Compensation and Equity for Early Stage Leadership Teams

January 17, 2017

It’s been said that 70% of the investment decision of an early-stage company is the team.  That’s so because so often everything goes wrong and only great teams can respond to competitors, markets, funding environments, staff departures, PR disasters and the like.

Yet, How do you build that early stage leadership team to attract investment if you don’t have the cash to pay competitive salaries and benefits?

That’s the conundrum of ENET’s presentation in Cambridge, Tuesday January 17th.

Our speakers will discuss use of startup equity as a key weapon of choice to recruit needed talent to build you’re A-team.   We will discuss allocation of equity and vesting.  We will discuss using compensation and equity addressing the key team needs of your startup for:

  • Domain expertise
  • Connections
  • Experience with related ventures
  • Ability to make significant contributions
  • Part-time vs. full-time

Our two speakers are prominent investors and serial entrepreneurs.  One has founded a number of tech companies and was named 2013 Angel Investor of the Year.  Our other speaker was managing director of Tech Stars and currently holds key positions mentoring New England startup companies.  We are also seeking a third speaker who will address the special compensation and equity issued recruiting early stage teams in  medical device and life sciences fields.  The panel will be moderated by ENET’s long term chairman who received and IEEE-USA award for contribution to the entrepreneurial community and has been recognized as one of the “Top 20 Boston Startup Attorneys”.


600 -700 PM Registration & networking

700 -710 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements

710 -725 PM E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies presentations

725 -815 PM – 3 or 4 expert speakers on the night’s topic

815 -830 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A

830 -900 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers


Speaker: Andy Palmer, Co-Founder/CEO at Tamr (aka CueBall)  is an angel and seed investor and  serial entrepreneur who specializes in accelerating the growth of mission-driven startups. Andy has helped found and/or fund more than 50 innovative companies in technology, health care and the life sciences. Andy’s unique blend of strategic perspective and disciplined tactical execution is suited to environments where uncertainty is the rule rather than the exception. Andy has a specific passion for projects at the intersection of computer science and the life sciences.  See  Most recently, Andy co-founded Tamr, a next generation data curation company and Koa Labs, a start-up club in the heart of Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.  Andy was honored as “2013 Angel Investor of the Year” by the New England Venture Capital Association.  He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, and has an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and has been a research affiliate at MIT. Andy has also written on the subject for this meeting, in his article “The Simple Truth: Happy People, Healthy Company:  How generosity can be a competitive advantage for early-stage startups.”

Speaker: Katie Rae, Managing Director at Project 11, a pre-seed venture fund investing in tech-driven startups. Katie is Co-Founder, Chairman at Startup Institute, teaching people how to join great startups and be effective on day 1, and Chairman of Techstars Boston. Previous to Project 11, for a period of about 4 years, Katie  was Managing Director of Tech Stars Boston and also for 4 years she a lecturer at MIT.  Katie has also been an exec at Microsoft, Eons, Lycos, AltaVista.  Katie is a graduate of Oberlin College and has an MBA from Yale School of Management.

Speaker:   Nancy Briefs, Entrepreneur In Residence at M2D2 UMASS Lowell and Angel Investor with MA2.  For 5 years and into 2016, Nancy was CEO at InfoBionic. She also co-founded InfoBionic where her company is disrupting the $3B Global market for remote monitoring and detection of arrhythmia with our proprietary MoMe® Kardia system Her career includes 30 years as an Entrepreneur, CEO, Angel Investor, Independent BOD Member and Business Advisor.  Her sweet  spot has been the introduction of new technologies in cardiovascular medicine and surgery. Prior to InfoBionic,  Nancy has held management positions at five prior med-tech startups, four of which resulted in a liquidity event. She was awarded the Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Emerging Companies in 2003, the NH Biotech Council “Spirit Award” in 2009 and the “Leadership & Inspiration: Award from Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology in 2010.  Nancy is a current angel investor in MA2 and has served on the Boards of MDMA (Medical Device and Manufacturers Association), CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Apama Medical and InfoBionic. An entrepreneur inventor, Nancy is listed on seven issued and two pending US patents. Nancy has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Golden Gate University and a BA and BSB from Emporia University.

Moderator: 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, and family businesses.    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, 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. In January 2016, he received the professional achievement award from IEEE-USA for “extreme dedication and contributions to the IEEE entrepreneurship community.” 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.  (

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