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Global Business Hub blog moves over to BetaBoston

Posted by Chad O'Connor April 1, 2014 02:00 AM

Dear loyal readers:

No, this isn't an April Fool's Day joke. This blog has moved over to BetaBoston.

You'll still be able to access the old content here, but the new stuff going forward will be there.

Special thanks to everyone at who has helped to make this possible over the years. Looking forward to a new home with more great content to come!

Best regards,

Mastering the art of French e-commerce

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 27, 2014 10:30 AM

French native Isabelle Beck was born in Lyon, France. Recipient of an Award for being “the youngest lawyer in France,” she began practicing law at the age of 20. After a successful 34-year career as an attorney in France, Isabelle decided to begin a second life in the US. Following her passion for art, decoration, and beautiful products, she moved to Massachusetts in 2013 and founded Your French Gift to bring the best of France to the US.


Boston Design Week brings design industries into focus

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 12, 2014 06:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

I was at a party a few weeks ago and was telling someone I'd just met about the First Annual Boston Design Week taking place March 20-30. He took another sip of his drink and told me that he wasn't "into" design, so I thought I would change the subject.


Artists know how to innovate

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 5, 2014 06:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

Whenever I tell an established business owner that I'm an artist who just launched a start-up, I often get some version of the same kindly-meant question. "You do know a business is supposed to make money, right?"


Gauging Olympic Games ROI

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 24, 2014 11:00 AM

With the closing of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, residents in the region of Sochi in Krasnodar Krai of the Russian Federation are asking what is next for their economic future. This topic is also of great interest for future hosting cities of the Olympic Games.


Startups, use your secret weapon - yourself!

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 16, 2014 06:00 AM

Customers are talking. They could be your customers, your competitors’ customers, or people still outside of your market waiting for a company to connect with them. From websites to social media, the twin powers of information and choice have shifted in the customers’ favor. More and more, customers are looking to connect on a personal level with companies. An easy connect with customers is to develop a personal brand.


Harvard forum tackles key issues in global citizenship

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 15, 2014 06:00 AM

Boston’s vibrant civil society - universities included - produces a cornucopia of programming on international issues such as global health and international security. But this wealth of programming is often provided without a sense of guiding purpose and can be difficult for young people to make sense of. At Harvard, for instance, multiple organs of the university work independently on seemingly disconnected global issues.


2014 promising tech superstars (video)

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 10, 2014 06:00 AM

Our friends at REEL Entrepreneurs just put together a new compilation video about some promising tech companies in Boston. Who do you think will be the next superstar of the lot? Watch it here to see for yourself and let us know...


International networking meets 3D printing

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 6, 2014 06:00 AM

At the January meeting of the International Executive Resources Group (IERG) Boston Chapter, the focus was on 3D printing, touted as an enabling platform for applications ranging from personalized medicine to personal drones. 3D printing will grow to an $8.4 billion market in 2025 in current applications like prototyping, molds, and tooling, as well as production parts in aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer goods, and electronics. However, as developers improve printing processes, equipment, and materials, they will enable truly new kinds of end products unrealizable with traditional methods.

tags tech

Social roundup of the Future Boston Accelerate pitch contest

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 27, 2014 06:00 AM

Continuing to build off last year's successes, the team at Future Boston Alliance have been hitting the ground running this year with their recent Assemble event on Martin Luther King Day and tonight's Activate State of the City event. Over the weekend their accelerator program hosted its pitch contest. Below is a brief social media roundup from the event.


MassNeeds: Collaboration counters winter basic needs crisis

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 21, 2014 06:00 AM

This winter, many low and moderate income families are facing desperate times. Their basic needs such as food, fuel, clothing, and shelter are not being met. Food assistance charities are seeing record demand for their services, Federal low-income heating assistance has been cut by more than half, rents are at all-time highs, and thousands of homeowners struggle to make payments on their mortgages and avoid foreclosure.


Future Boston Alliance announces upcoming Assemble and Activate events

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 19, 2014 06:00 AM

The team at Future Boston Alliance has announced some interesting upcoming programming for the end of January.

tags arts, Boston

Scenes and tweets from the January BWP reunion

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 9, 2014 06:00 AM

Here are some scenes and Twitter traffic from this week's Boston World Partnerships reunion gathering at PARK in Harvard Square. Special thanks to Connector Patrick Lee and Grafton Group for being such gracious hosts.


Mayor Menino: Innovator (video - ICYMI)

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 3, 2014 06:00 AM

In case you missed it earlier this year, our friends at The Hive and REEL Entrepreneurs scored a sit down with outgoing Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as he reflects on his legacy. You can watch the video below, and make sure you check out The Hive for some great business content!


Governor Patrick: Innovator (video - ICYMI)

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 2, 2014 06:00 AM

In case you missed it earlier this year, our friends at The Hive and REEL Entrepreneurs scored a sit down interview with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick! You can watch the video below, and make sure to check out The Hive for some great business content!


ICYMI: The real reasons young people leave Massachusetts

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 30, 2013 06:00 AM

[In case you missed it on April 1st...]

It is time to change the discourse around talent retention in Greater Boston.

Last Thursday’s second-ever joint city council hearing, hosted by Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson and Cambridge City Councillor Leland Cheung, in partnership with the World Class Cities Partnership (WCCP), highlighted the concern of talent loss to many in the Boston area. The discourse on this topic is not new to local leaders and the same lamentations about why young talent leaves – apartments are too expensive, the T doesn’t run all night, the bar scene is boring – keep getting shared across forum discussions, newspaper editorials, and election campaigns. But these are more the complaints of the people who stay, rather than the reasons for why others leave. [continued...]


Ron Burgundy: Feminist Anchorman

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 29, 2013 06:00 AM

I recently attended an advance screening of comedian Will Ferrell’s new movie, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in a theater filled with hundreds of revved up Emerson College students. The audience recited beloved catch-phrases (Stay classy, San Diego!) and howled at the travails and triumphs of Ferrell’s alter-ego, the bumbling newsman Ron Burgundy. And I laughed right along with them.


ICYMI: Give your life away

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 26, 2013 06:00 AM

[In case you missed it on September 24th...]

What will be your legacy? It is hard to know that one thing or those few things that will leave a lasting positive impact on our world. For instance, few would ever guess that a woman making Johnny cakes for her neighbors in the middle of the 20th century on the West Indian island of Nevis would later spark and inspire a world-class youth orchestra in Roxbury. This modest woman’s selfless act would have a powerful domino effect showing me the potent fruit of living generously. [continued...]


Art in Giving partners art and business to benefit pediatric cancer research

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 23, 2013 02:15 PM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

Do you have a building project or renovation planned or in process and have a need to decorate the space with fine art, or have a special gift to buy? If so, then Art in Giving is a great organization to partner with. Art in Giving enables the sale or loan of fine works of art created by more than 35 artists and galleries, and up to 50% of the proceeds are donated to The Rachel Molly Markoff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that makes grants to pediatric cancer research.


Hope for the holidays: Career Collaborative brings optimism

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 21, 2013 02:30 AM

One could view the holidays as a time of compassion fatigue, of maudlin sentimentality that takes our natural propensity for generosity and turns it into a kind of chore. With only a few days until Christmas, many of us are focused on buying last-minute gifts for friends and family, wrapping up our New Year’s plans for work and home, shoveling our cars out of the onslaught of winter cheer that made the Pike an utter monstrosity on Tuesday.


Life lessons in overcoming challenges

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 17, 2013 06:00 AM

Challenges are something we all deal with. The most important thing we can do when facing challenges is to think positive, move beyond them, learn and grow from them, and be adaptable. Some people have mastered this concept. Others can learn it. Everyone has the power to take control of their lives and move forward.


BU Global App Initiative provides free app dev for nonprofits

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 16, 2013 06:00 AM

Having recently been tipped off to impressive student organization Global App Initiative at Boston University by Navah Fuchs of Angel Ed I decided to follow up with them to see what was going on. Below is some recap information from student co-founder Habib Khan about their recent history and plans for 2014.


Business casual sucks. Here's why.

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 13, 2013 06:00 AM

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is an excerpt from the new book The Business Casual Survival Guide: 30 Looks for Men by Emmi Sorokin (Available on Amazon, ISBN-13: 978-0615925134 and ISBN-10: 0615925138]

Back in the days of Mad Men, life in the office was easy. In addition to drinking during the day and banging your secretary, you didn’t need to deal with “business casual.” Putting on a suit was paint-by-numbers. From a finite number of choices, you could plug in a suit jacket and slack and dress shirt and tie, and your mission was accomplished. If you were the type of gent who liked to dress it up, you added your favorite color pocket square and snazzy cufflinks. Not only was the system simple, but the structure of the jacket evened the playing field of flattering the man’s physique. It emphasized the shoulders to help create the highly sought-after V shape (more on this later).


Turn off the tech: Join us in Going Analogue

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 12, 2013 11:00 AM

The Boston area is well known for being a world leader in scientific and technological
advances, from biotechnology, to robotics, to software. We are all proud of the research
and innovation that takes place in our community. Our culture of innovation attracts
students, professionals, drives economic development and partnerships with businesses
and governments from all over the world.


Lake Lt. Governor campaign kickoff brings out Governor Dukakis, grassroots supporters

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 12, 2013 02:30 AM

Speaking to a packed house at Ben Franklin Institute of Technology for his official campaign kickoff event, Clinton White House appointee, President & CEO of Leading Cities, and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor Mike Lake discussed his vision for the role as "Chief Marketing Officer" for the Commonwealth, noting that Massachusetts is in a global economy and "must be competitive in that global arena." Beyond discussing his international business credentials and his inspiring personal narrative of growing up the son of a high school-educated young widow, Lake discussed his campaign theme of what he refers to as the "Massachusetts Promise of opportunity that comes with high-quality education, job creation, and strong communities."

tags BWP, politics, WCCP

Mandela's passing: Social justice to economic justice

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 7, 2013 06:00 AM

Each year for the past six summers, forty undergraduate students studying global social enterprise at Northeastern University have had the privilege of privately meeting with Nelson Mandela’s close friend and fellow Robben Island prisoner, Dr. Ahmed Kathrada. This past year, students also met with the retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a colleague and confidant of Mandela and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.


Lessons from three diplomats

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 23, 2013 06:00 AM

One of Boston’s great strengths lies in its power as a convening city – a global crossroads that brings together people from all walks of life, often in intellectual endeavors. And who better than three ambassadors, whose careers covered half the world, to describe the remarkable paths that led them to Boston.


Knowledge transfer is understated asset for entrepreneurs

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 18, 2013 11:00 AM

It is well known that Boston has become a thriving ecosystem in which entrepreneurs forge their businesses. There are accelerators for hardware, healthcare, software and social enterprises; affordable shared workspaces; open curriculum and workshops for those looking to build new skills, technical and fundamental. The list goes on.


Tech changes how we do business, but it's still about people

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 17, 2013 06:00 AM

I recently attended a panel discussion in the Boston area called “Collaboration Technology: The Evolution of Business.” The panel, moderated by Chad O’Connor, editor of the Global Business Hub blog on, included two CIO’s from large companies, Sue Bergamo and Reid Nuttall, as well as David Carr, Editor-at-Large at InformationWeek and author of “Social Collaboration for Dummies,” and Tom O’Keefe, a Brand Ambassador and highly followed social media guru. [You can view the recording here.]


Revolutionizing how people understand their own biology

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 15, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.

Should genetically modified mosquitoes be released into the environment? How easily are you distracted compared to others? Questions like that will be posed and tested at the Museum of Science Boston’s new permanent exhibit scheduled to open November 16, the Hall of Human Life. The exhibit is set out to revolutionize how people understand their own biology according to the Museum’s creators.


Best companies, best practices for keeping a competitive edge

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 10, 2013 06:00 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's recent segment on RadioBDC (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.

The 10th Annual Executive Forum "Best Companies, Best Practices: Keeping the Competitive Edge," moderated by Rita B. Allen, co-sponsored by Bentley University, Gatti & Associates and Rita B. Allen Associates, was held on October 24, 2013, at Bentley University. In her welcoming remarks for the tenth anniversary of the event Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University, expressed her enthusiastic support of this forum and emphasized the importance of talent management in organizations. She went on to share many of the accomplishments of Bentley University including the 98% placement rate for its undergraduates (either in jobs or graduate school) and encouraged the HR professionals in the audience to partner with Bentley.

tags culture

The next Boston mayor will champion the arts

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 4, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

We don’t know who the next mayor of Boston will be. Voters will make that decision on November 5.

But here’s what we do know: The next Mayor of Boston will be a champion of the arts. Over the past several months of campaigning both John Connolly and Marty Walsh have vowed to invest in arts and cultural initiatives and use the mayor’s bully pulpit to elevate the sector.


Undecided until Tuesday

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 1, 2013 11:00 AM

On Tuesday night, we will know who will be filling the biggest, boldest, and hardest working shoes in Boston. We love this City because of what was built by the man who still walks in these shoes, and yet I am still undecided as to who should be next for his job.

I am undecided. I shouldn’t be. I am not alone.


Reflections on Connected Health Week

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 27, 2013 06:00 AM

A robot that assists nurses and helps lift patients.

A shoe insole that tracks stride and helps rehabilitation.

A mobile and web based platform that enables consumers to take an active role in their health and wellbeing.

As a judge for the third-annual Innovator’s Challenge, held during this week’s Partners Connected Health Symposium, these were just a few of the hundred or so game-changing technologies I was privileged to review that will impact the future of connected health.


District Hall celebrates its opening in Boston Innovation District

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 25, 2013 11:00 AM

Everybody likes a party. Everybody wants to be invited (including our counterparts at The Hive). Apparently the good folks behind District Hall have taken that approach for its "launch" in making sure that the 12,000 sq. ft. steel and concrete community collaboration space in the Innovation District is a multi-day affair for officials and business leaders to get to know about the beautiful new facility during what has been an extended soft opening.


Edtech forum shares US, UK innovation

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 18, 2013 11:00 AM

Politicians, investors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and students are all part of the growing edtech conversation, and the “Learning Technologies: Sharing US and UK innovation and practice” session organized by the British Consulate and hosted at Microsoft New England Research & Development Center shed light on both how far we’ve come and a glimpse of where we’re heading.

tags education, tech, UK

A solo around-the-world entrepreneurship tour? Meet André Leonardo

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 17, 2013 11:00 AM

Having spent time in Portugal this summer I was encouraged by the early signs of its recovery with a strong future for startups. So when I heard that André Leonardo was readying to embark on an around-the-world journey, by himself for several months, to meet the entrepreneurial ecosystem I had to find out more...


DxB Week: Designers communicating across industries

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 4, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

The word designer is a growing term in many industries today, and for good reason. I won’t attempt to name every job title with the term designer; frankly, this article has a word limit. Designers have expanded their reach to industries and organizations ranging from healthcare and pharmaceutical, service and entertainment, to investment banking and real estate.


Boston arts funding is opportunity for next mayor

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 27, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

Current operating budget in Boston for the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events: $1.1million, or $1.86/capita.
San Francisco and the equivalent agency: $10million, or $12.10/capita.
Seattle and the equivalent agency: $7.5million, or $11.82/capita.

As Boston heads into an election season for the mayoral seat that has been occupied by Mayor Menino since 1993, many issues will be at the forefront of the candidates’ political platform, as the changing of the guard often represents an opportunity to do things in a new way. There is a big push from many in the arts sector to get on the platform and help shape the discussion about the future of the arts in Boston. What follows is a discussion on the state of the Arts in Boston, addressing both individual artist opportunities as well as funding for public art in the city.


Give your life away

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 24, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

What will be your legacy? It is hard to know that one thing or those few things that will leave a lasting positive impact on our world. For instance, few would ever guess that a woman making Johnny cakes for her neighbors in the middle of the 20th century on the West Indian island of Nevis would later spark and inspire a world-class youth orchestra in Roxbury. This modest woman’s selfless act would have a powerful domino effect showing me the potent fruit of living generously.


New ed tech cluster emerged at LearnLaunchX Demo Day

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 20, 2013 11:00 AM

September 18, 2013 marked an important occasion in Boston: the emergence of an education technology cluster. Two hundred investors and strategic partners convened at District Hall, a government-sponsored community space in the Seaport, to hear seven ed tech startups pitch their ideas at a Demo Day. Governor Deval Patrick and Nigel Jacob of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics joined in the festivities. Each startup had 10 minutes to describe their product, team, and how much money they are raising to enable them to grow their companies.


FutureM will showcase "Innovation at Intersections"

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 18, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

FutureM 2013 is just around the corner. It’s the annual event experience that showcases and celebrates the Future of Marketing. But why, you might ask, is it in Boston? Isn’t NYC the center of the universe for this space? My answer: nope.


Upcoming MBA Women International 2013 Conference to be held in Boston

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 10, 2013 11:00 AM

The MBA Women International 2013 Annual Conference and Career Fair “Women, Purpose & Passion: Turning Vision Into Action” is taking place in Boston October 3 – 5 at the Park Plaza. With an impressive list of speakers and presenters, access to development panels and workshops, networking receptions, keynote speeches, and different tracks for attendees, the Conference and Career fair promises to be the “MBA women event of the year.”


How outside activities accelerate your career at work

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 3, 2013 11:00 AM

Your work day isn't over after 5 p.m. and it shouldn't be. Smart employees will make the most of their time outside of work in order to gain the skills, network and notoriety that can support their careers inside the workplace. By getting involved in industry-related groups, volunteering at charitable organizations, working on passion projects and even taking up a sport as a hobby, you will be a well-rounded professional and have a more meaningful life. Whether you get involved with your colleagues or not, the relationships you build will open up new opportunities and allow you to learn from others’ experiences. Outside activities allow you to click with people based on mutual interests that might not exist through your day job.


Europe in focus: Portugal progress toward startup success

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 30, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: This is the final installment in a continuing series of comparative insights from the editor's summer travels in Europe. Previously featured were Dublin and London.]

Portugal has a bright outlook, and it's not just because of the beautiful weather. In meeting with the business and government community here there was a decided tone of optimism in spite of the bad economic news that is frequently reported. Yes, unemployment here is high (even higher for the young) but that doesn't deter the Portuguese from talking about the startup focused sea change they see coming in the next few years. Here's a snapshot of what's going on at just 3 exciting startup centers:


How women can integrate career, family and life

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 22, 2013 11:00 AM

Is it really possible to integrate career, family, and life? Of course several factors are at play. You have to find a system that works for you, but I have found it is possible. Yes, it is a juggling act. And yes, you have to learn to ask for what you want. Thankfully there is a book on this subject that I highly recommend, The Orange Line: A woman’s guide to integrating career, family, and life. I interviewed one of the authors, Jodi Ecker Detjen, to get her insight.


Europe in focus: 3 factors for a rising Dublin

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 12, 2013 11:00 AM

Editor's Note: As I travel through parts of Europe in August I will give periodic updates on what's going on with the the startup and larger business communities in various areas. This first installment will talk about Dublin.

