Monday, October 20, 2014

Established Tech Companies Along 495

With so much attention on Cambridge’s Kendall Square and Boston’s Innovation District, it’s easy to forget that there are many exciting and successful tech companies outside of the metropolitan area.  One particularly vibrant tech region is the 495 corridor.  The towns along 495 house many MassTLC members ranging from emerging startups to longstanding enterprises that helped found the Massachusetts tech economy decades ago.  These companies employ thousands of people, with a large concentration focused on software development. 



Here are the MassTLC members along 495: 





In addition to the many established tech companies on 495, various incubators that support innovation and emerging startups are also located in the area, including:

MassTLC is committed to supporting and growing the tech community on the 495 corridor.  Our next event in the area is entitled The Latest Trend for Agility and Rapid Development: DevOps and will be held at IBM’s Littleton facility on November 12th.  Spread the word to your colleagues who might be interested in attending. 
We also have a challenge for you:  Help us strengthen a community that is crucial to the Massachusetts tech economy by sending us your ideas for other topics or events that you would like to see.  Please send them to me at ruth@masstlc.org


Finally, if your company is a member of MassTLC and you’re located on 495 but were left off of this list, it’s time for us to update our CRM. Please contact me to make sure that we have all of your up to date information.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MassTLC & UMass Lowell NERVE Center Reception

Members from the local robotics community came together on October 14th to celebrate the Massachusetts and New England Robotics EcoSystem and share their technology.  The event was held at the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and kicked-off the start of RoboBusiness 2014, an international robotics trade show.





This event included live demonstrations from robotic arms and actuators to telepresence robots and an exoskeleton.

Veteran Gene Laureano shows off his new walking skills after being paralized from the waste down since 2001 and being wheelchair bound for 12 years.





The program included welcome remarks by MassTLC CEO Tom Hopcroft and Linda Thayer, partner at Finnegan, the event and MassTLC robotics cluster sponsor, introduced Julie Chen, Vice Provost of research at UMass Lowell.  A New England robotics ecosystem map was presented to Dr. Holly Yanco, director of the NERVE center and long-time supporter of the MassTCL robotics cluster. 

Linda Thayer, Julie Chen, Holly Yanco and Tom Hopcroft point to a star on the map indicating where the NERVE center is located.

An online version of this map can be found at http://bit.ly/RoboMap.



Thank you to our event host:



Thank you to our event sponsor:


Friday, October 10, 2014

Mastering Product Innovation - the Summit

Thanks to all who were able to join us October 9th for the Mastering Product Innovation summit.  Attendees walked away with valuable ideas and skills to take back and create an innovation culture of your own. Check out the Storify below for a recap of the discussion, links to all of Blade Kotelly’s references and links to shared presentations.

 Mastering Product Innovation

Special thanks to our platinum sponsors InterSystems and SafeNet and gold sponsor Raytheon.   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MassTLC Hosts Gubernatorial Candidate Evan Falchuk

Policy Update

MassTLC hosted independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk for an afternoon discussion on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, the fourth in a series of meetings with Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates.

MassTLC President & CEO Tom Hopcroft briefed Mr. Falchuk on the size and impact of the sector as well as key issues including talent. Mr. Falchuk is no stranger to growing companies in Massachusetts and played a leading role in helping grow a Boston-based global healthcare company from 9 to over 600 employees. He notes that “to create sustained economic growth in Massachusetts, we have to cut the cost of living.”

Beyond technology providing solutions to current and future problems the meeting explored how the tech community can further achieve regional economic growth and sustainability. By identifying ways to develop, retain and attract innovation-ready talent through reduced the cost of living and an increased supply of multi-family and other housing options, Falchuk asserted that MA’s tech sector and the overall economy would continue to grow.

MassTLC accelerates innovation and economic growth in Massachusetts by educating public officials and advocating for policies that support tech sector growth, helping local tech leaders engage in state and federal programs and initiatives, and fostering collaboration between the tech sector, academia, and public officials. 


Keep an eye on our Blog for future updates and follow us on Twitter for daily updates.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 MassTLC Leadership Awards Gala

Top Individual Awards to David Aldrich of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. for CEO, Naomi Fried of Boston Children's Hospital for Emerging Exec, and Dries Buytaert of Acquia for CTO; Company of the Year Awarded to HubSpot (Private) andathenahealth (Public)

Governor Deval Patrick, Hugh Herr, Perkins School for the Blind, and Winchester High Computer Science Teacher Given Special Recognition for Contributions to Massachusetts' Innovation Economy


Established leaders and promising newcomers to the Massachusetts innovation economy were recognized at the MassTLC Annual Leadership Awards Gala on September 11, 2014. The main ballroom at Boston's Westin Waterfront hotel played host to hundreds of the region's top tech executives, community leaders, media members and business luminaries as the winners in 16 categories were announced. Four additional honors were also given for growing, changing, and inspiring lives through developing and promoting technology in the region. They included: 

  
The 2014 Commonwealth Award: Governor Deval L. Patrick. MassTLC recognized Governor Patrick for his leadership in refocusing the priorities and brand of Massachusetts around an "innovation agenda" for the future.

