Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Future of Transportation in Boston: February 16, 2017 at 25 Drydock Ave, Boston

The MassTLC Future of Transportation in Boston event brought together a crowd of techies, entrepreneurs, city and state officials, and the public interested in current and future transportation efforts underway and how their commute and mobility might be affected.

 Keynote John Moavenzadeh, head of Mobility Industries and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum gave the audience a view of global trends in urban mobility.  He was followed by Nigel Jacob, co-founder, New Urban Mechanics for the City of Boston, who spoke about Boston and smart mobility, the vision and action planning with public engagement embedded in the process, Go Boston 2030 and the need to coordinate and collaborate, and touched on autonomous vehicle testing in the Seaport.  Norm Gorin and Brad Bellows from the North South Rail Link Working Group followed discussing the initiative to bridge the gap between the North and South Stations.

John Moavenzadeh

Nigel Jacob

Linda Applegate, Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, moderated a lively panel discussing public/private partnerships and the future of urban transportation. 
Panelists included:

  • Stephanie Pollack – Secretary & CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Cathy Zhou – Uber General Manager New England Expansion
  • Adrian Albus – Zipcar Director, Business Innovation & Strategy
  • Jason Vazzano – CEO and co-founder of Vectorform
  • Mary Rose Fissinger – Special Projects Lead at Bridj
Lynda Applegate, Mary Rose Fissinger, Adrian Albus, Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Jason Vassano, Cathy Zhou

During the New Technololgy – Beyond the Personal Automobile session participants discussed what’s in store for the future.  Mike Stanely, CEO and Founder of TransitX showed pods that could quietly fly above traffic under a narrow track.  A student team from Northeastern (Ben Lippolis, Manny Barros and Ted Rausch) shared their Hyperloop technology, a conceptual high-speed transportation system which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion thru a tube structure, and experience at the national competition in California just a week ago.  And Sasha Hoffman, COO at Piaggio Fast Forward shared the company vision for personal lightweight mobility while their newly launched Giti, an intelligent cargo vehicle, navigated thru the audience delivering chocolates!

Sasha Hoffman shows off the newly launched Gita
Kelly, Joyce and Sara have a closer look at nuTonomy’s autonomous vehicle.

The final panel discussed Autonomous Vehicles, moderated by Paul Schmitt, MassRobotics Director, Autonomous Vehicles and included:
·         Karl Iagnemma - CEO nuTonomy
·         Sam Tolkoff - CEO NextDroid
·         Jane Lappin - Director Government Affairs and Public Policy, Toyota Research Institute
·         Kris Carter - Boston New Urban Mechanics

Topics of discussion included levels of automation, safety and convenience as well as testing – nuTonomy’s automated vehicle showed up for the reception.
During networking breaks and at the reception attendees were treated to demonstrations from the following companies:
·         nuTonomy
·         Zipcar
·         Railpod
·         Northeastern University Hyperloop Pod
·         Piaggio Fast Forward
·         Bridj
·         Hubway
·         Pong Robotics
·         ev Transportation Services
·         Superpedestrian, Inc.
·         Zagster

Brendan English, CEO of Railpod, shows his portable platform
that provides a diverse suite of inspection capabilities.

Will Pong of Pong Robotics shows off his personal transportation bot

Northeastern team pod – arrived just in time from competition in California


Superpedestrian & Zagster

Sunday, February 19, 2017

MassRobotics Ribbon Cutting

February 17, 2017  - MassRobotics Ribbon Cutting

What a wonderful day for the MA Robotics community who we have been convening as one of our technology clusters at MassTLC for over a decade.  All one needs to do is take a walk around the Seaport’s Innovation District and you’ll see that tech is thriving in MA.  And now, MassRobotics will serve as the Robotics Innovation Hub, located at 12 Channel Street in the Marine Industrial Park.

The 5th floor at 12 Channel Street – MassRobotics’ “alpha” space, approximately 15,000 square feet – features six private, furnished offices that can support almost 30 people, and shared workspace for up to an additional 60 people. It includes 7,000 sq. ft. of open workshop and lab space, fully equipped with workbenches and power for robotics companies to rent on an as-needed basis. The space also has 2,000 sq. ft. of shared lab/prototyping space with a machine shop, 3D printers, electronics lab and robotic platforms. Resident amenities include a common, stocked kitchen as well as office equipment, phones, conference rooms and more for resident use.  Another 25,000 sq. ft. expansion will be developed in the next year.

The brief ceremony on February 17th included remarks from Tom Ryden, MassRobotics Executive Director, Tom Hopcroft, MassTLC President and CEO, Daniel Theobald, co-founder and CTO at Vecna Technologies and also co-founder of MassRobotics, Timothy J. Connelly is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston.

View the ribbon cutting, done by the Baxter robot, here.

