eTeams III @MIT2014 is a “contact-sport”-designed curriculum for international startup companies to be exposed to, make lasting links within, and gain practical entrepreneurial skills useful for the startup culture of the MIT/Kendall Square ecosystem.

Teams are expected to arrive with a US-style investor presentation, a 60 second elevator pitch, and enthusiasm for entering the US market.

The curriculum consists of intensive integrated Learning and Doing over 2 weeks:

eTeams graphic
  • Learning
    • Financing your venture
    • Sales and Marketing best-practices
    • Growing your team
    • Entrepreneurial resilience, including pivots
  • Doing
    • Networking within MIT/Kendall Square entrepreneurial ecosystem
    • Pitching Angels and Venture Capitalists
    • Meetings with potential customers and partners

*Draft Curriculum, schedule subject to change.


Monday, May 5th

Introductions and Orientation; Pitches and Group Dinner

9:00am – José Estabil  Welcome

9:30am – 11:15am

Jose Estabil, Luis Barros - Tech Etiquette and the Unwritten Rules of the Tech Ecoystem : How do I plan for a good pitch? How do I make a good impression? How do I know I had a good meeting? When should I follow-up? Codes of behavior that delineate expectations for social behavior change from place to place: Kendall Square is no exception. Expectations and patterns of successful entrepreneurs will be discussed and practiced in this session.

11:00am – 11:15am  Break

11:15am – 12:30pm 

Jos ScheffelaarThe Nuances of the US Market : A European entrepreneur, who moved to Boston 20 years ago, shares his personal experiences on conducting business in High-Tech on this side of the Atlantic, and discusses best practices for European technology companies to enter the US market.

12:30pm – 1:30pm  Lunch and Networking

1:30pm  Teams - Pitchfest

5:00 pm – Informal Dinner


Tuesday, May 6th

Funding your Ventures

9:00am – 10:30am  

Shari Loessberg  Angel and Early Stage Financing : Startup financing can be a complex, intimidating process. VCs, angels, strategic investors, valuation, convertible rounds, priced rounds, dilution- the players and the factors are numerous. Shari Loessberg will aim to demystify common misconceptions about early stage fundraising and provide a clear, practical guide to navigating the various financing options with pros and cons, what to watch out for, and how to make decisions in the best interest of the entrepreneurs and the company. What kinds of financing can early stage companies get?  How much are we worth?  Is my Cap table fair?  How do I know I am getting a good deal?

10:30am – 12:00pm

Val Livada, Michael Hunter, Natalie Rudolph‎ Corporate & Alternative Financing Roundtable (moderated by Luis Barros): Most entrepreneurs need financing to launch their great idea into the marketplace, but don't want to hand over a percentage of their new company in exchange for funding. Non-equity financing is possible in today's challenging marketplace, as three experts explain alternative avenues to funding. Val Livada will discuss case studies that demonstrate the value of corporate strategic partnerships for start-ups, Natalie Rudolph, PhD, of Rudolph Biomedical Consulting, will explore federal research funding options through the SBIR and STTR programs, and Michael Hunter, Undersecretary of Business Development for the Commonwealth of MA, will describe opportunities within the State for early-stage companies.  A facilitated audience question and answer session will follow their presentations.

12:00 – 12:15pm

Dava Newman -  MIT Portugal Welcome

12:15pm – 2:00pm

 Maurice MatteodoCompany Incorporation, Valuation & CFO services for early-stage companies: International Reporting & Financial management and administrative support for U.S. subsidiaries of international companies or international companies that have undergone Delaware Flips. Business valuations and Purchase Price Allocations - Independent appraisals to meet requirements of IRC Section 409A, SSVS-1. Purchase price allocations and subsequent impairment testing in accordance with ASC 805 (formerly SFAS 141(R)) and ASC 350 (formerly SFAS 142)

1:00 – 2:00pm Lunch and Networking

2:00pm – 3:30pm

 Miguel VegaInvestor Sentiment : Valuations are frothy: there are more Strategic VCs than there are Institutional ones: HBO has a startup show. What’s going on? Is any of this true? Join Cooley LLC’s Charlie Cameron for a frank discussion on what investor sentiment is and where it is trending. The good news: there is plenty of money looking for good teams!

