Manage the Stress and Strain of Your Startup

December 20, 2022 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm ET | CIC, One Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Speaker Slides

How to Navigate Stress and Strain of Startup Life

Lisa Sholkin, VP, People at Teampay

AJ Damiano – Manage the Stress and Strain of Your Startup

Angelo Damiano, Head of Business Development, Stage TEN

Eddie Brill – Manage the Stress and Strain of Your Startup

Eddie Brill, Standup comic, TV and movie performer, presenter at corporate events

Managing the Stress and Strain of Your Startup

Linda Rossetti, Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLC; Managing Director, The Transition Institute, LLC

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




Attendees will have the option to join us in-person at CIC, One Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142 or online via Zoom.

Work can be a pleasure and a pain. For entrepreneurs, the uncertainty and pressure are different than working for an employer where an employee’s focus is primarily on doing a good job and rising up the ranks.

An entrepreneur needs to, among other things, invent a product or service, find complementary talent, raise funds, balance revenue with expenses, lead or assist sales efforts, and chart a future for the company. It can be a pressure packed life. How do leaders and their colleagues cope with the stress and strain of their startups?

Two entrepreneurs, an HR executive, and a comic/entertainer share their different perspectives on dealing with pressure and most importantly how to de-stress.

A.J. Damiano started a tech business as a student at Syracuse University. When he graduated, it continued to grow when his CFO shocked him: the company was within days of running out of money. Learn how Damiano responded and what he’s learned as a 26-year-old entrepreneur.

Linda Rossetti has spent her entire career leading businesses through radical changes, first as the CEO and founder of a VC-backed tech start up and later as a C-Suite exec in a Fortune 500 company that was undergoing a digital transformation. Linda will share stories on how to thrive as a leader when chaos is the common thread for your days.

Lisa Sholkin has served as a corporate recruiter and HR executive at five tech startups starting with Uber. As HR counsel to founders at several small companies, she’s had to match business priorities with what she sees as health and wellness support for employees. For almost three years, Covid has heightened employee needs and Sholkin will talk about those issues and her response.

For 17 years, Eddie Brill worked on the David Letteran show as part of a career as a standup comic, TV, and movie actor. Who could know better about the power of humor both as an entertainer and a speaker at corporate events?

Book raffle at this event!

We will be giving away the book, Mastering the VC Game, to one lucky attendee. You must be in attendance in-person at this event to be entered into the raffle! Join us on Dec 20 and good luck!

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 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

December 20, 2022
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.


Damiano Angelo opt

Angelo Damiano

Head of Business Development, Stage TEN

Angelo (A.J.) Damiano is the Head of Business Development for Stage TEN, the industry leading live eCommerce platform powering live shopping experiences for the largest brands in the world – like Target, Walmart, Netflix, and Shopify. An entrepreneur at heart, Damiano was previously the co-founder, Chairman & CEO of Powerspike, Inc., a leading influencer marketing platform for gaming, esports, and live streaming until its acquisition in 2022 by Live Current Media, Inc. (OTCQB: LIVC).

Damiano serves on the advisory board of Pivan Entertainment, a startup using AI to enhance the production quality of thousands of Twitch Streamers. He advises various companies in the areas of digital media, entertainment, AI, and gaming / esports space, and is actively involved as a mentor for the Techstars program, from which he graduated in 2018. A proud alumnus of Syracuse University, Damiano is involved in mentoring students in the Blackstone Launchpad and Center for Digital Media.

Damiano is a Forbes 30 under 30, and received the award alongside his co-founders in the gaming category in 2021. A swiss army knife of a person, and passionate problem solver, Damiano has led sales teams to annualized revenues of $5MM+, product teams to over 70,000+ users, and customer success teams world class NPS. Damiano enjoys jumping into the critical stage between Seed and Series A, and helping businesses transform from reactionary startups into proactive scaleups.

Rosetti Linda

Linda Rossetti

Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLC; Managing Director, The Transition Institute, LLC

Linda Rossetti is a pioneering writer, researcher, and business leader who is committed to advancing our understanding of personal and professional transformation. She has worked at the intersection of growth and transformation throughout her professional career. As CEO of EMaven, Inc., a venture capital backed technology company, she led the digital transformation of some of the largest companies in the U.S. She then served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Administration at Fortune 500 Iron Mountain where she helped transform the business into a digital records management leader. She hosts the podcast, Destination Unknown, and wrote the Amazon top seller, Women & Transition: reinventing work and life. Learn more at

Brill Eddie

Eddie Brill

Standup comic, TV and movie performer, presenter at corporate events

Eddie Brill is a standup comic, TV and movie performer, and presenter at corporate events about workplace issues. He’s performed across the US and in many countries.