Nearly 200 invited guests gathered to witness the Baxter Robot, dressed in Patriot’s attire, cut the ribbon held by Mayor Walsh and Katie Stebbins (assistant secretary of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship for Massachusetts' Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development).  This opened the doors to the laboratory space that held over 20 robotics companies and demonstrations, from exoskeletons to personal cargo carriers, autonomous underwater vehicles to unmanned aerial vehicles, and from educational robots to medical robotic technology.  Most of these companies have been participating in our MassTLC robotics cluster activities for several years!

MassTLC is proud to be a founding partner and to continue to support this valuable endeavor and the robotics ecosystem in Massachusetts.

CyberSecurity, IoT, Open Data and Talent Dominate MassTLC Agenda in DC

MassTLC led a delegation of technology leaders to Washington on a mission to deepen public-private collaboration on key legislative priorities and special projects that support our tech ecosystem. In each meeting, the group focused on key issues in the areas of cybersecurity, IoT, open data, and talent, including the President’s recent Executive Order on Immigration. 

On the steps of the Capitol Building: front row l-r: Mohamad Ali, CEO, Carbonite; Kate McLeod, VP, MassTLC; Michael O’Hanlon VP Gov’t & Industry Relations, Wayfair; back row l-r: Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia, Tom Hopcroft, CEO MassTLC, Alex Daly, Gov’t Affairs, PTC.

The annual trip was organized in collaboration with the Tech Councils of North America and CompTIA’s annual DC Fly-In. The MassTLC delegation included Mohamad Ali, CEO of Carbonite, Tom Erickson, CEO of Acquia, Alex Daly, Gov’t Affairs at PTC, Jim Daniell, COO of Oxfam America, Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO of MassTLC, Kate McLeod, VP of MassTLC, and Michael O’Hanlon, VP Gov’t & Industry Relations at Wayfair. We joined 150-200 other tech leaders in advocating from 29 Councils across the United States.

MassTLC organized meetings on both Tuesday and Wednesday with members of Congress and their staff from the offices of Senator Ed Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Michael Capuano, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Congressman Joe Kennedy, Congressman Stephen Lynch, Congressman Seth Moulton, and Congresswoman Nicki Tsongas. As a broader group, we honored New Jersey Senator Cory Booker for his leadership with the Internet of Things and tech apprenticeships and Texas Representative Will Hurd for his work on developing a cyber national guard proposal and focus on STEM education.

As the CyberMA affiliate to the CyberUSA network, MassTLC focused on legislative proposals ranging from the security of IoT devices to tech apprenticeships. We discussed getting more MA tech leaders involved in national working groups/advisory panels, and lawmakers engaged in the Congressional CyberSecurity and IoT Caucuses. We also discussed in-district activities like participation in the Congressional App Challenge.

MassTLC is the largest technology organization in the region. Our members represent 170,000+ people or 60% of the tech sector in MA and span multiple tech-focused and tech-enabled industries, company sizes, and geographic areas in the state. Our mission is to accelerate growth and innovation in the Massachusetts tech economy.

We know that advocacy on multiple levels has the power to create awareness, develop strong partnerships, and it also ensures that our voices are heard by our leaders in Congress. MassTLC’s core principles guide our work. We believe in:
·        Innovation–in business, government, education, and as consumers
·        Diversity–of workforce, ideas, and ecosystem investment
·        Equity & Opportunity–by age, gender, race, income, sexual orientation, etc.
·        Mobility–international/domestic talent, capital, and ideas
·        Democracy–we are stronger with the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ acting together

As Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali said, “It’s important for technology leaders to become more involved in our governing process. As technology becomes the leading driver of income for the Commonwealth’s seven million residents, it is vital that government policies support a workforce that allows all to participate and enable Massachusetts companies to continue to lead in innovation.”   

Looking ahead, MassTLC will continue its work with our Congressional leaders to move legislative priorities forward. We will continue discussions in D.C. and at home in their districts, and will engage our members through our direct outreach, reports, programs, and newsletters. If you are interested in lending your voice, please email Sara Fraim: sara@masstlc.org.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Still Standing Up Against Trump’s Executive Order

By Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO, MassTLC

Last week, I asked the tech sector to support the Massachusetts Attorney General’s lawsuit to challenge President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from certain majority-Muslim countries.  Many members found ways to contribute, including by providing written statements to the Attorney General explaining how President Trump’s actions are harmful to the technology economy in Massachusetts.  Thank you for your support and your participation.

As many of you know, nationwide enforcement of the executive orders has been halted by a judge in federal court in Seattle.  Meanwhile, here in Massachusetts, the Attorney General’s case remains pending.

MassTLC continues to closely follow the lawsuits in Massachusetts, Seattle, and elsewhere.  We anticipate submitting briefs as an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the most important cases, and will urge the courts to strike down the executive order.  We have engaged the law firm Foley Hoag LLP in Boston to assist with that effort.