Spending a few (surprisingly sunny) days in Dublin, the bustle of this city is striking. Dublin has strongly positioned itself internationally to grow its own tech community with an infusion of foreign-born talent and major-name companies (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Etsy, Indeed,, Marketo, Dropbox, and HubSpot who was featured here on this a while back...need I go on) anchoring the Grand Canal area and spreading out from there. Here are some observed and gathered musings on what's sparking this resurgence.... FULL ENTRY

Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 9, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Wheelock convenes global thought leaders to aid children and families

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 6, 2013 11:00 AM

Over 800 professionals—representing 5 continents from over 40 countries and 29 US states—in the fields of health, education and human rights convened in Boston recently, joining educators, human rights activists, philanthropists, and world leaders from across the social justice spectrum for the inaugural international conference—Global Challenges and Opportunities Facing Children, Youth & Families hosted by Wheelock College in honor of its 125th Anniversary.


Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 2, 2013 02:15 PM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.

tags RadioBDC

Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 26, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Focus and motivation are keys to empowerment

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 25, 2013 11:00 AM

You can have goals, you can have skills, and you can have tools for success, but you won’t get as far as you can go without focus. Without proper focus, your time and energy is not properly channeled, which can take you away from the most important tasks you need to accomplish and keep you from reaching your full potential.

As I mentioned in my article “Improve Your Productivity,” we can be easily distracted. Busy schedules, email, electronic devices, and many other factors can all lead to getting off track, so it is critical to train your mind to be focused and stay focused. Below are some tips on how to do that.


Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 19, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 12, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 2, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Condolences to contributor Ellen Keiley on the loss of her mother

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 2, 2013 09:00 AM

Those of you who would be catching Ellen Keiley's regular segment today on RadioBDC, and those of you who regularly read her outstanding work here, will be saddened to learn that Ellen's mother passed away last week and Ellen will be attending the funeral today.

Our condolences go out to Ellen and her family during this difficult time.


Listen to contributor Ellen Keiley on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor June 28, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week (Tuesdays around 9AM), you can listen to it here.


Ellen Keiley weekly Global Business Hub segment on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor June 7, 2013 11:00 AM

In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week, you can listen to it here.


Boston Summer 2013 arts scene preview

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 30, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

Art is everywhere this summer around Greater Boston! Here’s a preview of what’s coming for free, summer arts festivals. No matter when you visit or where you live, something cool, cultural and exciting is happening.


An Interview with Tracy Burns, CEO of Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 29, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week, you can listen to it here.]

Tell me about your background and how you got involved with NEHRA?
Unlike many people, I knew I wanted to be in HR at a very early age. I majored in Business at California State University with a concentration in Human Resources. I was fortunate enough to start my HR career working for Guitar Player Magazine just outside of San Francisco. After moving to Boston in 1996, I joined NEHRA. It was a great opportunity to build a network and continue building my skills and knowledge in the field. Looking back, I can honestly say that joining NEHRA was the best thing I did for my career. Not only did I build a great network, I got exposure to people that ended up having a big impact on my career.

tags HR, workforce

Future Boston Alliance at first year shows building community matters

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 22, 2013 11:00 AM

In an age where social media trumps face to face conversations and where innovation is too-often associated with technology only, establishing a community of like-minded individuals was paramount to Future Boston Alliance’s success. As if starting a new nonprofit did not present its own set of barriers, launching one that prodded at hot button issues such as Boston’s post-collegiate brain drain, extending the MBTA’s service, archaic laws and affordable housing naturally established some early road blocks.


A look at Massachusetts entrepreneurial ecosystem with Edward Melia

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 21, 2013 11:00 AM

I wanted to learn more about our entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Massachusetts, so I sat down with Edward Melia, a Boston-based serial entrepreneur and investor to get his insight. Melia works closely with investment groups, family offices, strategic buyers, and sovereign wealth funds to identify and vet early stage high potential innovation and discovery in technology and life sciences.


Recapping the Angel Ed Student Debt Forum

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 18, 2013 11:00 AM

Student debt is a hot topic on many lips, and the center of attention at Angel Ed’s Student Debt Forum. We brought together thought leaders in innovation, academia, and youth enrichment to discuss the issues, as well as begin coming to a consensus on the action steps needed to make headway on “the elephant in the room.”


10 tips for job search success

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 15, 2013 11:20 AM

With graduation upon us, college seniors like me are nervous about the job market and their chances of landing a position. I was fortunate to attend a day-long program and networking event hosted by Lasell College’s Department of Communications which featured top communications professionals from Boston and New York. Headliners, including Teresa Hanafin, Director of Community Engagement and Social Media,; Jenny Dervin, VP Corporate Communications, JetBlue; Alex Jones, Director Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard University; and J.D. Hale Jr., Yankee Publishing Inc., talked with students about the road to a successful and meaningful career.


First census of women on nonprofit boards gives new insights

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 10, 2013 11:00 AM

The Boston Club, a premier organization of women executives and professionals promoting the advancement of women to significant and visible leadership roles, has taken notice of the major role nonprofits play in the economy and conducted the first ever Census of Women Directors and Chief Executives of Massachuetts’ Largest Nonprofit Organizations to see how nonprofits stack up. Nonprofits generate $234 billion in revenues and nonprofit jobs represented 16.7% of the total employment in Massachusetts in 2010.


Together Boston festival promotes creative economy, music and fun

Posted by Chad O'Connor May 9, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

For the last nine months, I've been working with a tremendous team of volunteers to plan the Together Boston festival and event, and it's coming up to the launch. This Sunday we begin a week-long celebration of music, art and technology which will take place at venues like the Museum of Science, the Museum of Fine Arts and at multiple music venues throughout the city of Boston, including the Paradise, the House of Blues and Great Scott, but keying in on the Middle East Downstairs for "Together Central Stage." Together Central will feature an explosion of music, art and technology unlike anything the city has seen, featuring artists who have the attention of the world: Four Tet, Zomby, Hooray for Earth, UZ, and owner of the #1 pop song in the UK, Duke Dumont.


The balanced life: Empowered Self

Posted by Chad O'Connor April 25, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week, you can listen to it here.]

This is the fifth and final article in a monthly, five-part series that advocates for living a balanced life in the areas of: Global Citizenship, Local Volunteering, Meaningful Careers, Strong Networks, and an Empowered Self.

“Boston Strong” is the slogan that has emerged in the aftermath of April 2013’s terrorist activity at the Boston Marathon, at MIT, and in Watertown. Each of us had different reactions to the events… Some people were on the scene, and others tuned in from down the street, or overseas. I myself was at the Finish Line one minute before the bombs went off, and was very grateful to already be out of harm’s way when I heard the two explosions. Tragically, many others were not so lucky.


Launch your company like a rock band!

Posted by Chad O'Connor April 19, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino have created The One Fund for programs assisting victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. Learn more and donate here.]

What lessons can start-ups and early stage companies learn from an aging rock band?

On March 12, 2013, a federal district court judge in Massachusetts declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by J. Geils against his former bandmates and management company.

The primary dispute centers on which party has the commercial rights to use the trademarks “J. Geils” and “The J. Geils Band.” Is it J. Geils himself? Or is it the other bandmates and management company?


The art of career maintenance

Posted by Chad O'Connor April 17, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino have created The One Fund for programs assisting victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. Learn more and donate here.]

“The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Are you looking for a new position? Have you had a difficult time getting hired? The challenges you face may require small adjustments as opposed to drastic changes.


REEL Innovators: Harpoon Brewery (part 3)

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 29, 2013 11:00 AM

Harpoon Brewery has a lot going on, from its celebrated 100 Barrel Series to its newly opened beer hall in the Innovation District. A while back REEL Entrepreneurs took some cameras to the brewery to meet the Harpoon team and learn what's going on behind the scenes. Check out the final installment in this series on Harpoon!


The balanced life: Strong networks

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 21, 2013 11:00 AM

This article is the fourth in a monthly, five-part series that advocates for living a balanced life in the areas of: Global Citizenship, Local Volunteering, Meaningful Careers, Strong Networks, and an Empowered Self.

Technology has enabled us to easily connect to virtually anyone across the globe. But who, when and why we connect are questions that are not as straightforward. In her article 10 tips for successful networking, Executive Coach Rita B. Allen outlines the many reasons why we network; including: business development, referrals, vendor selection, and perhaps the most famous reason - learning about job opportunities. Another reason we may not consciously realize - is that social interaction has been proven to be good for us. In their book Wellbeing (which included data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®), authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter cite Social Wellbeing as one of five essential elements that contribute to our overall wellbeing over a lifetime.


StyleWeek Interim Boston brings fashion with economic spark

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 19, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

StyleWeek Northeast scheduled its inaugural StyleWeek Interim Boston event to take place at the W Hotel March 20 – 23, 2013. The goal is to create a regional fashion event that directly and positively impacts its designers, sponsors, partners, and vendors from an economic perspective.

This trade event and four-day day celebration of fashion, art, design and culture will showcase emerging talented designers and will kick off with a W Happening: Runway Ready Preview Party where the Boston area community can meet designers, shop accessories, and receive complimentary hair and make-up consultations by James Joseph Salon.


International adjustments: David Gallant at HubSpot Ireland

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 15, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

A while back you may have heard that Boston inbound marketing powerhouse HubSpot was expanding to Ireland. As someone who teaches organizational communication and consults in the field, I am always fascinated to hear how people make adjustments in communicating with the home office [video here] and their new international colleagues. I asked my friend and worldwide IT extraordinaire David Gallant how things have been going since he relocated to Dublin, and here's what he answered.


Boston Sculptors Gallery at 20 years

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 12, 2013 11:00 AM

[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

The 20th anniversary show at the Boston Sculptors Gallery revealed the vivid complexities and notable realities of artists banding together to do something. Working together is one strategy that makes things happen for artists. Artists are also a huge and important part of the larger ‘art world,’ which is made up of galleries, critics, curators and collectors. Therefore the story of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, the only sculpture collaborative in the country that maintains its own gallery space, is a shared story of the individuals that collectively make up the organizations and institutions of the arts community in this city.


Silicon Valley of Mexico: Gateway to possibilities

Posted by Chad O'Connor March 6, 2013 11:00 AM

[Editor's Note: In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week, you can listen to it here.]

We take a slight deviation from our regular Help a MassChallenge Startup series this week to talk about an exciting new international partnership for MassChallenge in Mexico.


Women in boardrooms: networking and qualifications are key

Posted by Chad O'Connor February 18, 2013 11:00 AM

Serving on a board of directors can be a rewarding experience. But to attain one of these coveted spots you have to be qualified and well connected. The board search process is a major undertaking that can take years. For a woman, it is even more difficult to secure a board seat, so it is important to develop a plan of action to become board ready. Below is some insight into the process.


WCCP 2013 Chatham Forum featured big ideas and announcements

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 29, 2013 11:00 AM

While New England froze over the weekend in some of the coldest temperatures of the year, a group of Massachusetts leaders were fired up with ideas for making the local economy stronger, more innovative, and inclusive.

The World Class Cities Partnership (WCCP) hosted its annual Chatham Forum to make some big announcements and to highlight lessons learned from the group’s October Policy Exchange Mission to Lisbon and the Azores, Portugal: a Mission so successful and bonding that the Vice Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Lisbon joined the Chatham group for the weekend, following their time in Boston and Cambridge as the first participants in the WCCP’s Municipal Leadership Exchange Program.


Boston just got more awesome

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 28, 2013 11:00 AM

It was a cold, clear, winter day, only a year ago when the seed was planted. A dedicated group of Boston-based community leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, academics and government leaders gathered together at the 2012 World Class Cities Partnership Chatham Forum to think about how to make Greater Boston a better place to live and work, with an eye on innovation and futuristic thinking. A recurring theme – our Innovation Economy has a PR problem.


Future Boston Alliance pitches a winner with Accelerate Boston

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 17, 2013 11:00 AM

In August, Future Boston Alliance (FBA), announced the 25 businesses that were selected to participate in its inaugural accelerator program, Accelerate Boston. As a non-profit with the goal of improving the cultural and entrepreneurial environment by making Boston a hub for collaboration and innovation, Accelerate Boston catered specifically to entrepreneurs looking to build creative economy focused businesses.

On January 15th at the Revere Hotel, FBA held their first business pitch competition and chose the winners of the 2012 Accelerate Boston Program. The event was attended by over 85 close friends & supporters and ended with a lively award ceremony event with food and drinks.


Contributor Ellen Keiley to appear regularly on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 14, 2013 10:55 AM

Global Business Hub is pleased to announce that regular contributor Ellen Keiley will be starting a regular weekly appearance on RadioBDC to talk about recent and upcoming content from our blog and the Greater Boston business community. In the coming weeks, Ellen will be interviewing special guests that exemplify the area's economic vitality and thought leadership. Catch Ellen on with Henry Santoro and Julie Kramer starting Tuesday January 15th between 9:30 and 10 AM.

tags business

Contributor Ellen Keiley to appear regularly on RadioBDC

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 11, 2013 10:55 AM

Global Business Hub is pleased to announce that regular contributor Ellen Keiley will be starting a regular weekly appearance on RadioBDC to talk about recent and upcoming content from our blog and the Greater Boston business community. In the coming weeks, Ellen will be interviewing special guests that exemplify the area's economic vitality and thought leadership. Catch Ellen on with Henry Santoro and Julie Kramer starting Tuesday January 15th between 9:30 and 10 AM.

tags business

The burgeoning Burlington restaurant business

Posted by Chad O'Connor January 3, 2013 11:00 AM

According to the Jim Murphy, President/CEO of the Burlington Massachusetts Area Chamber of Commerce, Burlington is a place to live, work, and play, and many high tech companies such as SAP AG and Burlington’s 2nd largest employer, Oracle, have set up locations. Burlington should see more growth in the coming years as Keurig recently leased a large space for administration and R&D, with the potential for adding up to 400 new jobs. The Burlington area, with its diverse mix of businesses, executive parks, and residents that may not want to travel to Boston for an upscale dining experience, is very well positioned for a growing number of restaurants. Tavern in the Square recently opened a Burlington location, Bobby Flay has plans to open a Burger Palace, and more restaurants are on the way to accommodate the area’s recent boom.


We should all be of One Mind for Research

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 17, 2012 11:00 AM

I recently had the pleasure to meet the executive team for One Mind for Research at Swissnex, the Swiss Consulate of Boston. In this interview with the CEO General Pete Chiarelli (Ret.) we discuss some of the next steps for this crucial organization.

General Chiarelli recently served as the Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, where he was a tireless advocate for eliminating the stigma associated with Service Members and Veterans getting the help they need for the treatment of the invisible wounds of war.


Collaboration on display at 40Berkeley: Collaboratory 4.0 & Custom Nation

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 11, 2012 11:00 AM

When you’re ranked #1 in the country for entrepreneurship, have the third-largest percentage increase in entrepreneurial activity rate over the past decade and just placed second in the number of patents per capita, it would be easy to rest on those accolades. But the latest splash in the Boston startup scene last Tuesday night confirms that our environment is constantly evolving.

40Berkeley, a hostel in the South End, hosted the dual launch of two game changers: New York Times best seller business book Custom Nation and Greater Boston’s newest co-working space Collaboratory4.0. While Charles Darwin may have never actually have said this, it is nevertheless true and relevant to innovation today: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”


12/12/12 launches a grassroots campaign for boardroom diversity

Posted by Chad O'Connor December 10, 2012 11:00 AM

According to The Boston Club’s annual Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers of Massachusetts Public Companies, the number of women represented in the boardroom and executive suites has improved, but there is much progress to be made. 2012 statistics show 12.7% of all directors of the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts are women - a 1.6% increase from 2011. The Boston Club collaborated with Bentley University and Mercer on the survey, and this year is the survey’s 10th year anniversary.


Boston arts sector innovations at a critical cultural mass

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 29, 2012 11:00 AM

The recent New Voices/New Visions panel discussion sponsored by the Boston Art Dealers Association (BADA) brought together a handful of relatively new museum curators who shared their plans for the future and their views on the current state of the arts in Boston. The panel included Trevor Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM); Paul C. Ha, Director of MIT’s List Visual Art Center; Jenelle Porter, Senior Curator at the ICA Boston; and Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA); and was moderated by Joanna Fink, President of BADA, the local business association for the commercial art galleries in the city.

tags art, Boston

Powerful change agents: United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 26, 2012 11:00 AM

Seventeen years ago, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley hosted its first major Women’s Leadership Breakfast event. At the most recent breakfast at the Westin Copley Hotel, the Boston area witnessed a sea of driven women leaders taking part in an inspiring and powerful event that changes lives for the better. More than 1,200 women attended the annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast, which raises more than $1 million.


The mentor's perspective

Posted by Chad O'Connor November 16, 2012 11:00 AM

The word mentor or mentee has different meanings to many. Some people have been mentors or mentees themselves through an informal or formal program or relationship. Others would love to have a mentor or would like to mentor others. Some may feel they do not know enough about what a mentor/mentee relationship really involves. In order to shed some light on this topic, I interviewed senior level executives that serve as mentors through Conexion’s formal 10-month mentorship program through which mentees are paired with mentors, based on personality match, to get their perspective.

tags mentoring

Networking goes niche

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 18, 2012 11:00 AM

When it comes to meeting new people in Boston, it's hard to argue that the city's reputation as a place where mixing and mingling can be difficult is off the mark. But the social landscape of the city is changing, thanks to several new businesses that have responded to the challenge by using common interests goals to bring people together. As a result, generic networking events and dating websites are being replaced by customized user experiences.


Keeping the career search personal: Tips from recruiters

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 17, 2012 11:00 AM

Massachusetts is among the top states in this country creating job opportunities and finding talent to fill those jobs. Since we have such a competitive pool of candidates, I thought it might be helpful to share tips from some of the top recruiters in this area on how job seekers can stand out. Here they are:


The Hive gets you buzzing about Boston's innovation economy

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 5, 2012 11:10 AM

We really enjoy featuring startups and innovative companies that have solidified Massachusetts as an economic engine for the future. Well, so do our friends at The Hive, recently launched on to be your destination for "all things innovation and startup in Greater Boston." And we've got to say that they put together a pretty great launch party.

Recently The Hive launched "The Innovators" series with our frequent collaborators at REEL Entrepreneurs. Check out this great piece on MassChallenge, which just announced its top 26 startups in preparation for its big Awards Ceremony on October 23rd.

For more great video and articles on the Boston innovation scene make sure you fly on over to The Hive and start following @HiveBoston on Twitter.


Life lessons: emotional intelligence and communication

Posted by Chad O'Connor October 4, 2012 11:00 AM

We all want our kids to be happy, healthy and successful. Success is not only about personal and academic achievement; it requires social competence and the ability to make positive connections. Helping kids learn to make and keep friends is particularly relevant in today's global society, which is fraught with so much distress, distain, and disabuse. Can people connect in meaningful ways that allow for relationships to develop, grow and mature despite everyday challenges? Can children be taught the skills necessary for loving and lasting connections? As a psychologist, educator and founder of a school for very young children with more than a quarter century of experience, I believe the answer to these elusive questions is a resounding YES.


Musings of an entrepreneurial dud

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 24, 2012 11:00 AM

This summer, I interned at Boston World Partnerships, an organization dedicated to the economic development of Boston through connecting business leaders across industries and across the world. Like most college interns, I was just happy that I got a job.

