Programs / Events

    • Wednesday, April 25, 2018
    • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • WPI Campus Center

    5-Minute Pitch


    Food/Wine Sponsor:

    Supporting Sponsors:

    In-kind Sponsors:

    2018 5-Minute Pitch Contest

    Eight finalists are chosen from all applicants to present on April 25. Finalists get 1-on-1 coaching to prepare for their presentations.  All applicants are eligible to participate in the Innovation Showcase April 25 during the event.  Each of the past 2 years, over 225 investors, start-ups and service-providers have attended this event.

    Winners Get:

    Boynton Angels 1-on-1

    Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Kull & Bitsoli: Accounting/Tax Professional Services. Winner gets 4 hrs, 2nd Place and Audience Choice get 2 hrs each.

    FletcherTilton: one-hour complimentary consultation with attorney Jess Oyer, regarding when and how to work with attorneys and how to avoid litigation. For 1st and 2nd place Judges winners

    More prizes to come!!!

    Cash: $3500 Judges Choice 1st place; $2000 Judges Choice 2nd place; $1500 Audience Choice; Showcase Winner $1,000

    Judges: Charlie Hipwood, Sheila Narayan, Vivek Soni, and Jeff Arnold.

    This is The Venture Forum’s 12th Annual 5-Minute Pitch Contest. It has been incredibly powerful in getting startups the outlet that they need to advance their business to the next level.

    Eight (8) companies will pitch for the audience and judges. In addition, the room will have approximately 20 other businesses displaying their ideas in an Innovation Showcase before the event and during networking time.

    In the last 4 years, two 5-Minute Pitch CEOs have been chosen by Forbes magazine as their "30 Under 30" award recipients. 


    Jeffrey Arnold

    Mr. Arnold is the president of Arnold Strategies, LLC, a strategic advisor to early and growth stage CEO's, and an angel investor with Mass. Med. Angels and Boston Harbor Angels. As an investor he has had multiple exits including SmartCells (sold to Merck), BioAssets development Corp (sold to Cephalon), Syntonix (sold to Biogen Idec), Health Honors (sold to Healthway), Corbus Pharmaceuticals (now public) and Myomo (now public).

    He was previously chairman of Corbus Pharmaceuticals, with a phase III drug for orphan fibrotic diseases, CEO of CardioFocus, with an endoscopic catheter for atrial fibrillation, founder and CEO of Cambridge Heart, Inc., which he took public in 1996, and CEO of Accelys, now a division of Dassault Systemes.

    Mr. Arnold serves on several company boards, is on the Grant Review Board of the MIT Deshpande Center and member of board of overseers at the Museum of Science. He received a BSEE from MIT in 1972.

    Charlie Hipwood

    Vice President, MassVentures

    Charlie joined MassVentures in 2017 and is a vice president focused on early-stage and seed investment in Massachusetts high-technology companies.

    Charlie is a founder and executive with 20+ years of experience in financial services and technology start-ups (founded Fluent Fintech, STAG Capital Partners and AI Exchange) and established corporations (JP Morgan and Level 3 Communications). As an entrepreneur, Charlie has deep experience in establishing and managing operations, executing investments, developing products and markets, managing the sales pipeline, raising capital, leading teams, growing revenue, and executing strategy to achieve desired outcomes.

    Charlie earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and a BA from Boston College.

    In his free time, Charlie enjoys coaching youth sports, community service, and cooking.

    Sheila Narayan

    Sheila Narayan is a Managing Director and the Leadership Chair for Golden Seeds Boston Chapter. Golden Seeds is a national angel investment organization that invests in early-stage women-led companies. Sheila leads deal flow, membership, education and operations. She is an active early-stage investor, mentor to entrepreneurs, and advisor to several start-up companies.

    Sheila is also an independent consultant with over 20 years of experience in the payments and financial technology industries. Previously, Sheila held executive leadership roles at Online Resources, Inc., a SaaS-based online banking and bill payment processing company and was a Partner at First Annapolis Consulting, a payments industry consulting and mergers / acquisition advisory firm. Sheila started her career at Digital Equipment Corporation. She earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

    Vivek Soni 

    Managing Director @ TiE Boston Angels

    As Managing Director, Vivek oversees the operation of TiE Boston Angels’ activities and partnerships. He has extensive experience as a senior corporate executive, technologist, entrepreneur, board member, start-up mentor, advisor, and investor. Vivek is Managing Partner at Boston Cleantech which advises Cleantech and emerging technology companies. Vivek is a board member of A.T.E. Group companies. He was a Venture Advisor to London-based Nomura’s expansion-stage, cleantech venture capital fund. Vivek served as President, Corporate Technology Strategy, and Services at the Aditya Birla Group in India. He has held technology roles at Polaroid Corporation and Shell USA. Vivek has a Ph.D. in Polymer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. He is a past Board Member of TiE Boston.

    Previous Winners






    All 2017 presenters

    10 Pitches
    5 Minutes
    $2500 Cash Prize

    Where will you be?

    • Wednesday, May 09, 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Hogan Center at Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA


    Blockchain. Bitcoin. Ethereum. You have probably heard these terms as the groundswell and buzz grows around this emerging field. The revolution of Blockchain goes beyond being the technology that powers Bitcoin. It has the potential to transform the way we do business, share ideas and make the world a better place. Many events spend time on various parts of the blockchain ecosystem but our event will provide you with a grounding in the technology and a lively discussion on the space. The Venture Forum and The Revolution Factory invite you to learn about blockchain technology and how it will change the way we do business. Join us for an evening where we discuss the state of blockchain, emerging trends in the space and its potential for 2018 and beyond.

