MFN EXPERT DIRECTORY

Imagine having free access to a team of experts to advise you on the growth of your startup? Now you do as an MFN Member!

HOW TO REQUEST HELP FROM AN MFN EXPERT

MFN members can request free access to our network of experts, who can help fill you in on everything from marketing to supply chain questions to what’s next in the world of AI.

Here’s how to request a meeting with an MFN Expert:

  1. Scan available experts by scrolling down on this page.
  2. Click on the “Request MFN Expert” button. 
  3. Complete our request form. Please be as specific with your request as possible.
  4. Once your form is received, you will receive a response about how to schedule a 45-minute session with your requested expert within 48 hours.
  5. Have a question? Email us at mfnfeedback@leverinc.org. 

Disclaimer: Please review any advice you receive from an MFN Expert with your own business advisors. MFN accepts no responsibility for how you choose to use advice from an MFN Expert.

MFN Experts can:

Offer suggestions on your pitch, web copy or other marketing materials.

Get you answers to questions you might not easily find elsewhere or at least point you in the right direction.

Make recommendations on how to make your processes more efficient.

Help you get unstuck by sharing options to overcome your current challenges.

Ask you questions you didn’t know you needed to ask, so you can grow faster.

Expert Directory

Marsh
Sutherland
He/Him
8X tech startup founder, 4 app launches, 2 exits. MassChallenge VIP Ambassador, former TechStars Startup Weekend Boston and Spokane Ambassador, former AngelHack Boston Ambassador, former Microsoft BizSpark Solutions Evangelist
Ask me About:
Startup Pitches
Social Media Marketing
Connections with other experts & founders
TechStars Startup Weekend Boston
MassChallenge U.S. Early-Stage accelerator
John
Danahey
He/Him
Founder
Start ups to Fortune 1000 Senior I.T. Management
Ask me About:
Cybersecurity
Information Technology Management
Business Continuity
Disaster Recovery
Incident Response
Lisa
Ducharme
I prefer not to say
Founder, ESO Staff
Retired 20-year Air Force veteran, in Personnel (Human Resources), I bring a wealth of experience to the table. Over the past decade, I have been working with veteran-owned businesses, expanding my reach to civilian businesses since 2020. Aside from my business, I am also the founder and Executive Director of the Mass Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Before rejuvenating my business in July 2022, I spent seven years at Westfield State University, where I supported our military-connected students and established the Military Community Excellence Center.
Ask me About:
Veteran Business Resources
AI Writing Assistant Programs
Self-Publishing
Laser Coaching
StrengthsFinders
Hema
Gopalan
She/Her
Expert
A finance leader with 20+ years of progressive experience with biotech and high-tech companies with irreplicable experience. An outstanding communicator, executing strategy and delivering operational results. A deep understanding of the unique needs of both public and non-public finance teams and companies. Committed to life-long learning and contributing to company’s success by providing actionable insights.
Ask me About:
Capital Raise & Funding
Day-Day Accounting and FInance management
Budgeting/Business Model/Forecasting/Cash FLow management
Building policies & procedures for growing companies
Audits/ Financial reporting/Board meetings/audit committee meetings
Ilsa
Webeck
She/Her
Founder
Ilsa Webeck has over 25 years of strategy, marketing, and product development experience which she leverages to help clients address their challenging questions. MedTech Strategies sits at the nexus of product development and commercialization, working with companies of all sizes to understand user needs, clarify the product value proposition and develop actionable strategies for growth. Her past roles include strategic planning, product management and early product development at several companies including Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Spine and Biogen. She has experience working with products in a variety of settings from the operating room to the home, from implants to artificial intelligence. Ilsa holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business and a BA in Biology from Dartmouth College. She holds several leadership roles: Harvard Catalyst Medical Device Development Course Director, Board of Directors of the MDG Boston, UMass M2D2 IMPACT Cohort Mentor, Mass Life Sciences NextGen Program Mentor.
Ask me About:
Understanding the healthcare market place
Developing a value proposition for commercial success
Performing primary market research on complex medical products/topics
Commercial dynamics in MedTech
Making network connections in the healthcare space
Chris
Sims
He/Him
Investor
Ask me About:
Early stage funding
Steve
Vilkas
He/Him
Expert, ESO Staff
Former Founder, Co-Founder, former team member of many ventures, current COO and Chief Ecosystem Officer at Prepare 4 VC, Co-Director of Boston New Technology, Co-Organizer at Startup Grind Boston, Born Global Boston, and Defense Entrepreneurs Forum
Ask me About:
Relationship Building
Marketing
Operations
Strategic Partnerships
Investor Relations
Jason
Kraus
He/Him
Expert
Jason is an active investor through Boston Harbor Angels and the EQx Fund, with a thesis that you should always bet on the jockey and the people behind the business. He founded Prepare 4 VC in 2016 with the mission of helping bridge the gap between startups and investors and help hundreds of entrepreneurs globally through community events and resources, cohort and individual programs.
Ask me About:
Go to market strategy
Fundraising strategy
Startup roadmapping
Investment strategy
Entrepreneurship
Stephen
Gordon
Expert