Although I’m thrilled that I acquired temporary employment, it feels that it isn’t enough for me to be “just working” these days; I feel the stifling pressure to be a startup superstar. Politicians are magically pulling new jobs out of top hats, policy is as structurally regulated as a jumpy wooden playground bridge, and parents are demanding we do more than sit on the sofa when we’re home. Living around Boston means you constantly hear about all the new job opportunities being created in its innovation focused economy. Going to school here means you're educated in the city historically known for its record of breeding academic geniuses. With 265,000 college students in the area, Boston is pumping out entrepreneurial minions to take the city by storm.


Self Improvement: 6 things you can do to enhance yourself and career

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 20, 2012 11:00 AM

Regardless of your career level, there is always room for improvement. Often the focus tends to be on obstacles rather than strategies. There are numerous things you can do to improve yourself starting with setting goals and developing a plan of action that includes professional development, physical fitness, and even getting a little creative. The following are some possibilities to try:

tags self help

Kate White's career secrets for women

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 17, 2012 11:00 AM

I recently spoke to Kate White, who just left her post as the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine to write and speak full-time. Her latest book is called I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know (HarperBusiness). Some of her previous books, including Hush and The Sixes, were bestsellers. Kate was born and raised in Glens Falls, New York and graduated Union College in 1972. In this interview, she talks about a women's greatest challenge at work, what we can learn from successful female leaders and her top career advice tips.


4 ways Boston fitTech is fighting for your booty

Posted by Chad O'Connor September 6, 2012 11:00 AM

Technology has been blamed for making us more like the beings on Wall-E than healthy, active humans – but a few Boston tech startups are determined to change all that. Their “fitTech” tools connect us to the athletic community, help us find experts and offer advanced self-monitoring tools to help us get and stay healthy.


Out in the Ecosystem: Andrew Yu of Modo Labs

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 23, 2012 11:00 AM

Recently Out in the Ecosystem talked to Andrew Yu, CEO of Modo Labs. Andrew is a seasoned entrepreneur and software, mobile, and Web executive. I caught up with him around his rapidly scaling Cambridge based-startup Modo Labs, a technology platform provider facilitating rapid deployment and cross-device functionality in enterprises, health care and EdTech.


Conexion – Advancing HispanicLatinos and the U.S. Economy

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 20, 2012 11:00 AM

Conexion, a non-profit organization with a mission to develop HispanicLatino leaders into strategic and innovative executives, is focused on the nexus between the rising HispanicLatino demographic and the sustainability of the U.S. economy. Conexion leverages a unique mentoring model to create a national network of exceptional leaders.

The importance of Conexion’s mission is highlighted by the fact that the pipeline of talent in the U.S. is shifting. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Hispanic population accounted for over half the growth of the total population in the United States between 2000 and 2010.

Conexion was founded in 2005 by Phyllis Barajas, the organization’s Executive Director, to address the changing demographics and economic complexities the country faces. According to Barajas, if the HispanicLatino demographic succeeds, the country will succeed.


Roundabout ways to support women leaders

Posted by Chad O'Connor August 10, 2012 10:00 AM

About a year ago I met up with a friend and colleague to check in on each other’s projects. We eventually got around to weightier topics, and she said she felt like the women’s leadership movement was more or less stuck. “It’s like we just keep running around giving each other awards,” she said. “But then what?”

Since then—with this image in my head of women running circles—I’ve been keeping an eye out for people and organizations who are moving the women’s leadership conversation forward. By this I mean not just saying something new, but saying what we’re too often silent about, or, going about the conversation differently if need be. I mean asking ourselves hard questions like, “Who gets to participate in the public, highly visible conversation about women in the first place? Who isn’t in the room?” And I mean going beyond models of leadership that served us for a while, but maybe don’t serve us so well anymore.


Hello Technorati verification! [TKFA7SZ6NB7E]

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 31, 2012 12:51 AM

[This is just a small thing we need to do as a site to get listed in Technorati, so pay no mind unless you happen to be one of their computers: TKFA7SZ6NB7E ]

REEL Innovators Series: Meet Chris Mayer of the Boston Globe (part 1)

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 30, 2012 11:00 AM

We're back with another installment of the REEL Innovators series, this time with Boston Globe publisher Chris Mayer.

For more of the REEL Innovators Series, including interviews with Tim Rowe, Bill Warner, Debi Kleiman, Brian Halligan and more, click here!

The REEL Innovators Series is a collaboration between REEL Entrepreneurs and Boston World Partnerships. Using the medium of video, we introduce you to Boston's most innovative personalities and the businesses they've built.

How to find exciting startups to work for

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 25, 2012 11:00 AM

The Boston/Cambridge area is covered in startups – every time you turn around in kendall square or the seaport, it seems like you can easily bump into people working for one. As a job seeker looking to become part of the entrepreneurial scene, how do you find one of these exciting companies to join? Below are a few tips to connect with these companies:

The critical focus (and success factor) for any startup is to connect with top talent. However, this is not always as easy as one might think. Startups, by definition, lack the instant recognition associated with more established companies such as Novartis, Microsoft, or Facebook. Consequently, start-ups tend to hire through their network and also referrals that come in through their network. Forging connections with people in both the greater entrepreneurial landscape and in companies that you want to work for, will enhance your ability to successfully land a job.


A founder’s take on the supportive and thriving Greater Boston startup community

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 23, 2012 11:00 AM

When I look back at the past 5 months since founding my startup in Cambridge, I realize the old saying about “it takes a village to raise a child” is as true to a startup, it takes a community!

It is amazing for me to look at the kaleidoscope of people, including my supportive mother and founding teammate and brother, Joe, organizations, and angel investors such as Joe Caruso and Jean Hammond who have been supportive of my educational technology startup BE, an incentivized quiz technology platform for high school and college students. BE started under the guidance of Professor Fernando Reimers at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and now operating from the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square under the guidance of New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) mentors. These three main pillars of support have opened a world of opportunity from refining the business model, to promoting BE at Microsoft, to connecting me to relevant networks and people in the educational technology space.


Out in the ecosystem: Jack Morris of Saint Anselm College

Posted by Devin Cole July 20, 2012 03:22 PM

As the Founder of several educational startups myself, I am especially curious when I see innovative approaches in higher education. Recently, I came across an interesting case speaking with Sandy Lin, a MIT Sloan alum friend of mine, and learned that Saint Anselm is using her company’s Glossi software to showcase their social media content. I connected with Jack Morris to ask him more about Saint Anselm’s digital media strategy.

Jack is the Director of Digital Communications for Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH where he is responsible for developing the online branding and strategy as well as creating new and unique online products to help increase enrollment and alumni engagement. Jack was previously a senior editor at City Search and Managing Editor of AOL Local. He has been a producer for FOX and MIT.

TC: Jack, tell about your role at Saint Anselm, and how it’s evolved with social media the last few years.

Jack:My role has been focused on working with our staff to develop engaging online strategies that often require our content to be pushed out thorough social media channels first.

TC: What are some of the benefits of social media for university PR?

Jack: Social media has quickly become one of the most effective methods for engaging our audience directly. It allows us to get our core messaging as well as videos, photos, and blogs out to high school students, their parents, current students, and our alumni community quickly and effectively – and recently we've been seeing a increase in the response rate on Twitter and Facebook, especially when we post photos showing off our campus and our monks.

Recently, we posted an old marketing photo we took back in 2004 of five of our monks wearing dark shades, standing tall with straight faces. The title of the photo was "Men in Black." Classic shot. That photo generated 861 likes, 43 comments, and 70 shares. For a small liberal arts college in New Hampshire with only 4,700 Facebook fans, this was a huge win for us. We've seen similar success with original videos and blogs. And recently we've been shooting and editing a ton of video using GoPro cameras and handheld digital cameras. Our online content efforts are on the rise.

TC: How has social media impacted college recruiting / alumni relations at Saint Anselm and other colleges you've worked?

Jack: Social media has really helped to enhance our recruiting process and our alumni relations. It's ingrained in everything we do from a digital media perspective. It's where we talk to our audience on a daily basis. It's where we get feedback on new ideas and campus happenings. It's where we showcase our campus, our culture, and our people to perspective students and their families. It's where we stay in touch with our alumni and help them stay in touch with each other.


Sifting the startup scene for small business tools

Posted by Devin Cole July 19, 2012 03:03 PM
Since nobody works harder than the people running small businesses, nobody stands to benefit more from the improved efficiency, reach and impact offered by new digital tools.

But – and this is a big but! – over-extended small business owners often don’t have the time to explore new products, and they don’t have the staff to whom they can delegate this task. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of some companies in the Boston startup scene that small businesses may want to be aware of.


How to make friends and establish meaningful connections

Posted by Chad O'Connor July 17, 2012 11:00 AM

I’m frequently asked what the key to good communication is. Without even thinking about it I always answer- a meaningful connection with the target of your message. Inevitably the follow up question to that is something about how one establishes a meaningful connection. The answer is in the four C’s: compliments, compassion, common ground, and courtesy.


Scenes from Boston World Partnerships' June Open Mixer

Posted by Devin Cole June 29, 2012 03:50 PM

Every month, Boston World Partnerships hosts an Open Mixer networking event. On June 19th, 100 professionals met at Hawthorne to meet, mingle, make connections and help each other out.

Photographer Dana Quigley was on hand to capture the action:


bwp Mixer.jpg

REEL Innovators Series with Cambridge Innovation Center's Tim Rowe: Part II

Posted by Devin Cole June 28, 2012 01:00 PM

If you watched our last REEL Innovators, you know a little bit about Cambridge Innovation Center founder Tim Rowe. Learn the rest with the second installment!

For more of the REEL Innovators Series, including interviews with Bill Warner, Debi Kleiman, Brian Halligan and more, click here!

The REEL Innovators Series is a collaboration between REEL Entrepreneurs and Boston World Partnerships. Using the medium of video, we introduce you to Boston's most innovative personalities and the businesses they've built.

Local graduates find fertile ground and quality of life in their own backyard

Posted by Devin Cole June 27, 2012 11:40 AM
Our city is alive with a roar of innovation and, according to a recent meeting that I had with Gregory Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the State, this boom is real. Other states may claim to be a hub of innovation, but we in fact, have grown to be a global leader and plan to keep growing without just “riding the wave”, as he put it.

I’ve been attending events centered on the topic of retaining and attracting talent from The Boston Globe’s Building a Better Commonwealth series, to MassBio's quarterly Human Resource meetings.

At these events, I interviewed four people who are active and committed to retaining local graduates. Read on for their thoughts and feel the “buzz”.

Harvard iLab.jpg

Talent being retained at Harvard's iLab

By Melissa Niu

In her role at the Harvard Innovation Lab, Jodi Goldstein is responsible for all programming as well as bridging the gap between Harvard students and the entrepreneurial community. She has an impressive 20 years of experience in the Boston start-up world with a focus on innovative consumer technologies. I asked her to share what the i-lab does and to offer examples of the talent moving through the i-lab. FULL ENTRY

REEL Innovators Series with Cambridge Innovation Center's Tim Rowe

Posted by Devin Cole June 25, 2012 11:14 AM

REEL Innovators is back with Tim Rowe, the founder of Cambridge Innovation Center.

CIC has 500 of the most innovative startups in the world, literally. Tim knows his stuff. You should listen to him.

For more of the REEL Innovators Series, including interviews with Bill Warner, Debi Kleiman, Brian Halligan and more, click here!

The REEL Innovators Series is a collaboration between REEL Entrepreneurs and Boston World Partnerships. Using the medium of video, we introduce you to Boston's most innovative personalities and the businesses they've built.

What are art fairs anyway?

Posted by Devin Cole June 8, 2012 11:43 AM

The influence of art fairs on the market has grown exponentially in the last few years. How and why do they grow? What effect have they had on the market and even how artists do their work?

Joanne Mattera, a widely exhibited artist, who blogs about galleries and art fairs in New York city and elsewhere: Art fairs are national or international gatherings where art galleries set up shop in booths to do business, to see and be seen, to attract new clients, to be available to repeat clients, to promote their artists, to be on the lookout for artists whose work they like. Not all art fairs are the same, though most must apply to be admitted.

There are the big international art fairs that require huge sums of money to participate, whose dealers must therefore show the work of big-name artists for six and seven figures. These are fairs like Armory in New York City, Art Basel Miami Beach in Miami, Art Basel in Switzerland, Art Cologne in Germany and Frieze Fair in London.

There are smaller international art fairs that require smaller (but still significant) sums, which attract mid-level galleries with a more modest roster of artists whose prices are more affordable. The selling range would be more in five figures, low to high. These are fairs like Pulse, Scope, NADA, all of which show in Miami and New York City; Volta, which takes place in New York City and elsewhere internationally.

For some dealers, these are the “fallback” fairs if they don’t get into Art Basel Miami, or Art Miami, or the Armory fair. “Now I know what it’s like for you artists, this constant rejection,” said one dealer who was participating in one of these fairs after his application was declined from Basel Miami.


Behind the Scenes at Boston Restaurants – What it Takes to Create an Excellent Dining Experience

Posted by Devin Cole May 31, 2012 12:30 PM

With its myriad of restaurant options, Boston is a destination for dining. Whether in a casual or formal setting, it is crucial for a restaurant to do whatever it can to ensure an excellent dining experience. After all, restaurants are in the hospitality business. Proper service is a must and is a reasonable expectation for a guest dining in a restaurant. The experience starts the moment a guest arrives and does not end until they are out the door; even a valet can influence the overall dining experience.

I interviewed several chefs and restaurant managers at successful Boston restaurants that I have found to provide top-notch dining experiences to hear what they have to say about best practices and what goes on behind the scenes. Restaurants that act on these tips will only benefit, as they set the stage to exceed guests’ expectations, increase the likelihood of a return visit, and minimize the risk of dissemination of bad reviews via word of mouth or social media.

Both the experts and diners agree that food and service are critical to a successful dining experience regardless of the type of restaurant. Neither food nor service should be compromised, but many actually say service is even more important than the food, because poor service can ruin the whole dining experience even more so than mediocre food.

Good service starts with hiring and training the right servers and continues with constant oversight. A restaurant’s staff is the face of the restaurant, should fit with its culture, and always have a welcoming attitude. Mark D'Alessandro, General Manager of Columbus Hospitality Group’s Mistral, said “You can train someone to be good but you can’t train sincerity and personality.” According to D’Alessandro, hospitality is an important component of a restaurant’s success, and it involves attention to detail and awareness of what is going on from the dining room to the valet.

Michael Schlow, Executive Chef and Owner of Radius, Via Matta, Alta Strada, and Tico restaurants said “Servers and managers should be able to read guests and adapt to the guests’ situations whether it is a business meeting, a date, or an anniversary. They are there to enhance the guests’ experience and transport them to a different place. Servers should be informed and knowledgeable and be given the opportunity to have a voice and be a part of the restaurant’s state of affairs,” said Schlow.

At Columbus Hospitality Group, new staff are required to complete a 2-week intensive training program when hired. According to The Langham Hotel’s Food & Beverage Director, Gaylord Lamy, and Executive Chef, Mark Sapienza, advanced training is necessary, and the Langham’s restaurant staff role play as guests during off hours so they can better appreciate their guests’ dining experience.

Frank McClelland, Chef and Proprietor of restaurant group New France, LLC, whose restaurants include L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre, said “In addition to training, we also have a testing program on four levels of knowledge - food and beverages, ingredients, techniques, and pairings such as wine and cheese.” New France also offers a mentoring program for its staff.

From the restaurant’s perspective, it’s about working as a team to ensure consistency from the kitchen, the wait staff, and the front of the house. The Langham, Columbus Hospitality Group, New France, and Schlow’s restaurants all hold daily staff meetings to review things such as the guests that are scheduled to dine that evening, menu items, and evening events.

Customer feedback cards are used to learn about guests’ experiences and preferences, and restaurants often keep a database of this information for future visits. If a guest had a previous bad dining experience, it provides an opportunity to make sure everything is done well on a return visit. In addition to soliciting customer feedback, the Langham hires mystery shoppers to review its restaurants and give reports on a quarterly basis. It also does internal audits, including manager assessments.

“When guests provide information, whether they have an allergy or anniversary, it is the server and restaurant manager's responsibility to pay attention to this information and act on it,” said Schlow. Special touches such as writing 'Happy Birthday' on a dessert plate in chocolate, giving a complimentary dessert or glass of champagne, or printing a pre-planned special menu with a name and date for a keepsake are impressive gestures that guests tend to appreciate.

Sapienza and Lamy said at the Langham, “we like to surprise and delight guests and give them more than expected. The Langham’s mission is to know the guest and build great memories. If a guest has a special request, it is fine to say how long it might take or what it might cost but you never want to say no.” Schlow said, “If we don’t have a great reason to say no to a guest, you have to say yes.”

Restaurants should always look for opportunities to improve and find ways to set the restaurant apart from other restaurants. D'Alessandro, Schlow, Lamy, Sapienza, and McClelland all agree that it is important to stay current with food and beverage trends, and try other restaurants to see what they are doing. New France takes trends into consideration and even employs a design expert to make sure uniforms are modern and stylish. Schlow said “Never rest and let your head down. Always have a fresh approach and focus on surpassing expectations. Never assume because you were good six years ago you are good now.”

It is good for all involved when restaurants take steps to ensure excellent guest service and focus on oversight. Excellent dining experiences create lasting positive impressions and that is always good for business!

The following are some additional tips that restaurants should consider:

What Not To Do:

  • Never put the guest on the defensive, such as if a guest feels something is cooked wrong. Don’t disagree – just make the food the way the guest requests it.

  • If you are a manager, don’t just walk around the restaurant – stop and ask people how things are going to find out what is really happening.

  • Keep the entertainment appropriate. If there are TVs in the dining area, don’t show graphic crime or drama programs – though popular at home, programs like 'CSI' don’t complement dinner and are not appropriate for children.

  • Don't ignore pests! If there is a pest issue in the restaurant, take care of it immediately. It doesn’t help the situation to ignore it and make excuses to guests about the reasoning behind it.

  • What To Do:

  • “Always make sure guests know they own the space and the experience” said McClelland.

  • Have a host present to greet guests at all times.

  • Keep bathrooms clean throughout the night – bathrooms say a lot about a restaurant.

  • Appreciate both first time and repeat guests.

  • Invest in who you hire – both staff and management. They can make or break the experience, and oversight is critical.

  • If you are lucky enough to hire a good server, do everything possible to keep them. Recognize their efforts and empower them.

  • Solicit customer feedback through surveys, pay attention to the responses, and act on any issues.

  • Be your own critic! Try the food that is being served, don’t just assume it is good.

  • Ellen Keiley is President of the MBA Women International Boston Chapter Board of Directors (formerly the National Association of Women MBAs) and is a Boston World Partnerships Connector. She can be contacted at

    Young Professionals CAN Buy Real Estate in Boston

    Posted by Devin Cole May 30, 2012 11:57 AM

    It seems every conversation about Boston’s status as a world class city makes some mention of our high cost-of-living. The same discussions inevitably cite the price of real estate as one factor, as significant as any other, for why many young professionals choose to move or settle elsewhere. Add to that the news that Millennials have passed Generation X and the baby boomers as the group least able to afford their basic needs and you have an unfavorable recipe for keeping our best and brightest in Boston.

    Yet if you’re towards the beginning of your career, likely with a moderate amount of student loan debt, negligible savings, and a desire to only live in one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods, Boston is actually one of the best cities in the country to purchase a condo. But how?

