Seed and Angel Financing in Tech Companies

November 5, 2019

Speaker Slides

Angel Group Investing in Boston

Ben Littauer, Angel Investor; Member, Walnut Ventures; Advisory Board, The Capital Network

Seed and Angel Financing

Amanda Drobnis, Co-Founder and CEO, Hilltop BioSciences

EQx Fund – Angel Fund Focused on the Leadership Teams It Invests In

Jason Kraus, Venture Capital Advisor; Startup Consultant; Entrepreneur

Discover how Angel and Seed investors approach making a good investment. Go behind the scenes to discover the process our panelist-investors use to choose and to invest in emerging and seed-stage companies.  Whether you are planning to launch a company, or you are planning the next level, a Seed or Angel investor could be your funding source. Maybe you’re not even sure what angel investment is.

This panel will focus on angel and seed investments in New England technology-based companies, and on how to obtain initial angel or seed-stage investment in your company. The panelists will offer candid views and discussion on how to prepare a company for raising angel capital or seed-stage investment, the raise itself, and how to work with angel groups or seed investors after getting the investment.

Agenda:

6:30-7:30 PM – Registration & networking

7:30-7:40 PM – ENET Chairperson’s announcements

7:40-7:55 PM – eMinute – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations

7:55-8:45 PM – 3 expert speakers on the night’s topic

8:45-9:00 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A

9:00-9:30 PM – Final networking includes meeting presenting speakers

A question and answer session follow the presentation, and panelists will be available afterwards for responses to individual questions. As with every ENET meeting you will also get the chance to network with the panelists and other meeting attendees, both before the start of the meeting and afterwards.

Speakers:

Amanda Drobnis, Co-Founder and CEO, Hilltop BioSciences

Amanda Drobnis is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hilltop BioSciences, a veterinary biotech company helping animals heal through innovative regenerative therapies.  Amanda has spent many years looking for ways to combine her passion for animals (especially horses) with business. First working for a non-profit planning large conferences and events and then in marketing for a large pet retail company.  She then moved on to sales and marketing for several medical and veterinary companies. Before founding Hilltop Bio, Amanda co-founded and managed a New England based medical regenerative therapy distribution company that continues to thrive and grow today.  When not at Hilltop Bio’s lab Amanda can be found riding her favorite horse, Addie, or lost in a great book!

Ben Littauer, Angel Investor; Member, Walnut Ventures; Advisory Board, The Capital Network

Ben is an angel investor with expertise in Internet and communications technologies, healthcare IT, as well as the Boston funding ecosystem. Currently an active member of Walnut Venture Associates and Boston Harbor Angels with over 40 investments in a wide variety of startups, he sits on the boards of several portfolio companies. He is a mentor for Mass Challenge and The Capital Network, and is on the advisory board at TCN. Mr. Littauer is a judge for Mass Challenge, CRDF Global, and various academic competitions.

Mr. Littauer was Technology Strategist for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he defined the architecture for PatientSite, allowing patients to communicate securely with their healthcare team and view their own medical records. He was a consultant to the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium on healthcare data security projects.

Mr. Littauer was co-founder, President, and CTO of Baranof Software, the leading vendor of service-level management software for messaging and Internet applications. Baranof was sold to Tally Systems in 1997.

He has worked for Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Lotus, and BBN. Mr. Littauer was also an analyst with Ferris Research and Baroudi Bloor International. 

Jason Kraus, Venture Capital Advisor; Startup Consultant; Entrepreneur

Jason has an extensive background on both the venture capital side and as an entrepreneur. He was an associate for the venture arm of a private family office, reviewing hundreds of pitch deck presentations to filter companies for the investment team. Additionally, he served as a screening committee member for the Boston Harbor Angels and now partners with the CEO of the Boston Harbor Angels group, Ziad Moukheiber, on the EQx Fund. As an entrepreneur, Jason started his own startup consulting firm, Prepare 4 VC, to bring the investor’s perspective to startups and help them get funded. Prepare 4 VC helps entrepreneurs create business plans, financial projections, slide deck presentations and investor pitches to get the funding they need to bring their company to the next level. He has also co-founded several companies in the FinTech space focused on helping connect startups with crowdfunding and crypto investors.

Jason holds a MSc in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College and a BA in Economics and Math from Colgate University. He is active in the startup community hosting events as Chapter Director for StartupGrind sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs, with 7000 members in Boston and 1,000,000 members across 400 chapters worldwide.

Moderator:

Dan Skiba, President & CEO GOT Interface; ViceChair, Boston ENET

As a Product Development Company Executive, I provide strategic leadership in product innovation and managing global teams, delivering award-winning products to the international market.  My ability to problem solve, direct the entire product development lifecycle and gain commitment to a common goal have driven faster release of products and market penetration.  By building synergies across all Product Life Cycle disciplines, we have delivered products that result in 100% product utilization and seamless integration into customer environments. My skills in optimizing international resources have significantly reduced costs and streamlined production, delivering product excellence.

Co-Organizers:

Michael S. Chester, President, International Manufacturing Consultants, and Past Chairman, Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) 

Mike has co-founded high tech, clean tech, and medical device startups in both the US and China, and he has obtained non-dilutive funding from the Chinese government. He now advises startups in clean tech, biotech, and manufacturing. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Mike spent 16 years with IBM designing robots and automation, marketing and selling IBM products to manufacturing companies, setting up global operations and supply chains, and founding an IBM consulting organization for manufacturing clients that he grew into a $20M business. He lived in China from 1986-1987 while consulting to companies owned by the Machine Building Ministry and teaching graduate courses at Hunan University. 

Mike earned his BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University and his MBA from Union College. He is a past Chair of The IEEE Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, has served on the board of APICS Boston, and was a member of the planning committee of the MIT Enterprise Forum for over 10 years. Mike is a frequent speaker at conferences on Global Entrepreneurship, Supply Chains, Manufacturing, and China business.  He is judge and mentor to companies competing in the Mass Challenge, Clean Tech Open, and other business plan competitions. Mike and his sons have competed on the TV show Robot Wars with their robotic rabbit, “Bunny Attack.” 

Kristin King, MBA. Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy, Defibtech, LLC

Kristin is an accomplished MedTech executive, serial intrapreneur, investor and strategic advisor to startups developing biotech solutions.  With a distinguished career addressing commercial strategy over 20 years spanning technical, marketing, and business development disciplines, she offers multi-discipline expertise and repeated track record for high impact Medical Device development transforming technologies from early concept to successful global divisions at leading Medical Device companies and startups.

Kristin is recognized for her strategic development, business acumen, and her ability to build and lead talented teams to commercialize products that change patients’ lives.  Starting her career designing stents, a patent inventor for Johnson & Johnson’s drug eluting stent and progressing through marketing and global commercial leadership roles, she has contributed to some of the world’s most meaningful programs at top healthcare firms including Ansell Healthcare, Becton Dickinson, Johnson & Johnson Cordis, Abbott Vascular, and Pfizer.  Her category expertise includes advanced wound care, infection prevention, diabetes care, interventional cardiology/ radiology, and other surgical specialties in hospital, alternate site and consumer retail segments.   

In 2017, after founding Ansell Healthcare’s advanced therapeutic segment, Kristin focused her career on the Boston startup community progressing MIT spin off Rogers Sciences to clinical trials, FDA submission as well as proud member of Boston Harbor Angels.  Kristin holds a B.S. in bioengineering from Syracuse University, MBA in Finance & Marketing from NYU Stern. Outside of the office she is an avid scuba diver and volunteer for environmental organizations Beneath the Sea and Boston Sea Rovers.

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