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.

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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!