Distinguished Leadership Awards:
  • Hugh Herr, Director, Biomechatronics Research Group, MIT Media Lab
  • The Perkins School for the Blind
  • David Petty, Computer Science Teacher, Winchester High School
The 17th annual MassTLC Leadership Awards shines a spotlight on the vibrancy of the state's position as both pioneer and leader in technologies that are fueling Massachusetts' economy and changing the world. Other Leadership Award winners were selected from hundreds of nominations, as judged by panels of executives, investors, analysts, media and thought leaders in each of the 16 categories.  

Winners in each of the 16 categories were:
  • CEO of the Year: David Aldrich, Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
  • CTO of the Year: Dries Buytaert, Acquia
  • Emerging Executive of the Year: Naomi Fried, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Private Company of the Year: HubSpot
  • Public Company of the Year: athenahealth
  • Start-up to Watch: RailPod
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Big Data: Pixability, Inc. for their data software
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Cloud: Content Raven for their cloud-based content distribution platform
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Education Technology: Listen Current for their custom lesson plans
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Healthcare and Life Sciences: MC10 for Biostamp sensing systems
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Internet of Things: Axeda for Axeda Private Cloud
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Mobile Applications: Openbay for Openbay's mobile app
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Mobile Technology: Globoforce for Globoforce mobile
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Robotics: CyPhy Works, Inc. for PARC
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Sales & Marketing: Jebbit for the Jebbit platform
  • Innovative Technology of the Year - Security: CloudLock for CloudLock 

Click here to view the full list of finalists online.

Click here to view the press release.

Click here to view the photo gallery from the night [Photos by Pretty Instant]. 

Click here to view the Commonwealth and Distinguished Leadership Awards videos.


Follow the conversation on our TagBoard:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hiring Outside the Hub - A Look from the Inside

Our workforce development community gathered at Dyn in Manchester, NH on August 28, 2014, to talk about the pros and cons of hiring top talent outside Boston and Cambridge.  It was a clear consensus with the panel that behind outside hub does not have to be a disadvantage.  Talent acquisition, whether your company is in the Boston/Cambridge area or outside the area is all about establishing a value proposition.   It's a requirement that you clearly articulate why your company is the right place for a potential candidate to come and work. 

It's important to think about what sets you apart from your competition.  For New Hampshire, companies tout the benefit of no commutes and the best place to work and live.  Total compensation including salary, bonus, benefits and the available opportunity have to be considered.

Colleen Karpinsky, VP of Talent and HR at Dyn, Lou Guercia, CEO at Scribe Software and Jim Paquette, Software Development Manager at AutoDesk were part of the panel moderated by Jason Alexander from BANK W Holdings.  Many tips were shared amongst the panel and audience.  A few key takeaways are below:
  • Do I hire the $125K developer today that is going to fix my problems today or the $65K-70K that will take some time develop but will be here for tomorrow’ problems and be part of the core of the organization?  Most of the time it’s better to build core than think short term.
  • The key to a successful university relationship is reciprocity and engagement.  Approachability of a school helps – navigating universities isn’t always easy!
  • Referrals:
    • Scribe pays its employees $5K for tech talent
    • AutoDesk just revamped their referral program.  They have a progressive plan for successive hires that it makes it pretty easy to get to $20K
    • DYN - word of caution if referrals are too high, make sure you create some diversity and different perspectives within your organization.  Because of this, Dyn changed their referral bonus to allow them to pursue other avenues to bring in other perspectives.
    • Jason Alexander added, your employees are your network, make sure your employees know your story well before you put in a strong referral program.
  • Tip!  Host a LinkedIn lunch - host a lunch for your employees, put up an open position on the board, including the skills needed, experience etc.  Have your employees bring their computers and troll their LinkedIn networks for possible candidates
  • What do companies pay tuition reimbursements?  - DYN $5K,  another company in the audience is at $2K
  • Do you look to the High Schools to find potential candidates? It appears that most work with colleges and universities.  There are many High School students, however, who do not know where they want to go, what their major could be and/or what career they want to pursue.  If the employers tap into the high schools, they have a chance to attract and motivate a student in the early stages of that decision. Guidance Counselors would love to work with companies to give their students options.

Thanks to Dyn for hosting the group and providing breakfast, our workforce development sponsors Insperity and Kronos and to our panelists and audience for taking the time out of their day to join us. 

