Most startups start as solo acts, but building a team is critical to building a business from that first brilliant idea. The October 14 Venture Forum speaker will be Andy Miller, chief innovation architect at Constant Contact. Andy founded his Boston-based mobile app company CardStar in 2009 to store frequent-shopper loyalty card information on smart phones. Two million users and $2.3 million in funding later, Constant Contact bought his company, together with most of the employees from the Boston and Washington, DC offices, in January 2012.
Today, Andy leads an innovation team of 15 to test new concepts and build prototypes at Constant Contact’s Small Business InnoLoft in Waltham. His group is housed together with a rotating group of startup companies. Read more about Andy here.
Case presenter and CEO Jason Shuman will discuss the company he founded in 2011 together with his four best friends, Category 5 Boat Shoes. The group has redesigned and updated the classic boat shoe for today’s millennials, and last spring introduced an extended line of driving mocs, penny loafers and customizable boat shoe models. Read more about Jason here.
Responding to the case presenter will be panelists Rob Kornblum, consultant to startups and large company innovation efforts, and Patricia Hunt Sinacole, CEO and founder of First Beacon Group LLC.
Come to WPI’s Rubin Campus Center on October 14 to learn how to manage and motivate creative employees and mentor innovative thinkers.
About October’s speakers:
Andy Miller is Chief Innovation Architect at Constant Contact, where he manages the Small Business Innovation Program, an accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurs developing solutions for small businesses. Prior to joining the company, he was CEO of CardStar where he was responsible for overall business development and strategic direction for the company. Prior to CardStar, Andy founded Lumifi LLC, Quece LLC, RetirementSuite.com, and StockCar Stocks Mutual Fund where he served on the Board of Directors. In addition, Andy has held various positions at PFPC, T. Rowe Price, Putnam Investments and Bank of America.
Andy holds a BA in Economics from SUNY Oswego, a MS in Entrepreneurial Studies from Suffolk University and serves as a member of the Entrepreneur Leadership Council at Suffolk University.
With more than 20 years of experience in human resources, Pattie serves as a regular “Job Doc” columnist and blogger for Boston.com and the Boston Globe. She also leads HR-related chats on www.boston.com. Pattie holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from Babson.
He entered the venture capital field through the Kauffman Foundation’s Kauffman Fellows Program. He was a fellow and later a Principal at Austin Ventures. Before becoming a VC, Rob was an investment banker at Robertson Stephens & Company, where he served high tech clients in capital raising, IPOs, and M&A.
After leaving venture capital, he became an executive and founder in numerous high growth companies including Monster.com; Manugistics, Inc.; Bullhorn (venture backed by Highland and General Catalyst); and ANGLE Technology, where he founded companies from university technologies. Most recently, he was Founder and CEO of Acquisition Sciences, where he raised venture capital from Kepha Partners.
Rob is currently an independent consultant to startups and large company innovation efforts. He is an active mentor at Start Tank, Mass Challenge, and Babson College. He is also writing a book on entrepreneurship.
He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
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