Stephen is a successful entrepreneur and seasoned executive with expertise in technology development, strategic planning, innovation, achieving product market fit, raising capital, intellectual property, international standards, and global engineering management in the semiconductor, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things industries. With over 30 years in high tech, Stephen spent the early part of his career as an embedded software and algorithms engineer working on telecommunications, medical electronics, and imaging devices. Then moving into video semiconductors, Stephen founded the venture backed startups Sand Video (acquired by Broadcom) and Immedia Semiconductor (acquired by Amazon). Stephen was the lead contributor to the Emmy Award winning ITU/MPEG H.264 High Profile video compression standard, and the inventor of Blink, the category leading battery-powered home security camera. Stephen has over 30 granted patents, and has been retained as an expert witness in multiple patent infringement trials. Stephen is currently an advisor at Metalenz, a meta-optics startup in Boston, and a member of the Dean’s Council for the College of Engineering at UMASS, Amherst with a focus on industry relations. Stephen holds an MS and BS in electrical and computer engineering from UMASS, Amherst, and a BA in mathematics and economics from Amherst College.
Ask me About:
Pitching, Fundraising
Building products, teams, culture
Business Strategy, Intellectual Property
Customer Discovery, PMF, GTM
Technology - system architectures, choosing stacks, being a CTO
Adriaan
Van Swieten
He/Him
Founder, Expert
SEO expert for 6+ years
Ask me About:
Search Engine Optimization
Conversion Optimization
Keyword Research
Link Building
Website Structure & Internal Linking
Todd
Smith
He/Him
Expert
General manager with experience developing and scaling businesses for both early-stage and large public companies such as Razer and Microsoft. Launched and managed successful SaaS products and payment services generating over $100M in annual revenue, and headed globally distributed teams. Experience includes diverse management roles in monetization platforms, credit cards, accounting and productivity software, device UX, and web conferencing.► Served as SVP Marketing for a $700M-revenue, NYSE-listed payment processor and developed & launched a new private-label credit card business.► Led two startups through acquisition, and helped a third pivot to a broader market and find an industry-proven CEO.► Managed a team responsible for $150M revenue on a global monetization platform with millions of consumer touchpoints and hundreds of integrated payment methods.► Oversaw three Microsoft products built on the Live Meeting web conferencing system (precursor to Skype for Business).
Ask me About:
Product management
Marketing
Financial and business productivity software
Payment methods and monetization platforms
Boaz
Fachler
He/Him
Investor
Ask me About:
Basel
Abusharkh
Investor
PhD chemical engineering UW-Madison, inventor and founder of 1 billion dollar innovation companies
Ask me About:
Water desalination and purification
Carbon capture
Saudi Arabia
Chemical process
Sustainability
Rosanna
Garcia
Founder, Investor, ESO Staff
Professor of entrepreneurship at WPI; I encourage university-based startups to be their very best using my own legal tech company as a model of can-do!
Ask me About:
marketing
tech startups
Business model canvas
Lean Startups
traction
John
Harthorne
He/Him
Investor
Ask me About:
Fundraising
Revenue Generation / Business Development
Strategy
Networking
Steve
Jenks
I prefer not to say
Investor
Ask me About:
Cairn
Cross
He/Him
Expert
Venture Capital
Ask me About:
Economic Development
Funding
Board Advice
Pitch Events
Angel Investments
Jason
Briggs
Expert
Ask me About:
AI
WordPress12
Research
Fintech
Innovation
Francesca
Olsen
She/Her
Expert
Ask me About:
Digital marketing
Communications + marketing strategy
Branding + brand narrative
Customer funnel
Social media strategy
Bruce
Kaminstein
I prefer not to say
Investor
Ask me About:
business strategy, product innnovation , scalling operations and general business guidance in consumer prodcuts
Jeffrey
Thomas
He/Him
ESO Staff
Ask me About:
biotech startups, early-stage venture investing, effective pitching, corporate governance

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Founders are everywhere, but resources aren’t.

That’s a shame, because the next big idea could come from anywhere.

 

The Massachusetts Founder Network aims to bridge the gap, giving startup founders equitable access to resources that will help their companies grow.

 

We support MA founders no matter where they come from, their company’s stage, or their business sector. We want to democratize access to the resources that will help them accelerate—and excel. All founders are welcome to find resources and community at MFN while creating connections, expanding their networks, and learning from one another.

About MFN

The Massachusetts Founders Network is a central hub for all things startups, fostering innovation and collaboration across the state. MFN offers valuable networking, resources, mentorship, and community for startup founders in Massachusetts. 

 

MFN is produced by Lever, a startup accelerator based in North Adams. Our work is supported by funding from and collaboration with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, based in Westborough.

 

We’ve been advising and connecting with entrepreneurs for years, and we’re using that knowledge and network to launch something new, with the help of an advisory board of successful founders and major players in the startup ecosystem. 

We plan to launch the Massachusetts Founders Network in summer 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to get alerts about our launch, new features, and MFN events!