A Conversation with Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao

October 26, 2023

Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao generously offered us her perspectives on the strengths of our state, what Massachusetts needs to continue to prosper, and what it’s been like as an experienced business professional to settle into her first government job.

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We want to keep MFN “by founders, for founders” and we love feedback. Please share suggestions, questions, and comments so we can keep evolving and expanding!

Investor Insight: Pitch Tips from Chris Sims

Chris Sims has been on both sides of the startup coin, as a founder and as an investor. He’s also an MFN advisor, and we’re happy that he’s generous enough to share his experience and tips with our community–including this advice about crafting a pitch.

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They’re #1! Zeptive’s views on SEO strategy

Air quality monitoring startup Zeptive is typically No. 1 when you search Google for “vape detector” and other phrases critical to their business. This is no coincidence. It’s the result of a strategic approach to search engine optimization that has helped the company generate leads, educate customers, and expand its audience. 

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Share a valuable lesson you learned from a failure you experienced.


What is a useful tool or resource that made your life easier?

When making your first hire, what was the most important factor you considered?

In your opinion, what is the most crucial aspect of a successful pitch?

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!