    The answer is a little-known program that pairs a combination of public and private benefits to enable low- and middle- income first-time homebuyers to afford to purchase units in newly constructed luxury buildings. In Boston. Yes, this Boston.

    Many believe that affordable home programs are aimed only at those willing to live in government-run, government-built housing. Yet the answer to that solution-of-the-past can be found in Boston’s Inclusionary Development Program (IDP). The IDP is a 12-year-old initiative of Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to set aside 13% of all units in newly constructed market-rate buildings with 10 or more units for individuals with incomes below $54,750 (80% of the area’s median income), $68,450 (100% of AMI), or $82,150 (120% of AMI) depending on the unit. When I was looking to buy in 2010 I was only concerned with my household of one, but it should be noted the program adjusts those income levels for households of up to eight people.


    Out in the Ecosystem: Bill Allard of Athletes’ Performance

    Posted by Meg Reilly May 18, 2012 11:30 AM

    Bill Allard

    Current Executive Chairman of Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance Bill Allard's career has covered a lot of bases: from sports management and athletic performance training to private jet space. The former CEO of Marquis Jet Partners and former President and COO of SFX Sports Group oversees the Athletes' Performance's Norwell corporate office and has led the company through significant growth over the last five years.

    A South Shore resident, Babson graduate, and Harvard Business School alum, Bill has significant ties to both the Boston area. His connection to the world of sports is no less: he's been named one of the Sporting News “Top 100 Most Powerful People in Sports” and The Guardian’s “50 Most Powerful People in the World of Sports.” He sat down with Ted Chan to share his story.

    TC: Bill, tell us about Athletes’ Performance and how you ended up there. It seems like a pretty amazing job.

    BA: After I left Marquis Jet, I joined Polaris Ventures as an Executive-in-Residence. I thought it would be a great role to be part of an exceptional firm, and was excited about the opportunity to advise seed and early stage companies on effective growth and high-level strategy. Soon after I joined Polaris, I sat on the board at AP and realized it was a huge opportunity both personally and professionally for me, and that the business had tremendous potential to impact not just athletes, but a much broader universe of consumers.

    As someone with experience in the sports world and a former athlete myself, that’s something that really appealed to me, so I joined the AP team full-time in 2007.


    Apples vs. Oranges: Choosing the Top Banana(s)

    Posted by Devin Cole May 17, 2012 03:24 PM

    Innovation is alive and well in New England and it has been fueling uncommon economic growth within what I lovingly refer to as our "Massachusetts bubble" through this recession. With a national unemployment rate near 8.2%, our unemployment rate in Massachusetts is about 22% lower than the rest of the country.

    This good fortune is not due simply to the brilliant ideas flowing forth from our local pool of massive brainiac power. As my friend Steve Snyder points out in his recent blog "There's more than 'I' in Innovation", the true value is only realized when the innovative idea is developed and commercialized and becomes a contributor to our economy.

    The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) celebrated game-changing companies who are making just that type of impact at their 27th Innovation Awards on Thursday. Nominees came from a stunning array of fields including mobile tech, medical device, software testing, eco-friendly product retail, technology for learning, mobile payments and painted a rich and colorful picture of New England’s innovation.

    Another sign of economic health is that nominations were up 43% over last year, to a record number of 268 companies competing for ten top awards. “Usually we see a 10% increase year-over-year, so this is by far the biggest increase we’ve ever seen. It tells us that folks in New England are excited about the innovation in their own companies and in their client companies,” says Todd Faber, who has been Chairman of the Innovation awards for the last four years.

    The “Agnostic Awards”

    In the excitement that filled that room, one thing rang loud and clear: like any complex ecosystem, our survival depends on diversity. Nicknamed the “Agnostic Innovation Awards” by Chairman Todd Faber, unlike every other award in New England this one has never been limited to any particular industry like biotech or geared only towards the "sexy tech" niche. There are even separate categories for non-profit and early stage companies.

    Scott Goodwin of Wolf and Company, an Innovation Award judge for the last 3 years, described a few of this year’s powerful group of nominees: “When you look at a company like Parcell Labs, that company can actually change people’s lives. UTEST has taken a completely different approach of ‘crowd-testing’ to software testing; Xtalic and the materials they are creating can have a significant impact across a whole range of industries.”

    Sometimes the innovation lies in simply looking at the way we all do business and finding a new angle. Corporate Reimbursement Services, Inc. maximizes tax incentives and reimbursements for vehicle expenses for mobile employees through an automated platform. "Where have you been for the last 20 years?" is what CEO Gregg Darish most often hears from his new clients - and voila! - there's the market reaction to this particular innovation.


    Heading Home – An Innovative Approach from Homelessness to Self Sufficiency

    Posted by Devin Cole May 16, 2012 11:56 AM

    Is it possible to significantly decrease the number of homeless individuals and families?

    According to Heading Home, a Greater Boston non-profit organization, it is.

    Heading Home has taken an innovative approach to decreasing the number of homeless people through its shelter and transitional housing programs, which create a supported bridge toward the end goal of providing permanent housing. Its model begins with a home and offers critical services such as life skills, education, financial literacy, and job training. The model has proven to be very effective. In fact, 91 percent of the people housed through its program have remained housed.

    Keiley Up & Out 035.jpgAccording to Heading Home’s Executive Director, Tom Lorello, on any given night in Greater Boston more than 7,000 people are homeless, including 3,000 children. On the family side, Heading Home sees that most situations involve a young single mother at the average age of 26 years old with 1 to 3 children. Almost half of the kids are under 6 years old and about the other half are under 10 years old. On the individual side, it is generally the disabled population with problems such as mental illness or drug use.

    Board member, David Weinberg, said “Many people don’t realize that homeless individuals and families are just like everyone else and are not all street people. In many cases, the cause of homelessness is a run of bad luck or bad choices, and those that end up homeless just need assistance to get back on their feet and stay there.”

    In 2001, Heading Home decided to look at an old problem differently. The organization changed its focus from emergency shelters to housing first and became a model for Greater Boston. At the forefront of this new idea was to give the homeless the opportunity to get housing first, provide support, and then let them prove to be good citizens. It became very clear to Heading Home that housing is the foundation for people to turn their lives around.

    Former board member, Phill Gross, Managing Director of Adage Capital Management, said “housing first gives people mindshare, and that enables them to focus on fixing the problems they have.” If people are on the street, they are in survival mode, making it very difficult to focus on getting treatment and turn one’s life around. Believe it or not, it costs society a lot less to put homeless people in housing with support than for them to be homeless, because homeless people frequently end up in Emergency Rooms or hospitalized when on the streets.

    The current public welfare system presents part of the challenge because of the loss of services for those who make above a certain amount of money. If someone makes $15 per hour, certain services such as childcare will be taken away, and it is difficult to afford childcare at that amount of pay. To provide an incentive for people to get off the public welfare system while housed, Heading Home designed a program to reward families that work toward self sufficiency with cash and housing. Its participants are given a monetary account that can be used for necessities such as purchasing a reliable car to get to work, a computer, or a down payment on a home.

    Instead of lifetime public housing, program participants receive an 8-year voucher. During years 3 through 8, the financial assistance decreases. At year 5, participants receive education on home ownership. After 8 years, the payout from the escrow on their account can be used for a down payment on a home. Currently 36 out of 40 parents working 6 months or more have assets and an account open.

    To assist with the transition into housing, Heading Home’s Up and Out Council furnishes and decorates the housing and provides children with items such as toys. That added touch is often an overwhelming relief for the families that are housed, as they don’t have to worry about things like not being able to afford curtains to put in the windows.


    The Reel Innovators Series with Communispace's Diane Hessan!

    Posted by Devin Cole May 15, 2012 12:19 PM

    Diane Hessan is a Boston superstar. She knows how to run a company, Communispace. She knows how to develop and retain talent. She tells good stories.

    She is an innovator in the truest sense.

    Meet her!

    A few weeks ago, Reel Innovators talked to HubSpot's Brian Halligan. To get to know him, looky here!

    The REEL Innovators Series is a collaboration between REEL Entrepreneurs and Boston World Partnerships. Using the medium of video, we introduce you to Boston's most innovative personalities and the businesses they've built.

    Future Boston Alliance and the Business of Hipness

    Posted by Devin Cole May 14, 2012 02:02 PM

    Boston’s high ranking as a global innovation city and, according to one recent report, reputation as the 10th most competitive city in the world would be the pride of mayors everywhere, but Boston continues to experience its “brain drain.” Northeastern University’s World Class Cities Partnership, whose global research has focused on talent attraction and retention issues, recently hosted the pre-launch of Boston’s foremost advocate for hipness – the Future Boston Alliance (FBA). Founded by Greg Selkoe, a locally-based streetwear retailer, Selkoe and FBA director Malia Lazu described the Alliance as an opportunity for Boston and Massachusetts to seek input and guidance from an untapped core of new leaders and entrepreneurs in order for our region to compete in the 21st century. Selkoe and Lazu noted that not only does Boston need to compete in education and technology, in which it already performs quite well, but it also needs to compete in the ‘hip’ factor as featured by Michael Farrell in his recent Boston Globe article “E-retailer Hopes to Boost Hub’s Hip Factor.”

    Though this hip factor may seem irrelevant to the focus of modern city policy, research shows that a city’s success rate for talent attraction and retention, the bedrock of a stable economy and the lifeblood of an entrepreneurship ecosystem, can be greatly influenced by the population’s desire to want to live and work in a creative, welcoming and fun urban environment.

    Selkoe draws his knowledge from personal entrepreneurial experiences, but is also a Harvard-trained city planner and knows of what he speaks. His tenure at the Boston Redevelopment Authority shows in his awareness of the power and potential of zoning, tax incentives, citizen participation, and regulation to truly influence how the city literally shapes itself and its image, both to residents and those who are considering a move to the so-called Hub of the Universe. As a business owner who chose to start and keep his business here within the city limits, Selkoe knows that keeping and attracting workers to grow his company is not based on salary alone.


    International Art Residencies: A Swissnex Panel Discussion

    Posted by Devin Cole May 11, 2012 04:00 PM

    Swissnex Boston the Consulate of Switzerland recently hosted a panel on International Art Residencies to discuss the opportunities that are available around the globe. The panel discussion featured Kiki Thompson, Co-Founder of the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park Residency, as well as Andy Moerlein and me, Boston sculptors and Verbier Residency veterans. The panel was moderated by Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director at Alliance of Artists Communities and included Mary Sherman, Director of TransCultural Exchange, Franklin Einspruch, painter, writer and arts critic, Lynne Allen, Director, School of Visual Arts at Boston University and Antoni Muntadas, visiting Professor of the Practice at MIT. These artists gathered in front of a crowd of over 100 people to exchange thoughts about the value of international residencies in the arts and how such experiences can leverage their work at home.

    Andreas Rufer opened the program with a brief introduction to Swissnex Boston and its mission to support the arts, education, technology and innovation in Boston. Through the generous support of Swissnex, Kiki Thompson flew in from Switzerland to kick off the discussion with a video presentation of the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park Residency in Verbier Switzerland. The Verbier 3-D Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, founded by New York-based artist Madeleine Paternot and Verbier-based sculptor Kiki Thompson. Its mission is to promote contemporary art and culture, to focus on nature and community and to provide educational workshops.

    In the Verbier 3-D Foundation residency seven international artists were invited to the Swiss Alps for five weeks to create monumental works of art that were site specific to the Sculpture Park. Each artist was asked to teach a class to the students in the community and to lead tours through the studio and discuss their work while in residence to demystify the art making process. The curatorial premise for the 2011 edition of Verbier 3-D was set by Paul Goodwin, in his capacity as an independent curator as a new approach to monumentalism. All sculptures in the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park are for sale with the 3-D Foundation and the artists splitting the profits.


    Being Green Makes Work Life at Genzyme a Dream

    Posted by Devin Cole May 9, 2012 12:32 PM

    Since Boston is a hub for green technology, I thought it would be interesting to see how being green enhances work life by focusing on Genzyme's award-winning, environmentally responsible corporate headquarters in Cambridge.

    Rick Mattila, Director of Environmental Affairs at Genzyme shared his knowledge by giving me a "blow your mind" tour of the building. Rick has been a key player in developing Genzyme's environment for over 20 years, both locally and internationally, while Genzyme had evolved into becoming one of the largest biotechnology companies worldwide. Last year, Genzyme was acquired by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi and is now a Sanofi company.


    Genzyme's Atrium

    I was interested in knowing how green tech design affects Genzyme's staff and the community at large. Rick's passions happen to lean towards how the building impacts people including patients, employees and community. These were his thoughts.

    "The transparent nature of the building was purposeful in enhancing visual communication among employees within the building, making it easier to have spontaneous meetings. It also provides employees with views to the outside environment (enhancing their well-being) and to the community to reinforce that connection. From the outside, neighbors can see in and get a sense of our openness and transparency as a corporation. Having a green building that reduces the impact on the environment follows our safety and environmental management statement that includes: We want our corporate and residential neighbors to be proud to have Genzyme in their communities.

    The tour program that we instituted provides an open invitation to the local and broader community to come into our building and experience its green design features. It also provides an opportunity for the architectural, engineering and construction industry professionals and students in those fields to observe this unique green building. We want others to see the design and hopefully inspire them to think deeply about the designs of their own buildings. It is apparently working as Genzyme Center was chosen in a 2010 survey of green building experts by Architecture Magazine, as the third most important green building in the world."


    Through the lens of Minerva: How to choose a university

    Posted by Devin Cole May 8, 2012 11:58 AM

    Three months ago I got up on my high horse to preach about the advantages and disadvantages of getting a PhD. In the meantime, I have had the pleasure of talking to Ben Nelson about what to look for when applying for an undergraduate degree.

    Ben Nelson.JPG

    Ben Nelson

    Ben has thought deeply about the demand for elite higher education (see his TED talk), and he recently raised $25 million to launch a university called The Minerva Project. It will cater to the tens of thousands of people that meet all the academic requirements of other elite universities. Below, I will list the five most important things that Ben thinks should matter to applicants. To help explain, I will compare and contrast Minerva with existing universities.

    Most challenges to existing higher education these days focus on technology. Minerva uses online technology, but the main point of the project is not technology – it is catering to the demand.

    What do students need, and what should universities aim to supply?

    1. Status
    2. Chance of getting in
    3. Pedagogy
    4. Student life
    5. Student-university relationship after graduation

    A degree from an Ivy League University is so attractive that the number of applicants far exceeds those accepted. That its status will rub off on alumni is one important reason – perhaps more important even than the education you receive. As non-elite universities are quick to point out, you can also learn stuff at other universities - possibly more and better. But whether or not you get a superior education at Ivies or not: their status is undoubted.

    The problem for most of us is that we will not get in. Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford etc. simply cannot expand to accept the many, many applicants who desire an association with their brand. Unlike the Ivies, Minerva can scale. Its campuses will be rented and they can move if need be. So students satisfying Ivy League schools' entrance requirements, while still unlikely to be accepted by an Ivy League school, will be accepted by Minerva. (I forgot to ask Ben, but he might have to worry about Groucho Marx's dictum: I don't want to be a member of a club that wants me as a member.)

    Ben thinks students really ought to consider the prevailing pedagogy of different universities before applying. For example, Brown has a very open-ended program where a student can gather the requisite credits however he or she wants. This will suit some students and not others. Columbia, by contrast, is more structured and perhaps rigid in its organization of progress towards a bachelor's degree. Penn is very interdisciplinary and excels in mixing degrees, such as business and technology. Harvard Business School is the home of the case study. Students should aim to understand a university's pedagogy and choose according to their own personalities.


    Feeling the Kendall Square Bump n’ Grind Part II: Life Science Capital

    Posted by Devin Cole May 7, 2012 12:03 PM

    Read Part I Here

    Big Fish Helping Little Fish

    Kendall Square is home to the strongest life sciences cluster in the world, an audacious claim that is supported by the fact that the four main industry groups chose Boston for their signature events this year:

    The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) is an essential institutional underpinning of support for the biotech space, with offerings in many different forms. Their newest offering, MassCONNECT, is already a wildly successful mentoring program. Both the demand for mentoring and the experts capable of providing it demonstrate the deep pool of local talent and passion for the industry that is present. This depth of talent can’t be bought, transplanted or otherwise grown quickly, although other locales both within the US and internationally have poured resources into such efforts.

    Hear about the exciting specifics of MassCONNECT from Sarah MacDonald, MassBio’s VP of Development & Communications:

    Repurposing with Purpose

    In the uber-serious world of entrepreneurial bioscience development, SEMPRUS BioSciences is an emerging medical device company. Located in a building that was once an old tire factory, Co-Founder and CEO David Lucchino recognizes the value of repurposing Kendall’s unique resources. This includes not only the buildings but also the talent pool of seasoned specialists coming out the newly acquired companies who are looking to move back to a small company culture.

    Born out of the MIT 100K Entrepreneurial Competition in 2007, SEMPRUS now has over $30M in funding and made a conscious choice to remain in Kendall. “ I couldn’t get the bang for my buck anywhere else. Even though my rents were a little higher here, the aggregation of the benefits outweighed the dollar premium to be here.”

    “So let’s think about it, if you tried to do what we are doing in another locale, in Pittsburgh or Cleveland or other locales you can do it, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult.” David Lucchino continues, “Getting the access to the talent, access to the ideas, access to the venture capital… you can do that in other markets but it’s going to be a lot harder to do because you don’t have the structure in place to allow that to happen so readily.”

    How Topography Dictates Flow

    Xconomy, the go-to news platform and event-driven engagement organization for the "exponential economy" has become an anchor here in Boston. Founded by Bob Buderi and Rebecca Zacks, the team of Xconomists connects people and ideas through localized blogs, events, conferences, and other initiatives in six cities. Boston's own Xconomy guru and Senior Vice President of Business Development, Bill Ghormley, is based in Kendall Square and provides insight into the development of the clean tech, health IT, life sciences, mobile and the diverse start up community.


    Feeling the Kendall Square Bump n’ Grind - Part I

    Posted by Devin Cole May 4, 2012 03:58 PM

    Intrigued by Mark O’Toole’s recent post,”An Innovation Snapshot: Three Engaging Hours in Boston’s Innovation District,” we traveled across the river to the original innovation district, Kendall Square. What was once a busy manufacturing hub filled with distilleries, soap and hosiery factories and home to 19th century entrepreneur and namesake Edward Kendall, is now the nucleus of greater Boston’s development of information technology, life sciences and energy technology.

    It only took us a few seconds to feel what British Consul General Phil Budden calls “the change in the air” as we entered Kendall Square.” We made it our mission to capture the new pace of business here– the modern version of the long-lamented “daily grind” which has morphed into what we call the “Kendall bump n’ grind.” And we share it with you right here. Watch this space for Part II next week!

    “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends…”

    According to Travis McCready, Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, 2007 marked a turning point for America, with more of us residing in urban districts than in suburban or rural areas. What comes with the alluring potential of urban offerings –vibrant night life, lively cultural institutions, fun restaurants, cafes and clubs, reliable public transportation, and civic space – is a density of talent, companies and institutions. As one of these growing urban areas, Kendall Square has achieved the critical mass that fuels unparalleled technological innovation.

