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Founder

Founder Track Startup Boston Week 2024
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Ready to connect with your peers in entrepreneurship? Grab your free ticket for Startup Boston Week 2024 on Sept 9th - 13th today! 

All sessions are available BOTH in-person at Suffolk University and virtually. 

BEANTOWN BRILLIANCE: THE STAGE OF INNOVATION 

Perfect for: all participants

As we navigate the landscape of startup innovation, Boston emerges as a beacon of creativity and collaboration, standing out for its dynamic ecosystem and vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. With a rich tapestry of academic excellence and robust venture capital networks, the city cultivates an environment ripe for groundbreaking ideas to thrive.

 

In this keynote, we’ll explore: 

  • What makes Boston unique in the startup world 

  • Where Massachusetts’ innovation economy is heading as we go into 2025 

  • What we, as a startup community, need to work on 

  • Notable trends and emerging technologies that are shaping our innovation scene

 

And so much more! 

WORKING (COST-EFFECTIVELY) WITH LAWYERS: TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS ON DEVELOPING A PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUTSIDE COUNSEL (Presented by Nelson Mullins)

Perfect for: individuals who would like to better understand when you need a lawyer during your startup journey 

A good lawyer can be a huge asset to a startup, but most first time founders have never worked with a lawyer and don’t know how to find the right one for their startup. At the same time, fear of running up large legal bills can cause founders to avoid seeking advice from their lawyer when it is most needed.

 

In this session, Benjamin Hron of Nelson Mullins will share tips from his experience helping hundreds of entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Topics will include:

  • Attorney-Client RelationshipUnderstanding the At

  • When you need a lawyer and how to find the right one

  • How to get the most benefit from your lawyer

  • Managing legal fees

GREAT IMPRESSIONS: MASTERING YOUR ATTORNEY CONSULTATION (Presented by Peak Corporate Counsel)

Perfect for: individuals considering legal representation, experienced entrepreneurs who want to be better prepared for their meeting with an attorney, and anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of attorney-client interactions

This session is designed to demystify the consultation process with an attorney. Whether you are seeking legal representation or simply curious about what to expect, this event will equip you with the knowledge to navigate your attorney interactions confidently and may help you avoid pitfalls in the future.

 

In this session, Peak Corporate Counsel will discuss: 

 

  • A series of realistic scenarios and conversations that typically occur during meetings with an attorney at various stages of the startup lifecycle.

  • The dynamics of these initial interactions and learn how to effectively communicate your needs and concerns.

  • The essential questions you should ask during your conversation with an attorney. 

  • The diverse personalities that can emerge during these interactions - and how to identify and adapt to different styles and temperaments.

A TALE OF TWO CONVERSATIONS: TECHNICAL FOUNDERS AND BUSINESS SAVVY FOUNDERS 

Perfect for: both founders with high technical talent but lack the business sense or operational expertise and founders with high business acumen but lack the technical abilities

Embarking on the journey of building a company often starts with a spark of inspiration or recognition of a problem needing solving. For many founders, the origin story is a tale of passion, perseverance, and navigating through obstacles to bring their vision to life.

 

During this session, we’re having two conversations: 

 

  1. One with a technical founder sharing their experience and learnings growing and building their startup

  2. One with a business savvy founder and what they learned along the journey of starting and scaling their company

 

Within this session, you will learn: 

 

  • How to overcome obstacles, based on your own skill set

  • How to approach problems where you may not necessarily be the subject matter expert 

  • When and how to bring in a cofounder 

  • Resources to lean upon when you needed to brush up on areas of building a business you were less familiar with 

GETTING PAST GO!: BRINGING YORU STARTUP OUT OF THE IDEA STAGE 

Perfect for: founders unfamiliar with the logistics and documentation to stand up a new company in New England

Embarking on the journey of starting a new business demands careful planning and strategic decision-making from the outset. Knowing where to turn and what steps to take can set the foundation for a successful venture and smooth transition into the operational phase.

 

Within this session, we’ll be diving how to go from “idea” to “startup reality,” specifically exploring: 

 

  • What should the first step be when you’re ready to go from daydreaming to building 

  • How long it typically takes to set-up a new business venture in new England 

  • What you should be doing while you wait for the documents to be approved

  • What the process looks like (high-level) in setting-up a company 

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: HOW TO PERFORM TRUE COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS REGULARLY 

Perfect for: founders and marketers at a late-stage startup that are looking to regularly analyze how they are doing at a global and national scale

Differentiation remains paramount in maintaining a competitive edge. When you first start out building your startup, you take a look at who your competitors are to ensure that what you’re providing offers a unique advantage in your industry. However, as your company grows, it can sometimes become difficult to maintain a true comprehensive view of the playing field.

