I founded two companies, and was an early employee at two other startups. All four exited successfully. So what’s the magic formula? I have no idea. But I do know that a startup must tackle a real-world problem (sell aspirin, not vitamins), offer enough differentiated value to attract customers, and carefully manage its finances to hit escape velocity before running out of cash. But with hard work, building a great team, telling a compelling story, being responsive to feedback, and a whole bunch of luck you have a chance. And I’d like to help.

Ask Me About:

Building products, teams, culture
Business Strategy, Intellectual Property
Customer Discovery, PMF, GTM
Technology - system architectures, choosing stacks, being a CTO

Professional Background

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.

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!