Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Nantucket Entrepreneurial Success Story

Philip Beauregard, CEO of Objective Logistics, came to the Nantucket Conference for the first time in 2011. His company was founded in New Bedford, but now also has a Boston office. Objective Logistics sells a SaaS product that helps restaurants and retail businesses get better performance from their workforce; last November, the company raised $1.5 million from Atlas Venture, Google Ventures, NextView Ventures, and Canary Ventures.

We asked Phil how attending Nantucket helped build his company's momentum. Here's what he said...

- Objective Logistics can be viewed as a bit of a Nantucket "Cinderella" story I suppose. We were heads down in the Southcoast of Massachusetts, not really paying attention to any startup 'ecosystem' for a good two years while we built our product. We saw everything else as a distraction. 

- After being courted by VCs and 'shareholders' alike for some time, we still deferred going to any events, dinners, etc. 

- That was until we saw the speaker and participant lineup for the Nantucket Conference. We were blown away. We literally couldn't justify not going. 

- So we went. 

- I've never been to an event where I met so many people with which I have carried on a relationship, before or since. The signal-to-noise ratio was and still is the best I've ever seen, by leaps and bounds really. 

- It was all quality investors, thought leaders, and brethren entrepreneurs. If events could have a 'Klout score,' Nantucket would be 100. 

- The event was the best I've ever been to. 

- We went, introduced ourselves in a bit of a debutante way (our first exposure to what are now lasting relationships), and ended up moving to Boston in November after we closed our seed round with Google and Atlas. I met Seth Priebatsch from SCVNGR at the event, he introduced me to Rich Miner of Google Ventures, and the rest was history. 

- I got to know Fred Destin from Atlas Ventures at the event as well, which no doubt moved along our admiration of the guys over there (at Atlas). 

- Two of our strategic investors, Jeremy Hitchcock and Alex Goldberg of Canary Ventures, were both guys I met at the same dinner on Saturday night. 

- If you get invited to Nantucket, and you don't go, for shame.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Win a seat aboard the 2012 ACK Express, courtesy of Sentient Jet

Want a lift to this June's Nantucket Conference in a private jet? We want to put you on board the ACK Express, from Hanscom Field in Bedford to Nantucket, brought to you by Sentient Jet. You'll arrive in time for the opening sessions on Thursday afternoon, June 7th, and come back on Saturday, June 9th, after the closing lunch. (Of course, that's the aim; we can't be responsible for unforeseen delays, or detours to re-stock the plane with Grey Poupon.)

How do you get a seat? Just register to attend the conference by midnight on Monday, May 7th. Then, we'll select one lucky conference participant for free transportation. (If the first person chosen doesn't want the transportation, or doesn't need a roundtrip, we'll choose another winner.) Sentient Jet, one of our 2012 Nantucket Conference sponsors, is filling the other seats on the plane with more lucky Nantucket Conference participants and speakers.

If you haven't yet received your invite to Nantucket, you can request one here. (The conference is geared to founders, investors, and senior tech industry executives, and space is limited due to the small venues on Nantucket.)

Eligibility: To be eligible to win, you must be a fully-paid Nantucket Conference registrant by midnight on Monday, May 7th. Drawing will take place by May 8th, and the winner notified by May 9th. Not open to conference advisors or employees of Future Forward events. Winner must be able to use both legs of the trip: BED to ACK on June 7th, and ACK to BED on June 9th.

For this year's Convergence Forum: One free pass for a life sciences leader under 30

Every year, we make a few passes to the Convergence Forum available to promising young entrepreneurs, typically chosen by one of the conference's advisors. This year, however, we're opening up the process to anyone who'd like to apply for a complimentary pass to the event — as long are you are starting or running a life sciences venture, or conducting research that could lead to a startup. One other condition: you must be under the age of 30 as of May 17, 2012, when the conference begins.

The Convergence Forum brings together a small group of life sciences entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers each May to discuss ways that various industries and fields are converging. The event is entirely PowerPoint-free, and designed to help foster thoughtful conversations and forge valuable new connections. This year's conversation leaders will include Mark Levin of Third Rock Ventures, Steve Holtzman of Biogen Idec, Reid Leonard of Merck's new Research Venture Fund, and David Meeker of Genzyme. You can listen to some of the sessions from last year's gathering here, or view the slide show below to get a sense of the flavor of the Convergence Forum.

(If you are over 30, you can always request an invite to the event here... but this comp'ed pass is exclusively for someone in the under 30 set.)

To apply for the pass, just send us an e-mail with your name, a sentence or two describing your current venture, and a bit about how you think you might benefit from being part of the 2012 conference. Your e-mail must be received by noon on Wednesday, April 18th. At the event, you'll get a chance to introduce yourself and your startup to the audience, and to get feedback and input from other participants throughout the 2.5 days.

You'll hear back from us by April 27th if you've won the pass. As a note, these free passes cover conference participation, freebies, and meals, but not travel to Chatham or lodging.

Good luck!

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And then there was one (sponsorship spot)

Great support from a stellar group of sponsors for the 13th edition of the Nantucket Conference this year. We have just one spot left but it's a really good one - includes the opportunity to present a client case study to our Nantucketeers.

Details on the Under 30 entrepreneurs program for Nantucket 2012

Each year, we make a handful of passes available to young entrepreneurs who want to participate in the Nantucket Conference (June 7-9, 2012). This year, these passes are being underwritten by the generous folks at Microsoft, Alex Goldberg of Canary Ventures, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire, Atlas Venture, Founder Collective, Longworth Venture Partners, and Matrix Partners. Our gratitude also goes to Scott Savitz, who helped immensely with this year's program, and Brad Feld, who suggested the Under 30 idea in the first place.

If you are an entrepreneur who hasn't yet turned 30, send us an e-mail with your name, a sentence or two describing your current venture, and a bit about how you think you might benefit from being part of the 2012 conference. At the event, you'll get a chance to introduce yourself and your start-up to the audience, and to get feedback and input from other participants throughout the 2.5 days.

You must apply by Thursday, April 19th by midnight. You'll hear back from us in April or May if we can hook you up. As a note, these free passes cover conference participation, freebies, and meals, but not travel to Nantucket or lodging on the island.

If you are someone who would like to underwrite a pass so that an Under 30 entrepreneur may attend, please get in touch. Underwriters may choose the entrepreneur they'd like to sponsor from the list of applicants, or they can ask the conference organizers to choose.

Here's the list of the eight entrepreneurs who participated in the Under 30 program last year, and all of the underwriters.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First wave of speakers announced for Convergence Forum Chatham, 2012

We're excited to reveal some of the speakers who'll be joining us this May for the Convergence Forum in Chatham, Mass. They are:

· Julian Adams, PhD, President of Research & Development, Infinity Pharmaceuticals
· John Brooks III, CEO, Joslin Diabetes Center
· Michelle Dipp, MD, PhD, CEO, OvaScience; Partner, Longwood Fund
· Leonard Guarente, PhD, Novartis Professor of Biology, MIT
· Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, PhD, SVP BioTherapeutics Research & Development, Pfizer
· Steven Holtzman, EVP of Corporate Development, Biogen Idec
· Sridhar Iyengar, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, AgaMatrix
· Reid Leonard, PhD, Managing Director, Merck Research Venture Fund
· Mark Levin, Partner, Third Rock Ventures
· Anmol Madan, PhD, Founder, Ginger.io
· David Meeker, CEO, Genzyme
· David Schafran, CEO, EyeNetra
· Philip Vickers, PhD, SVP of Research & Development, Shire Human Genetic Therapies

We hope you'll be there, too, for this ninth annual gathering of life sciences leaders.