Worthy? Positioning an Emerging Company for Investment

February 18, 2014 @ 11:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796 H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
Knight Lecture Hall Room 1124
MIT Enterprise Forum

Worthy? Positioning an Emerging Company for Investment


Which attributes in an emerging technology company indicate a commercial concept that might succeed? What attracts capital to the “stranger” amidst a crowd of options? How can technological talent be introduced to business principles that bring ideas to market? When is a business accelerator the right fit for an early stage company? How is technology innovation defined, or is it something recognized when seen? Hear two successful serial entrepreneurs, prolific in multiple areas, address these questions and other subjects in an evening of conversation.

A Look at Entrepreneurship

Professor Ed Roberts of the MIT Sloan School, an accomplished emerging technology investor, entrepreneur and pioneering educator, will also review how often startups survive, how many succeed, their different levels of success, and what matters in generating success. Dr. Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive and co-founder of the LaunchPad, will share perspectives rooted in her own new venture experiences, and as a founder of centers for promising early stage companies. Jonathan Cole, founder of New World Angels and counselor on entrepreneurial venture finance, will moderate the conversation.

*Registration is limited and available on a first come first served basis.

The MIT Enterprise Forum of South Florida proudly presents this event of founders, investors, and mentors to varied emerging technology companies, and entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Enjoy a networking session prior to the discussion between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., and the formal discussion from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and ticket prices cost $30 ($35 for on-site registration February 18).


Dr. Edward Roberts, MIT Sloan School Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Founder and Chair, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, innovative educator, emerging technology investor and entrepreneur.

Dr. Roberts is an expert in advanced technology management and entrepreneurship, a serial high-tech entrepreneur, and a leading angel investor. He has authored over 160 articles, reports, and 11 books (which include an Outstanding Book in Business and Management award winner). He was the driving force behind the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, which finally launched in 1990. He helped grow a $10,000 business plan competition into the $100K Competition, which has resulted in notable alumni companies such as Silicon Spice (acquired by Broadcom for $1.2 billion), Firefly (purchased by Microsoft for $40 million) and Brontes Technologies (bought by 3M for $95 million). He also is one of the seven founders of the MIT Enterprise Forum, as well as the MIT Alumni Entrepreneurship Seminar Series that kicked off the idea for such an organization!

Over many years Professor Roberts has been a director and co-founder of numerous emerging technology companies, including Advanced Magnetics (now AMAG Pharmaceuticals), Interactive SuperComputing (sold to Microsoft), InTouch Systems (sold to Comverse Technologies), Inverness Medical Technologies (now part of Johnson & Johnson), Pegasystems, and Tyco Laboratories (now Tyco International). In addition to Meditech and Sohu.com, Roberts’s current board memberships include Cooper Human Systems, Daktari Diagnostics, DynoMedia (Beijing), PR Restaurants, and Visible Measures. He also is a co-founder longest serving member of CommonAngels, Inc., the largest angel group in Greater Boston.

Ed Roberts holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, a Master’s of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School, and a doctorate in economics from MIT.

Dr. Susan Amat, Founder of Venture Hive, Miami, FL; Co-Founder and Executive Director of the LaunchPad and Blackstone LaunchPad, serial entrepreneur and business incubator founder.

Dr. Susan Amat is a serial entrepreneur, promoting concerts in Miami at age 15. Before 25, she had started a record label, a national television show, and the first CD-ROM magazine. She then returned to South Florida to complete her Bachelor’s degree, earned an MBA, and developed products for child health monitoring. While completing her Ph.D. in Strategic Entrepreneurship (studying industrial engineering, management, and education), Dr. Amat co-founded The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. An international model for entrepreneurship education, TLP has been replicated with support from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, creating the only network of collegiate entrepreneurs. These Blackstone LaunchPads are at universities in greater Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Orlando.

With the support of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Dr. Amat founded Venture Hive. The first of its kind, Venture Hive is a technology accelerator based on economic development principals, recruiting new talent in focused verticals based on the strengths of Miami: healthcare, travel/hospitality, and creative industries. Ten grantees where chosen from 133 applications from 19 countries. The first class of companies started in January, 2013 with an additional 25 companies selected for the community program. In all, 85 entrepreneurs work in Venture Hive representing more than a dozen nationalities.

Dr. Amat serves as the Chair of Startup Florida for the Startup America Partnership and is active in economic development strategy and application. In addition to monthly columns in two local news publications, she is currently an International Women’s Forum Leadership Fellow and is in the XXXI class of Leadership Florida. In March, 2012, Dr. Amat was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for her work mentoring entrepreneurs.

Moderator: Jonathan E. Cole, Partner-in-Charge, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, W. Palm Beach, FL; Founder of New World Angels, and advisor to start-up technology enterprises and institutional venture funds.

Jonathan has extensive experience with venture capital, leveraged acquisitions, and emerging technology companies, particularly in software, information technology, telecom, biotech and life sciences and clean technology. He is a frequent lecturer at national and international conferences on entrepreneurial venture finance, the venture capital industry and the life sciences capital markets and related transaction structures, strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions.

Jonathan often counsels early-stage and start-up enterprises and management teams, as well as VC fund investors, on organization, structure, equity incentive planning and financing strategies as well as capitalization structures in fields as varied as new drug development, cloud computing, storage and infrastructure, machine-to-machine (M2M) database information collection, communication and analysis; Web social networks, user generated content and other consumer facing web publishers; environmental monitoring services; alarm and reporting enterprise software for monitoring healthcare and other commercial enterprises.

An angel investor in own right through New World Angels, Jonathan is regularly involved in the representation of both angel investors and institutional venture capital funds in investment transactions as well as single purpose and institutional fund formation matters. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.


Event Details

When: Tues., Feb. 18
Networking and Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Presentation: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Knight Lecture Hall Room 1124
Registration: $30 event registration fee. ($35 for on-site registration February 18)
*Registration is limited and available on a first come first served basis.

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