3:30pm – 7:00pm

Trish Fleming – Barracuda Mare ® : Companies will be doing a dress rehearsal of their pitches and receive comments/guidance from a panel of expert “barracudas” via small group discussions. The Barracudas – tough, experienced, ecosystem entrepreneurs , mentors and business leaders – will give the aspiring entrepreneur(s) and Pre-series A companies the opportunity to fine-tune the business plans, presentations, and pitches before talking to potential investors. The format includes an initial presentation – following by instructive feedback in which the teams will further iterate on the presentation; and then a 2nd presentation to show the Barracudas the pitch enhancements.


Wednesday, May 7th

MIT Tour and International Innovation Symposium

9:00am – 12:00pm

Track 1 – Meetings coordinated with Catalysts or Open Discussion MIT-E70

Track 2 – Life Sciences Teams by invitationMass MEDIC 18th Annual Conference


May 7, 2014 @ 8:00am - 12:00pm


UMass Boston Campus Center
100 William T Morrissey Boulevard
University of Massachusetts Boston


1:00 – 2:00pm – MIT Tour – led by Ed Ballo and Group Photo!

3:30pm – Set up for IIS (Demo Day!)

4:00pm – International Innovation Symposium

Key note by Semyon Dukach, Lead Mentor at Techstars, angel investor and a serial entrepreneur.


Thursday, May 8th

Entrepreneurial Resilience

9:00am – 11:00am

 Val Livada, Jose Estabil – Entrepreneurial Resilience
Resiliency is the most critical requirement for entrepreneurial success. Traditional entrepreneurial training focuses on optimizing success at the organizational level. Existing training methods assume that if everything is done "correctly", failure is avoided and success is imminent. However, failure is unavoidable in entrepreneurial and innovative activities: throughout the entire development cycle of an emerging company, the individual entrepreneur as well as the team must persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The three most challenging phases are: the capital raising, when it appears that no investor is willing to underwrite the venture; the development chasm, when the pace of progress is lagging the milestone plan; and the strategic pivot, when the original vision needs to be re-designed. This is an action-based learning session designed to illustrate the navigation of a key decision point common to all entrepreneurs. We will discuss the implications of all three key phases with the intent of helping entrepreneurs anticipate emerging obstacles and facilitate the appropriate response.

At the end of the session, the participants will be able to

  1. detect an upcoming obstacle,
  2. design a course of action to overcome it, and
  3. develop milestones to indicate that corrective factors were successful.


 Luis Barros -  MPP eTeams Committee, and Dave Fogel Present: Angel All Stars -  Breakout & Pitch Sessions Venture Cafe  with: 

1:30 – Lunch

1:30 – 6:00pm – Meetings coordinated with Catalysts


Friday, May 9th

Founders and Foundries

9:00am – 11:00am

 Founder Panel Jose Estabil Term sheets; first customer acquisition; pivots; exits. Successful CEOs from local startups share experiences and advice on navigating practical milestones in the life of a startup with:

11:30am – 2:00pm – Tours

2:00pm – 6:00pm – Meetings coordinated with Catalysts


Sunday, May 11th

11:30am – 3:00pm – Annual "Catchupa" Brunch at Restaurante Cesaria, 266 Bowdoin Street, Dorchester, MA


Monday, May 12th

Marketing and Customers

9:00am – 10:30am

 Frank DaysEntrepreneurial and Social Media Marketing
Practical aspects of setting up and maintaining momentum on social media platforms, strategy (insource/outsource), complementary marketing exercises, and expected cost and benefits to different social media approaches.

