Be a part of StartUp Partners

StartUp Partners

HBS Alumni share their industry knowledge and business building experience with local entrepreneurs in a lunchtime advisory roundtable session.

It is a high touch, low commitment program that has been embraced by HBS alums who want to bring their seasoned business expertise to emerging business leaders and startups.

Startup Advisors

Advisors consist of volunteer HBS Alumni looking to share their knowledge and experience with the local startup ecosystem and connect with local entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs

Startups in early development stage needing an outside perspective and supportive exploration of their current challenges find a free, short-term group of advisors to help unravel problems.

StartUp Advisors

As Part of the StartUp Partners Program, Alumni Advisors Provide the following:

  • Advice on strengthening business plans & strategies for raising capital
  • Candor that helps focus startup’s strategy & clarifies customer pain points
  • Insights on product-market fit and scaling business
  • Curated, topically focused peer group discussions among entrepreneurs
  • Introductions to ecosystem – customers, partners, VCs

Participation in the StartUp Partners Program as an Advisor is a Benefit of Membership with the HBS Association of Boston.

  • Advisors must be current members of HBSAB or be prepared to signup for membership before their first session.

Meetings are from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

  • Up to six HBS Alumni, for each 2 hour session, are ADVISORS to the lead ENTREPRENEUR of one specific startup.
  • ADVISORS receive information in advance and during the session they investigate up to two focused business challenges presented by the startup.
  • ENTREPRENEURS come from a variety of sectors including MedTech, EdTech, Real Estate, Insurance, Finance, Travel, Consumer Services, Retail, AutoTech and more.
  • Sign up to advise an upcoming StartUp Partner session below using the “Sign Up” button. Sessions are filled on a first come, first serve basis and are only open to members of the HBS Association of Boston.

Entrepreneurs / Startups

As Part of the StartUp Partners Program, entrepreneurs and startups receive the following:
  • Advice on strengthening business plans, going to market strategies, timing for raising capital, etc.
  • Clarification of the startup’s strategy & pain points
  • Insights on product-market fit and scaling business
  • Curated, topically focused peer group discussions among entrepreneurs
  • Introductions to ecosystem – customers, partners, VCs

Meetings are from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

  • Up to six HBS Alumni, for each 2 hour session, are ADVISORS to the lead ENTREPRENEUR of one specific startup. The meeting is held on the HBS campus or at the ENTREPRENEUR’S office.
  • About 2 weeks before the session, ENTREPRENEURS provide StartUp Partners with one or two focus questions to guide the discussion and a their pitch deck so ADVISORS receive all information needed ahead of time and are prepared to provide meaningful support.

Entrepreneur Testimonials

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners was an incredible opportunity for us to test our thinking with a seasoned group of executives.

Especially for a founder in the climate space, it was helpful to test our assumptions with experienced leaders with diverse perspectives.

The mentorship that Startup Partners provides is a great resource for any entrepreneur seeking to sharpen their approach.

~ Sanchali Pal, Founder & CEO

This was a great time effective and high value use of my time. I recommend the program without reservations.

We worked with six relevant advisors, who read the materials ahead of time and we had a very collaborative working session on different go-to-market issues.

This was a great two hour working session on a top issue for the company.

~ Paul Baier, Founder

The advisors who joined our Startup Partners session offered valuable insight and feedback on our plans for growth.

The session came at the perfect time as Soofa is evaluating potential partnerships to scale existing markets and launch new markets.

Our leadership team found the session to be highly valuable – we came away with actionable advice and great connections.

~ Ed Krafcik, Co-Founder & VP

When the opportunity came to meet with a room full of HBS people to run our ideas by we jumped at the opportunity.

Making sure we had our messaging down was something that the Startup Partners helped set us in the right direction.

It’s a short two hours but a long version of what you can use to be successful in the future.

~Renee Fry, Founder

Startup Partners was a great opportunity to discuss our business model with a group of individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences

It was an excellent chance to better define our value proposition, examine our business model, and come away with concrete action items to implement as we continued to grow Patch.

~ Rachel Sanders, CEO

It was like having a high powered board meeting with 8 VERY smart people in 2 hours.

As an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get objective advice from a group who are not as close to the idea as I am.

I was also able to secure some connections that I’m confident will help move my business forward."

~ Robert Shapiro, Co-Founder

Startup Partners Alum Success

Former Startup Partner client, Joro, receives $2.5 million in seed financing

Congratulations to Joro, a March 2019 Startup Partner Alum, on their recent success! Joro is an app and community that helps people automatically track and improve their carbon footprints. We apply predictive analytics and AI to deliver tailored recommendations to reduce emissions, create a community to compare and share progress with others, and make it easy for people to buy carbon offsets and participate in the carbon economy.  Read the full article here!

Meet Our Advisors

Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn

MBA 1991

  • Marketing, Branding & Communications
  • Experience with P&G, Coke, Zipcar, Morgan Stanley, Mavens & Moguls
Austin Walters

Austin Walters

MBA 2016

  • Healthcare industry
  • Experience working with SpringTide Partners, Medumo, FreMon Scientific, Innosight, Board Vitals
Christopher Calisi

Christopher Calisi

TMG 1998

  • Computer / Software industry
  • Experience working with Oracle, Symantec, Overland, Cambridge Sound Management
Roberta Sydney

Roberta Sydney

MBA 1983

  • Real estate development, financial
    services & IT
  • Experienced private
    company board member
More Advisors
Chesley Chen

Chesley Chen

MBA 1983

  • Healthcare, Life Sciences, Tech, Financial Services
  • Scismic, Benefunder, Good Measures,
    Warner Babcock, Gametime Media
Barbara Thornton

Barbara Thornton

MBA 1995

  • City Planning, Public Finance, Infrastructure, Local Government
  • Experience in ecommerce, fashion, retail, footwear, nonprofits
David Harris

David Harris

MBA 1984

  • Retail, Direct Marketing, Enterprise Software, Education, Nonprofits
  • Oracle, Symantec, Overland, Cambridge Sound Management
Robyn Bolton

Robyn Bolton

MBA 2005

  • CPG, Retail, Healthcare, Media & Cable, Innovation
  • Experience working with P&G, BCG, Innosight, multiple corporate startups
More Advisors
Stephanie Crimmins

Stephanie Crimmins

MBA 2000

  • CPG, Restaurant, Retail, Private Equity, Financial Services
  • Panera Bread, Fidelity Investments, Cocomama, The Dinner Daily
Ed Ellison

Ed Ellison

MBA 1991

  • Education expert
  • Experience working with Tufts University, St. Johns Country Day School, Roxbury Latin School, Milton Academy
Bern Bradstreet

Bern Bradstreet

MBA 1984

  • Software, SaaS, AI, Finance, M&A, Construction
  • BCB Consulting, ConstructSecure, Envox, Sonexis, Brooktrout Software
Charles Chassidy

Charles Chassidy

MBA 1983

  • Institutional Financial Services, Investments, Technology
  • State Street, Cambridge Associates, Lightkeeper, AlphaPipe, Adjoint