 

In this session, we’ll take you through how to perform a regular competitive analysis - so you don’t lose sight of how your startup is doing. We’ll dive into: 

 

  • Ways to ensure your competitive analysis remains relevant and up-to-date 

  • How to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitions - and how this will inform your decision-making as your startup continues to scale 

  • Differentiation between short-term competitive threats and long-term strategic shifts 

EXPANDING YOUR FOOTPRINT: FRANCHISE MODELS ARE STARTUPS TOO 

Perfect for: folks with an entrepreneurial spirit interested in starting a franchise or folks who are interested in potentially becoming a franchisee of an existing brand

When considering the paths of a franchise owner versus a new venture founder, distinct roles and opportunities emerge within the entrepreneurial landscape. While both pursue business success, their approaches, support systems, and relationships within the industry differ significantly.

 

If you are interested in either starting your own franchise business or becoming a franchisee, this is for you. We’re diving into: 

 

  • How a franchise owner differs from a new venture founder

  • What a franchise owner can take advantage of that a new venture founder typically cannot

  • The typical initial steps for someone looking to own a franchise

  • How a franchise owner is supported by the larger umbrella corporation

WE'RE GOING GLOBAL: NAVIGATING CULTURE CHALLENGES

Perfect for: startups looking to expand globally and navigate different regulatory environments

Navigating the regulatory landscape when entering new markets can be daunting and requires a keen understanding of local laws and compliance intricacies. Building a robust global compliance strategy is paramount for startups to thrive amidst diverse regulatory frameworks. 

 

During this session, we’ll dive into: 

 

  • The key regulatory challenges when entering new markets

  • How to build a global compliance strategy

  • Best practices for managing regulatory risks

  • How startups can leverage regulatory differences as a competitive advantage.

LEVERAGING DEBT FINANCING: BEYOND EQUITY FOR GROWTH

Perfect for: CFOs and finance teams at startups aiming for high-growth and scalability

Debt financing can offer startups a strategic advantage by allowing them to maintain ownership control and avoid dilution of equity, making it a preferred option in certain scenarios. To navigate the complexities of debt financing effectively, startups must identify the most suitable debt instruments for their respective growth stages. 

 

We’re diving into: 

 

  • When debt financing is more advantageous than equity financing

  • The types of debt instruments that are most suitable for startups at different growth stages

  • How to prepare for debt financing

  • The challenges and risks associated with debt financing, and how can they be mitigated

SCALING BEYOND SERIES A: NAVIGATING GROWTH AND CHALLENGES

Perfect for: founders and C-level executives of startups that have recently secured Series A funding and are now facing the critical phase of scaling their operations, with a focus on those interested in refining and executing targeted growth strategies

Post-Series A funding marks a critical juncture for startups, demanding strategic decisions on scaling priorities to drive sustainable growth. Strategic focus, resource allocation, and addressing scaling challenges are pivotal considerations in this phase. We’ll dive into: 

 

  • In the aftermath of Series A funding, the specific areas of your startup you should consider scaling first - and why 

  • How to decide where to allocate your resources to maximize impact and growth post Series A 

  • Overcoming specific challenges of scaling your startup the success of your scaling efforts 

AI STARTUP TRANSFORMATION: EFFECTIVE SCALING AND PIVOTING TACTICS

Perfect for: AI startups that already have a product and are considering pivoting to sell different offerings, this event aims to provide actionable advice and strategies to help your company thrive

Join us for an insightful session focused on guiding late-stage AI-based startups through the critical phases of growth and adaptation necessary for success. We will explore effective scaling strategies, emphasizing the importance of a robust technology infrastructure, optimized operations, and expansive marketing and sales tactics tailored specifically for AI-based companies.

 

We'll be answering some key questions: 

  • What are the key indicators that an AI startup is ready to scale - or pivot? 

  • How can AI startups identify and understand their market needs effectively?

  • What are the essential components of a scalable AI product?

  • What are the common pitfalls AI startups face during scaling and pivoting, and how can they be avoided?

