Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The CFO in the Cloud

Matt Fates, partner at Ascent Venture Partners, kicked off MassTLC's cloud seminar on "Business Decisions and Models from the Cloud CFO" at Acquia in Burlington, MA. A good crowd gathered to hear from Matt the SaaS metrics that matter and how to measure them. He put forward the idea of the impacts of using SaaS: cash vs. revenue vs. bookings vs. CMRR. Matt's presentation is available here.

Panelists Tyler Sloat, CFO at Zuora, Radhika Samantha, CFO at EnterpriseDB and Jim Pluntze, COO at Navisite shared their business models and what they are looking at to achieve success. Tyler presented the basic business model of the subscription economy and the "only 3 SaaS metrics that matter". Take a look at Tyler's presentation for examples of SaaS front-runners and their growth rates.

Radhika shared EnterpriseDB's models in moving from early stage to a mature model. They monitor ACT vs. TCV, ARR, and churn. Jim Pluntze from Navisite took a look at what they had to consider when shifting to a consumption model. Also, having just been acquired by Time Warner, he discussed the evaluation metrics that matter in an acquisition. Jim's presentation can be found here.  

Matt Fates lead a great discussion with the panel discussing cash flow and recognition, sales tax for a SaaS company and sales compensation - always a popular topic. Some of you may remember a seminar last year with Liz Cobb and Brad Coffey from HubSpot focused on sales compensation. If you are interested in learning more, the detailed presentation is available here.

Thanks to Acquia for hosting the group, Cluster sponsors Progress Software, Oracle and Zuora and our global sponsors for supporting MassTLC programming.  Lastly, special thanks to Oracle and Josh Reynolds for the Jawbone raffle! A winner was selected this afternoon. Congratulations to Stephen Rines from Autodesk!

Due to the overwhelming interest in the sales compensation topic, we are going to schedule a member roundtable for a deep dive discussion on the topic. In addition, MassTLC's cloud community is scheduled for October. Members are invited to participate in the planning of the summit. Please contact if you are interested in getting involved.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Taking your Agile Development to the Next Level - Best Practices and Methodologies

Despite the excessive heat outside, more than 75 people turned out for another great software development event last night at the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge. We kicked off the night with Alex Brown from Scrum Inc. giving an overview of Agile development and Scrum. Geoff Scott, Lead Producer at Zynga followed and spoke about pipelines, resources and the need for daily reviews. Next, Gil Irizarry, Program Manager at Constant Contact spoke on their use of Kanban and their 5-week release cycle. Lastly, David Tarbox, VP of Engineering at Litle and Co. spoke about estimating and the "appendicitis estimating methodology" or the 80% rule. All presentations are linked above. Thanks to Andy Singleton from Assembla for moderating a great session.
The break-out sessions focused on Scrum 101, Beyond Scrum (and Kanban), Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration and Agile Distributed Teams.  The sessions were very active and engaged and they could have continued beyond our time.  

For the rest of 2012, we will have a seminar in late September/early October and then the summit in December. Based on feedback from the crowd they want to see more on agile, trends in tools that help with software productivity, a 2050 "vision", views from the VC and continuous integration and test. A programs committee meeting will occur over the summer - please let know if you are interested in being involved.

Thanks to our sponsors AccuRev, Rally Software, Serena, VMware, Constant Contact, DYN, and Verivo and to Microsoft for hosting.

Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you in the fall!

-Christine Nolan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MassTLC and StartupSummer host 2012 Intern Kick-off: Congratulations - You Got an Internship! Now what...

Panel Pictured L-R: Greg Gomer, Walter Somol,
Caroline Murphy & Ryan Durkin. 

Last night over 100 interns from Massachusetts' technology sector gathered to learn, share, connect and build relationships at the . The evening kicked off with a terrific panel featuring: Ryan Durkin, COO, CampusLive; Greg Gomer, Managing Editor, BostInno; Caroline Murphy, Director of Operations, Brass Monkey; and Walter Somol, Director Tech Community Outreach, Microsoft who shared the good, the bad, and the ugly of their personal internship experiences. They offered a ton of great advice including: "it's not about the job you are doing during your internship, it's about the people you meet";  "take the initiative, invite people to lunch, learn from them and build your network"; and "don't complain!"

The overall message of take initiative and get connected was carried through to the breakouts where Evan O'Meara, Campus Recruiting Manager, Wayfair, Paul Hlatky, Executive Director of Community and Student Relations at Greenhorn Connect and Cory Bolotsky, Executive Director, Start-up Summer, joined the conversation and added their insights into mastering the divide between work and play, navigating the tech scene in Boston, and how to get meaningful work handed to you during your internship. The night finished off with an extremely competitive game of water pong! OK, yes, water - they're not 21 yet!! The top prize? Four tickets to tonight's' red sox game, 5th row - thanks Verizon!
Water Pong Winners! Enjoy the Sox Game!
Intern Water Pong!

