Education, Innovation and Venture Capital Panel

2 pm    |    No Cost   |    Location: Show Floor Theatre

Join us as we hear how venture capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, startup companies is spurring innovation in technology industries such as biotechnology, IT and software.

The purpose of the panel is to talk about how the region can better capitalize on the synergies between our innovators and investors to create a robust start-up community in Central Mass.

Venture capital is attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and have not reached the point where they are able to secure a bank loan.

Moderator: Tim Rowe, Cambridge Innovation Center

Tim Rowe is the Founder and CEO of Cambridge Innovation Center – one of the largest facilities in the U.S. dedicated to housing startup technology companies.  Tim is also a Venture Partner and member of the investment committee of New Atlantic Ventures. Mr. Rowe is particularly interested in consumer-facing technology products with mass-market potential. Tim is the founding President of the Kendall Square Association, which represents 150+ institutions and other stake-holders in Kendall Square, Cambridge, and seeks to improve, promote, and protect this special innovation cluster.

Tim is founder and Chairman of the Venture Cafe Foundation, a not for profit that seeks to enhance collaboration within the innovation community, and is a founder and Chairman of Lab|Central, a not for profit that provides facilities for early stage life sciences startups. He serves on the Executive Committee of the New England Venture Capital Association.


Brenna Venkatesh, Running Start

Brenna Venkatesh is co-founder and Director of Marketing Programs at Running Start, an emerging co-working space and startup incubator in Worcester. She is responsible for driving membership, building partnerships, and developing strategic marketing campaigns. Additionally, she is constantly seeking ways to make the co-working space better, cooler, and more useful for members. Brenna holds a BS in Marketing from Boston College.



Kevin O’Sullivan, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives

Kevin is the President and CEO of MassachusettsBiomedical Initiatives, a private economic development organization that promotes the growth and expansion of the Biotechnology, Medical Device and Bioinformatics industry. MBI operates three life science business incubator facilities in Worcester – located at Gateway Park, Union St and Barber Avenue, home to twenty companies with approximately 100 employees, providing cost effective laboratory space and high quality business development services.



Mark P. Rice, Dean, WPI School of BusinessMark-Rice-WPI

Mark P. Rice is the Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Dean of the School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and he holds the Harry G. Stoddard Endowed Professorship in Management. Professor Rice is co-author of Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts and his research on corpo-rate innovation and entrepreneurship has been published in Journal of Product Innovation Management, Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, R&D Management, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, IEEE Engineering Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, and California Management Review.

Professor Rice previously served as director of a nationally recognized Incubator Pro-gram and as co-founder and director of a Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. He has been a director and chairman of the National Business Incubation Association, which honored him with its Founder’s Award. With Dr. Jana Matthews, he co-authored Grow-ing New Ventures — Creating New Jobs: Principles and Practices of Successful Business Incubation.

Professor Rice has served in a variety of roles for the Association for the Advancement of Colleges and Schools of Business, including chair of the Pre-Accreditation Committee; vice chair of the Strategic Directions Committee; chair of the Accreditation Quality Committee; member of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality; and co-leader of the New Deans Seminar; and he has been a frequent speaker at AACSB Deans’ conferences.

Professor Rice holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


D’Anne Hurd, JD, MBA Hiperos, LLC


D’Anne Hurd is an SEC financial expert, risk mitigation authority and governance architect with two decades of board experience leading companies in diverse industries through complex M&A, regulatory/legal, and strategic direction challenges to realize full shareholder value.

She has served on three public and four private corporate boards—including as Lead Independent Director and Chair of Governance, Audit, Finance and Compensation committees—in the defense electronics, communications technology, pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, software and travel technology industries. She also advises boards for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).

Currently on the board of Hiperos, LLC, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) supply chain risk management provider, she lends special expertise in SEC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Food and Drug Administration, and Foreign Corrupt Practices regulatory issues. Earlier this year, she joined the Industry Advisory Board of Myomo, Inc., a medical technology company that has extended myoelectric prosthetic technology to self-powered braces that restore mobility to partially paralyzed limbs. In June she joined the board of Tripzon, Inc., an innovative early-stage travel technology platform provider offering one-stop building, booking and itinerary generation tools for complex, multi-destination trips.

As Lead Independent Director on the board of Micronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOIZ), a $70 million designer of microwave test equipment for wireless, aerospace and defense (2006-2012), she served as CEO adviser; guided the company through a public-to-public merger yielding a 98% premium over market; helped lead acquisitions critical to five-fold growth; and advised on anti-takeover measures, governance and Dodd-Frank compliance.

As Vice President, Business Development, for Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Gateway Park and WPI General Counsel (2006-2010), she was instrumental in rebranding the university as a life sciences and biotechnology/energy research leader, spearheading development, obtaining a $6.6 million state grant and in corporate tenant recruitment/leasing for its new 12-acre life sciences real estate venture.

In leadership roles including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Ms. Hurd guided early-stage companies through organization building, financing, IPOs, M&A, restructuring, growth-focused business remodeling, and regulatory affairs. Among them: Starbak Communications/Vividon, Inc. (streaming video, 2001-2004); NaviPath, Inc. (Internet access, 1999-2001); and SmartRoute (digital traffic information, 1997-1999).

She began her career in financial management for two Fortune 500 companies: as Director of Cash Management and Banking for PepsiCo, Inc. (1979-1982), managing its $500 million in commercial paper; and as Senior Treasury Analyst and Domestic Cash Manager for GTE Corp. (1977-1979).

Ms. Hurd holds a J.D., Corporate and Securities Law, Duke University; MBA, Finance, University of Connecticut; and BA, Mount Holyoke College.