INNOVATION AT SCALE: KEEPING THE STARTUP SPIRIT ALIVE

Perfect for: leaders of scaling startups focusing on maintaining innovation

Fostering a culture of innovation is vital for driving growth and staying competitive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Leadership plays a crucial role in sustaining innovation by setting a vision, empowering employees, and fostering a supportive environment for experimentation and creativity, which is why we’re diving into: 

 

  • How to foster a culture of innovation into a growing startup 

  • The role leadership plays in sustaining innovation 

  • How to balance process and freedom to innovate

  • The systems that can be put in place to encourage and manage innovation

  • How to measure the ROI of innovation initiatives 

FOLLOW THE IPO ROAD: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CROSSOVER FUNDING

Perfect for: finance executives and founders of rapidly growing startups who are considering or preparing for an IPO and seeking to understand the benefits and implications of securing crossover funding

Crossover funding was developed to provide private companies more time and capital prior to IPO. But when and why should you pursue it? 

 

In this session, we’re going into the nitty gritty details later-stage companies will want to know (and early-stage founders may be interested in learning more about) including: 

 

  • The role of crossover funding and its role in the IPO journey

  • The strategic timing for seeking crossover investments and how to make your startup appealing to crossover investors 

  • Insights into the preparation required for a successful IPO, highlighting both operational and regulatory readiness 

  • The financial metrics and business milestones crucial for attracting crossover investors and succeeding in an IPO

  • How to assemble an IPO-ready management team 

INTO THE UNKNOWN: PLANNING YOUR STARTUP'S EXIT STRATEGY

Perfect for: founders and executives aiming for a successful exit (acquisition or IPO)

While it may seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse, it is important to start envisioning the exit you’d like for your startup long before the time comes. Exploring exit-strategies for startups help founders and executives avoid pitfalls and successfully position the startup in a place to maximize valuation and ensure a successful exit.

 

Which is why we’re tackling your questions, such as: 

 

  • What exit strategies are most favorable for late-stage startups?

  • What is the difference in preparing your startup for an IPO vs acquisition? 

  • What legal and financial preparations are critical for a smooth exit?

  • How can founders maximize valuation at exit?

  • What are common pitfalls in the exit process and how to avoid them?

KNOW THE HAND YOU'RE DEALT: THE INS AND OUTS OF THE TERM SHEET 

Perfect for: first time founders attempting to raise their first round of funding from institutional investors

A term sheet plays a pivotal role as a preliminary agreement outlining the terms and conditions of an investment; it serves as a roadmap for both investors and founders, establishing the framework for negotiations and eventual investment.

 

We’ll be diving into content crafted specifically to help you navigating the fundraising process, diving into: 

 

  • What you should typically see outlined in a term sheet and what you, as a founder, should look for as you review it 

  • How and what to negotiate 

  • When to bring an attorney into this process

  • Resources you can utilize during the creation and negotiation of a term sheet 

TIMING THE MARKET: UNDERSTANDING THE STARTUP VALUATION CYCLES

Perfect for: first-time founders raising their first round of funding or founders who are looking to learn more about the overall fundraising process

Navigating the intricacies of startup valuation can be daunting for founders, but understanding valuation cycles is essential for assessing potential investment opportunities and determining company worth. From macroeconomic influencers to industry-specific factors, various elements shape valuation expectations in the dynamic startup landscape.

 

In this session, we’ll be discussing: 

 

  • The nitty grittiness of valuation cycles 

  • The macroeconomic factors that affect valuation expectations

  • Company or industry specific factors that affect valuation expectations

  • How the funding landscape and valuations expectations shifted pre-pandemic, during the pandemic and post-pandemic

  • How to adjust your valuation expectations to align with achievable KPIs

 

And much more! While concerns about valuation bubbles persist, aligning valuation expectations with achievable KPIs remains paramount for founders, ensuring a solid foundation for sustainable growth and success in the competitive startup ecosystem.

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Startup Boston Week is where the whole startup community gathers - all industries, all startup departments and all bootstrapped and funding stages to gather.

Brandon Oliver - Startup Boston

Meet Brandon Oliver! Brandon is our Founder Track - Early Stage Lead for Startup Boston Week 2024. This is his fourth year on the Startup Boston Organizing Team.

 

Some fun facts about him: the next place on his travel bucket list is the Christmas markets in Budapest, Vienna and Prague in December. Look them up and connect with them on LinkedIn.

Rabeeh Majidi - Startup Boston

Meet Rabeeh Majidi! Rabeeh is our Founder Track - Late Stage Lead for Startup Boston Week 2024. This is her second year on the Startup Boston Organizing Team.

 

Some fun facts about her: the TV or movie character that they feel best describes her personality, Iron Man. Look them up and connect with them on LinkedIn.

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