Thanks for coming to Drive 2018!


November 8, 2018


Conference for Startups

In case you missed it…

Watch our announcement video to learn a little bit about what the day was all about:


Diane Hessan knows a lot about building great companies. She was the founder and CEO of C Space, and continues to serve as their Chairman, and she served as the CEO of Startup Institute. She wrote Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage, and has received many honors for her leadership and entrepreneurial talents. She shared her insights on the essential parts that keep successful startups running.
Jules Pieri, Founder and CEO of The Grommet, and Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast, spoke to Mike Jabbaway of Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton and Johnnie Walker of TempCFO about what it takes to run a startup and when you need to call in the experts. Amy Choi, Chief Growth Officer at T3 Advisors, moderated the discussion.  
Scott Kirsner, who covers the city’s innovation economy for The Boston Globe, moderated a discussion about funding options for startups, followed by small group Q&A with each of the panelists – Payal Divakaran from .406 Ventures, Lily Lyman from Underscore.VC, David Chang from Harvard Business School, Bob Nelson from the US Small Business Administration and Erik Noyes from Babson College.  
Startup founders know that recruiting the right talent and creating a great culture are essential for building strong companies. Nettie Nitzberg, who runs learning and development for Toast, moderated a panel of executives and HR leaders, including Debbie Millin (COO of Globalization Partners), Julia Sigel (Head of People at LovePop), Thad Eby (CEO and Founder of Ombud), and Jarrett Mackin (Recruiting Manager at CarGurus), who shared war stories and best practices to get you on the right route.
Did you ever wish there was a how to manual for building a great startup? Well good news, Will Herman and Rajat Bhargava have written just that. Their book, The Startup Playbook – Founder to Founder Advice from Two Startup Veterans, is a go-to guide for first time entrepreneurs. Will shared lessons from the book and his experiences as a 5-time founder, including, as he says, “some successes, but a couple of miserable failures.”

Explore Tweets from the day:


Shoobx Presents: Breakout Sessions
In addition to our panel discussions, we hosted three interactive breakout sessions throughout the day. 

Fundraising: Past, Present, & Future

Jason Furtado, Shoobx Founder & CEO and Matt Rowe, Shoobx General Counsel

Founder Fails

Kathy Nolan, Shoobx Client Services Manager and Corporate Attorney

Founder Finishing School

Lynne Zagami, Shoobx Head of Customer Success

Speakers and Panelists

David Chang

David Chang is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School, Director of the Summer Venture Program at Babson College and Executive Chairman at Feelter.

Amy Choi

Amy Choi is Chief Growth Officer at T3 Advisors, where she focuses on driving long-term growth for the organization and supporting the team through strategy, innovation, and business development. She previously spent ten years with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), leading their Early Stage Practice.

Chris Comparato

Chris Comparato is the CEO of Toast. He was previously SVP of Customer Success at Acquia and ran customer success at Endeca, which was acquired by Oracle. He has led Toast through two rounds of growth funding and has overseen its expansion to over 900 employees.

Payal Divakaran

Payal is a Principal at .406 Ventures, which invests in B2B tech companies in the early stage. They have raised more than $650M for their funds since launching over a decade ago, and most of their investments have been made in New England based companies.

Thad Eby

Thad Eby is the founder and CEO of Ombud, an Intelligent Curation Platform that empowers collaborative decision making. He is an advocate of the Colorado startup community and is focused on building a sustainable enterprise business while fostering an ecosystem of entrepreneurs.

Will Herman

Will Herman is an active angel investor, corporate director, author and startup mentor. He has started 5 companies and co-authored The Startup Playbook with Rajat Bhargava based on his experiences as a startup founder.

Diane Hessan

Diane Hessan previously served as the CEO of C Space and Startup Institute. She is currently conducting political research on American voters and serves on the boards of several public and private companies.

Michael Jabbawy

Michael Jabbawy is a partner at Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, where he advises emerging companies through each stage of growth, including corporate governance, employment matters, equity and debt fundraising, and mergers and acquisitions.

Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner writes a weekly column on the Boston innovation economy for The Boston Globe, and is the founder of Innovation Leader, an information service for CIOs. He is also the co-founder of the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Lily Lyman

Lily Lyman is an investor at Underscore VC. Lily helps drive Underscore’s Trusted Cloud Intelligence thesis, with a specific focus on top of stack SaaS apps, AI/ML, Digital Transformation, and Security. She also drives the firm’s work with academic institutions, which includes managing _U First, a program for first-time founders.

Jarrett Mackin

Jarrett Mackin is Recruiting Manager at CarGurus where he oversees the company’s recruiting efforts in sales, marketing, business development, customer success, finance and HR. CarGurus has been named a “Best Place to Work” by The Boston Globe and Boston Business Journal.

Debbie Millin

Debbie Millin is the Chief Operating Officer at Globalization Partners, and a contributing writer to focusing on scaling rapid growth companies and global expansion. She helped Globalization Partners become the #6 fastest growing company in America on the Inc. 5000 list in 2016.

Sheila Narayan

Sheila Narayan is a Managing Director and the Leadership Chair for Golden Seeds Boston Chapter. Sheila leads deal flow, membership, education, and operations. She previously served as the EVP of Operations for Online Resources.

Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson is District Director of the SBA for the State of Massachusetts, where he promotes SBA programs to ensure the effective delivery of services, including Startup America, a program for high growth, high tech and high impact businesses.

Nettie Nitzberg

Nettie Nitzberg is building the Learning and Development function at Toast, from the ground up. Before joining Toast in April, Nettie spent over 20 years as a learning and organization development consultant, working with global companies building HR, culture and learning in initiatives to engage, grow and retain talent.

Erik Noyes

Erik Noyes is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College, where he teaches a class on Crowdfunding. He is an expert on the process of creating successful campaigns on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other platforms.

Jules Pieri

Jules Pieri is the founder and CEO of The Grommet, which earned her accolades from Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs and Fortune. She has been an industrial designer for computer and telecom equipment companies, and has run several consumer products companies.

Julia Sigel

Julia Sigel is Head of People at Lovepop, where she is responsible for recruiting and HR matters. She was previously Director of Operations and a Regional Director for General Assembly in New York.

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker is a CFO and the Head of the New York Office with TempCFO, which provides fully outsourced accounting solutions to startup, emerging high-growth and established companies. He provides strategic CFO advisory services to technology ventures and other businesses.

Shoobx Drive 2018 Sponsors

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