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UMFK to host June 5 MIT Broadcast entitled "What Private Equity Investors Are Looking For"

May 23, 2003


The University of Maine at Fort Kent corporate relations office will host an MIT Enterprise Forum satellite broadcast on Thursday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

The presentation topic for the upcoming Enterprise Forum will be, What Private Equity Investors Are Looking For. The broadcast is a follow-up to the Enterprise Forum's highest attended broadcast of the same topic in 1999.

The panel of experts for this broadcast will focus on the current environment for start-ups and early-stage companies, with a focus on the best steps entrepreneurs can take to attract interest from venture capital firms.

Edmund M. Dunn, CEO of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. says, "So much has happened since our last broadcast in October of 1999 that we thought it was time to revisit this important topic. With investors much more careful with their money than four years ago, we hope to help our audience understand how they can help their start-up venture rise above the pack in their attempt to attract angel investors and VC funding."

Moderating the broadcast is Paul Ferri, founding partner of Matrix Partners. He is joined by a panel composed of Noubar Afeyan, senior managing director and CEO of Flagship Ventures; Alec Dingee, co-founder and chairman of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and chairman and founder of Kortec, Inc.; Helen Greiner, co-founder and president of iRobot Corporation; and Allan Wallack, former CEO and president of Spring Tide Networks.

Paul Ferri is the Founding Partner of Matrix Partners, the venture capital firm he started in 1982. Over the last decade, Matrix Partners has achieved industry record-setting returns. Ferri has over 30 years of venture capital experience, having founded Hellman Ferri Investment Associates in 1977, as well as being a general partner of WestVen Management from 1970 to 1978.

In 2001, Forbes named Ferri one of the "Top 20 Venture Investors of All Time" as well as the "Best VC in Boston." Also that year, the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council honored him as "Venture Capitalist of the Year."

Ferri currently serves or has served on the Boards of Directors of companies such as ArrowPoint Communications, Atria Software, Codex Corporation, Equipe Communications, Paradyne, Redstone Communications, Sonus Networks, Sycamore Networks, Xyplex and numerous other private companies. He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., is Senior Managing Director and CEO of Flagship Ventures, a venture capital firm with $400 million in capital to invest in and develop life science and information/communication technology ventures. During the past 16 years, Afeyan has founded and helped build several successful technology startups. He was Senior Vice President and CBO of Applera Corporation where he initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics. Afeyan was also the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bio-instrumentation field.

Dr. Afeyan is a frequent guest speaker at technology forums throughout the country and is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management teaching the primary entrepreneurship course offered by Sloan. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Boston University Medical School and of the Board of Advisors for the Whitehead Institute at MIT, for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, for the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT's Media Lab, and for the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University. He is also a Board member and active participant in several economic development organizations aimed at rebuilding the former Soviet Republic of Armenia. Dr. Afeyan earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT.

Alec Dingee is Co-founder and Chairman of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, which supports innovation and entrepreneurial activity throughout the MIT community by matching prospective entrepreneurs with skilled volunteer mentors. Dingee brings extensive experience in founding successful companies to the work of boosting young companies' chances of success.

Dingee is also the Chairman and a founder of Kortec, Inc., a turn-key co-injection molding systems manufacturer, whose profitable sales are growing at 60 percent a year. He was the founding CEO of the Institute for New Enterprise Development, helping to develop start-up businesses in depressed areas across the U.S.; Venture Founders Corporation, a start-up venture capital firm; Geodyne Corporation, a maker of oceanographic instruments; and Massey Dickinson, Inc., a medical instruments company. He was also the founding Treasurer and a Director of Nexabit Networks, a developer and manufacturer of terabit switch routers started in 1997. Nexabit was sold to Lucent Technologies in 1999 for the highest value paid up to that time for a company in the pre-product stage.

Dingee received his B.S. in Management from MIT and is a co-author of "New Venture Creation," a textbook used at business schools throughout the country.

Helen Greiner is the Co-Founder and President of iRobot Corporation, one of the most successful, independent robotics companies anywhere. Upon founding iRobot at the age of 23, Greiner helped to establish the company as a world-class research organization by developing robots that push the state-of-the-art in mobility and intelligence. Now, with locations in three states, iRobot delivers robots into the industrial, consumer, academic and military markets. iRobot was named a "Hip Hop Happening Company" by Fortune in 1999, "The Best of What's New" by Popular Science in 2000, and its CoWorker robot was named an "Invention of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2001.

Greiner has been honored as a Technology Review Magazine "Young Innovator for the Next Century", invited to the World Economic Forums as a Global Leader of Tomorrow, and has been awarded the prestigious DEMOgod award at the DEMO Conference for her introduction of the world's first web-controlled robot. Her 15 years of experience in robotic technology includes work at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from MIT.

Allan Wallack is currently on the Board of Directors, holding an advisory position, or consulting and investing in Wavesmith Networks, Terapulse, Acme Packets, Way Systems, Carbon Design Systems and Polychromix. Prior to this, Wallack was CEO and President of Spring Tide Networks, an IP services company, from 1999 - 2000 that was purchased by Lucent Technologies for $1.6 Billion.

Previously, Wallack served as Chairman, CEO and President of Chrysalis Symbolic Design, an electronic design automation software company purchased by Avanti Corp.; was CEO and President of Synernetics, a communications company focused on the Ethernet that was purchased by 3Com; was COO of COGNEX Corporation; Vice President of Marketing for MASSCOMP; and held numerous positions for Digital Equipment Corporation. Wallack, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from City College of New York and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University.

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

Each broadcast is made possible through the cooperation of the generious 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.

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