Next, our workforce development community is focusing on women in tech.  What does it take to launch and maintain a women's initiative within your organization to strengthen women in tech?  We hope you can join us!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MassTLC & Vecna Host Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff McCormick

Policy Update

MassTLC hosted gubernatorial candidate Jeff McCormick for a morning discussion Monday, August 18, at Vecna Technologies’ Cambridge headquarters, the third event in a series of meetings with Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates.

MassTLC President & CEO Tom Hopcroft and Vecna Co-Founder & CTO Daniel Theobald welcomed Mr. McCormick and leaders from several MassTLC member companies, including: Avaya, Cadence Design Systems, EnerNOC, Harvest Automation, Iron Mountain, and Microsoft.

Mr. McCormick is no stranger to the tech community. Educated in biology and finance, Mr. McCormick went on to finance and grow several early stage companies including the Twin Rivers Technologies biodiesel company. “The power of technology gets to the root of problems,” he stressed, and cited an example of how a MA software company is helping to reduce hospital readmission rates.

From left to right: Tom Hopcroft, MassTLC; Jeff McCormick;
Daniel Theobald, Vecna Technologies

Beyond technology providing solutions to current and future problems the meeting’s attendees explored how the tech community can further achieve regional economic growth and sustainability. By identifying ways to develop, retain and attract innovation-ready talent; strengthen the Gateway Cities; and increase the STEM and CS skills of MA’s future technology leaders, MA’s reputation for being a technology powerhouse will grow. “Wayne Gretsky skated to where the puck would be. Similarly our kids need to be educated for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Theobald.

MassTLC accelerates innovation and economic growth in the Massachusetts technology sector by educating public officials and advocating for policies that support tech sector growth, helping local tech leaders engage in state and federal programs and initiatives, and fostering collaboration between the tech sector, academia, and public officials. 

Keep an eye on our Blog for future updates and follow us on Twitter for daily updates.

Monday, August 25, 2014

MassTLC Launches New Demand Gen Peer to Peer Group

Posted by: Christine Nolan, MassTLC

Last Thursday kicked off MassTLC’s inaugural demand gen peer to peer group.  We had about 35 demand gen professionals in the room sharing best practices and strategies with the topic being “methods to increase early stage conversion metrics”. However, it quickly morphed into a conversation on sales and marketing alignment.  I wanted to share with you  two blog posts written by Zak Pines, Director of Marketing at Ipswitch that cover sales alignment and content syndication (a topic described as content advertising from many in our group).  The sales alignment post includes a link to the “sales rep” landing page idea that Zak shared with the group.

Future topics which are suggested by the group include:
  • Making lead nurturing work
  • Marketing analytics & reporting best practices
  • Predictive marketing
  • Lead scoring:  Necessary or Waste of Time
  • Database hygiene best practices

Our next meeting is scheduled for October 7th.  Mark your calendars, more details to follow shortly!

Thanks to all the joined us and to Jonathan Burg at Apperian that helped launch the group and facilitate the conversation.

If you are a head, director and VP of Demand / Lead Generation for a technology company and interested in participating in the group, please contact christine@masstlc.org with your LinkedIn profile and interest in the group.

Monday, August 18, 2014

MassTLC & InterSystems Host Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Baker

Policy Update

MassTLC hosted gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker for an afternoon discussion Wednesday, August 13, at InterSystem’s Cambridge headquarters, the most recent in a series of meetings with Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates.

MassTLC President & CEO Tom Hopcroft and Paul Grabscheid, Vice President of Strategic Planning at InterSystems, welcomed Mr. Baker and leaders from a dozen MassTLC member companies, including: Acquia, Cadence Design Systems, CloudLock, dSide Technologies, Google, KnowledgeVision, MassTLC Ed Foundation, NetProspex, Oxfam America, Rapid7, and Vecna.

The discussion centered on issues critical to the tech community and regional economic growth and sustainability: the challenge of developing, retaining and attracting innovation-ready talent; increasing computer science (CS) education in K-12 to educate future technology leaders; and expanding  transportation outside the hubs.

Mr. Baker is experienced in the tech and healthcare sectors through his recent post as Entrepreneur in Residence at the venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, and his tenure as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.  He stressed his commitment to a strong education system and support for local aid. He also recognized the importance of developing “a real strategy around the cost of housing” as an important step in keeping young people in Massachusetts.  Mr. Baker cited examples of how strong public private partnerships (like those with our college and universities) are helping to create jobs and revitalize communities and offered that state government should do more to engage the tech community in finding solutions to enhance government productivity and efficiencies. 


MassTLC accelerates innovation and economic growth in the Massachusetts technology sector by educating public officials and advocating for policies that support tech sector growth, helping local tech leaders engage in state and federal programs and initiatives, and fostering collaboration between the tech sector, academia, and public officials. 

