilutive financing, including 9 SBIR grants. He is an expert in clinical and translational research and is a reviewer for the Wound Healing Society (WHS), CIMIT, and MassVentures. He has authored over 12 peer-reviewed publications and is lead inventor on 27 worldwide patents in medical device and in vitro diagnostics. Sanders has a BS in Biology/Latin Language and Literature from Boston University, an MS and PhD from WPI in Molecular Biology and Biomedical Sciences, and post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute/MIT in biochemistry and pathogen genetics.

    Art Martin is a senior business advisor/ technology specialist at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University. He advises nearly 200 small business clients and entrepreneurial ventures annually, providing assistance to technology-related startups, including management advice on best practices, business and product development, business planning, access to capital, marketing, operations and other aspects of running a small technology-based business. He also advises clients in business acquisition and turnaround situations.

    Martin has been a founder of multiple start-up companies and has more than 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur. Most recently he held the position as President and Chief Executive Office of incubator company FloDesign, Inc. of Wilbraham, MA during the successful spinout of FloDesign Wind Turbine (Ogin, Inc.). He was subsequently instrumental in the spinout of FloDesign Sonics. Under his leadership, FloDesign, Inc. was the recipient of three Phase I and two Phase II SBIR’s. Of particular interest was the successful DOE Phase II that resulted in the design and development of a 1KW Hydrokinetic Water Turbine with integral rim drive generator. Martin was also Founder and CEO of SFA, Inc. where he spent 16 years leading this instrument company specializing in robotic chemistry workstations for the pharmaceutical industry.

    He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Robotics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters of Education from Boston College.
    Al Prescott, Founder and President of Crescent Innovations since 2001, was the WPI Venture Forum Business Plan Contest winner in 2006. Prior to founding Crescent Innovations, he served in senior engineering positions with Anika Therapeutics, Raytheon and Copley Pharmaceutical. He began his career as a process engineer with W.R. Grace. Prescott, who holds four patents, earned his BS in chemical engineering from WPI and his MS in chemical engineering from UMass Lowell.
    Daniel Lilly brings the perspective of government procurement to the evening’s conversations. A Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and government sales advisor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center within the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Southeast Regional Office in New Bedford, Mass. since 1999, Lilly has experience with program management and technology sales management to the government and to Fortune 500 businesses. State director of the Rhode Island Procurement Technical Assistance Center for seven years, and previously National Legislative Director for the Association of Government Marketing Assistance Specialists (AGMAS), Lilly has also been a member and board member of the Rhode Island Council on Logistics Systems and Engineering Excellence. He is a graduate of Fordham University and received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts.
    • Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • WPI Campus Center, Odeum (parking below)

    This is The Venture Forum’s 9
    th Annual 5 Minute Pitch Contest that has been so incredibly powerful in getting startups the outlet that they need to launch their business to the next level.

    On April 14
    th we will have 10 of New England’s finest pitching for you, the audience, and our team of 5 keen judges. In addition, the room will have approximately 20 other businesses presenting their ideas. With food, wine, coffee, and dessert, the atmosphere couldn’t be better.

    Setup for the evening will begin around 4:30 with networking and food available beginning at 5 PM. At 6 PM the fun will start and our pitchers will get under way. They will have five minutes to tell their story and three minutes to answer judge questions, all in an effort to convince you and the judges why their idea is the next great business. 

    See the WPI Campus map for directions.

    Previous Winners

    10 Pitches
    5 Minutes
    $2500 Cash Prize

    Where will you be?

    • Tuesday, May 12, 2015
    • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • WPI

    More details to come.

    • Tuesday, June 09, 2015
    • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • WPI

    More details to come.

Past events

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Network with a New Crowd
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Your IP Plan – from Idea to Execution
Tuesday, December 09, 2014 Attract Investor Attention in Innovative Ways
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Choosing Your Target Market…Let It Choose You
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Build Your Team to Create Together
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 War Stories from Successful Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Guy Kawasaki on Getting Your First Investment
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Manufacturing How-tos for Startups
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Battling Diabetes and Obesity with Technology and Exercise
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Five-Minute Pitch Contest
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Stages of Social Innovation Growth
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Innovation Fair
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Personalized Medicine
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Business Plan Contest
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 Lean Startups
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 "Visions of Growth" with Tim Murray and Michael O'Brien.
Saturday, September 07, 2013 Jim Fee Start-up Clinic
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Ask the Experts
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Go To Market: Market, Sell or Perish - The Most Critical Phase of a Fledgling Business
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 Building the Team - The Most Critical Part of a Nascent Business
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Networking Event at Metso Automation
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 5 Minute Pitch Contest





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