If your member organization wishes to support MassTLC’s efforts, or is looking for other ways to challenge the executive order, please contact me.  There may be opportunities for companies to make independent submissions in the courts to assist the Attorney General and other plaintiffs. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why MassTLC is Standing Up Against Trump's Executive Order

On Tuesday, I put out a call to the tech sector to stand with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey as she challenges President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration. The Attorney General serves to protect the interests of the Commonwealth and its citizens, irrespective of partisan views, as demonstrated by lawsuits her office has filed against both Republican and Democratic Administrations, including against the Obama Administration.
MassTLC is the largest non-partisan, non-profit technology group in New England, and the perspective we take on President Trump’s executive order is one of supporting the technology economy in Massachusetts, not of partisanship.
In fact, we are completely aligned with Governor Charlie Baker’s view that “Massachusetts is a global community” and that “we all benefit from the shared experiences of our partners from around the world to support our economy and educational institutions to make our state the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
“The recent executive order puts this at risk, will not improve our security, and the lack of guidance associated with such an abrupt and overwhelming decision is problematic for all involved. Our administration has worked with the Attorney General’s office and supports her challenging this action,” Baker added in a statement.
As the region’s largest technology organization, we can say with authority that there is great concern about this executive order across the tech sector. MassTLC members have been vocal with us and with the media, voicing concern about the impact of the executive order on their businesses. Our research on the sector, conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute, shows that a quarter of workers in the tech sector are foreign born. These are the job creators and innovators that are helping fuel the tech economy in Massachusetts, an economy that underpins (directly and indirectly) 35 percent of jobs, 46 percent of payroll, and 31 percent of gross state product in the Commonwealth (according to MassTLC’s 2016 State of the Tech Economy report). Talent is distributed evenly around the globe and Massachusetts benefits by attracting and embracing our disproportionate share.
We flat out reject the notion that challenging the executive order is somehow at odds with securing America. MassTLC is very bullish on security. For years we’ve been convening the region’s Security and CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) community, and more recently have become the regional CyberMA affiliate to CyberUSA. We have taken a leadership role in engaging our tech community on other security related issues. For example, in the wake of the Istanbul Ataturk airport attack, we circulated the Transportation Security Administration’s call for companies that have, or may be developing, technologies that can help quickly screen passengers and luggage at airport checkpoints. In fact, we contend that this executive order will do more to inspire and recruit potential threats than to mitigate them.
Challenging this executive order as unconstitutional is our democratic responsibility. Our role as stewards of the tech sector is to help facilitate the documentation and collection of information relating to the impact of the executive order on our region’s tech companies so the courts have all the available information to make an informed decision. We support our democratic process and urge tech leaders affected by the executive order to participate as independent thinkers and citizens of our great nation, regardless of political persuasion. Please see my Call to Tech Leaders for information on how you can share your experience.
Tom Hopcroft can be reached at tom@masstlc.org.
This article also appeared on BostInno.

Massachusetts Joins Federal Case Challenging President's Ban on Immigration

Massachusetts Joins Federal Case
Challenging President's Ban on Immigration

MassTLC Calls on Tech Leaders to Stand with AG 
in Support of MA Innovation Economy


MassTLC stood today with Attorney General Maura Healey as she announced that her office will be representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in litigation challenging the President's January 27 Executive Order ("EO"), which barred entry into the United States by individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).

MassTLC Trustee Mohamad Ali, CEO of Carbonite, spoke eloquently at the press briefing: 
On behalf of MassTLC, the tech community, and myself as CEO of Carbonite, we believe this executive order is detrimental to our state and our country. It is morally and ethically beneath our American values. America is a nation of compassion and we do not turn our backs on those in need, and seeking refuge. This immigration order is also damaging to businesses and innovation efforts, economic growth, and job creation. Some of our greatest companies are or were led by 1st or 2nd generation immigrants and those with diverse backgrounds - Steve Jobs of Apple had a Syrian father named Abdulfattah Jandali; Andy Grove was a refugee from Communist Hungary. His birth name was Andras Istvan Grof. He created Intel; and Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo. She was born in Chennai, India;  these leaders created millions of American jobs, including manufacturing jobs. Further, the immigration order could serve to make our country less safe, a point both Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham made a few days ago, by playing right into the rhetoric of those who are bent on harming us. And finally, it is just simply a violation of that revered document we as Americans, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, hold dear - the constitution. No one is above the constitution. It is on this basis that we stand firmly with our Attorney General.
We know that many companies in Massachusetts are currently assessing the impact of the Executive Order and making contingency plans. MassTLC is working with the AG's Office to help develop a robust record in this litigation. Most immediately, the AG's Office will be seeking a preliminary injunction from the court, halting the implementation of the order while the case proceeds.

