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UMFK-hosting MIT satellite broadcast Solving the Weakest Link: Sales providing valuable information to local population

January 10, 2003


Technology is making it possible for the University of Maine at Fort Kent to provide a regular forum for area individuals and campus students and faculty to interact with the nation's leading business experts.

The MIT Enterprise Forum, Solving the Weakest Link: Sales will take place at UMFK on Thursday, January 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

The program will focus on the critically important sales function within an organization and the vital success factors of a new enterprise. The broadcast will be a unique presentation, focusing less on sales strategies and theories, and more on the actual processes necessary to successfully complete sales cycles.

As with all of the Enterprise Forum broadcasts, Solving the Weakest Link: Sales will provide information and education to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other parties interested in getting a thorough sales education in a two-hour broadcast. Using role-playing, the panel will demonstrate both theory and examples of key sales points.

Key points that will be covered include, Every business plan "assumes" a certain level of sales; without those sales, is the business plan valid; how to successfully sell your vision to your employees, investors and partners; and why firms with the best sales team usually win.

Following the role-playing portion of the program, audience members at MIT's Kresge Auditorium, as well as the satellite-downlinked participants from around the world including Fort Kent, will be able to ask the panel questions.

The program moderator will be Howard Anderson, founder and chairman of The Yankee Group, and a founding partner and senior managing director of YankeeTek Ventures. In addition, Anderson is the William Porter Distinguished Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he teaches a course on technology sales and sales management. Anderson was one of the three founders of Battery Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm specializing in technology companies, and he has been the keynote speaker at both Comdex and Network Interop. Network World recently selected him as one of the 25 most important people in communications.

Panelists are Ken Morse, managing director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center based at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Tim Kraskey, managing director of YankeeTek Ventures with over 15 years of experience in voice and data networking, systems management, operations, sales, and marketing.

Prior to returning to MIT in 1996, Morse spent a quarter century as an entrepreneur launching six high-tech ventures, including Aspen Technology, Inc., and 3Com Corporation.

Morse is well versed in global business practices having lived in Brussels and China, among other countries, helping to establish new offices for his companies. In his role with the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Morse is heavily involved in the student-run $50K Competition. Kraskey was most recently a founder and general partner at The Mentor Group, which offered consulting expertise in sales, marketing and public relations to technology-driven start-up companies. He was also a founder and vice president of sales and marketing for Sahara Networks Inc., later Ascend. Kraskey has also worked for ADC Telecommunications, Newbridge Networks and General DataComm in key sales and marketing roles. He also assists as visiting lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management on sales and marketing topics.

The MIT Enterprise Forum satellite broadcast series includes three programs each year designed especially for entrepreneurs and investors. The forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and strengthening the way new companies get their start, and to provide the information and understanding they need to grow and prosper.

Live broadcast of the forum originates on the MIT campus in Massachusetts and will be satellite linked to only 23 sites in the United States and two sites in Singapore. In Maine, only UMFK and the University of Southern Maine are hosts sites.

"These broadcasts are being hosted by UMFK as part of our continuing effort to provide valuable information to the business community of our region and the campus community," said Diane Nadeau-Saucier, executive director for corporate relations.

For over twenty years, the MIT Enterprise Forum has been helping entrepreneurs start and grow successful technology-based businesses. Twenty-four forum chapters around the world have implemented the case presentation methodology pioneered at MIT to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to present new business concepts to industry experts, venture capitalists, and technology leaders.

The audience attending the local forums has been growing steadily since UMFK offered its first MIT satellite broadcast in 2000.

Each broadcast is made possible through the cooperation of the generous support of the Finance Authority of Maine, the MIT Club of Maine and in cooperation with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business of the University of Southern Maine.

The satellite broadcast at UMFK is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending and learning more about this forum should contact Diane Nadeau-Saucier at 834-7800 or toll free at 1-888-TRY-UMFK.