Failure Fuels Success – Startup Trials and Tribulations

April 17, 2018

Speaker Slides


Jonah Lupton

Sparking Innovation

Martha Farmer

Public Company

Yael Shwartz

Entrepreneurs are driven, energetic visionaries who build successful companies by the force of their will and unerring perseverance to a brilliant idea and the execution of a flawless plan…   Well, driven, energetic, brilliant, persevering and visionary may be great, even accurate descriptors for successful entrepreneurs. However, more often than not, the path to success is marked by assessment and re-assessment of science, technology and markets, and the ups and downs that accompany shifts in strategy or a major business plan pivot.  Sometimes, success comes from scrapping a plan altogether and re-booting from scratch.

Join us to learn about some of the trials and tribulations of launching a successful start-up.  It isn’t always pretty, but it always is a rewarding learning experience.



Jonah Lupton, Founder & CEO of SoundGuard

Mr. Lupton is a serial entrepreneur and currently the founder & CEO of SoundGuard which has created the world’s first soundproof paint. This amazing product is the perfect non-invasive solution for millions of commercial and residential properties looking for a quick, easy and affordable way to eliminate sound transmission through interior walls. SoundGuard has been a 3 year journey for Mr. Lupton which launched in late 2017 and already has dozens of large commercial projects in progress with dozens more in the pipeline. He is determined to build SoundGuard into a billion dollar company based in Boston. 



Marty Farmer is the Founder, President and CEO of North Shore InnoVentures a biotech and cleantech incubator/accelerator based in Beverly MA. She serves as NSIV’s representative to a variety of local, regional, state, and industry organizations. Marty has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology with a specialized background in protein biophysical chemistry, stem cells and medical ethics. Previously, Marty help founding leadership roles at Baxter’s Hemoglobin Therapeutics Division and BetaGamma, Inc. and has served as a scientific consultant for numerous cutting edge life science companies.  Marty earned a BS in zoology and a PhD in physiology and pharmacology from Duke University, did postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University and the Naval Research Laboratory and was a Medical Ethics Fellow at Harvard University.  


Yael Schwartz is serving as Entrepreneur in Residence at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is founder and CEO of Or-Genix Therapeutics, a company developing non-prescription topical products for aging skin and hair for women over 40 years of age. Yael previously founded two companies, Hygeia Therapeutics and Canterbury Laboratories that were focused on women’s health and dermatology. Both were acquired and taken public by RestorGenex (RESX). At RestorGenex, she was on the board of directors and served as executive vice president of preclinical development. She had previously worked at Sepracor (now Sunovion).

In addition to leading her own company, Schwartz serves on the board of trustees of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), is a co-founder of NEWISE (New England Women in Science Executives Club), and is an honorary member of Phi Lambda Sigma, the pharmacy leadership society and was a recent recipient of the Boston Business Journal Biotech Innovation All-Star Award.


Roger Frechette, Principal and Founder, NEPAssociates

NEPAssociates offers on-demand executive and business advisory services to life sciences enterprises. Roger has been a volunteer with Boston ENET since 2014, and also supports area start-ups as a mentor for MassBio’s MassCONNECT and the MTTC’s Platform Program.

Previously, Roger was Co-Founder of MaxThera, an antibacterial drug discovery company sold to Biota Holdings Limited. Prior to starting MaxThera, he was Project Director at Paratek Pharmaceuticals (Boston), where he led the teams culminating in IND filing for omadacycline (NDA 2018), a new class of antibiotic. Previously, he was Associate Director of Chemistry at RiboGene (Hayward, CA). He began his career as a chemist at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (J&J, Raritan, NJ).

Roger was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University, earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wesleyan University and his BA in Chemistry from College of the Holy Cross.

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