Case Studies in Extremely Successful StartupsSeptember 5, 2017
ENET kicks off its 27th year with an evening of learning from successful entrepreneurs. The meeting will feature case studies from three extremely successful startups.
We will hear from Raj Aggarwal, founder of Localytics. This software company, No. 279 on the Inc. 5000 in 2015, provides an analytics and marketing platform to help its clients understand and optimize mobile engagement. The platform is used by a number of successful companies, including ESPN, CVS Pharmacy, The New York Times, Comcast and Weather Channel. Led by CEO Raj Aggarwal, Localytics saw a growth rate of more than 1,600 percent between fiscal years 2011 and 2014.
We will next hear from Ralph Folz, CEO of WordStream. WordStream is software as a service (SaaS) company which helps small and medium businesses acquire customers via paid digital media (paid search and paid social). WordStream’s 20 Minute Work Week facilitates more effective paid media campaigns across Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook, resulting in more leads and more customers. Think of WordStream as a TurboTax for digital marketing. WordStream manages over half a billion dollars of advertising spend on the major ad platforms and has grown to over 230 employees. The company is based in Boston’s Back Bay. WordStream has been named a Boston Business Journal Best Places to Work for three years in a row and has been included in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies for four years in a row.
Finally, we will hear from Janet Kosloff, Co-Founder and CEO of InCrowd, a provider of high-quality, real-time market intelligence to life sciences and healthcare firms. Today 19 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical firms, as well as other life science, healthcare organizations, and the agencies that serve them, rely on InCrowd’s solution to gain high-quality, timely insights to market questions and from them, make more informed business decisions. The company has grown to more than $10 million in revenues and 50 employees. In 2017, Janet Kosloff was named a Boston SmartCEO 2017 Future 50 Award winner by SmartCEO magazine. The program recognizes the region’s 50 fastest-growing mid-sized companies and 10 small emerging growth companies, based on a combined three-year average of revenue and employee growth.
The attrition rate for startup companies is high. According to the US Bureau for Labor Statistics, 50 percent of all new business make it to their fifth year and one third make it to their tenth year. A study from Harvard Business School stated that three out of every four ventured-backed companies failed overall. Yet many do succeed. Among the reasons often cited for startup success are:
- Focus – Keeping focus on the company’s core competencies and continuing to build and improve on them.
- Team – Building a strong team, compatible with complimentary competencies
- Customer Validation / Feedback – Get your product and service out into the market and listening to your customers, to customize your product or services to meet the real needs of your clientele or customer base
- Pivoting – Learning from your mistakes and being able to pivot quickly to get back on track.
On September 5, you will get to hear from the leaders of at least three extremely successful startups – and how perhaps their success and lessons learned might be useful to you, and also ask them questions during out Q and A. Hope to see you for ENET’s kickoff meeting for our 2017-2018 program year.
630-730 PM – Registration & networking
730-740 PM – ENET Chairman’s announcements
740-755 PM – E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
755-845 PM – 3 expert speakers on the night’s topic
845-900 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A
900-930 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers
Raj Aggarwal, Co-Founder, Localytics. As CEO from its founding in 2009 until 2017, Raj succeeded in creating the leading mobile engagement platform that is used by many of the world’s top brands. Prior to Localytics, Raj spent 12 years building a variety of technology companies. He was a management consultant focused on mobile with Bain & Company and Adventis. At Adventis, Raj worked alongside Steve Jobs at Apple to develop the business framework for the iPhone and led the formation of the multi-billion dollar Disney Mobile venture in Japan. Previously, Raj held sales and marketing leadership positions at Proco Machinery and Requisite Technology. Raj completed his MBA with Honors from the Ivey School of Business and London Business School.
Ralph Folz is WordStream’s Chief Executive Officer. Folz joined WordStream’s board in August 2009 and was elected the company’s CEO by the Board of Directors in August 2010. He has an extensive background in the digital marketing space, including founding and subsequently selling Molecular Inc., an interactive Web design and marketing agency, to Isobar. Folz spent two years as Global Chief Operating Officer of Isobar, one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the world (part of the Dentsu Aegis network). Folz spends time mentoring and advising venture backed startups in the Boston area and spent four years as a Board Director for Backupify, prior to its sale to Datto. Folz currently sits on the Board of Codeship, a SaaS company funded by Sigma Prime and Ascent Venture Partners. Folz has been named “one of the 10 most influential leaders in e-commerce” by the Massachusetts Electronic Commerce Association, and Molecular was recognized by Deloitte & Touche as the highest-ranking Internet professional services firm in the New England region. In 2004, he was named to the Boston Business Journal’s list of “40 Under 40” and recognized as a Mass High Tech All-Star in the Internet category. He has served as President of MITX, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange.
Robert Adelson, business and tax attorney, partner at Boston law firm of Engel & Schultz LLP, and Chairman of The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network. Rob has been an attorney for over 30 years specialized in business, tax, stock and options, employment, contracts, financings, trademarks and intellectual property. Rob began as an associate at major New York City law firms before returning home to Boston in 1985 where he has since been a partner in small and medium sized firms before joining his present firm in 2004. Rob represents entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies, independent contractors and employees and executives. Rob is a frequent speaker on business law topics and author of numerous articles published in Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech and other publications. He has been named among the “Top 20 Boston Startup Lawyers” by ChubbyBrain.com, a website that provides tools for entrepreneurs. Rob has been on the ENET Board since 2002 and Chairman since 2009 and is also a Co-Founder and Board member of the 128 Innovation Capital Group (2004 -2015). He holds degrees from Boston University, B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University (Chicago), J.D., Law Review, and New York University, LL.M. in Taxation. His website – www.ExecutiveEmploymentAttorney.com
Ellen Clark. Ellen has been working with startups in pharma/medical device, structural engineering and widget engineering for six years. Currently her work is focused on staffing, benefits, business development and searching for grant and angel money. She is also an advocate for small business and job creation in the US. Her vision is to develop three companies, Advent Technologies – science and tech, Dakota Mining and Engineering -structural engineering for extractables, and Connecticut Index Funds.
Prior to her work with startups, she managed a consulting and staffing agency that specialized in staffing IT, Engineering, Science and Math specialists, management in “STEM” industries and specialized manufacturing. Ellen has attended Duke University, graduated from Nyack College and received a Master’s degree from Manhattanville College in New York.