Saturday, February 28, 2009
Mandel, a self-described optimist, noted that things look rather grim and recovery could be slow as we are in a $4 trillion dollar hole. The good news he presented is that he sees innovation as a wild card that can have upside (or down side) surprises for otherwise gloomy economists. Innovation spurs growth and creates jobs, but it is unpredictable. He notes that Infotech is ripe for innovation and that areas such as communications, social media, cloud computing and news/entertainment have matured.
His bottom line (aka "best guess"): “I’m going to go with medium-term optimism. Over the next year, the economy will be sustained by education, healthcare, and other government programs. Over 3-5 years we will see innovation-driven growth. I would not be surprised to see another boom.”
Friday, February 27, 2009
Industry veteran John Landry, Managing Director of Lead Dog Ventures, lead a lively and interactive discussion on Cloud Computing. The panel included Cloud OS Platform providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and EMC, Cloud Application providers such as Animoto, Sonian, and TwinStrata, and a Cloud venture investor, General Catalyst.
Pictured here are Jinesh Varia, Web Services Evangelist for Amazon and Steve Vinter, Engineering Director for Google. For more details, see event overview and attendees.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The report lays out a vision for the growth of the sector in Massachusetts. We are grateful for the leadership and support that Governor Deval Patrick has provided and look forward to working with him, and our colleagues at the Mass Technology Collaborative, as we implement the key recommendations made in this report.
You can view the report online at http://188.8.131.52/roboreportfinal.pdf. Also see Mass High Tech’s article “MassTLC report: Robotics growing in Mass.”
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Annual Meeting featured a keynote by BusinessWeek Chief Economist Michael Mandel (see separate post) and a panel on Cloud Computing lead by industry veteran John Landry (see separate post). The Council also released a report on the Robotics Industry in Massachusetts (see separate post). I recorded reactions from a few attendees following the event in this short video.
The first order of business was the election/re-election of trustees for a three year term. The following technology leaders were elected at the meeting: Lynda Applegate, Professor & Chair of Entrepreneurial Management, Harvard Business School; Dave Balter, CEO, BzzAgent (new in 2009); Jim Daniell, CEO, EdNets; Tom Litle, CEO, Litle & Co.; Jim Pelusi, Managing Director, Axia Partners; Chris Schoettle, Executive Vice President of Products, Akamai Technologies; Bill Warner, Founder, Warner Research; Jeff Taylor, CEO, EONS; Joanna Young, SVP & CIO of Corporate Systems, Liberty Mutual (new in 2009).
Next, our new officers were announced: Steve O’Leary, Entrepreneur in Residence at General Catalyst, became the new Chairman of our board, succeeding Mary Finlay, Deputy CIO of Partners HealthCare; Tom Litle, CEO, Litle & Co., continued for another term as Vice-Chair; Annmarie Levins, Associate General Council at Microsoft, became our new Secretary, succeeding Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact; and Jim Daniell, CEO, EdNets, continued as Treasurer.
We also announced that I would be succeeding Joyce Plotkin as President & CEO. Joyce will become President Emerita. See Mass High Tech and Boston Globe briefs on this transition announcement.
Steve O’Leary, our new chair, acknowledged the enormous and unprecedented economic storm precipitated by a broad financial crisis as well as government intervention in ways unimaginable a couple of years ago. Noting that these are times where the Council can be of great help, he outlined our high level plan to continue our focus on fundamental needs of our members.
Several key themes the Council will focus on as we continue to serve our members include: Monitoring and Influencing Policy; Supporting our Massachusetts Infrastructure, including educational initiatives like STEM; Catalyzing Innovation through our many Clusters where passionate entrepreneurs come to collaborate; Informing our Members though Truly Great Programs like today’s which we hope will provide you with perspective and insight not available anywhere else.
The Council’s Global Sponsors include: Foley Hoag; IBM; Jefferies Broadview; The MathWorks; Microsoft; Novell; PhaseForward; PricewatherhouseCoopers; and Raytheon.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
This video gives a glimpse into the evening and highlights shout out from such tech personalities as Tim Rowe of Cambridge Innovations, Brad Johnson of YouCastr, Marc Linster of Avicon, and many more. Also see recap and photos on Dan Bricklin's blog.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Pictured here are Abi Barrow Director of the Mass Technology Transfer Center, Kathleen Hagan, from Entrepreneurial Resources Group, me, and Nancy Saucier, Director of the New England Venture Capital Association.
The event featured a keynote address from Gov. Deval Patrick, and two panel discussions featuring local experts in key areas in encouraging technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Massachusetts: mentoring emerging ventures, and supporting the state's young entrepreneurs. Rep. Dan Bosley, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, also addressed the group.
For more, read Mass High Tech article, Governor Patrick, NCIIA Event advances Massachusetts Entrepreneurship.
Participants around the table shared their experiences and discussed industry best practices. For example, the issue of what level SLA a SAAS provider should offer when their product leverages open APIs to incorporate other SAAS services into their offering, such as Google Maps, was discussed. Gene Landy of Ruberto Israel & Weiner suggested that you should only offer an SLA on those services for which you have direct control. He noted that it matters whether a provider private labels the third party service. If you brand the service, such as Google Maps, your customer will understand that Google's SLA should control, but if you private label the service, then your SLA might be deemed to govern. Following the content discussion, members of the MassTLC SAAS Advisory Board convened a meeting to continue planning the group's public and member-only meetings.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The recent financial crisis has expanded into the broader marketplace yet despite these challenging economic times, opportunities for business creation and innovation have never been greater. On February 25th, Michael Mandel, Chief Economist at BusinessWeek, will join us for a lively, thought provoking, and interactive exploration of opportunities to increase growth and drive innovation.
Mandel helps direct the magazine’s coverage of the domestic and global economies. Since joining BusinessWeek in 1989, he has received multiple awards for his work, including being honored as one of the 100 top U.S. business journalists of the 20th century. In 1998, Mandel won the Gerald R. Loeb Award for his coverage of the New Economy. Mandel is the author of several books, including Rational Exuberance, The Coming Internet Depression, and The High Risk Society. Prior to joining BusinessWeek in 1989, Mandel was an assistant economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. Mandel holds a PhD in economics from Harvard.