Friday, February 1, 2008

Speaker Spotlight: Three Questions with Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, Founder, CEO, Boston-Power

Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, Founder, CEO, Boston-Power

Why did you select New England as the headquarters for your business?

As a U.S. resident since 1995, a Swede by birth with ties to Europe, and a businessperson with extensive experience in Asia, I feel like a world citizen. I hear Bostonians criticizing the business and entrepreneurial landscape here but I couldn’t disagree more. I could have chosen any city in the world for Boston-Power’s headquarters, but I chose Boston -- and made it part of our company’s name to boot! Certainly the area’s preponderance of highly educated scientists made it attractive to me. Our competitive advantage relies on some very sophisticated science, and Boston offers a deep pool of qualified scientists. Boston’s cultural tone was another factor. The city has a rich entrepreneurial history, but it also has a history of passion in other areas like politics and the arts – not to mention sports! We at Boston-Power are passionate entrepreneurs, but we’re also passionate about other causes such as environmental responsibility. Our mentality feels right at home in Boston. Finally, we love Boston’s geography. Our employees love working near a major, cosmopolitan city that offers accessible varied geographical experiences in every direction. This includes some pretty exciting skiing not far to the North – I am, after all, a Swede!

If you weren’t doing what you are, what would you be doing?

I love my work with Boston-Power in particular and in the field of chemistry in general. I find it tremendously gratifying and intellectually fulfilling. I think less in terms of specific careers than I think in terms of opportunities to pursue my passions. Boston-Power allows me to pursue my passion for the intellectual challenge of advanced chemistry, and offers me an opportunity to show that companies can be ethical and respectful – including respectful of our environment – and still wildly successful. So if I wasn’t the CEO of Boston-Power I could see myself in a variety of other roles that would allow me to pursue these passions, and my lifelong passion for performing music, or skiing, or pursuing causes of importance like environmentalism… Of course all of these are complementary to enjoying life, my family and my friends.

On behalf of your firm, which accomplishment to date makes you most proud?

Without a doubt, I most am proud of the team we have assembled at Boston-Power. They are a collection of highly intelligent, highly motivated professionals who share a deep, passionate commitment to changing the world. It may sound clich├ęd, but it’s true. We all truly believe that we are building a new kind of company that can introduce a new way of providing the power that is so critical to so many facets of life around the world. Every day I come to work I feel proud to be pursuing this ambitious goal with such a talented, like-minded group.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Speaker Spotlight: Three Questions with Martin Young, Vice President, Corporate Development, Phase Forward

Martin Young, Vice President, Corporate Development, Phase Forward

What are some of the most exciting developments or trends in the life sciences sector?

The pharmaceutical industry has not yet widely adopted technological innovation to assist in its clinical development activities, and specifically the running of clinical trials. Many of these trials are still paper-based. The opportunity to help these companies adopt a technology that dramatically optimizes the way they do business is very exciting. And of course because we’re talking about the pharmaceutical industry, we’re not just talking about increasing business efficiency – we’re talking about getting safe, effective drugs to the patients who need them as expeditiously but responsibly as possible. It’s exciting being part of a company that is leading this change.

What changes do you believe would draw more businesses to New England?

As one who has spent a number of years living in the Bahamas, bringing that climate to New England should help! Kidding aside, New England already offers a deep, rich pool of highly skilled professionals. But we can always be doing more to increase that pool. The larger the pool of talent, the more businesses will choose to settle here to take advantage of that talent. So anything that helps make the region attractive to skilled professionals and entrepreneurs will help. This could include trying to achieve a more reasonable cost of living and business-friendly tax laws. Certainly too events like “Power, Drugs and Money” play an important role in highlighting the attractiveness of our region to entrepreneurs, and enticing them to locate their businesses here.

In what way is your company reflective of the larger New England economy?

Phase Forward represents the coming together of two markets in which New England has established itself as highly successful: enterprise software and biopharma. Thanks to companies like Lotus – where Phase Forward’s CEO Bob Weiler was a senior executive – New England is known as a hotbed of enterprise software innovation. On the biopharma side, individual companies like Genzyme, Millenium and Biogen Idec, and the region’s healthcare services generally have created a strong biopharma sector. By providing innovative enterprise software to help life sciences companies bring products to market more quickly, Phase Forward embodies the best of both of these New England industry success stories.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Speaker Spotlight: Three Questions with Mark Bonchek, CEO, SoundBoard Media

Today, we kick off a series of blog posts with individuals who will be speaking at "Power, Drugs and Money." We asked speakers to pick three questions from our list. We hope you'll find the results to be informative.

Mark Bonchek, CEO, SoundBoard Media

What is the single most important piece of professional advice you've received?

The best piece of professional advice I ever received was from my father. He led a successful heart surgery practice for many years, and he always said the secret to getting things done was following Harry Truman's observation, "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit." Surgeons, after all, are not known for their small egos. Many times in my own career I've had to choose between taking the credit and achieving a bigger goal, and I've come to learn the wisdom of my father's words. The accomplishment is ultimately more rewarding than the credit.

