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Partner Event (MIT Enterprise Forum): Acquisition or Alliance — Which is Better?
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When: June 11, 2014
From 5:30 PM to 8 PM
Where: MIT EG&G Education Center. 34-101
50 Vassar St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Contact: Chitra Dwarka

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Innovation Series: Acquisition or Alliance — Which is Better?
BPMA special offer!  
BPMA Members use the code 'BPMA' for $20 member rate to attend

For companies facing a "crisis of innovation,” the promise of gaining complementary intellectual property, skills and technology through merger and acquisition (M&A) may seem like an attractive option. In reality it is fraught with risk. In a KPMG 2014 survey of over 1000 M&A professionals, respondents cited these challenges to successful high-tech deals: Register •Valuation disparity between buyers and sellers (51%) •Limited inventory of suitable targets (24%) •Difficulty in identifying suitable targets (23%) •Problems with buyer/target alignment on post-deal execution strategy (19%) So are strategic alliances a better option? In this Innovation Series event we put the two models side-by-side and debate their merits. We look at what works for each model, what doesn’t, and ways to improve it. You’ll hear from entrepreneurs, corporate partners and acquirers, and dealmakers on both sides of the acquisition-versus-alliance debate. (And, yes, the gloves might come off — but we love a good debate. Which side do you fall on?)

About the Speakers:

Pedro Arboleda, Director, Strategy, Monitor Deloitte
Pedro Arboleda, Director, Strategy, Monitor Deloitte Pedro counsels corporate clients on strategic options related to partnering with other firms, NGOs, and national governments and on market-entry strategy and license-to-operate issues as changes in national healthcare systems in the US and emerging economies take hold. Cited in The Economist magazine’s 2007 and 2009 Special Reports, his work has included critical corporate strategy, advocacy, partnership, alliance, and market entry advisory support. (Pedro can also offer insights from his own acquisition experience with Monitor, which Deloitte acquired in 2013 "to form a strategy and business transformation consultancy known as Monitor Deloitte.”) Pedro received an MBA from Cornell University in 1997, a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University in 1995, and a Bachelors of Science in International Relations from Georgetown University in 1991.

Bernd Schoner, Co-Founder, ThingMagic
Bernd Schoner, Co-Founder, ThingMagic Bernd is the author of The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide (McGraw-Hill, May 2014). In his book, Bernd provides the reader with a complete lifecycle guide to technology entrepreneurship and tells the story of ThingMagic, the tech startup he cofounded after graduating from MIT and was later acquired by Trimble Navigation. During his time at ThingMagic Bernd has held a broad spectrum of management positions. As Managing Partner, his responsibilities included customer acquisition, customer management, general management and technical operations. As president, he was at various times responsible for engineering, development, manufacturing, international sales, key account sales, and business development. Since the acquisition of ThingMagic by Trimble Navigation, Bernd has held the role of VP Business Development of the ThingMagic Division. Bernd holds Masters degrees in electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen and in industrial engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. He earned his Ph.D. from the MIT Media Laboratory in 2000. 

Andy Miller, Chief Innovation Architect, Constant Contact
Andy Miller, Chief Innovation Architect, Constant Contact Before joining Constant Contact, Andy was CEO of CardStar, which Constant Contact acquired in 2012. At CardStar he was responsible for overall business development and strategic direction for the company. Prior to CardStar, Andy founded Lumifi LLC, Quece LLC,, and StockCar Stocks Mutual Fund where he served on the Board of Directors. In addition, Andy has held various positions at PFPC, T. Rowe Price, Putnam Investments and Bank of America. At Constant Contact, Andy has led the company’s Small Business Innovation Program. The program is designed to support entrepreneurs as they solve problems for small businesses through the development of new products, features, and services. Andy holds a BA in Economics from SUNY Oswego, a MS in Entrepreneurial Studies from Suffolk University and serves as a member of the Entrepreneur Leadership Council at Suffolk University. 

Jonas Hellgren, Entrepreneur, Start-up Advisor (formerly with JumpTap, acquired by Millennial Media in 2013)
Jonas Hellgren, Entrepreneur, Start-up Advisor (formerly with JumpTap, acquired by Millennial Media in 2013) Jonas is a senior executive with a passion and proven strategy for building and growing high-tech companies that revolutionize the industries they are in. He has over 20 years of experience in Operations and Product for mobile and digital advertising, managed security services, consulting, and enterprise IT — including experience developing partnerships and integrating companies after successful M&A transactions. Specialties include: business and technology management, managing rapid growth, process improvement, customer management, business development, corporate development, mobile technology, mobile advertising, security and privacy.

Gaye Bok, Venture Partner, Excel Venture Management
Gaye Bok, Venture Partner, Excel Venture Management Gaye brings more than 15 years of operating experience in business development, new product development, and strategic planning to Excel’s investment process. Gaye is currently serving on the Board of Lantos Technologies. Previously, Gaye headed up business and commercial development at Microbia, a bio-based chemical company. She also served as Senior Director of Business Development of Synthetic Genomics where she was the first non-founder employee, and as Business Development Manager at Cabot Corporation. Gaye received an M.B.A in Finance and International Management from MIT’s Sloan School and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Cynthia Fisher, Founder and Managing Director, WaterRev, LLC
Cynthia Fisher, Founder and Managing Director, WaterRev, LLC WaterRev, LLC, an investment firm focused on companies with novel technologies that enable sustainable practices of water use in agriculture or energy. Recently, she co-founded a precision agriculture company providing farmers with mobile applications and decision support systems for water and fertilizer input management. Fisher’s prior entrepreneurial ventures were in the Life Sciences. She founded the pioneering stem cell company, ViaCord, Inc., in 1993 and served as CEO for eight years. ViaCord provides umbilical cord blood stem cell banking. In 2000, Fisher co-founded the cellular medicines company, ViaCell, Inc, of which ViaCord became a division. She served as President and on the Board of Directors. ViaCell went public in 2005 at a valuation of $300 million, and subsequently was acquired by PerkinElmer in 2007. Cynthia holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as a BS in Biophysics and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Ursinus College.


Woody Benson, Managing Director, IoT Works, Executive in Residence, Bentley University, General Partner, Prism VentureWorks
Woody Benson, Managing Director, IoT Works, Executive in Residence, Bentley University, General Partner, Prism VentureWorks For more than three decades, Woody Benson has been finding the next big thing and the people who create it — from the dawn of microcomputers, data networking and the re-invention of telecom, through the SaaS and digital media revolutions, and now into the rise of the Internet of Things. A respected team leader and builder, Woody created global channels for Lotus, ran all business operations at Shiva, and served as CEO of MCK Communications. Subsequently, he became a venture capitalist focusing on investments in communications, SaaS and digital media. In 2009 he was named to AlwaysOn’s Top 100 Venture Capitalists list. In 2012, looking to continue thinking outside the box, he launched IoT Works, an Internet of Things-focused investment company, to gather the best people, ideas resources and financing. Woody sees the world at an inflection point: The Internet of Things is unfolding everywhere, just like the industrial, consumer and computer revolutions. CEOs look to Woody as an additional team member, and count on his experiences and insights in sales, marketing, go-to-market strategies and board-level management. Additionally, he teaches at his alma mater, Bentley University, where he is executive-in-residence and a member of the Bentley Investment Committee. .

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