HOW YOU CAN HELP - We are calling on affected tech leaders to support this effort by preparing a declaration describing the impacts of the EO on your company by COB Thursday, February 2nd.

We ask that your statement be as specific as possible and include as much of the following information as possible:
  • Number of employees who are lawful permanent residents or who have other work authorizations and are from the Affected Countries
  • Number of employees who may be unable to extend their current work authorization
  • Specific steps you are already taking to ensure no disruption of operations, should these employees lose work authorization
  • Conferences, business meetings, or other plans in foreign countries that may need to be altered due to the EO
  • Any lost revenues or additional expenses incurred or that may be incurred as a result of the EO
  • Examples of employees or others affiliated with your business/organization who have been unable to enter the country since January 27
  • Recruitment efforts impacted by the EO - e.g., faculty, trainees, and students
  • Any information on how this EO, and the resulting apparent instability in U.S. immigration policy, harms institutional strategic planning in developing international business and international sources for talent
  • Any other effects of the EO on your operations, finances, services, and human resources
Please submit your final declarations by COB Thursday, February 2nd to Jonathan Miller in the AG's office at Jonathan.Miller@state.ma.us with a cc to me at MassTLC (tom@masstlc.org). We'd like to include affected companies in subsequent tech sector support initiatives that we have under way.

If you have questions or need any assistance completing your declaration, please contact Jonathan at 
Jonathan.Miller@state.ma.us or 617-963-2073. 

Thank you,
President & CEO
Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube  View our photos on flickr

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

CMO Peer Group Meeting: Solving the Great Divide, Sales and Marketing Alignment: January 31, 2017

It was a great gathering of just over 20 CMOs and VPs of marketing to end the month and discuss sales and marketing alignment. Clint Poole, CMO of Lionbridge, hosted the discussion.  We expect that the alignment conversation will continue at future meetings but summarized below are a few key takeaways from Clint and the group to help solve the great divide.

  1. Lionbridge made a decision a few years back to move LDRs under marketing. They serve as the connective tissue to sales. They started with a pilot and were quickly able to prove a positive impact on leads/revenues.  It was estimated that only approximately 25% of organizations are aligned with this model but Clint believes it's critical to alignment success.  Note, someone commented that this shift can have its challenge as LDRs natural progression is into a sales position so recruiting this talent can be more difficult.
Perception gap.jpg

2. Moving forward takes hard work with a coordinated effort on GTM planning, refreshing segmentation and ideal customer profiles and prioritizing accounts.

IMG_0307 (1).JPG

3. Only with good sales and marketing alignment are you going to be able to initiate successful Account Based Marketing.  Peter Isaacson, CMO of DemandBase, and a member of MassTLC, shared this ebook which provides actionable insights to align Sales and Marketing around a common set of goals.

4. The #1 reason sales doesn’t make quota is they are unable to differentiate value. Lionbridge instituted a social learning approach for sales training that was shown to increase ASP and deal size. The program improved rep confidence and a greater return on investment.

5. As always, measurement and reporting are key to success. Lionbridge established this structure.


Clint's full presentation can be downloaded here. We can’t thank Clint enough for his thoughtful presentation and for hosting the meeting.  Also, a shout out to Peter Isaacson, CMO of Demandbase for joining us while in town. Demandbase is a sponsor of the MassTLC sales and marketing community.  I’d be happy to connect you with them if you’re on the path to ABM.

Our next meeting will be hosted by Bob Canaway, CMO of Black Duck Software and is scheduled for March 24th.  Topics of interest based on polling the group include:
  • Where do BDRs reside, continuing the conversation and training techniques ·       Structuring the marketing team
  • MBOs for marketing team members - compensation and MBOs, but larger topic, how does marketing talk to CRO, CEO - finding success in up and over
  • Understanding decision making framework for brand investments
  • Deeper dive on ABM - Hot topic!
  • Customer acquisition driven by marketing and sales - how do you align
  • Customer Marketing - Bernd - what role do we play and how do we measure - attribution is very different
  • Buyer’s journey shift - where do sales and marketing fit, overlap, hand-off
  • Alignment with CMO, CIO, CEO
  • How do you find time to do everything as a startup marketing organization? How do you build your team?
  • Sales enablement - outside vs. inside vs. BDR
  • Shifting from a product focused organization to customer-centric focused
  • Marketing enablement - people, process, technology
  • Marketing tech stack
  • How do you identify and choose the right segments Analysts and influencers
  • Budgeting - getting support internally
  • Marketing 101 - series of fundamentals – this has been asked for by other segments of our membership and will help fill a need in the market
  • Product marketing sub-group interest!

If there is a particular topic you are interested in, please let me know.

We look forward to connecting again soon!