Read about our recent meeting with Democratic Candidate for Governor Martha Coakley, and check back soon for an update on our forthcoming meeting with Independent Candidate Jeff McCormick.

Keep an eye on our Blog for future updates and follow us on Twitter for daily updates.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Governor Signs Economic Development Bill

In the closing days of its formal sessions, the Massachusetts Legislature passed an economic development bill that includes many items that the Mass Technology Leadership Council and other technology and business groups strongly advocated for with lawmakers.

These items address some of the key issues that technology company leaders have raised with policy makers over the past year, as they relate to the overall climate for tech companies, support for start-ups and early state companies and shortages of skilled workers.  Other provisions create a positive regulatory structure for wireless technologies, focus on growth areas like Big Data and provide matching dollars for programs to develop computer science skills in elementary and high school.

Where consensus was not reached on other issues like non-compete agreements, representatives of both sides of this issue began a very important dialogue around how agreements like these affect the state’s ability to start and grow companies that need to protect intellectual property while at the same time retaining highly skilled workers.

We look forward to working with the Legislature and the new Governor on more ways to leverage the strengths of our technology sector and grow the innovation economy across the state.

We thank the Governor and the Legislature for their focus on the innovation economy and their support across the tech sector. Highlights of the bill follow.


Tech Highlights from HB 4377: 
AN ACT PROMOTING ECONOMIC GROWTH ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH
  • Provides $1.5M to the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) Program to develop and implement a plan establish computer science education in public schools across the Commonwealth. Requiring a dollar-for-dollar funding match from private sector contributions, the program will generate interest in computer science among underrepresented demographics and provide schools with course and curriculum recommendations aimed at strengthening the growth and vitality of the Commonwealth’s technology industry.
  • Creates a $2M Big Data Innovation and Workforce Fund to promote the use of big data, open data, and analytics. The Fund will bring together the public and private sectors to prepare the Massachusetts workforce for big data careers and help identify problems and provide technology-based solutions in various areas of public policy concern, including transportation, public health, and energy.
  • Provides $1M for a Start-up Mentoring Program to connect early-stage entrepreneurs, technology start-ups, and small businesses with successful, experienced business enterprises and capital financing.
  • Provides $1M to the Talent Pipeline Program, which will match, dollar-for-dollar, stipends for interns at technology and innovation start-ups. Massachusetts’ universities educate some of the world’s best students. This program will build connections between that talent pool and in-state early-stage companies, encouraging both to remain in Massachusetts for the long-term.
  • Modifies the Research & Development Tax Credit formula to align Massachusetts with the federal tax code by providing the Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) as an option for taxpayers. This modification will apply only to R&D activities conducted within the state. The adoption of the ASC will incentivize investment, spur job growth, and strengthen the overall economic climate.
  • Provides $3M for the Global Entrepreneur Program, which creates a 3-year pilot program to allow international students to pursue practical training in entrepreneurship.
  • Provides $1.5M for MassVentures, which supports the innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts start-ups as they move from concept to commercialization.
  • Provides $2M for the Innovation Commercialization Seed Fund to provide strategic investments at both public and private research institutions in Massachusetts. The seed funding will enable researchers to demonstrate the commercial potential of an invention or business idea and allow these projects to progress to commercialization.
  • Provides $700,000 for the Commonwealth’s Defense Sector Initiatives, including education and training programs for workforce development on military installations.
  • Provides $1M for Marine Hydrokinetic Research at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and establish partnerships with the private sector in marine hydrokinetics.
  • Creates a Job Creation Incentive under the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), allowing businesses to receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 per job created, or up to $5,000 per job created in a Gateway City and areas of particular economic need, so long as the total credit per project does not exceed $1M.
  • Establishes and provides $12M for the Middle Skills Job Training Grant Fund to provide grants to vocational-technical schools and community colleges to support advanced manufacturing, mechanical and technical skills, hospitality and information technology industries training. The Fund seeks to train 4,000 workers over the next four years to address the workforce and talent pipeline needs of employers in Massachusetts.
  • Provides $1.5M for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund for workforce development and job training to meet the current demands in industry sectors with critical vacancies, with a particular focus on low-income and low-skilled workers.
  • Provides $1M for the Department of Higher Education to develop, implement and promote stackable credentials programs at public higher education institutions to ensure students build sustainable and worthwhile careers.
  • Expansion of the Small Business Banking Partnership program allowing PRIM to invest at least $150 million in institutions that make capital available to small businesses and early-stage companies.
  • Establishes a $15M Transformative Development Fund to enable equity investments and technical assistance to revitalize and support residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional development in Gateway Cities. Up to $2M of the Fund will support the creation of Collaborative Workspaces in Gateway Cities, which will be created in underutilized buildings to spur innovative and creative business growth and economic activity.