For 17 years, Brill worked on The Late Show with David Letterman where he served as the audience warm-up entertainer and for 11 of those years was the Stand Up Comedy Talent Coordinator.

Brill has taped more than 100 TV shows in six different countries including the “Dana Carvey Show,” “Madigan Men,” “This is Your Life” and early episodes of “Saved By The Bell.”

He’s a three-time MAC award winner for Outstanding Male Comic in NYC and has appeared in numerous films as an actor, including, “30 Years To Life” with Tracy Morgan and is the voice for animated series including Comedy Central’s “Dr Katz” and ABC’s “Science Court.”

Along with Norman Lear in 1978, he helped create one of the first college comedy writing departments in the country at Emerson College in Boston.

Brill has hosted, performed at, and helped raise money for benefits including The Roberto Clemente Foundation (for underprivileged children), The David Ortiz Children’s Fund, Sisters in Survival (women with Breast cancer). Juvenile Diabetes, The American Cancer Society, and with Reader’s Digest and St. Jude on Stand-Up for the Children.

Sholkin Lisa

Lisa Sholkin

VP of People, Teampay

Lisa Sholkin currently oversees the People function at Teampay, which includes HR, talent acquisition and office management. Prior to Teampay, She led People teams at Series B and Series C SaaS companies (Brandwatch, ALICE (now Actabl), and Radar Labs, Inc.), backed by organizations such as Expedia, Alpine Software Group, Accel and Insight Partners. She has helped lead companies in successful merger and acquisition scenarios and prides herself on being an empathetic and problem solving focused leader. Earlier in her career, Sholkin worked in college and experienced professional talent acquisition at McKinsey & Company, PwC and Uber.

Sholkin is a Boston, MA native, but has spent time working in both NYC and San Francisco. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in Political Science, and has an M.B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta with a focus on Marketing and Strategy. Sholkin served as a board member at Hunter College Hillel and also has served in leadership volunteer roles at UJA New York, Selfhelp and East Harlem Tutorial Program.

Moderator & Organizers

Sholkin Howard

Howard Sholkin

Sholkin Consulting

Howard Sholkin has several decades of marketing communication experience across industry sectors. From 2003-2014, Sholkin served in senior communications positions for International Data Group Founder Pat McGovern and the CEO of IDG Communications, a global technology media and events subsidiary. IDG brands include Computerworld, PCWorld, Macworld, and CIO.
Sholkin also held senior marketing and communication positions at other technology product and services companies such as Computervision; Technology Concepts, a subsidiary of Bell Atlantic; and Digital Equipment Corp./Compaq.
Following his corporate career, Sholkin is a consultant and serves on three non-profit boards including The Boston Enterpreneurs’ Network. .
From 2015-21, he was a part-time lecturer at Boston University and Lasell University in Newton. He taught courses in writing, mass media, PR, and internships.

Maureen Mansfield

Founder, ~ Protect Your Passion ~, Vice-Chair, Alliance Partners, Boston ENET

Maureen Mansfield is an entrepreneur and a business developer with a deep passion for all things innovative. She is the Founder of ~ Protect Your Passion ~ that is on a mission to educate entrepreneurs about protecting their passion when founding a company, scaling a startup, or licensing intellectual property, including patent protection. After sharing her story at ENET about cofounding a startup and raising a round, Maureen was asked to volunteer and currently serves as Vice-Chair, Alliance Partners with the IEEE Boston ENET.

With over 20 years of working with founders and business owners from small businesses to the c-suite of a F50s, Maureen brings sage wisdom from business development (marketing and sales), contracts, and building proprietary systems to automate data, which has helped many companies to enjoy their most profitable year to date, including a coveted award by a F50 that created a new profitable cost center nationwide saving over $1 million to its bottom line annually.

Maureen holds several degrees from the University of Iowa and Harvard University, with selective admission into each program. Never forgetting her roots and those who have helped along the way, Maureen knows the value of giving back and has volunteered through her colleges, communities, and church, and founded of two charities that continue today. After being offered a full-scholarship for music, Maureen continues to play the alto saxophone, thanks to her mother who bought the saxophones.

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