    Travis likens this density and diversity to “a box of chocolates… you open it up and you don’t really know what you’re going to get, but you know it’s going to be something good.” The best business representation of the box of chocolates metaphor is in the dense and crowded environment of the Cambridge Innovation Center, (CIC) where smart people serendipitously “bump and connect.” That collaboration creates waves of innovation, and it’s happening at an unprecedented rate right here.

    Both Pixability and are fast tracking start-ups, two of the 500+ companies who have called the CIC home since it opened its doors in 1999. Leaders of these two companies credit the entrepreneurial environment here for a great deal of their companies’ transformations. Pixability found a key vendor they needed while VP of Marketing Rob Ciampa was riding the CIC elevator up to his office one day. Their engaged and ever-curious compadres in the community inspired Pixability as they expanded their initial core business from customized video into an end-to-end video marketing platform.

    “People in Kendall, yes, they want to know about your product but they also want to know your story, so you’re constantly pitching and getting your message honed, and the community here ends up giving you leads as well. It’s helping your product, your message, and your sales.” Rob describes his experience here.

    Similarly, Jordan Fliegel, CEO of, found all of this team and his initial funding partners either directly in the CIC or through the avid referral network of his fellow entrepreneurs. Jordan and his business were both born in Cambridge and he’s so doggone proud of Cambridge and what it means for his company.

    Life in the Kendall Coral Reef

    So what shape does this entrepreneurial community take? See it through Geoff Mamlet’s eyes here:


    Reel Innovators: HubSpot's Brian Halligan (pt 2)

    Posted by Chad O'Connor April 24, 2012 11:30 AM

    Boston World Partnerships and Reel Entrepreneurs have joined forces to feature Boston's most innovative people in The Reel Innovators Series.

    Over the next several months, The Real Innovators Series will follow Boston's best into their companies and into their lives to give you an inside view into how talent translates to execution and startup success.

    Our first profile focuses on HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan, as interesting a gentleman as you'll find anywhere.

    Here is Part 2 (Part 1 can be found here):

    REEL Innovators Series featuring Brian Halligan, CEO, HubSpot, Part 2 from REEL Entrepreneurs on Vimeo.

    [Editor's Note: Part 2 was originally intended to run on Monday but was delayed by a small technical problem. Our apologies for keeping our loyal fans waiting.]

    The Reel Innovators Series: Meet HubSpot's Brian Halligan!

    Posted by Devin Cole April 20, 2012 12:01 PM

    Boston World Partnerships and Reel Entrepreneurs have joined forces to feature Boston's most innovative people in The Reel Innovators Series.

    Over the next several months, The Real Innovators Series will follow Boston's best into their companies and into their lives to give you an inside view into how talent translates to execution and startup success.

    Our first profile focuses on HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan, as interesting a gentleman as you'll find anywhere.

    Here is Part 1 (Part 2 to come on Monday!):

    REEL Innovators Series featuring Brian Halligan, CEO, Hubspot, Part 1 from REEL Entrepreneurs on Vimeo.

    UPDATE: Part 2 is here.

    Rita's Career Corner: Career Planning – Novelty or Necessity?

    Posted by Devin Cole April 19, 2012 01:49 PM

    Thriving in today’s marketplace is as much about continuous learning and proactive planning as it is about talent. Most people take great care in methodically planning out many aspects of their lives yet in many cases, their career decisions and/or paths happen based on circumstances vs. intentions. Creating a plan that allows for both is not only ideal in this competitive, highly specialized market but necessary!

    What is the mission and vision for your career? What are your short term goals for the next 1-3 years as well as your long term goals 5 years and beyond? Are you taking the steps now to ensure success in achieving your short and long term goals? Do you have a personal and professional development plan for managing your career? When is the last time you assessed and explored your skills, abilities, competencies, interests, priorities and values to assure they are aligned appropriately with your professional and personal goals and objectives as well as the requirements for success within your field?

    The economy is on the rise as is the demand for accomplished, results-driven professionals with a proven track record who can add value. Only you can manage your career so having a solid development plan for yourself with specific goals and objectives is the best way to start that process. Organizations are looking for leadership capabilities at all levels – they desire individuals with potential to grow and initiative to own their career development.

    So, how do you create a personal and professional development plan?

    1. Know your competencies, skills, strengths, weaknesses, interests and values; assess and evaluate regularly; be true to yourself; leverage strengths and uncover potential to be further developed.
    2. Do your homework and stay current in your field; investigate sought after skills that are in demand; identify areas you may fall short; determine skills to be refined and enhanced as well as steps to execute.
    3. Be goal-oriented; establish short and long term goals; keep a running list of your accomplishments; establish where the gaps are preventing you from reaching these goals.
    4. Prepare an action plan that will allow you to fill these gaps – both personally and professionally; reach out to your network of peers, colleagues, managers, contacts and other resources to assist you.
    5. Follow up and evaluate; be disciplined and make yourself accountable to a specific timetable; revisit regularly and stay on track; evaluate frequently and make necessary adjustments and follow through.

    Nerds Rule!

    Posted by Devin Cole April 18, 2012 10:28 AM

    Steve Urkel.jpgLast Tuesday night about 70 local marketing professionals got together for a “marketing hackathon” to think through how we could better promote and communicate what’s special about our region’s Innovation Economy.

    Our Innovation Economy is diverse – our tech, life sciences, education, clean energy, gaming, financial services, robotics, and design sectors are thriving and innovating on some really hard problems. And, as Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki reminded us during the hack, they’re not just building innovative products but they’re also creating new-to-the-world business models that are disrupting traditional approaches.

    The challenge was to find a way to communicate our unique culture and make it meaningful to students, entrepreneurs and businesses who want to move/grow here and future employees who want to stay here. Not an easy task to be sure, especially when we are prone to comparing ourselves or trying to emulate Silicon Valley, Austin or New York City.

    As we shared some of the best ideas from the hack, a theme started to gel for me – Boston, we need to embrace our inner nerd.


    Start Networking Outside Your Comfort Zone!

    Posted by Devin Cole April 11, 2012 03:07 PM

    Get Outside Your Comfort Zone.jpgDo you wish your network provided you with new ideas, greater intelligence and more money? Are you searching for a job without realizing that it's a permanent campaign rather than a job search? Or, are you just trying to find the people who are willing and able to refer business to you? It’s crucial that your network help you encounter new ideas, learn new skills and regain your sense of purpose.The problem is that relatively isolated, homogeneous networks - consisting of people like yourself who live nearby - are unlikely to produce positive outcomes.

    I’ve been there - after reading Harvard Business Review’s How to Build Your Network, in 2006, and taking the article’s diagnostic test, my network was revealed to be full of connections made in school and the workplace. It was even bold enough to suggest my network of 90 people was inbred.

    Frankly, I liked my network just the way it was because there were very few dissenting views, everyone lived within an hour of me, and I didn’t have to put in any ‘leg-work’ to build the connections. It was comfortable and fun. I wouldn’t have changed anything about it except my network was not producing much business. In fact, it mainly produced beer, wine, food and redundant information. Yet in a fast-changing world, I perceived a credible threat that I could get left behind. I felt compelled to change.

    Homogenous groups are very comfortable. They tend to share your interests, opinions and profession and they rarely challenge you or your thinking. But your network should cut across geographies, functions and specialties because that’s where the magic happens! It’s time to let new people into your “circle of trust” and explore ideas that differ from your own.

    Start networking outside your comfort zone!


    Art as Commodity or Art as Experience?

    Posted by Devin Cole April 10, 2012 05:17 PM

    This week, everyone in the art world is talking about Morley Safer’s recent report on 60 Minutes about art: the hot commodity. In the wake of his search for art seems valuable enough to spend thousands and millions of dollars on, we learn of the early passing of Thomas Kinkade. Often compared to Disney or Norman Rockwell, Mr. Kinkade sold more canvases in his lifetime that any other, and he redefined high art as a mass produced object for everyone.

    Along the Lighted Path - Kinkade.jpg

    Along a Lighted Path, Thomas Kinkade

    Art fairs, auctions and galleries have produced a veritable marketplace for hot commodities and much of the art world has become the playground of the rich, status seeking new millionaires and billionaires.

    At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe art is neither a product to be sold nor a commodity to be gambled on. The artists, arts administrators and activists who define art as an experience by which one is transformed for the benefit of a community believe the only product of this type of engagement is human capital and spirit.

    Thomas Kinkade produced an estimated 1000 canvases. Through the production and distribution of editioned prints and merchandise, he has placed his art work in the homes of nearly 10 million people to the tune of an estimated $100 million worth of art sales annually. The price range of editioned prints and mass produced items is from $25 to $250,000, which buys you the privilege to own machine made and sometimes hand touched work.

    If he were competing with Walt Disney or Norman Rockwell, he might have been wise to realize he was competing against not one but many generations of creative output and accumulated wealth or, in other words, trying to attain something that is simply unattainable in one life.

    In spite of his best intentions, he is probably more of a case study for the business world than the art world, which could not see or appreciate any new aesthetic territory, or cutting edge techniques in his work. The art world also dismissed his taste in art and his output as 'art that people could understand.’


    Five Keys to Cross-Pollination Networking in Boston

    Posted by Devin Cole April 9, 2012 01:16 PM

    Hummingbird_in_ggp_7.jpgNetworking in Boston may seem daunting, especially for a new arrival. When I moved to Boston, I was transitioning from active duty military service and I had zero time to prepare for my transition from Southern California. I did not know where to begin my professional and social networking.

    Eight years later, I have learned through trial and error what worked for me.

    Five Sectors to Take Seriously

    Embrace these five key sectors in order to maximize your success for networking in the Boston area: Academia, Business, Culture, Government, and Nonprofit Organizations.

    Whatever your goals are when networking, these five sectors can add great value to your career. Simply making contacts in these areas is not sufficient; you need to cross-pollinate your network to reap the benefits of all they have to offer, so you can be a valuable node for your colleagues and trusted friends.


    How to Work a Room and Make Lasting Connections

    Posted by Devin Cole April 6, 2012 11:55 AM

    The first time I heard the term “working a room,” I thought there must be more to attending events than just showing up and simply interacting with others. Perhaps there is an actual science to “working a room.” The fact is some people are more comfortable than others in social settings, and some people are so good at networking that they actually do have it down to a science. One such person is the man who got me started networking – retired financial services industry executive Richard J. DeAgazio and now Principal of consulting firm Ironsides Associates.


    Networkers at work!

    I saw Richard speak on “How to Work a Room” at a Northeastern University Alumni event years ago, and immediately knew Richard was a networking pro. Not only did he have excellent networking tips, but I was also impressed with his major power presence, contacts, and ability to motivate others. Given his impressive skills, I thought I would interview him to share some of his advice.

    Why is Networking Important?

    In any business, no matter what the profession is, social skills and networking are necessary to move forward. One way to network is to attend social events, because they bring together like-minded individuals, whether it is a church event, a charity event, or a professional association event.

    What Can Someone Who Isn’t a Natural Networker Do To Make the Most Out of Attending an Event?

    1. Be prepared and determine the networking goal beforehand, such as who do you want to meet. This maximizes the time spent at the event to get the most out of it.
    2. Before attending the event, obtain the guest list if possible. This can be accomplished by asking the event coordinator if the guest list is available.

    Forging Alliances: The Brandeis Global Trade Summit focuses on emerging markets

    Posted by Devin Cole April 5, 2012 11:45 AM

    If one thing was clear at Tuesday’s Global Trade Summit at Brandeis International Business School (IBS) , it was that Massachusetts businesses are in a prime position for growth and opportunity in the constantly expanding global market.

    IBS - EMC Senior VP Joel Schwartz.jpg

    Joel Schwartz

    Although most businesses face serious economic challenges, they can (and often must) overcome them by seeking out new opportunities on the global stage. As Joel Schwartz, senior vice president at Hopkinton-based EMC Corp., pointed out in his opening remarks on Tuesday, globalization “isn’t 'coming' anymore—it’s here. And unless you have the smallest of businesses, and plan to keep it that way, you cannot afford to ignore it.”

    State leaders understand that they have an important role in helping companies compete internationally.

    In his keynote address, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick touted this week’s launch of the Massachusetts Export Resource Center, which he described as a “one-stop shop to help businesses take advantage of international opportunities.” He revealed that next week he will host Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, whose only other U.S. stop will be Washington, D.C. The visit is a direct result of the governor’s trade mission to Brazil in December. “I have made it my mission to make Massachusetts a global player in today’s innovation economy,” Patrick said.


    Founderhood and Motherhood

    Posted by Devin Cole April 2, 2012 04:54 PM

    As a 33 year old Executive Director of a small Boston non profit organization, a proud Boston World Partnerships Connector, and aspiring entrepreneur, I was excited to be attending the 2011 MassTLC Unconference. The Unconference is an event that makes living in Boston rewarding, to be in a bubbling cauldron of energy and innovation. Personally, my attendance went beyond traditional business networking. I had recently learned I was strapped into a new entrepreneurial adventure of sorts: I was pregnant for the first time. Feeling like the head of a lean startup, I was jumping into a high stakes market with no experience except a great passion for the product I was creating.

    Excited and embarrassed about my new swelling belly, I found it garnered sweet and happy comments. Yet, deep down I knew it also sparked questions. I was fresh enough into this to be able to remember the thoughts about the pregnant women and moms I met before being one; those past questions and judgments haunted me as I stepped into this new territory.

    I sought out some of the women I could find in the male-dominated scene, hoping for answers to my fears. I introduced myself to a discussion group, stating that, as a pregnant woman with the dream of owning my own business, I wondered if my window of opportunity was closing in three months. I asked, “Is my life as a potential founder over when I give birth?” I was relieved at the collective shock over this question: the window was nowhere near closing.


    The business of international art projects

    Posted by Devin Cole March 30, 2012 05:27 PM

    Public art is a tough business. Although the process of putting up a work of art in the public sphere is often entrepreneurial in spirit, driven by one person’s vision, the process can involve many layers of bureaucracy and fundraising in order to achieve success. When you take those efforts to another country, you can expand the number of people involved as well as the complications exponentially. But for those artists who have tried to create public works of art at home and abroad, the results can be very satisfying, if not life changing events.


    Arthur Fiedler

    Photo by David Smith

    For Ralph Helmick, who is a notable Boston area artist, making work and showing in galleries had its limitations. Although his work was well received critically, the sales did not add up for him and he started to look beyond the gallery walls for a way to make a living as an artist. In 1984 he won the prestigious commission from the Friends of Fiedler and the City of Boston to create a memorial to Arthur Fiedler on the Charles River Esplanade. Helmick created a vibrant memorial by layering aluminum plates in successive contours, overhangs and undercuts so that from afar, they resolve into the profile of Fiedler’s head. Helmick’s first commission was the beginning of nearly 30 years of creating large scale, public works of art.

    Judy Chicago critiqued the gallery system early on as an old boys club. Her response was to create community at the center of her art projects. The Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light spanned 8 years of her life’s work, from 1985-1993. Driven by very personal concerns of identity and nationality, she created a traveling exhibition of photography, paintings and visual art with her husband Donald Woodman that addressed the impact of the holocaust on civilization as a whole. The exhibition traveled to many institutions including the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in 1995. Chicago and Woodman’s artwork revealed the loss of humanity in the victims as well as in the perpetrators. By traveling to the sites of the concentration camps and witnessing the cultural tragedy first hand, they were able to respond to the societal consequences of the holocaust with a visual dialogue of artwork.

    Stephan Ross felt the need to create a permanent memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and he, along with the support of a committee of elected officials and employees in the City of Boston, were able to create the New England Holocaust Memorial. The monument was built by Stanley Saitowitz and dedicated on October 22, 1995. It is sited on the Freedom Trail to ‘foster memory of and reflection on one of the great tragedies of our time, the Holocaust (Shoah).’

    The memorial consists of six glass towers, one for each death camp, each one over 50 feet high, etched with six million numbers that suggest the tattooed numbers on the victims’ bodies. A team of government, private and non-profit agencies oversees the site, including its programming & management. The placement alongside local sites of American history, invites reflection on the meaning of freedom and oppression at home and abroad.

    Although not permanent constructions, the projects of Krzysztof Wodiczko often leave traces of memory in the public record and experiences that last a lifetime. In 1998, he was commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary art to create a work of public art in Charlestown.


    The first 4 things to do to get FDA approval

    Posted by Devin Cole March 27, 2012 02:10 PM

    New drugs and medical devices cannot be sold to US customers before being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This hurdle makes it harder and more expensive for companies to bring new products to market, but the point is obviously to safeguard the public.

    Innovative and higher risk products have to be proven safe through clinical trials, the cost of which can run into tens of millions of dollars - because the need for reliable (statistically significant) data requires experiments with sufficiently large patient populations. In medical devices, the most important concept in connection with an FDA application is substantial equivalence, a comparison of moderate risk devices. If the FDA deems a device product substantially equivalent to one or more already cleared devices, then it will not require a clinical trial before putting it on the market.

    Arne Piece.jpg

    Richard Tharin

    The FDA is always under pressure to process applications swiftly while also protecting the public. With changing politics and differing interpretations of rules, the FDA has to adapt to the times. Currently, some want to do away with the concept of substantial equivalence, arguing that it provides loopholes for unsafe products to slip through and endanger the public. Others want to reduce the onerous burden that the FDA application process puts on innovative companies. Regulatory affairs is a topic so complex that it is now an independent academic discipline, with several universities offering online M.S. programs. Richard Tharin is a regulatory affairs specialist consulting to pharmaceutical and medical device companies in need of regulatory approval. He works with companies large and small, and also advises investors on new projects' potential regulatory path. FULL ENTRY

    Innovation open to all: Citizen Schools in the Innovation District

    Posted by Devin Cole March 26, 2012 11:43 AM

    citizen-schools-logo.gifStartups in the Innovation District (ID) have received their fair share of coverage recently, but they're not alone as innovators. Non-profits have taken the innovation mantle and produced remarkable results.

    Recently, I had the pleasure of attending an executive briefing for Citizen Schools at Fidelity Investments in the ID. Speakers included representatives from Fidelity and Google, middle school principals from Boston, the CEO, alumni and staff of Citizen Schools. I was impressed with what this organization is doing to develop the potential in middle school students to nurture a love of learning that will inspire them to succeed in high school, college, work, and civic life.

    Citizen Schools partners with middle schools to extend the learning day for children in low-income communities. Its staff and volunteers partner with public schools to boost student achievement, help schools reach their full potential, and to re-imagine education in America. Their model is proving itself and they have expanded to 6 other states. Heavyweights such as Google, Bank of America, and Fidelity fund the organization and Citizen Schools has gained tremendous momentum through this support.

    Whether you are a newcomer or from the area, there are numerous ways to volunteer and help grow these programs, including volunteer teaching in the afternoon hours, sponsoring a team, promoting leadership opportunities and more.


    An Innovation Snapshot: Three Engaging Hours in Boston’s Innovation District

    Posted by Devin Cole March 20, 2012 12:21 PM

    Several weeks ago, I decided to stay in Boston between a morning meeting and evening event rather than return to my office on the 128-corridor. Armed with a laptop, iPad and phone, I hunted out space where I could be productive.