You can learn more helpful tips on what to do now that you have an internship on Ryan Durkin's blog, and be sure to check out:

- the MassTLC website for upcoming events of interest and a new job board launching this summer;
- Greenhorn Connect for an amazing array of student centered activities; and
- Stay in MA through Flybridge Capital that generously underwrite tickets for students to local industry events.

Hope to see you all again soon!

Heather Carey
Senior Vice President & Executive Director, MassTLC Education Foundation

Monday, June 18, 2012

MTDC Relaunches as MassVentures with new funds and a new focus to support the innovation economy

Last night at Nutter, McClennen and Fish, Jerry Bird, President of MTDC, announced a new name and commitment for the organization. MassVentures, a more appropriate name that well describes its mission; to support the formation and fuel the growth of innovative technology-driven companies in Massachusetts, has a new $14M in capital to fill the gaps underserved by the private sector.

Bird identified the gaps as(1) emerging market segments (2) first-time entrepreneurs, and (3) companies transitioning from seed to Series A funding. MassVentures expects to invest in four to seven new companies each year.

The $14M comes from a $5M fund from MassDevelopment, $6M for a recently announced initiative to support the commercialization of SBIR-backed companies and $3M from recent portfolio exits. Secretary Greg Bialecki, secretary of housing and economic development and chairman of the board for MassVentures also spoke and backed the plan to further extend the Patrick-Murray administration's support of the innovation economy.

The event was well attended and an attestation to the various entities working together to create cutting-edge companies to help grow and create jobs in the Commonwealth.

You can contact MassVentures at or @massventures.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Patient Engagement and Technology - Improving Care and Lowering Costs

Today's healthcare community met at Wilmer Hale in Waltham to discuss the effect of patient engagement to improve care and lower costs.  The opening presentation from patient Mary-Angela DeGrazia-DiTucci quickly grounded the audience and reminded us what the event was all about.  Mary-Angela spoke about her multiple digestive illnesses and how technology has empowered her to be an informed, educated patient for herself and her community.  Mary-Angela's presentation is available here.
Dana Gelb-Safran, SVP Performance, Measurement & Improvement with BCBSMA, keynoted the session and opened with a bleak outlook of the cost of care in the U.S.. In addition, she said that based on most metrics, including life expectancy, the U.S. is in the bottom third of overall health of all developing countries.  BCBS has set out to change this with their AQC model, launched in 2009 to have AQC providers accountable for quality and cost.  80% of their network is now under the contract with good results and it underscores the importance of patient engagement. Not necessarily providing the patient every service they want, but providing them their health.  Dana's presentation can be found here.

An interesting statistic that Dana presented was that patient trust makes a profound difference of successful behavior change. She also presented Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). National policy will say its time to move this theory from research to practice. There are significant challenges in doing this and it requires a cultural changes. However, what we can learn from the patient are the core elements of health and that we need the delivery system to rise to the challenge. The only way to get this is with a standardized, validated set of questions that need to take their place in the delivery system as a part of how we diagnose and guide treatment decisions. Technology is going to play a key role in gathering and analyzing this information.

 Dr. David Judge, Medical Director, Ambulatory Practice of the future, MGH, Kamal Jethwani from Partners Center for Connected Health and Joshua Feast, CEO at Cogito Health presented their views on the promise and effects of patient engagement for better outcomes.  They discussed our ability to create a patient-centered culture instead of a provider-centered culture. At the Center for Connected Health they believe that technology is a primary driver for improved patient engagement and improved care.

An audience member asked for a working definition of patient engagement. A few answers were provided but overall, patient engagement is when patients actively participate in their health and seek information and guidance and share back this information.  It is when patients will take action and try to measure against their goals or the probability that anyone at a given time will take a major step in their health.

But who is going to pay? The technologies must show an ROI while providing better outcomes. Payment reform and the new AQC model can help the provider organizations pay. Technology break-outs that support better health at a lower cost are easier to support (and pay for) now.

Safran concluded the session by asking the panelist to provide one thing that makes them optimistic:
1. Regulations give us a strong foundation to move forward.
2. There is a huge commitment behind the scenes, and the interaction between all groups, and the patients taking responsibility, will help us move forward.
3. Dr. David Judge - He is optimistic that changes in the way we pay for care will allow us to work with patients in a better way.
4. Kamal Jethwani is more optimistic and, encouraged now vs.3-5 years ago. The industry is ready, clinicians are ready, patients are all creating the perfect storm and in 3-5 years healthcare in the U.S. will be different.

MassTLC's healthcare cluster is under new leadership with Dr. David Judge, Director, Ambulatory Practice of the Future, MGH, and George Brenckle, CIO, UMASS Memorial Health Center. David and George are co-chairing the group and stayed after the session to guide a discussion with MassTLC member organizations on plans for the fall. Stay tuned for more programs on patient-centered care and hearing the results of UMASS Memorial's overhaul of their back-end systems.

Thanks to all that joined and participated in the morning.

-Christine Nolan