10:30am – 12:00pm

 Bob DorfCustomer Acquisition from the "The Startup Owner's Manual", Bob Dorf and Steve Blank.
Most startups lack a structured model for testing their model’s hypotheses –markets, customers, channels, pricing—and for turning those guesses into facts. A four-step process originating in Customer Discovery, then Validation, Creation and Organization is the blueprint for customer traction associated with the Lean Startup method.

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch and Networking

1:00pm – 6:00pm – Meetings coordinated with Catalysts


Tuesday, May 13th

Sales and Prospecting


Brook Spaulding (Principal, Verivis Consulting – Building Awareness and Media and The Essentials of Sales, Sales Management and Commercialization


Beth Zonis - Prospecting: Do you have great meetings and then no sales? Is your message bringing customers to your door, or turning them away in another direction? Are they kicking tires, or are they seriously looking to buy? In prospecting, practical guidelines that convert conversation into a sales pipeline will be discussed.

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch and Networking

3.00pm - 3.30pm 


Bill Aulet - "Disciplined Entrepreneurship" : Can Entrepreneurship be taught?  Bill Aulet thinks so and has written a best-selling book to guide entrepreneurs on their journey.  Join us for an interesting discussion on how to go from product concept to launch.  Come meet the author of the new bestselling guide to entrepreneurship!

3:30 pm – 6:00pm  Meetings coordinated with Catalysts


Wednesday, May 14th

Growing the Right Team

9:00am – 10:30am

Bob Jones Hiring and Growing The Right Team: Hiring the right team members is crucial to your success. Firing the wrong team members is equally crucial. In this presentation, we will draw on real-life experiences to discuss how to hire the right people. We will also discuss when and how to fire those that you must let go. Bring your stories, bring your questions, and plan to participate.

10:30am – 11:15am

Charlie Cooney – Advisory Boards :Creating a network of advisors is the single-most important activity in a young venture beyond team and product. How does the process of finding and recruiting advisors work? How should advisors be incentivized? What are the do’s / don’ts? This session will demystify process to insure predictable results.


Jeannine Sargent - Strategic Leverage: a Silicon Valley Perspective: Think Global / Act Local vs Think Big / Go Global?  Teams must conceive of and execute product strategy on a world-wide scale.  How to leverage strategic players can make the difference between scaling up or closing down.  Jeannine Sargent will share her experiences in growing US-Billion Dollar companies and Flextronics' perspective on how to start smart.

12:15pm – 1:00pm – Lunch and Networking

1:00pm – 5:00pm – Meetings arranged by Catalysts

6pm – 9:00pm – MIT $100k Competition


Thursday, May 15th

Disciplined Entrepreneurship and Graduation

9:00am - 10am 

Jose Estabil - B2B Best Practices: If you surround your customers with information and education they need to feel motivated to do business with you –will they?  Complex sales situations –those involving multiple decision makers—involve delivering the right message to the right audience.  In this session we explore the most commonly used tools and tactics to build great sales and build great relationships. 

10:00am – 12:00pm – Overview of Local Organizations, Associations & Resources (Healthcare, Tech, Digital/Social Media, Venture Capital, etc.)

  • Peter Abair, Director, Economic Development & Global Affairs, MassBio
  • Tom Sommer, President, MassMedic & David Dykeman, Board Member, Mass Medic
  • Kara Boudreau, Senior Partnership Director, MITx
  • Leah Magee, Sr. Director of Membership, Mass Tech Leadership Council (MassTLC)
  • Ariane Martins, Outreach Program Manager, MIT Venturing Mentoring Service (VMS)
  • Lesa Lessard Pearson, Executive Director, MIT Enterprise Forum
  • Christa Bleyleben, Partner, Mass Global Partners & Boston Landing

12:00pm – 4:00pm Meetings arranged by Catalysts

4:00pm – Graduation


Friday, May 16th

Next-steps and 1-on-1 Interviews

9:00am – 4:00pm – 1 to 1 exit interviews, Surveys, Feedback; and Farewell

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch

4:00pm – Farewell