    I spent the afternoon immersed in Boston’s Innovation District and discovered the geographic convergence of groups that care about, report on and participate in Greater Boston’s innovation community. Typically, these groups now sit in the same building or even the same room and create synergies that can’t happen at the occasional event, over the phone or through social channels. Additionally, I discovered that Boston’s international business community wants to learn what Boston is building, with other countries’ representatives participating in our new scene and often contributing to it as robustly as homegrown businesses.

    The Financial Company

    First, I met an acquaintance who agreed to give me a tour of the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT). This amazing space serves as museum, test lab, meeting space and showcase highlighting Fidelity’s global innovations in financial services. A wall-sized interactive map shows Fidelity’s global presence, including domestic and international offices, data center locations, call centers and more. The History Wall, a long length of hallway, showcases Fidelity milestones in a timeline from end to end. Even more impressive, a sliding digital panel brings the timeline to life through videos, images and words from Fidelity’s history and legacy of industry firsts. FCAT even offers an online Fidelity Labs with beta versions of Fidelity technology and apps for the outside world to test. Like me, you might end up most impressed with FCAT’s list of partners: organizations creating, supporting and reporting on innovation. These include Boston Interactive Media Association, Boston World Partnerships, MITX, TEDx Boston, Xconomy, Mass Technology Leadership Council and other important players.

    With greater awareness of Fidelity’s history, global footprint and legacy of innovation, I made my way a few blocks east to the MassChallenge office for new adventures – and there were plenty.

    MassChallenge has become more than a home to start-ups. A true center of innovation, the organization creates the ideal intersection between innovators and infrastructure to support Boston’s start-ups and innovation business culture.

    The Association

    First in line at MassChallenge: MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange), the business association for New England’s digital and marketing community. MITX relocated to MassChallenge last fall, its team now centrally located in the middle of the action. It’s clear the new space infuses the MITX team with energy and opportunity.

    I spoke with MITX president, Debi Kleiman, about the value of the move to the Innovation District. “Being co-located with MassChallenge and the startups here has been fantastic for MITX. We are all about helping people make connections to grow their business and get inspired to innovate. This happens just because we run into each other walking around the floor or as we catch up with someone here visiting someone else. It’s the random run-ins and in-person serendipity that really powers the good stuff happening in our community. Proximity matters when it comes to supporting each other’s work.

    “We’ve proven that more events where the goal is networking and information-sharing are really potent. We develop this friendliness, an ease with which we work together as a community, for example finding time to spend together over a beer. We’ve also seen an increase in smart, experienced people offering to be mentors. Most of the startup incubators/accelerators offer this, but we also have people willing to share their time with a startup in an informal way. With our MITX Up marketing mentorship program, our mentors tell us they get a ton from mentoring the startups on their marketing challenges. And the startups love it too. Any city that wants to grow its innovation ecosystem needs to consider how to build this effort in multiple avenues and offer various kinds of mentorship for young companies and entrepreneurs.”

    The Entrepreneur

    Seeking an empty desk to pay attention to my day job, I ran into Vsnap founder and former Boston World Partnerships (BWP) director Dave McLaughlin. His company allows people to send short, personalized video messages and attachments using nothing more than an Internet connection and camera.


    Photos from the Boston World Partnerships Open Mixer on March 6!

    Posted by Devin Cole March 19, 2012 04:43 PM

    On March 6th, Boston World Partnerships hosted it's 9th straight sell-out Open Mixer networking event at Lansdowne Pub.

    Attendees connected over what they offer and what they need, took part in a raffle to benefit the Marathon charities of 4 BWP Connectors, and built strong connections to our great city.

    Pictures here:

    Open Mixer Composite.jpg

    Photos courtesy of April K Photography.

    Out in the Ecosystem: Bennett Fisher of Retroficiency

    Posted by Devin Cole March 12, 2012 03:59 PM

    Recently, I caught up with a fellow MIT Sloan entrepreneur who chose to build his company in Boston with a local VC, Point Judith Capital, providing the funding. Bennett Fisher is the Founder and CEO of Retroficiency, a data analytics software company focused on the cleantech sector.

    TC: So Bennett - what is Retroficiency focused on?

    BF: We are focused on scaling commercial energy efficiency. Commercial buildings account for more than 40% of the country’s energy consumption, and there’s $40 billion dollars of annual potential savings opportunities by upgrading existing energy systems. Unfortunately, much of these savings aren’t realized due to the current costly and time-intensive manual process of evaluating efficiency measures. Energy efficiency in existing buildings is the best way to reduce consumption, but right now it’s a huge opportunity that’s not being fully realized.

    To address this, we’ve developed software that combines sophisticated energy analytics with rapid building modeling that helps utilities, energy service providers and building owners prioritize portfolios and identify energy conservations in minutes.

    TC: What do you mean by energy analytics and building modeling?

    BF: We have two core products today. One analyzes 15 minute or hourly energy consumption data (called interval data) to determine what the savings opportunities are in a building without ever visiting it. We can answer questions such as are the building’s operating systems aligned with actual occupancy hours? Is simultaneous heating and cooling occurring? Are lights being left on at all hours of the night?

    To do this, we look at how a building is responding to changes in weather, humidity and other external factors and compare those results to similar buildings to determine areas of suboptimal performance and deliver very actionable recommendations.

    Our second product streamlines the traditional energy auditing process. We can take a limited amount of information about a building and its energy systems, use statistical inferences to fill in the gaps, and then evaluate thousands of potential improvements in minutes to see how they will impact energy usage.

    TC: It’s been about a year since you publicly launched the company. How much progress have you made?

    BF: We’ve been able to build some significant momentum since launching last March and are on a great trajectory. I think the most important milestone for us has been the large enterprises that have adopted our solutions, like Jones Lang LaSalle, Schneider Electric and SAIC. That was a really important validator for our approach.

    We’ve evaluated 80 million square feet of commercial space thus far, which is great, but that said there’s 80 billion square feet of space out there, so there’s a lot of work to do. We need to focus on delivering innovative products and driving adoption.

    TC: Why did you choose Boston as the place to start the Retroficiency?


    Partnering to make a difference: City Year and Boston's legal community

    Posted by Devin Cole March 9, 2012 02:45 PM

    City Year.JPGIf you have ever been mentored by someone, it’s easy to understand mentoring's enormous positive impact. The Boston legal community is well aware of this and has partnered with City Year Boston to help increase the amount of mentoring available to students at risk of going off track and dropping out of school.

    On Friday, March 2, over 400 members of the Boston legal community gathered at a legal breakfast event to learn about City Year Boston and what they can do to help. City Year is an education-focused non-profit organization headquartered in Boston that unites dynamic young leaders of all backgrounds, known as corps members, in the mission to keep students in school and on track to high school graduation.

    City Year corps members do everything from calling a student’s home when students don’t show up for school to helping students with their homework after school. To put things into perspective, some of the kids mentored by corps members dream of having an actual place to live instead of living in a car. Imagine how much more difficult it is to get a proper education in that situation.


    How to Survive, Thrive & Make Boston Proud at SXSW

    Posted by Devin Cole March 7, 2012 02:25 PM
    Melissa at SXSW.JPG

    The author in her SXSW element!

    Photo by Adam Towner

    If you've never been to the famed SXSW Interactive conference before, here's what to expect: Spring Fling weekend for the startup set. It's an experiment in wholeheartedly embracing both sides of the "work hard, play hard" equation by innovators from all around the world, all of whom have converged in Austin, Texas for a 5-day marathon of meetings, intellectually stimulating sessions, comfort food, drinks, parties, more drinks, more food, and generally getting their geek on (at more parties). As you can imagine, there’s not a whole lot of sleep that happens at SXSW.

    Does that get you psyched up? Good. Now here's how to survive and thrive, showing the rest of the country why they should pay attention to Boston as serious players:

    Have a plan & set goals for your SXSW experience

    Before heading to Austin, figure out the top three sessions you need to make during the week and the top three people (or brands) you want to connect with while you're there. (It makes the whole experience SO much more manageable, translating to roughly one mission each day.) Then, while heading between those sessions and looking out for those people, make the most of each random encounter. If you're not adding anything to a given conversation, or taking anything from it, politely move on. Most importantly, repeat after me: it's about quality, not quantity.

    Local angle: Watch's "Road to SXSW" featuring Boston-based social media superstars (like Jeff Cutler and CC Chapman) dish on their top tips for n00bs. (Also, check out this amazing, inspiring post by Dallas fashion blogger Elissa Stern for the Texas Style Council blog.)

    Don't sweat the parties

    Everyone obsesses over the parties at SXSW. Did I get invited to enough parties, or the right ones? Should I party hop? How do I get invited to invite-only events? Can I still get tickets to sold-out events? Relax. It’s not high school. SXSW is about connection kismet, and you will no doubt have no shortage of awesome things to do with no shortage of awesome new people, and in a surprisingly short amount of time. As the locals say, "Wherever you are, that's where you're supposed to be." Don’t party- or session-hop just for the sake of trying to do it all, or for fear of missing out. Pick one place, stay there (at least until the group you're with decides to move on), or go have a break/coffee/nightcap/snack/longer conversation with one or two cool people you've just met. Make your own party!

    Local angle: You can still RSVP for the Bostinno “SxStreetwise” party, and if you need to employ the buddy system before kicking off the training wheels, check out this directory of Bay Staters headed to SXSW.


    The ‘Governor’ of Waltham

    Posted by Devin Cole March 6, 2012 03:35 PM

    Elln Hagney has worked with many notable organizations in the course of her 20 year career but none has so clearly allowed her to demonstrate her gifts and talents as the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation (CRMII) in Waltham. Through her many creative outreach efforts and diverse community collaborations, she has positioned the museum at the center of the community, by acting as a governor herself. "A centrifugal governor is a specific type of governor that controls the speed of an engine by regulating the amount of fuel admitted, so as to maintain a near constant speed whatever the load or fuel supply conditions." One could very well say the balancing act she has managed to perform since she joined the museum in 2008 has prepared the institution to move full speed ahead into the future.

    steampunk.jpg's a phenomenon

    Photo by Todd Douglas Cahill

    Community Partner

    One of the oldest and largest community events is Open Studios, which is run by the Waltham Mills Artists Association. It has enjoyed a vibrant 35 year history, drawing an estimated 5,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. The Museum is located in one of the mill buildings that houses artist studios, and it has become an important community partner to the event. Since all 80 artists who participate in the event open their studios at no charge to visitors, last year the museum offered free admission all weekend long to draw crowds into its exhibitions.This year, the museum will be increasing its role by providing space for artists to exhibit their work.

    Business to Business

    The Waltham Food & Wine Festival has been running for 20 years. The museum used to host the festival but the event has outgrown its capacity of 180 guests and in more recent years, the CRMII has turned to the Waltham Westin Hotel to play host to its over 600 attendees. The event is designed as a fundraiser for the museum but the festival itself celebrates Waltham’s culinary businesses by offering samples of fare prepared by some of the city’s most popular restaurants.

    Back to its Roots

    The last and perhaps most important civic group that calls the museum home, is the New England Model Engineering Society. This ‘group for those who enjoy metal working and machining’ has been meeting monthly at the museum for over 15 years. It recently held its annual show at the museum in February which used to draw crowds of 500 people to find out ‘What trains, flutes, and clocks all have in common?’ Under Ms. Hagney’s direction the model engineering show has more than doubled its attendance to attracting over 1200 visitors this year.


    The Innovation District – Boston’s New Hot Destination

    Posted by Devin Cole February 28, 2012 02:51 PM

    By Ellen Keiley, K&L Gates

    Just a few years ago, the South Boston Waterfront didn’t have much to it. Fast forward to 2012 and the area is exploding with activity in what’s now known as Boston’s Innovation District – one of Boston’s hottest neighborhoods.

    ID Water.jpgIt’s never been a better time for the development, as there’s a new generation of workers, and Boston wants to keep them. They walk and ride bikes to work, and they can do it all without leaving the city. Much of the development started after a 2010 mandate from Boston Mayor Tom Menino to develop 1000 acres of waterfront property as a platform of entrepreneurship focused on 3 initiatives – jobs, housing, and infrastructure.

    The district was created to attract innovative people and companies and fuel economic engines for Boston. It’s a way to win the war to obtain and retain talent. The Innovation District has created 3000 new jobs and 100 companies.

    MassChallenge moved to the area in 2010 and has brought a lot of excitement and innovation to the area with its mission to “Catalyze a startup renaissance.” MassChallenge is the largest start-up accelerator and competition in the world and offers 125 finalist start-up companies access to world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding and media, and other perks, such as free business flights provided by American Airlines. The winners of the challenge receive $1M in cash awards and over $4 Million worth of in-kind support collectively.


    Five critical questions before out-licensing to a pharmaceutical company

    Posted by Devin Cole February 27, 2012 04:37 PM

    Many university scientists and start-up companies develop new drugs. But getting a drug through the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval process and to market is a long, expensive and risky process. Many companies seek to share this risk by partnering or out-licensing to a larger biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.

    Antony Newton worked for Genzyme from 1992 to 2011, eventually becoming Vice President of Portfolio Management in the Oncology Division, He facilitated the in-licensing process there and describes here what you have to think about in order to successfully out-license your drug to a pharmaceutical company:

    1. Have a clear value proposition
    2. Understand the culture of the company
    3. Understand the structure of decision making
    4. Develop relationships on the inside
    5. Plan for follow through

    While the example of Genzyme helps us flesh out these five points, the lessons are general and apply to any pharmaceutical company.

    Anthony Newton.jpg

    Antony Newton

    1. What is the value proposition?

    Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using in-licensing and partnering to build and de-risk their development pipelines. For the out-licensing group it is important to understand the needs of the pharmaceutical company. Are they interested in particular technologies or approaches, are they looking for products at a certain stage of development? By asking these questions up front, you avoid fruitless discussions. And by knowing more, you can tailor the information presented to meet their needs.


    Continuing Education – It’s Game Changing

    Posted by Chad O'Connor February 24, 2012 11:30 AM

    Whether you are continuing your education in your 20s or 50s, it can be a worthwhile endeavor. Most agree that that it takes an incredible amount of time and effort. In fact, you may suddenly find yourself frequently writing papers all hours of the night and no longer being able to take leisurely vacations. However, that’s just temporary, and the benefits outweigh the negatives. In the end, continuing education is rewarding and game changing in a positive way.

    According to Dorothy Whalen, Board President of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) Boston Chapter, although she was already at the CFO level, it was definitely worth going back to school for her MBA. Whalen said “No one can take away my education.” Attending Northeastern University’s Executive MBA program allowed her to learn among other leaders with diverse experiences and perspectives and enabled her to keep current on new technologies, trends, and best practices.

    Evelyn Tate, Director of Graduate Recruitment & Admissions at Northeastern University stated continuing education helps you remain competitive in the workplace, and additional education can set you apart from other candidates, whether you are applying for a position or looking to be promoted within a company. Tate also said although there’s financial expenses involved with attending school, there’s also financial benefits going forward. A Bureau of Labor & Statistics study shows that the financial benefits of continuing one’s education can be significant.


    About a Pear: Boston and the Business of Public Art

    Posted by Devin Cole February 23, 2012 03:55 PM
    Clapp Pear.JPG

    Laura Baring-Gould, John McColgan and the Clapp Pear

    Arts and Culture dynamically contribute to Boston’s business community. The New England Foundation for the Arts, NEFA, recently released its 2011 annual report, New England’s Creative Economy: Nonprofit sector impact. ‘In 2009, the spending of these 18,026 organizations amounted to nearly $3.7 billion, and they provided jobs for over 53,000 people.’ This sector has grown substantially since 2002, and these organizations have a track record for being a steady reliable industry, not susceptible to the ups and downs of the market economy.

    NEFA’s study also demonstrates that direct spending results in significant indirect and induced impact on the region’s economy. ‘Nearly every dollar spent becomes sales to suppliers and income to employees. These businesses and employees, in turn, spend that money to buy goods and services to meet their own needs.’ Therefore, the $3.7 billion of art and culture spending has an indirect impact of $2.2 billion and an induced impact of $2.5 billion, providing a total of $8.4 billion in the New England economy. Within the workforce, the 53, 270 individuals employed by art and culture industries result in an additional 12,960 jobs as an indirect impact and an additional 17,000 jobs as an induced impact for a total of 83,330 jobs.

    The last and perhaps the most important impact of nonprofit arts and cultural organization is ‘more than economic.’ The NEFA study highlights ‘visitor attraction impact’ where those who come to an art museum, historic site or cultural festival spend money on food, lodging, shopping, etc. in the local economy. These nonprofits also help ‘attract new residents and new businesses’ by providing key dollars and vitality to a community. The Fenway district in Boston exemplifies this where key cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, are accompanied by teaching institutions like The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts that jointly bring visitors and students to Boston, provide key jobs across economic spectrums and greatly add to the vitality of Boston. This pattern is repeated across New England where museums, historic organizations, art and performance centers, gallery districts, artist’s housing, art schools and community centers contribute to the human capital of the region. The impact of this on the economy is significant and far reaching.

    An interesting case study of the economic impact of art is told through a 17-year effort to bring public art to Edward Everett Square, in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. Organized in 1995 by historian and archivist John McColgan with a network of dedicated residents, civic associations and historic organizations, the group advocated for public art to celebrate the historic legacy of the community. Recognizing the importance of urban planning and design, the community successfully enjoined the city of Boston to provide $2.2 million in public works capital funding to redesign and renovate Edward Everett Square, transforming traffic and pedestrian safety, green space and creating a pedestrian plaza for public art.


    Road to the Oscars: Mass Pike Edition

    Posted by Devin Cole February 22, 2012 02:04 PM

    MattBen.jpgThe 84th Annual Academy Awards are right around the corner (they air on Sunday, February 26th, in fact) and while everyone’s busy speculating on the winners, we wanted to know who from our neck of the woods is going to make the journey to sunny Los Angeles for their chance to grab a gold Oscar statuette.

    It didn’t take long to realize that the connections to Beantown at the 2012 Oscars are extensive. Not only was fair Fenway Park the backdrop for scenes in the blockbuster, Moneyball, but countless nominees have roots here.

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made film-making an economic development priority with their tax incentive program, so it's great to see a strong Massachusetts impact on Hollywood's most important evening.

    Here are some interesting local ties to check out:


    Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself

    Posted by Devin Cole February 16, 2012 05:22 PM

    Personal Branding article.jpgIdentifying and marketing your personal brand is an essential core competency for managing and sustaining a successful career. Empower yourself by knowing what you have to offer, what you want and how to ask for it.

    Your ability to market your talents, accomplishments and value inside your organization and within your profession, industry and community are a key part of enhancing your brand. The demands we face today include an unpredictable economy, very competitive and specialized marketplace, globalization, changing demographics, and strong leadership skills by all levels.

    In order to be successful, it is critical to set yourself apart.

    Think about the following questions:

    • Do you know your value adds – your unique differentiators?
    • Can you define your personal brand?
    • How easily can you articulate that brand?
    • Do you actively work on enhancing your brand?

    Are you comfortable talking about yourself in this way? More importantly, are you prepared to talk about yourself in this way – packaging your talents and accomplishments – showcasing them and presenting your value internally within your organization and externally within your chosen field and community?

    How can you develop this ease, confidence and comfort that is considered very difficult by many people?


