Monday, December 12, 2016

Developing the Next Wave of Marketing Leadership

The need for strong marketing talent and leaders in Boston continues to rise.  There are many ambitious marketers in Boston who are striving to be the top marketer. But not everyone can be the number one. We all know it takes the right experiences, skills, focus, grit, and a little bit of luck. The MassTLC marketing community came together yesterday at CIC in Boston to discuss what it takes and how to get there.  The panel was terrific in sharing strategies and tips and I think everyone walked away feeling energized by the discussion. 

Jonathan Burg, Group Vice President of Marketing from Reward Gateway moderated the discussion.  Our panelists, Ellie Mirman, VP of Marketing at Toast, Jeff Boehm, CMO at NuoDB and Zak Pines, VP of Marketing at  Bedrock Data easily navigated the questions and conversation with the active audience. 

A few key takeaways:

1.      For Jeff, he came from the product marketing world. He believes a technical background is critical to success, especially if you are pursuing a position at a company with a complex B2B sale.  It was agreed upon that the VC community looks for the technical background as well.  In the end, be honest with yourself, and understand if the position matches your sweet spot.

2.      Make sure your CEO has the same leadership style as you.  If you believe in hiring great people and then getting out of the way to let them do their jobs, make sure the CEO agrees.  By the way, this approach is critical to scale.

3.      Strong leadership skills are obviously important to the success of the role. However, beyond the nuts and bolts of marketing leadership, alignment with sales and product are critical to success.  We started a conversation following the program to host a discussion on this topic in the near future.  Stay tuned.

4.      Organization and team design around marketing operations was discussed in detail.  Zak published a follow-on post to the discussion which can be found here. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us, to our speakers and a special thanks to DemandBase
for their community support. If you’re in the hunt for an ABM solution or looking to sharpen your skills in the area, Demandbase’s Marketing Innovation Summit takes place April 5th and 6th in San Francisco.  Details are here. 
Please feel free to reach out and share your ideas for programs and content.  It’s you, our members, that drive our initiatives forward. 

Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 9, 2016

CS Ed Week Success

Thank you to all the volunteers who made Computer Science Week a Success!


Over 800 schools did an Hour of Code this week, the global initiative started by to inspire all students to participate in at least one hour of coding, and the Technovation Challenge Kicked-off with over 100 students, teachers and mentors meeting at Microsoft NERD.

Thank you to the many tech professionals who offered to volunteer in classrooms, from companies: Adobe, Aerva, Akamai, Amazon, Ascent Venture Partners, CA Technologies, Collabots, Cognii,  Facebook, Fidelity, Flywire, Google, Hubspot, ikaSystems,J.P. Morgan, Lexington Solutions, Microsoft, Monotype, Municipal Parking Services, Nara Logics, Pegasystems, Qvidian, Spotify, Symantec, Symbotic Trip Advisor, UbiCare, Veracode, Visible Measures, Winter Wyman.

This initiative was funded by Microsoft and MassCAN, as part of MassCAN’s mandate from the Governor’s STEM Advisory Board to bring K-12 Computer Science to the Commonwealth.
Teachers said:

“The volunteers had a great lesson planned, and it was a great way for our students to engage with people in the computer science industry.”
“The kids were really able to make connections between the coding they were doing and applying that skill in the job world. “

White House Recognition for “I Coded” CampaignThe MassTLC Ed Foundation, in partnership with the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE was recognized by the White House for the CS EdWeek Teacher Kits sent to 181classrooms kits serving an estimated 30,000 students. Read more on The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Fact Sheet.  


Monday, December 5, 2016

Future of Robotics Summit: December 1, 2016 at Microsoft NERD

The MassTLC Future of Robotics Summit brought together nearly 200 attendees to hear firsthand about the latest research coming out of our world class research institutions and explore opportunities for commercialization, partnerships, go to market strategies and the impact robotics has on the future of how we work, live, and play.

 Tom Hopcroft kicks off the summit to nearly 200 attendees

Research Topics ranged from Surgical Robotics and Next Generation Soft Wearable Robots to TeleRobots and Automated Vehicles

Specific Researcher and topics were:
·         Chris Amato, Northeastern University - Multi-Robot Coordination with Uncertainty and Limited Communication
·         Harry Asada, MIT MechE - You can possess extra arms, legs, and fingers
·         Andrew Bennet, Olin College - Robot Applications and Activities in the Field
·         Whitney Crooks, Tufts University – Tufts Robotic Research
·         Gregory Fischer, Worcester Polytech Institute – Medical Robotics Research
·         Rod Grupen, University of Massachusetts Amherst - Robots that Believe
·         Robert Howe, Harvard University - Robotic hands and tactical sensing
·         Tomas Lozano-Perez, MIT/CSAIL -  Autonomous mobile manipulation in the presence of uncertainty
·         Roberto Tron, Boston University - Vision-based control and localization in multi-agent systems
·         Conor Walsh, Harvard University - Next Generation Soft Wearable Robots
·         Peter Whitney, Northeastern University - TeleRobot
·         Holly Yanco, University of Massachusetts Lowell - Human-robot interaction for assistive technology, disaster response, bystanders, and humanoids
·         Shlomo Zilberstein, University of Massachusetts Amherst - Transfer of Control in Semi-Autonomous Vehicles

Chris Amato, Northeastern University, discusses his Cooperative Beer Delivery System
Networking breaks included student demonstration tables from Northeasthern University, the University of MA/Lowell, Tufts University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
A Path to Commercialization and Parntering Opportunities panel was moderated by Mark Smithers from Boston Engineering and panelists included:
  • Vinit Nijhawan, Boston University
  • Vicki Barbur, The MITRE Corporation
  • Andy Levine, Harvard Licensing IP
  • Steve Paschall, MassRobotics Innovation Hub

Path to Commercialization and Partnering Opportunities Panel

Veda Ferlazzo Clark, Manufacturing Initiatives, and Business Development SVP for MassDevelopment, describes the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program & Grant

And final panel discussing Finding Your Perfect Match: Startups and Established Manufacturers, kept the attention of many as Peter Russo from MassMEP spoke about how to create a network of local supply chain vendors/manufacturers and the pros of keeping it local.  He then moderated a fireside chat between David Askey, Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Ascend Robotics and Bill Laursen, Vice President of Sales and Strategy at Coglin Companies.
David Akskey discusses what startups need
Special thanks to our sponsors of the event, Amazon Robotics, Brandeis University and Symbotic!