Co-founders and Advisors and Equity as Currency

May 16, 2023 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm ET | CIC, One Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Speaker Slides

Founder Team Size and Equity Splits

Russ Wilcox, Partner, Pillar VC

Co-Founders, Advisors and Equity as Currency

Debra Peattie, Managing Partner, SV Investment

Co-founders & Advisory Board at 3 Daughters

Shelley Amster, Co-Founder, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, 3 Daughters, Inc

A recording of this webinar is available for ENET members only at Learn how to become a member here!


051623 PanelBoard

Attendees will have the option to join us in-person at the CIC, in Cambridge, MA, or online via Zoom.

The best and most common advice for any entrepreneur is to build a team of talented, knowledgeable people, beginning with Co-Founders and Advisors. The challenge: how can an aspiring entrepreneur, especially one of modest financial means, attract these talented, knowledgeable people to the hard work of launching a start-up without the ability to provide competitive salaries?

The answer, at least in part, is to consider start-up equity as currency. Investors take equity in exchange for financing the startup. This is done with the expectation that the start-up may, in time, achieve valuable milestones that will enable the investors to achieve a return on their investment. Because a company’s equity has the potential to rise in value over time (and the achievement of milestones), that same equity can often be used to attract Co-Founders and Advisors to contribute their time and expertise to help the founder to reach value enhancing milestones. With an understanding of the risks involved (start-ups can fail), these equity-compensated professionals are incentivised to do their best to help the company succeed.

Join our panel of expert communicators to learn how the Pro’s do it.

More information:

This is a hybrid event. You may choose to participate in-person or online.

In-person Participation (check-in begins at 6:00 PM):
LOCATION: CIC, One Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142 – a valid picture ID is required to enter the building!
TRANSPORTATION: Across the street from Kendall Square T station on the Red Line.
PARKING: Low flat rate parking available after 5pm.
REFRESHMENTS: Pizza or light sandwiches will be served.

Online Participation: Zoom links will be sent to all registrants after registration.

Cost and Reservation: This event is free for ENET members, $5 for CIC members and $10 for non-members. ENET members will also have the opportunity to view a recording of this webinar if you are unable to attend or wish to view it again. Click here to learn how to become a member.

To expedite sign-in for the event, we ask that everyone — members as well as non-members — pre-register. If you cannot pre-register, you are welcome to register in person at the door while seats are available.

Venue Sponsor

CIC Logo Inno Horizontal Orange

CIC believes in the entrepreneur. We recognize that invention propels innovation, density spurs collaboration, and a shared purpose drives a thriving community. CIC provides a home from which to work, allowing innovators to easily access resources and create substantive, positive global impact. Request to chat with a workspace expert about CIC’s flexible workspace offering, or try out a complimentary, one-time day of coworking.

Event Schedule

May 16, 2023
6:00 pm ET
In-person registration and networking
7:00 pm ET
ENET Chairperson's announcements
7:10 pm ET
eMinute Pitch
Up to 3 Startup pitches
7:25 pm ET
Expert Panel
4 expert speakers on the night’s topic
8:10 pm ET
Q & A
Moderator and Audience Q & A with the speakers
8:30 pm ET
Panelists will be available afterward for responses to individual questions.


Amster Shelley

Shelley Amster

Co-Founder, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, 3 Daughters, Inc

Shelley is a life science executive with over 45 years of experience in Women’s Health and reproductive endocrinology, including basic reproductive research, clinical andrology and IVF embryology. She has helped over 100 entrepreneurs develop their technologies and launch companies. She is a well-known and respected advisor to Boston and the greater life science community.

Peattie Debra

Debra Peattie

Managing Partner, SV US Operations, Inc.

Debra focuses on US-based life sciences transactions with SV Investment, a PE/VC firm headquartered in Seoul, Korea. She has led business development activities at Valo Health, GSK, and Harvard University and has held executive positions at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Valeo Medical, and RCT BioVentures NE. Prior to that, she was a founding member of MPM Capital, where she co-led the raise and launch of the company’s initial venture capital fund, and a founding scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Peattie holds a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She holds board positions at GRO Biosciences, Harvard Business School, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.

Wilcox Russ

Russ Wilcox

Partner, Pillar VC

Russ began his entrepreneurial career as the co-founder of E Ink, the company that invented and manufactured paper-like displays for the Amazon Kindle and many other devices. After E Ink, Russ led two moonshot startups, one in clean energy and one in cancer immunology. Six years ago he shifted to venture capital and became a general partner at Pillar VC. Today Russ makes seed stage investments across a mix of software, hardware, and biotech companies with a focus on commercializing breakthrough innovations.

Moderator & Organizer

Frechette Roger

Roger Frechette

Principal and Founder, NEPAssociates, LLC

Roger is a life sciences consultant/advisor, helping early-stage life science companies to succeed and to grow. His work with clients leverages an extensive global network and multi-disciplinary insights derived from >20 years of experience in the business of life sciences, calibrated with an extensive science background. His career has encompassed success as a business executive, project/alliance manager and entrepreneur, and as a scientist, including leadership of discovery/preclinical development teams resulting in two FDA approved therapeutics. Roger has been a volunteer with Boston ENET since 2014, in addition to supporting start-ups as a mentor with MassBio, and other Greater Boston Area entrepreneur support groups.  He also a mentor with 12Ronnies, a global early-stage startup mentorship organization.

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