    China Loves Boston's Martial Arts

    Posted by Meg Reilly February 15, 2012 04:54 PM
    Group shot.JPG

    Mr. Kim's Class

    Boston has been a magnet for high achievers for decades, but that attraction extends beyond our traditional universities, hospitals, tech centers, and start-ups: even martial artists are drawn to Boston.

    While the exact beginning of martial arts may be too remote to identify, martial artists can agree that China, not Boston, has fostered the development of martial arts since 5th century BCE. Due to the long history of martial arts in China, residents of China take great pride in their culture’s contributions to various forms of martial arts. This makes Bostonian Grandmaster Kim’s recent accomplishment of opening a popular martial arts school in Shanghai a particularly striking feat.

    How does Mr. Kim grow his influence in China while remaining in Boston? Talented martial artists from China, Korea, Singapore, and other parts of Asia travel to Boston to receive one-on-one training from Grandmaster Kim in Taekwon-do, a Korean form of hand-to-hand combat. Mr. Kim is one of just a handful of active teachers left in the world who had the honor of receiving personal training from the acknowledged founder of Taekwon-do, General Choi and from Grandmaster Jung Tae Park, president of the Global Tae Kwon Do Federation.

    For Asians traveling to America to study martial arts, Boston continues to be a vibrant and attractive place to live, work, study, and begin careers. In fact, Boston has the highest proportion of 20-34 year olds among the top 25 major U.S. cities. In addition, census analysis from the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMASS-Boston shows that there are more than 122,000 Chinese Americans in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is an increase of approximately 46 percent from 2000. Moreover, there are over 20,000 people of Korean descent that live in Massachusetts. Census data further indicates that over 24,000 of Americans of Chinese descent live in Boston. Boston visitors and residents are drawn to the city due to events, such as the College Day organized by the Asian American Civic Association Youth Council last year in which colleges, students, and parents had the chance to discuss the college admissions process and financial aid options. The event hosted 15 Massachusetts colleges and was attended by more than 175 people seeking educational solutions.

    The following is a brief interview with the always busy Grandmaster Kim:

    When did you start Taekwon-do?


    Healthcare Consumerism and You

    Posted by Devin Cole February 14, 2012 05:15 PM
    Tony Cotrupi head shot.JPG

    Tony Cotrupi

    Think back to your last big purchase—a car, a television set, a kitchen appliance. If you are like a lot of people, in addition to talking to your friends about their preferences and experiences, you searched the Internet for reviews and product specifications. Then you narrowed down the brands to the one or two you preferred and looked for the best deal. Have you ever considered doing something like that the next time you or a loved one get sick or needs surgery?

    In the past, hospitals didn’t need to advertise much. Your primary care doctor referred you to a hospital or a doctor: You went there and probably didn’t think much about it. If you knew someone in the healthcare field you may have asked a few questions, but otherwise you probably felt you didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.

    The healthcare landscape has changed dramatically in the last several years. For patients, the change is the realization that we are consumers of healthcare services and that we can and should make choices when purchasing our healthcare, the same way we do for other consumer products and services.

    For hospitals, the change is the need to create a brand and better understand the competitive landscape and the changing business model. Today, hospitals direct their messages to consumers. But given that hospitals have neither the budget nor the marketing experience of your average consumer products behemoth, the reality of hospital advertising is more complicated than simply talking to consumers.


    Building a Better Boston: WCCP 2012 Chatham Forum [part 2]

    Posted by Chad O'Connor February 13, 2012 11:46 AM

    As the Chatham Forum continued, the second panel of the day (See last week's intro post) – Greg Selkoe, Vicky Wu Davis, Travis McCready, Helena Fruscio and Frederick Kramer – convened later that morning to discuss strengthening Greater Boston’s global presence. A key theme the panel kept coming back to was changing the way we think about barriers geographically. One dysfunctional example that gained many nodding heads of support was discussion of taxi pickup regulations that prevent Boston cabs from picking up in Cambridge and vice versa. Not only is it frustrating to people who live in the Boston area, but it is frustrating and bewildering to out-of–towners who will remember such anecdotal encounters.

    The taxi example seemed to represent the desire of the panel to see more cooperation between the region’s cities, minimizing regulation and bureaucracy that stifles business and detracts from a positive experience in Greater Boston. Heather Fruscio neatly summarized the problem by noting that “A brand is only as good as it functions” – harkening back to the earlier panel’s praise of Barcelonactiva for integrating processes that help business permitting go smoothly. Healthy competition between cities, emphasizing real differences, is okay; unhealthy competition with a winner take all mentality will not help Greater Boston as a whole. One panelist even noted that districts within a city, sometimes blocks apart, can get into unhealthy competition that loses sight of the bigger benefit.


    Building a Better Boston: WCCP 2012 Chatham Forum [part 1]

    Posted by Chad O'Connor February 10, 2012 11:45 AM

    Chatham-Group-Photo3.jpgSuper Bowl weekend kicked off with a star-studded retreat focusing on Boston’s future. World Class Cities Partnership (WCCP), in collaboration with City to City Boston and Boston World Partnerships, planned the 2012 Chatham Forum for engaged Greater Boston citizens to learn, discuss, renew friendships and expand networks. To quote from WCCP Executive Director Mike Lake’s invitation, the Forum sought to update everyone about “opportunities for the Boston region in relation to innovation, entrepreneurship and adapting best practices from around the world to strengthen economic development in our region.” In addition, attendees participated in Massachusetts’ first Urban Excellence unConference with “Solution Sessions” to share ideas and projects on economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Insightful content and action opportunities were in abundance. A Friday night cocktail reception and dinner with opening keynote from Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson set the tone for an ambitious agenda. Jackson stressed the importance of getting the youth of Greater Boston civically engaged, something that starts with a strong public education system.

    On Saturday morning everyone reconvened with a heart-felt montage tribute to the recently deceased former Boston Mayor Kevin White. [As a sad epilogue, Lowell Richards of Massport, a former deputy mayor to White, who was at the Chatham Forum unexpectedly died on Sunday. Condolences go out to his family and friends. He spent the better portion of his last weekend with us doing what he did best: working behind the scenes on making Greater Boston better.]


    The startup gene: Boston's entrepreneurial leaders pass it along

    Posted by Devin Cole February 8, 2012 02:58 PM

    Lemonade Day.jpgGreater Boston is on the global map as a vibrant start up ecosystem with over 1400 companies. For this post, I framed a few questions for three leaders in the local startup scene and asked them to respond in vsnaps -- 60-second video messages, with attachments that offer additional information.

    I like this format a lot because it gives you a sense of the people, in addition to what they have to say. After all, Boston's startup scene is very much a community of people, one that's welcoming to newcomers who have big ideas and the work ethic to put them into action. I've embedded their vsnaps below. But first here's some background on each of my subjects -- and the question I asked.


    Should you go to grad school? Yes, if...

    Posted by Devin Cole February 1, 2012 09:09 AM

    Harrison.Soren_.BW_.jpgI went to graduate school because a college professor told me I needed to. Of course, there was more to my decision than that, but his advice played an important role in my choice to move across the country from sunny San Diego to wintry Wisconsin.

    At the time, I wanted to get into nuclear fusion research and this leader in the field said that in order to have a career in nuclear fusion it was best to have a PhD. He was absolutely right, too. Almost 100% of the jobs in nuclear fusion are academic research positions that are looking for PhDs, and the field is sufficiently complicated that it just takes a big chunk of time to pick up on the variety of disciplines involved.

    So, the BEST thing for me to do was go to grad school. I still believe that, too, even though a large part of my life is dedicated to building a solar deployment company that draws absolutely nothing on the subject area knowledge that I gained while getting my master's and PhD. (And yes, I am also still working in nuclear fusion, too.)

    Now, should you go to grad school? Should you invest the next 2-5+ years in more school? That's an entirely different question. My answer to you would be:

    Yes. If...


    Back to the Quad: What factors to weigh when considering grad school

    Posted by Devin Cole January 27, 2012 01:47 PM

    Tufts.JPGLeaving a secure job that has potential for upward mobility to incur tens of thousands of dollars more of student loan debt doesn't seem like the best decision to make in the current economic climate.

    So why would one decide to re-enter the world of academia?

    My decision to go back was grounded in the fact that I wasn't working in a career that I wanted to pursue in the long term. This isn't a knock on the job, the office, or the people I worked with; it's just a simple fact. I graduated from Connecticut College in 2009, and there wasn't exactly a plethora of options available to me. My first few jobs out of school were of the, "any port in a storm" variety.

    Also, I wasn't sure what it was I wanted to do with my life. Working for a couple of years after college gave me the time to figure that out, and I highly recommend it to everyone considering any type of education after college.

    It gets you real world experience and might even direct you to a career you wouldn't have considered but which you really enjoy. It also shows future employers that you've taken time to weigh your options, and you aren't just diving headlong into grad school because you don't know what else to do after undergrad.

    My lack of qualifications also helped nudge me back to school. For a little while, I entertained the notion I could get into the field I wanted to pursue (urban planning) without any more school. I had a good resume and transcript and thought those plus my work experience would equal a new job. I quickly realized that I just didn't have the right skills, and I could really only acquire those skills if I went back to school.

    Another factor I had to keep in mind was whether or not the investment in graduate school would be worthwhile.


    Business school worked for me and here's why

    Posted by Devin Cole January 25, 2012 04:56 PM

    I looked at business schools all over the country when thinking about where to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). In the end, I decided to go to the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Several years later, I couldn't be happier with my decision. Sloan offers the best possible experience for what I want to do as a technology entrepreneur and a management consultant.

    While an MBA is expensive, it paid off for me quickly. I started a successful company my second year at Sloan, mainly from ideas generated in two classes -- Pricing and Industrial Economics -- that I took back to back. The analytical and strategic skills have benefited me both in running my businesses, and my parallel life as management consulting. It's not just about the financial bump though; it's also how rewarding it is to be able to accurately analyze and understand opportunities in technology that makes me feel great about the time I spent at Sloan.

    Everyone's needs in an advanced degree are different, so choosing what to pursue and the right program for it can be difficult. It helps to have a few things in mind as you make your decision.

    Why was Sloan the right choice for me?

    As someone who is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and experience at Sloan is just fantastic. A school like Stanford GSB is well situated in Silicon Valley, but MIT makes up for it by trying harder and really opening up and collaborating intra-university, and with companies in Cambridge, Boston, and globally.

    Relationship building is key - where can you build the best ones for your career?

    The Sloan School?s Entrepreneurship & Innovation (E&I) program and Trust Center for Entrepreneurship (aka the MIT E-Center), along with general entrepreneurial resources, are world class in terms of teaching the ins and outs of starting and building your own company. Ed Roberts and Ken Morse did a great job structuring the programs there, and now the team there with Bill Aulet and Justin Adelson is so energetic and does such a great job connecting people. I met an incredible number of the most successful global founders and, on many occasions, was taught by them. These sessions often extended into dinners, one-on-ones, and meaningful personal relationships.


    How to Network Well: It's Not All About You

    Posted by Devin Cole January 23, 2012 12:38 PM

    Networking!.JPGWhat makes a person a successful networker?

    Is it an outgoing, charismatic personality or maybe it's experience or practicing proper networking etiquette. While those aspects are all helpful, the key to being a successful networker is understanding that networking is mutual and not a one-way exchange.

    According to Rita B. Allen, Career Management Consultant and President of Rita B. Allen Associates, networking is all about building meaningful and long lasting relationships and what you do with those business cards. Fewer and deep is better than a database of contacts you don't keep up with. Allen describes networking like planting seeds in the garden, nurturing it, and seeing it blossom. Many see networking as insincere, so the focus should be on building a mutually beneficial relationship and not just collecting as many business cards as possible. Allen suggests "be real and do what works for you."

    Linda Moraski, President/CEO of PeopleSERVE, Inc., stated there?s numerous benefits to networking, whether it is for business, finding a vendor or service provider, or finding a job. As Allen mentioned, it's not about who you know but who knows you. Having a good network is critical in business.

    Being active in social media is important but getting out there and meeting people face-to-face is equally important. Writing, speaking, and teaching are other ways to broaden one's network. Going to an event and networking can be intimidating for some, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will get with working a room.

    For those that are new to networking, practice your message about who you are and what you have to offer.


    5 Things You Didn't Know About the Internet Business in Boston

    Posted by Devin Cole January 20, 2012 10:37 AM

    Debi_Kleiman-Headshot-with_credit.jpgWith the holidays behind us, economy watchers are waiting for the numbers to signal consumer confidence and spending is back. Early signs seem to indicate it is. According to ComScore, Cyber Monday lived up to its name in 2011 as the Monday after Thanksgiving racked up $1.25 billion in online retail sales, the biggest day in the history of US e-retailing. Nine other days topped $1 Billion during the 2011 holiday season. ComScore also reported e-commerce sales for the period from Nov 1 through Dec 25 increasing by 15 percent over the corresponding days the year earlier.

    E-commerce and its super hip sister m-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds. Why? Because better technology is making the process and user experience easier, consumers trust and enjoy the internet more and it's become ridiculously convenient. Content strategy, video, analytics and social media are revolutionizing the way people shop. And the most exciting part is, we've only just begun.

    During our weeklong festival last September, FutureM, all about the future of Marketing, it became clear that we are seeing a surge in local innovative and successful e-commerce plays. Everything from new business models, advancements in the mobile and cross channel markets and tech companies that build platforms to help companies to sell and promote their wares online. But I'd bet most Bostonians don't even realize how much is going on right in our backyard.

    So here are five things to know about our Internet business community, listen up:


    The Future (and Present) of Work Is All About Systems

    Posted by Devin Cole January 19, 2012 12:07 PM
    Systems Thinking.JPG

    Image by Ben Rose

    In my last blog "Forays into the Future of Work," I ask, "What skills and qualities will serve us in the future?" and offer the idea that the world needs connectors. It’s a simple enough idea to grasp, but it’s worth exploring because it can easily get lost in our day-to-day routines.

    I say the world needs connectors because indeed systems and systems thinking are key to meaningful, lasting change. Whether we’re talking about what the future of work holds for us and our organizations, or the ever-so-tricky social and economic challenges so many of us are facing currently, becoming aware of the systems we find ourselves in is crucial. And if we’re going to adapt to a fast-changing world and build new kinds of companies designed to thrive in a new kind of sustainable economy, then systems thinking is a skill all of us need to wrap our heads around, embrace, and let change us.

    We must bring systems thinking out of the university, tech world, and think tanks, and into our workplaces and communities.


    Does your offline profile match your online profile?

    Posted by Devin Cole January 18, 2012 09:58 AM

    Facebook.jpgA few weeks ago, I was walking down the street in Buenos Aires when I saw someone wearing a T-shirt that read, “The internet was closed so I came outside today.” It was funny because there was so much truth to it.

    Every year, we develop new ways to communicate with one another. These tools give us more and more ways to build community with friends, family, and colleagues around the world. For example, a few hours after I saw the T-shirt in Buenos Aires, I sat down at the café across from my apartment in San Telmo, tweeted a picture of my perfect coffee and croissant, and used the restaurant’s Wifi to Skype with my family in the United States.

    But sometimes these new ways of communicating can dull our interpersonal, in-the-moment responsiveness. Why challenge someone at a staff meeting when I can simply email the whole team and carefully choose my words? Why answer a phone call when I can wait for the other person to leave a message and think carefully about my response?


    Millennials: We are not slackers!

    Posted by Devin Cole January 12, 2012 05:16 PM
    Elizabeth Turnbull.jpg

    Left to right: Elizabeth Turnbull, Doug Noonan and Paulina Orkisz

    Every new generation leaves its mark on the world, reshaping not just culture and politics, but also business and the economy. Nowhere is this more evident than with today’s so-called Generation Y, who is having a profound effect on the way American companies think about energy and the environment as we begin to ascend the corporate ladder.

    Also called Millennials, the cohort was born between the late 1970s and the late 1990s (the exact age bracket is often debated). As a group, Millennials tend to be liberal, confident, tolerant, non-conformist and prone to activism. We are famous for changing the rules to fit our needs. We innately believe that our opinion is important, and are enthusiastically vocal about it.

    This does not mean we are slackers. To the contrary, Generation Y wants to work for causes in which we believe, and we like to achieve results. As Gen Y career paths begin to unfold, these passions are having a growing impact on what we expect from our workplace and professional culture.


    6 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2012

    Posted by Devin Cole January 10, 2012 10:45 AM

    Digital Marketing.JPGThe fast-evolving world of digital marketing has undergone profound changes over the past year. 2012 will offer us some even more interesting developments.

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Content will trump craftiness

    ’s recent (and arguably overdue) change to its search algorithm, or how it ranks sites, was the game-changer of 2011. Google’s older algorithm gave less weight to how frequently a company was being discussed on social platforms like Twitter and more to relevance. On the one hand, expect to see more results to be linked to timely and social relevance and less to esoteric tinkering. On the other, as its product offering becomes arguably more robust, expect a bit of backlash over Google’s keyword and site promotion offerings (have you noticed how those sponsored sites are slowly taking over the results page?). The burden of authentic, timely and relevant content on the part of companies will become ever more important.

    Influencer Management: A new kind of celebrity is born

    Marketing 101 teaches business students the virtues of segmentation. Today, when we think of celebrity endorsement it is the Kardashian call to Sears that comes to mind. Increasingly, however, it is specific community experts that are becoming the true celebrities that influence consumer decisions. Companies like Klout now assign “influence” scores to web users, allowing marketers insight into who might be most likely to talk about their brand. With a few Las Vegas casinos already offering upgrades to guests with high Klout scores, expect to see more companies giving special perks (pricing, gifts or unique information) to those they consider most likely to influence others. Powerful platforms by firms like Youcast are emerging to allow marketers to identify the top influencers specific to a company’s audience. Expect companies in 2012 to focus marketing on those customers most likely to be influencers or brand ambassadors.


    Forays into the Future of Work

    Posted by Devin Cole January 6, 2012 12:00 PM

    Schroeder.Alexis.Headshot2.JPGOver on the New Prosperity blog in December, I had the privilege of posting a piece by fellow Bostonian Nathan Rothstein on what he hopes for the future of education. Nathan reflects on the importance of financial literacy, civics education, and service for recent grads. Too many young people come out of high school and college knowing next to nothing about finance or how elections work, he says, and too many could care less about politics. This at a time when the promises of an expensive college education no longer hold true, and when the world needs young people more than ever.

    With so many of our major cultural institutions changing at what feels like the speed of light, Nathan thinks our educational institutions could change quicker. I couldn’t agree more, but of course change takes time. We have to talk about things first and gather collective support around new possibilities. We have to admit when things aren’t working and take some risks.

    While many of my friends and colleagues are spending time in organizations/startups working toward creating new futures in education (The 100K ArtScience Prize, Boxxout Enterprises, University of Venus)—or challenging/re-imagining the entire concept of education (Kaos Pilots, Swaraj University), I find myself wondering about the future of work. Erica Dhawan and I are thinking a lot about the attitude and skills Gen Y-ers and millennials (especially young women) need to create meaningful, rewarding careers in a changing world of work and money, as people seek to live as much as in the real world as they do behind their computer screens, and as social responsibility becomes more of a given rather than a side consideration.


