Thursday, April 30, 2015

The New Era of Robotics Summit: Identify. Commercialize. Fund; April 29, 2015

Our April 2015 Robotics Summit brought together over 100 attendees from industry and academia to state and government/military representatives. The summit was kicked off by Kaigham Gabriel, President & CEO of Draper Laboratory sharing his thoughts on breakthrough innovation teams:  performing in Pasteur’s Quadrant à the intersection of a science/technology inflection point and a driving application.

Our keynote was followed by a diverse Industry Panel of thought leaders who discussed current and future robotic applications – more specifically smart factory automation and industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles and medical/surgical technology.  The group was moderated by Linda Thayer, Partner at Finnegan and longtime supporter of the MassTLC Robotics Cluster. 

(left to right)
Tony Lennon, The MathWorks, Industrial Automation Specialist; Garry Ritter, Director Technology & Strategy at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center spoke about the future of autonomous vehicles; Scharukh Jalisi, M.D., FACS Director Boston University School of Medicine, Head and Neck surgical Oncology and Skullbase Surgery; Lt Col Matthew Woolums, Commander, 1st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, MA National Guard

After a short networking break, Christina Chase, Entrepreneur in Residents for the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, engaged in a Fireside Chat with Arron Acosta, young entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Rise Robotics.  They discussed the challenges startups face in gaining access to funding.  Arron walked thru his efforts in the hopes that he could help provide lessons learned to others in similar situations.

There was no lack of audience participation and questions on the topic of investor funding for robotics technology and companies!

Christina then moderated a panel of investors with diverse business models and investment criteria.

(left to right)
Christina Chase, Entrepreneur in Residents, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship (Moderator); Anders Bialek, Director of Corporate Development, iRobot; Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures; James Geshwiler, Managing Director, CommonAngels Ventures; Rudina Seseri, Partner, Fairhaven Capital  

James Geshwiler has a few words of advice for Arron.

Thank you to all who attended and participated in our lively discussion.  A special thanks to our summit sponsors:

As well as our Cluster Sponsor:

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