Mentors for Startups

January 16, 2018

Speaker Slides

Innovation Services

Anna Christo

NSIV Mentoring

Trish Fleming

Mentoring For Startups

Leila Pirhaji

Mentorship At Mass Challenge

Artur Sousa

Launching a successful start-up involves little more than an eager entrepreneur with a great idea…  …and a way to transform that idea into a commercially viable offering, extensive of knowledge about corporate and intellectual property law, product development, commercial real estate, marketing, human resources, pipeline and supply chain management, corporate finance, business strategy, sales and business development, business/commercial financing, etc. etc. etc… 

The good news for eager entrepreneurs, at least the ones with an open mind who are willing to accept advice, is that experienced willing mentors can be found to help catalyze a successful business from that great idea. Mentors are entrepreneurs and executives who have “been there and done that” and are willing to help new startups to succeed. They can be informal contacts or part of an organized entrepreneur support organization. Join us to hear the benefits of mentors and mentoring from the leaders of three of the most effective mentoring organizations in the Greater Boston Area…and a really amazing entrepreneur. 


Anna Christo – MassBio, Director of Innovation Services 

Anna Christo serves as Director of MassBio’s Innovation Services, a suite of programs designed to promote commercialization of innovative technology and create opportunities for a face-to-face interaction around entrepreneurship, capital access and partnering.  Anna’s responsibilities include management of the MassCONNECT entrepreneur mentoring program and oversight of other Innovation Services programs including the BioEntrepreneur Bootcamp, Pharma Days. Prior to joining MassBio, Anna spent five years at ClearView Healthcare Partners, a life science strategy consulting firm in Newton, MA, where she developed an internal KOL and payer network and oversaw all primary research activities. Anna holds a B.A. in Biology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA. She is passionate about facilitating connections between stakeholders across the life sciences to promote innovation and ultimately improve the lives of patients.

Trish Fleming – North Shore InnoVentures, Director of Mentoring 

Trish Fleming ensures that entrepreneurs receive quality resources that help drive company development and entrepreneurial learning. She was previously the Mentor Program Manager for Entrepreneurship for All in Lowell, MA and the Executive Director of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. Her 25 years of experience in non-profit management and administration encompass educational, government, and social service organizations in the greater Boston area, and has included fund-raising, sponsorship sales, program development and management, marketing, events planning, volunteer management, strategy, and general administration. She was a mentor for the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, BU Kindle Program, and Building Global Enterprises. She was named a 2008 All-Star by Mass High Tech and served as the co-chair of Mass High Tech’s and BBJ’s Women to Watch Advisory Committee.  

Leila Pirhaji – ReviveMed, Founder and CEO 

Founder and CEO at ReviveMed, experienced engineer and entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT. 

During her PhD at MIT, Leila developed a pioneering machine-learning technology, which translates data from small molecules or metabolites into therapeutic solutions and was published in Nature Methods. Leila founded ReviveMed Startup Company to commercializes this technology, and enable developing the right therapeutics for the right patients by leveraging machine-learning and metabolomics.  

Artur Sousa – MassChallenge, Mentorship Manager 

At MassChallenge, “the most startup friendly accelerator on the planet”, Artur connects startups with relevant mentors, manages the on boarding of new mentors and tends to optimization of the overall mentoring process. He is also a social entrepreneur, founder of several ventures throughout the years. His mission is to support entrepreneurs and develop ventures that create a positive impact around the world. 

United Nations Award Winner & Member of the Royal Academy of Arts & Music in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Artur has been part of human rights initiatives, leprosy eradication, theater professor, public speaker and many other adventures that became his reference for community impact and entrepreneurship as a viable path to break the poverty cycle. 

Artur has lived/worked in places like Japan, Sweden, Brazil and the United States, the latter being where he decided to call it home. 


Roger Frechette – NEPAssociates, Principal and Founder 

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 MaxTherahe 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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