    Colorado World Presidents’ Organization Comes To Town

    Posted by Devin Cole January 3, 2012 05:26 PM

    New city, INC recently helped design the experience for the Colorado Chapter of WPO’ers (World Presidents’ Organization) visit to Boston. A global organization of more than 4,600 business leaders who are or have been chief executive officers of major companies and who are “graduates” of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), WPO is dedicated to the mission it shares with YPO: "Better leaders through education and idea exchange."

    As we start 2012, it's great to be able to reflect. What better city to visit to learn, network and see how we utilize our resources, than Boston?

    We showcased our city of firsts, (first public high school, first university, first public library) that serves as a model for the future, (the Big Dig, Innovation District, areas of sustainability, high tech, education, start ups, etc).

    WPO members experienced rowing on the Charles; a class at Harvard University; a behind the scenes tour of Fenway Park; a curated tour of the MFA's New Art of the America's Wing; the nuts and bolts of successful local designer, Sarah Campbell’s business; and a dinner with Boston philanthropist, Bobby Segar, who shared his view on poverty in the world while discussing his foundation. The group got to see first hand the contrast and local color of our diverse and varied neighborhoods.

    The former president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Dr. Bill Fowler, charmed them with our rich history through his eyes; and managing director of Citizen Schools, John Werner, shared how his organization partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities across the country, perhaps paving the groundwork for expansion to Colorado.

    Jennifer Hopkins, a member of WPO, who attended and helped organize the program, said: "The weekend was a wonderful opportunity to truly explore and experience Boston from a historical and current business perspective. We all left with positive thoughts and new ideas from this amazing city".

    Boston is truly a treasure – our treasure. Happy New Year everyone!

    Britain and Boston: Economic partners in the past, present and the future

    Posted by Devin Cole December 21, 2011 11:35 AM

    Phil.Budden.jpgBritain has long had business links with Massachusetts, and they are growing even stronger: such business is the key focus of the British Consulate in Boston.

    In a sense, the strength of the business links should not be a surprise. Massachusetts was in part founded as a commercial enterprise almost 400 years ago, by British Puritans who created the Massachusetts Bay Company. The signs of those early links remain, such as the name of the governing body for any English chartered company of that time – the ‘General Court’ – which has come to signify the state’s legislature. More importantly, the shared heritage of an English-speaking, legally-grounded entrepreneurial culture has underpinned the links between Massachusetts and Britain ever since, despite the constitutional separation that resulted from the late unpleasantness known locally as the ‘War of Independence’.


    What are they saying about us? Social Sphere on Boston's global reputation

    Posted by Devin Cole December 19, 2011 04:42 PM

    Last week, Boston World Partnerships invited John Della Volpe, Co-founder and Managing Director of SocialSphere, an insight-based strategy company, to present to a group of Greater Boston’s civic and business leaders about how the world perceives Boston.

    This project was a direct result of feeling frustrated in countless conversations with other business and civic leaders about how we can promote Boston’s assets better to the world and generate economic growth. In order to better promote the city, we needed hard data on the global perception of Boston’s talent and resources.


    Marketing a Startup: A Conversation with David Hood

    Posted by Devin Cole December 5, 2011 10:00 AM

    For those who love the startup life, one of the best parts about working in that environment is the fact that there are no silos. All the business groups interact and collaborate. Everyone wears a lot of hats. With customers to serve and limited resources, that’s the only way to make sure the company is nimble and can respond as needed to market conditions.

    David Hood is Director of Marketing at Kyruus Inc., a Boston-based big data company offering analytics driven solutions for health care delivery and life sciences companies. Over the past several years, he has worked at a number of startups in Boston and San Francisco. He made the move to Kyruus earlier this year because of the exceptional team at the company and the opportunity to significantly disrupt the healthcare industry. David shares his thoughts with Manya Chylinski about marketing, working at a startup, and Boston’s healthcare landscape.

    What is the competition like in your space?

    There are a lot of consulting and legal companies offering solutions, particularly in the space we’re in right now, looking at interactions between healthcare providers and the industry but not a lot of software solutions. I think that speaks to the fact that data has traditionally been hard to access and that these firms typically take a whole bunch of smart people, have them do their own research and come back with a report. What we’re seeing is that with the data we’ve brought together on our platform, it’s possible to do that in a far more systematic way than what has traditionally been done.


    Citizen 2.0: How the internet has changed citizen/government interaction

    Posted by Devin Cole November 28, 2011 01:55 PM

    Excerpted from Citizen 2.0, a paper by Swissnex and Red Cut.

    The internet has changed the way information is relayed and how people use it. We
    have gone from an era of broadcast dominated by passive reception to an era of
    digital natives, where communication is interactive and instantaneous. This new
    generation has grown up with the Internet and expects continuous participation.

    This evolution towards new communication patterns provided governments with an opportunity to function in a more innovative, engaging and cost-effective manner. In recent years, many businesses have integrated tools such as Facebook and Twitter in their marketing efforts to reach customers more directly. In a government context, such tools can be similarly used to engage with citizens with the goals of collecting their feedback and ideas, making them aware of public services at their disposal and reaching out to broader audiences through non-traditional channels.

    Social media have also returned power to citizens. By providing inexpensive and widely-available tools that make it easier to organize and voice challenge, new technologies photo copy_tcm3-29064.pnghave contributed to empower citizens while improving governments’ responsiveness and accountability. A new citizen is emerging.

    The City of Boston, for instance, recently launched a series of initiatives to engage with its citizens, such as the Citizens Connect App.

    The convergence of these trends has generated a number of innovations, from ideation to agenda setting, from branding to crowdsourcing. There are any number of examples.

    One example from Massachusetts is called Localocracy.


    Power Line-up Attends City Year Boston Women’s Leadership Breakfast

    Posted by Devin Cole November 23, 2011 10:32 AM

    Over 400 of Boston’s women business leaders attended City Year’s 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast on November 17, 2011. City Year filled the room with an impressive list of guests, including special guest speaker Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University.

    Chairs, Gloria and Sandra.jpg

    City Year Boston Vice President and Executive Director, Sandra Lopez Burke, kicked off an energizing, inspiring, and amazing event starting with the high fives that guests received from City Year’s corps members wearing the famous City Year Red Jackets that have been seen on the likes of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and President Obama. Janelle Woods-McNish of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation referred to the breakfast as a “sea of powerful women that understand the importance of children, education, and community.”

    This year’s women’s leadership initiative was overseen by City Year’s Donna Quirk and chaired by Carol Geremia, President, MFS Institutional Advisors; Teresa Hassara, Sr. Managing Director and Head of Institutional Client Services, TIAA-CREF; Maureen Leary-Jago, President, MFS Service Center; and Clare Richer, CFO, Putnam Investments, along with 40 event vice chairs.

    Aileen Gorman, Executive Director of The Commonwealth Institute, attended the event and stated, “I think it is very powerful to see several hundred businesswomen attending a breakfast that is focused on helping the city’s young people who are at risk. The money raised at this breakfast will have a tremendous impact on our future generation.”


    Easy optimization: If you build it they will come...but only if they can find it

    Posted by Devin Cole November 16, 2011 11:52 AM

    In our last post we hammered home just how important it is for every small business to have a website. So important that it bears repeating: Every business MUST have a website.

    So now your website is done, it looks great…why aren’t people visiting?

    Well, your site is one of the over 350,000,000 websites that exist. With that much out there, people are going to need a little help finding yours.

    So how do you do it?

    By thinking like a babysitter. It sounds crazy, but think about how babysitters (or at least my little sister) gets customers. She makes a flyer and posts it everywhere she thinks people will bring their kids. Your website is your flyer, and the internet is filled with places you can post it.


    The Smart Grid: What's our next move?

    Posted by Devin Cole November 14, 2011 02:30 PM

    Hessenbruch.Arne__.Headshot_1_.jpegRecently, Brown Rudnick organized a seminar at their offices in downtown Boston entitled “Navigating the Intersection of the Utility Sector, Venture Capital Funding, and Energy Policy”. The advantage of the seminar lay in having the differing perspectives alluded to in the title represented on the panel: three utilities, a company seeking to enable large electricity customers to react to price fluctuations, a VC investing in new energy technologies, and finally the government of Massachusetts represented by two bodies: the Energy and Telecommunications Division of the Massachusetts Office of the General Attorney, and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

    It is fairly easy to articulate the problem with electricity distribution. The electrical grid was constructed 100 years ago and its structure reflects that. The agents of change consist of deregulation and new technologies. The former has broken up vertically integrated industries, and the latter consists of decentralized energy production (e.g. wind, solar) and measurement of the flow of electricity throughout the grid. The result is aged equipment, obsolete system layouts, and, one might argue, outmoded concepts and procedures. Articulating the problem may be easy, but the solution to the problem is exceedingly complex.


    Innovating Finance: The CFO isn't just your best accountant

    Posted by Devin Cole November 2, 2011 05:00 PM

    The role of the CFO is changing. Not too long ago, he or she was simply the best accountant in the company, the person who knew the numbers best. Today, the CFO (chief financial officer) is truly a difference maker and innovator who is responsible for many aspects of the business such as growing revenue and leading global expansion. To survive in the office today, a CFO must be more strategic and focused on operations than ever before.

    Jack McCullough is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the MIT Sloan CFO Summit, an annual one-day event (on November 17th this year) that brings together financial executives from around the world to discuss the changing role of the CFO and “Where Finance Meets Innovation.” It will explore how businesses are looking to expand revenue and market share in today’s environment, and how the CFO's responsibility are at the forefront of this innovation.

    Nine years ago Jack and his Co-Chair Jeremy Seidman hosted the first summit to address what they identified as a need for education specific to CFOs. Jack can be reached at]. He shares his thoughts with Manya Chylinski about the CFO summit, the nature of innovation in finance, and what he sees in the future for CFOs.

    What are the objectives for this year’s summit?

    This year the theme of the conference is “where finance meets innovation.” It’s a reflection of how the role of the CFO is changing. This is not your father’s CFO anymore. The role has become a lot more strategic, a lot more operational, and we are trying to reflect that in the conference.


    Royalty and Healthcare IT: A prince comes to Boston

    Posted by Devin Cole October 31, 2011 09:30 AM

    The Crown Prince of Denmark was in town on October 20th, giving a keynote speech at the Connect Health Symposium at Park Plaza Hotel. He mentioned that Denmark spends about half of what the US does on health care, while the living standard there is slightly higher than here. He hinted that a part of this was due to excellent IT in the Danish health system, and, by the way, representatives of these companies are at the conference today.


    His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, addressing the Connect Health Symposium in Boston, October 20, 2011

    Royalty brings pixie dust. The audience quieted down in expectation of the Prince's arrival, and the room was full. Could as much bang have been gotten from Danish tax payers bucks, had he been an elected official? The Prince and his entourage swooshed in quietly looking sleek and modern, with tailored suits, white shirts and black shoes – rather like a Danish wind turbine. No frills, no ties, no color.

    Yesterday, a different Danish delegation was in town. The Danish government is worried about economic growth. Small Danish startup companies fail to grow big. Looking to the US, they notice that only Silicon Valley and Boston produce startup companies that grow. Even the Research Triangle has a poor track record. What are the Valley and Boston doing right?


    Technology Marketing: A Conversation with Mike Braatz

    Posted by Devin Cole October 24, 2011 11:34 AM

    Not all business-to-business (B2B) technology marketers have to contend with an 800-pound gorilla in their market. In segments with a number of smaller, nimbler companies, there can be quite an interesting competitive dynamic as they each fight to get their message heard. To lead the way, companies have to work to keep up with the technology and innovate. In this kind of rapidly changing environment, one of the most important things a marketer can do is focus on the basics—segmenting the market and finding their position and message.

    Mike Braatz.jpgMike Braatz is Senior Vice President and General Manager at Memento, Inc., a Burlington-based company that provides fraud prevention solutions to the financial industry. This is the fourth early-stage B2B technology company he has worked with in the Boston area in the past eleven years. Even with his experience in business development and product management, Mike is a marketer at heart. He shares his thoughts with Manya Chylinski about industry trends, what technology marketers struggle with, and his vision of the future of marketing.

    What works for marketing in the technology space today?

    Two things are working really well for us. One is that we have effectively become our own content publishers. Because of consolidation of media and analyst outlets across the B2B and technology landscape, there are fewer opportunities for us to get our message in front of customers. Rather than bemoan this change, we take it upon ourselves to hire subject matter experts to create interesting and compelling thought leadership.


    Entrepreneurs in Action: Candice, shoes in a bag and meet Brian and Trevor!

    Posted by Devin Cole October 17, 2011 10:42 AM

    Candice Cabe tells us how she came to make her famous shoes and here come the lads from Pure Pest Management, Brian and Trevor!

    Please excuse the tough cuts between 8 and 9. Sometimes the product isn't perfect and, as all entrepreneurs know, you can't let perfect be the enemy of good!

    Episode One, Cut 8 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Episode One, Cut 9 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Episode One, Cut 10 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Entrepreneurs in Action: Candice struts her stuff!

    Posted by Devin Cole October 7, 2011 11:55 AM

    Reel College Ventures followed three startups through all of their trials and tribulations and made a show out of it. You've seen the first 4 clips. Now we bring you Candice's story.

    Candice Cabe is an innovator in the fashion world. Here she is showing it!

    Episode One, Cut 5 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Episode One, Cut 6 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Episode One, Cut 7 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    The Economics of Social Capital: Common goals, transformative ideas and yield significant social value

    Posted by Devin Cole October 6, 2011 02:56 PM


    In today’s global economy, businesses in knowledge and innovation sectors must provide more than efficient transportation for people and products. Their infrastructure must also support the flow of transformative ideas. Economies with rich human capital thrive when fostered by a robust and cooperative social framework.

    Sociologists call this social capital, or the intrinsic worth of social networks and their potential to bring about action.

    Social capital places high value on the collaboration between entities working towards a common goal. It stands for solidarity among like-minded groups and underpins the sense of mutual trust that is critical to any healthy business relationship. The hallmark of effective social capital in business is when the open and equal exchange of ideas yields significant value for companies.


    New to Boston? Time to Find the Right School for the Kids - Here's How!

    Posted by Devin Cole September 29, 2011 03:22 PM

    Cassie Firenze is the talented Director of Admission for the Shady Hill School in Cambridge (beginners through 8th grade). She loves matching students and schools together and feels that the right match can lead to success both in the classroom and in a child's self confidence. Newcomers and locals alike take heed; Cassie's advice is well worth listening to.


    Does Wind Power Pay Off? Malcolm Brown and the Hull Experiment

    Posted by Devin Cole September 28, 2011 09:00 AM


    Malcolm Brown is a retired classics professor who, as a member of the Municipal Light Board, was instrumental in bringing the first wind turbine to US eastern seaboard: in Hull, Massachusetts. The 0.66MW Vestas turbine was installed in December of 2001, and Brown regularly updates the total number of kWh produced since then on the Hull Wind website.

    The most recent number is 15,173,260 kWhs. It is tempting to do a back of the envelope cost-benefit calculation for the 10 year old turbine. Hull is one of 40 Massachusetts towns that have a municipally owned electrical utility, and the yield from the turbine replaces the need to buy electricity from the grid, which in 2005 was 8cents per kWh. In other words, Hull's first wind turbine has saved the town in the order of 15 million times 8 cents: $1.2m.

    How does this compare against the cost of the turbine?


    Entrepreneurs in Action: Boston's Finest in Video Form!

    Posted by Devin Cole September 27, 2011 11:53 AM

    We posted the first section of episode #1 of ReelCollegeVentures' series on three great Boston entrepreneurs. Here are the next three shorts from the first episode. We hope you enjoy them!

    Episode 1, Cut 2:

    Episode One, Cut 2 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.


    A Conversation with Jamie Watt of Exoprise Systems, Inc.

    Posted by Devin Cole September 22, 2011 04:56 PM

    The field of business-to-business (B2B) marketing has evolved over the past several years to really embrace new media. Customers consume information in so many different ways now that marketing must be much more strategic than it was in the past. For a long time in the B2B space, marketing meant outbound messaging—marketers created toolkits and messages to push out to customers and prospects. That is still part of the process, of course, but the field is much broader today. The impact of marketing on the business is increasingly measurable and marketers are tasked with delivering value every step of the way.

    Jamie Watt is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Exoprise Systems, Inc., a Waltham-based company that helps businesses determine what applications they can migrate to cloud-based alternatives, then helps them manage the process. He has been in the technology and B2B space for over 15 years and recently joined this start-up company. Jamie appreciates both the creative and strategic sides of marketing and can be found on Twitter @jamie_watt. He shares his thoughts with Manya Chylinski about B2B marketing, marketing for a start-up, and the future of the field.


    Entrepreneurs in Action: Episode 1 of Reel College Ventures

    Posted by Devin Cole September 21, 2011 09:00 AM

    We love small businesses here at Global Business Hub and we love to hear about all the craziness that they go through. We're pretty excited about Reel College Ventures, who followed three Boston based companies as they worked through the daily pressures of running a small business.

    We have the first part of their first episode for you here:

    Episode One, Cut 1 from REEL College Ventures on Vimeo.

    Come on later this week as we feature more from Episode 1!

    An Interview with Hunter O'Hanian of the MassArt Foundation

    Posted by Devin Cole September 19, 2011 11:07 AM
    Photo by JWLensworks

    Hunter O'Hanian is Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the MassArt Foundation. He and BWP Connector Kelly Brilliant dug into the concepts of design and the creative economy.

    1) Richard Florida and others have popularized the concept of "the creative economy. " How would you define it, particularly for those who may be skeptical that it is just trendy economist jargon that exists more in theory than in reality?

    It is the real economic activity which is a direct result from creative endeavors. The range is quite large as it varies from artists in their studios in Boston’s South End to galleries on Newbury Street, to the 1,000+ employees at the Museum of Fine Arts to the thousands working in the design related companies throughout the state. There is virtually no economic sector which does not contribute to the creative economy. Grocery store chains, financial institutions, hospitals, and universities make up the largest employers in Massachusetts and each and every one of them use members of the creative economy to succeed in their business model.


    Learning from Failure: How a Dane in Boston Got It Right the Second Time Around

    Posted by Devin Cole September 9, 2011 10:08 AM

    Palle Pedersen.JPG

    Palle Pedersen is a Danish serial IT entrepreneur who has lived in Boston for 20 years, where he has been part of starting on average one company per year. He has a good sense of what can go right and wrong, and he has seen some of Boston's strengths up close.

    Palle has been involved in failures as well as sucesses, which is of course very instructive. Failures have many causes but here is one spectacular cause.


    Hello World, Welcome to Global Business Hub!

    Posted by Joe Allen-Black September 7, 2011 02:38 PM

    Welcome to Global Business Hub!

    We're very happy to join and provide you with the very best business news, powered by Boston World Partnerships Connectors.

    Keep an eye on this space if you like to know what Boston companies are up to, how Boston connects with the world and how Boston's best and brightest are innovating in ways that will impact all of us for the next 100 years.

    We intend for Global Business Hub to be an interactive space, so please tell us what you think in the comments, on Twitter and on Facebook.

    Boston World Partnerships' expert "Connectors" discuss business strategy, entrepreneurship, Boston's place in the world economy, and much more. Using their insider perspective, they illuminate how Boston's innovative companies start, grow, scale, and go global.

    Meet Boston's coolest, smartest and most dynamic founders in our REEL Innovators video series!


    BetaBoston technology news logo
    Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.