Why did you select New England as the headquarters for your business?

Our business is about creatively capturing, packaging and distributing business insight around the world. There is no more educated or intellectually curious region in the world than New England. The educational systems and resources in New England are unmatched anywhere. New Englanders value substance over surface and distinguish the real from the superficial. For a company like ours built on ideas with impact and trustful relationships, there is no better place to base our operations than New England.

What are your plans for going global?

We recently formed SoundBoard Media from the merger of Truman Company, a U.S.-based business that served global companies, and Fifty Lessons, a U.K-based company with a small presence in the U.S. as well as clients and partners in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The merger therefore gave us a global footprint and a more international perspective. The integration has been helped considerably by the move of Fifty Lessons' headquarters to Boston. Our next steps in going global are to expand our distribution network in emerging markets, particularly China and India. Managers and executives in these countries have a keen interest in insight about leadership, management and talent and we are well placed to respond.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mass High Tech: Join the Innovation Conversation

In this week’s issue of Mass High Tech, I’ve devoted my monthly column to the thinking behind “Power, Drugs and Money,” which will explore innovation in clean energy technology, life sciences and financial services. Some excerpts:

The selection of those three industries is conscious, and critical: They represent the past, present and future greatness of New England innovation. We have arguably been a world-class financial market for decades. More recently, we have evolved into a leading center of life sciences and biotechnology research and development. And the future bodes well for New England to have a substantial role in clean energy and environmental technologies.

But the conversation is not only about innovation in these three industries, but across them as well: New structures to finance energy projects. The changing face and economics of global clinical trials. Monetizing the carbon value chain. Biotechnology's impact on future fuel sources. Microentrepreneurship and new global lending models. Finding new ways to pay for health care delivery. The list goes on...

The vision is to create an environment for our community to gather, to have the conversation en masse and to work together to make 2008 the year when talk turns to action -- action focused on moving New England toward global greatness.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dr. John Kao, Innovation Nation Author, to Kick Off Summit

Just prior to the holidays, we issued our first press release on Dr. John Kao’s selection as the opening keynote speaker for “Power, Drugs and Money.” Dr. Kao, a leading authority on innovation, organizational transformation and digital media, will kick off the event with a presentation on the challenges America faces in recapturing its innovation edge. He is the author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation: How America is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why it Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back.

Dr. Kao commented for the release: “I’ve taught entrepreneurship and innovation in Cambridge for more than a decade, and look forward to sharing my insights on how we can jump-start innovation in the nation and region. New England has long been a hotbed of innovation, and this conference will serve as a springboard for constructive discussions about capitalizing on the creativity here.”

We’re really excited to have Dr. Kao join us. And as an added incentive for you to sign up early, the first 200 conference attendees will get a free copy of Innovation Nation when they check in at the conference! So get registered here.

See you there.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Power, Drugs & Money – The Beginnings

Power, Drugs & Money. An edgy title for a serious conference exploring New England’s role in the global landscape. How can the world-class innovation happening locally in the areas of clean energy technology, life sciences and financial services make a difference globally? The vision for Power Drugs & Money is to create an event that could be a centerpiece for exploring this question.

The notion for this Conference “officially” started at last year’s Web 2.0 Event (Brave New Web) when Trish Fleming asked if I would host the Conference in 2008. At that time, I had just started writing my column for Mass High Tech on “The State of New England” and was regularly engaged in conversations on the need for the New England Tech Community to rally together to progress and compete in the national and global landscape. It was (and still is) on everyone’s mind with a common theme being the need to rally the New England Community of inventors, entrepreneurs and financiers to forward our place in the global competitive landscape.

We wanted to create a forum where this Community can come together to discuss these issues, learn from one another and set the stage for a future agenda and an ambitious agenda to move New England forward in a meaningful way. To facilitate this, we have been fortunate to rally a great core Conference Planning Team for both the content and the supporting functional aspects of the event and it’s appropriate for me to highlight them here as a small token of my appreciation.

Program Manager
Trish Fleming – MIT Enterprise Forum

Committee Chairman
Jim Matheson - Flagship Ventures

Creative / Media / Operations
Barb Heffner – CHEN PR
Corie Fogg – 451 Marketing
Jim Turner – Affinity Events (event planning)
Rob Butler – MIT Enterprise Forum marketing

Energy Content Team
Peter Rothstein – Flagship Ventures
Tom O’Donnell – TIAX

Healthcare Content Team
Bob Creeden – Partners Healthcare
Anupendra Sharma – Siemens

Financial Services Content Team
Marcel Quiroga – Merrill Lynch

This Team is working hard to bring you all a world-class event so please mark your calendars for February 7th, 2008.

Seize this opportunity. Take action. Change the world.

Join us at the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Innovation Summit 2008.