    The event is being hosted by The Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.

    Featured speakers:

    Steven Fisher loves the future. So much so, he’s spent the last 20 years as an award-winning designer and strategist helping companies, governments, and his own startups leverage the best innovations to compete and win. Steve delivers a valuable mix of venture creation, experience design, and innovation strategy. Steve is currently co-founder of the Revolution Factory, a global innovation network, startup accelerator and venture lab. He is the co-author of The Startup Equation: A Visual Guidebook to Building Your Startup" from McGraw Hill and is also an advisor and angel investor in several blockchain startups.

    He has been on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2015 and works with many entrepreneurs, investors, corporations leveraging this space. He has focused his current and future work in blockchain because of his believe will transform many parts of our lives and realize the trustless decentralization of information.

    In his free time, he loves spending time with his family and when he is not chasing a toddler named Max, he brews beer, enjoys yoga and is attempting to get back on a spinning bike. He also loves to travel and grow as an artist through music, film making and painting.

    John MacKenna

    John MacKenna is Editor and Content Strategist at Blockchain Informed, an Arlington-based information service and agency serving businesses in the blockchain space. He has been a business technology journalist since 1997. His work appears in TechTarget,, Greentech Media, and Energy Central.

    Bob Mason

    Bob Mason is a Managing Director at Project 11 Ventures, leading early stage startup investments, built upon his experience being part of great founding teams that created new markets and successful, global businesses.

    Bob was the co-founder and CTO of Brightcove (NASDAQ:BCOV), a leading provider of online video services that are used by thousands of customers across the world. Previously, he was a founding member of the product team at ATG, an industry leading ecommerce platform. ATG went public in 1999 and was acquired by Oracle in 2011. In both roles he provided technical and product leadership for the company’s vision, strategy and design.

    Bob received the Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1994 and currently sits on the WPI Department of Computer Science Board of Advisors and mentors founders through the WPI Tech Advisor Network.

    Rakesh Kamdar (RK)

    Rakesh Kamdar, Founder and CEO of DB Healthcare and DB Blockchain, is a serial entrepreneur.

    DB Healthcare is specialized in staffing and consulting for hospitals, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, Clinical Research, Genomics and medical devices companies. Our number one goal is delivering attainable solutions for your workforce challenges.

    DB Blockchain, a division of DB Healthcare IT, is a leading and innovative consulting organization providing blockchain expertise and solutions to the financial, healthcare and life sciences, supply chain and IoT industry.

    Rakesh Kamdar is a charter member of TiE Boston, and has been engaged as a panelist speaker and a mentor at various healthcare and blockchain conferences.

    Prior to DB Healthcare, he was a founder and President of DB Concepts, Inc. - an Information technology staffing firm in 1993 in Boston, grew staffing organization and merged with a $2 billion organization - Select Appointments North America, presently Randstad.

Past events

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 Social Business – Social Entrepreneurship – Social Responsibility
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Breakfast On-Site Expert Series: Charlie Hipwood
Wednesday, December 06, 2017 Volunteer Appreciation and Recruitment
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 Commercialization Opportunities from WPI Research
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Craft Brewer Entrepreneurship: Dual concepts and shared spaces
Monday, September 11, 2017 Legal 101 for Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Volunteer Appreciation and Recruitment
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Virtual Companies
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5 Minute Pitch
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Start Up and Commercialization Opportunities From WPI Research
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Exit Planning
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 What’s Brewing With Craft Beer Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Conversations With a Corporate American Entrepreneur
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Conversations with a Venture Capitalist co-hosted by The Venture Forum (TVF) and Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI)
Monday, May 23, 2016 The Venture Forum Volunteer Appreciation and Recruitment Night
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Entrepreneur’s Lounge: What’s It Take to Develop a Consumer IoT (Internet of Things) Product and Ecosystem?
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 5-Minute Pitch Contest
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 Innovation Month Symposium on Women and Entrepreneurial Leadership co-sponsored by TVF/Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives
Tuesday, February 09, 2016 Emerging Technology Series #4 -- Optics, Lasers and Photonics
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Entrepreneur’s Lounge: What’s It Really Like to Start a Tech Firm?
Tuesday, December 08, 2015 Entrepreneurs Demo Night with VentureMeets
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Robotics: What’s Next?
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Bringing the Passion and Loyalty of Gaming to your Product or Enterprise: What Games Teach Us About Engagement
Tuesday, September 08, 2015 Making the Digital Physical: Industrial, Biomedical, Consumer: What's New in 3D Printing
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 Your First Five Sales
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Reinvent Your Market Strategy and Your Company Too
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Five-Minute Pitch Contest
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Grant Funding 101 – Gain funding without giving away the store
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Network with a New Crowd
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Your IP Plan – from Idea to Execution
Tuesday, December 09, 2014 Attract Investor Attention in Innovative Ways
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Choosing Your Target Market…Let It Choose You
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Build Your Team to Create Together
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 War Stories from Successful Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Guy Kawasaki on Getting Your First Investment
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Manufacturing How-tos for Startups
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Battling Diabetes and Obesity with Technology and Exercise
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Five-Minute Pitch Contest
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 Stages of Social Innovation Growth
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Innovation Fair
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Personalized Medicine
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Business Plan Contest
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 Lean Startups
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 "Visions of Growth" with Tim Murray and Michael O'Brien.
Saturday, September 07, 2013 Jim Fee Start-up Clinic
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Ask the Experts
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Go To Market: Market, Sell or Perish - The Most Critical Phase of a Fledgling Business
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 Building the Team - The Most Critical Part of a Nascent Business
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Networking Event at Metso Automation
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 5 Minute Pitch Contest

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