What is my market and how do I address it?

September 15, 2020

Speaker Slides

What Is My Market and How Do I Address it?

David Spellmeyer, Principal, Interlaken Associates

What Do You Do If There is Not a Market…Yet

Susan Hunt Stevens, Founder and CEO @WeSpire

Defining Your Market: 8 Principles for Startups

Russ Wilcox, general partner at Pillar VC

The one thing that virtually all businesses have in common is a product or service that individuals or organizations (corporations, NGOs, government entities) will buy. The prospective buyers for an entrepreneurial offering constitute the market. Ultimately the size of the market, in combination with the competition selling into the same market, will be critical factors in determining the success of a new, entrepreneurial venture. Late-night infomercials notwithstanding, slick marketing and sales skills are not enough.

On the path, the business success, an entrepreneur with a great idea, or a company founder in need of a new idea (or pivot), must understand who the prospective buyers are and how to gain their attention. When developing an innovative tech or biotech business concept, understanding and addressing the market can be challenging.

We have assembled a panel of innovation industry veterans who have been there and who will share their thoughts and experience to shine a light on these and more topics.


5:30 – 6:45 PM – Open networking (Online)

7:00 – 7:10 PM – ENET Chairperson’s announcements

7:15 – 7:25 PM – eMinute Pitch – Up to 2 Startup companies’ presentations

7:25 – 8:25 PM – expert panelists, discussing on the night’s topic

8:25 – 8:45 PM – Audience Q & A with the speakers

(all times are USA Eastern Daylight time)

A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion, and panelists will be available afterward for responses to individual questions.

Panel Members:

David Spellmeyer, Principal, Interlaken Associates

David is a biotechnology executive with over 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry. He heads Interlaken Associates, where he advises entrepreneurs in early-stage and venture-backed companies on scientific and technical matters and corporate strategy. He brings broad business and technical expertise from companies large and small. David has participated in over 20 non-dilutive strategic corporate partnerships, four mergers and acquisitions, several rounds of venture financing, and two joint ventures. David received his Ph.D. in theoretical organic chemistry from UCLA. He completed his post-doctoral training in pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF, where he remains an active Adjunct Associate Professor.


Susan Hunt Stevens, Founder and CEO @WeSpire ( www.wespire.com )

WeSpire is the employee engagement platform that helps forward-thinking global companies design, deliver and measure the benefits of positive impact programs like sustainability. Previously, Susan spent nine years at The New York Times Company, most recently as senior vice president, digital for Boston Globe Media, where she ran Boston.com, one of the largest news and information sites on the web. She has previous start-up experience as co-founder and president of venture-backed web business, Abridge Inc. Susan began her career as a management consultant. She also serves on the boards of the Center for Women & Enterprise and Xconomy.com. Ms. Stevens received her MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College; a BA from Wesleyan University; and a graduate certificate in sustainable design from the Boston Architectural College. Susan is proud to be a Fortune “great green idea” of 2012, on the short-list for the Global CleanTech 100, a Wired top start-up of Boston and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year.


Russ Wilcox is a general partner at Pillar VC

Previously a serial deeptech entrepreneur. He was co-founder and CEO of E Ink, makers of electronic paper, which he grew to $200 million in profitable revenue. Russ has closed numerous financings and strategic alliances. Since selling E Ink in 2010, he has focused on backing the next generation of local founders, primarily in areas where Boston is strong such as software, AI, hardware, synbio, Agtech, robotics, 3D, blockchain, fintech, and marketplaces.


Organizer and Moderator

Roger Frechette, Ph.D., Founder and Principal, NEPAssociates

My daily purpose is to exercise an innate drive to transform ideas and projects into life-changing commercial assets. In the life science business, this is the long game, requiring boundless energy and creativity, coupled with knowledge, experience, and patience.

In my consulting work, I leverage an extensive global network and insights derived from >20 years of experience in business development, calibrated with an extensive science background. My career has encompassed success as a business executive, project/alliance manager and entrepreneur, and also as a scientist, including leadership of discovery/preclinical development teams resulting in a new drug candidate – Paratek Pharmaceuticals NDA’s for NUZYRA and SEYSARA NDA’s were approved in 2018.


eMinute PITCH: Presentations will be given at the start of each meeting. These 90-second elevator-style presentations enable early-stage start-up entrepreneurs to gain experience in presenting a summary of their business plans to expert panels and audiences.

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