TechSandBox: MetroWest Innovation Hub 


Pitch Programs at TechSandBox


Series includes pitching practice sessions

July 10, 2017: Five Minute Pitch to Investors

Seven startups are being selected as we write this ..... to get to pitch in front of a Panel of qualified Investors ...
to help those that are not yet funded# and desiring an opportunity for practice and feedback.

While there is no prize money, any or all seven may get invited to have a
formal meeting. All will get valuable feedback.

How it works:

A panel of qualified investors listens to the five minute pitches (along with up
to 10 slides) of the selected startups. They each give feedback (10-15 mins. total) and then vote on whether they'll each grant a follow on meeting, do an introduction to another investor or useful party, or pass at this time.

This is a 'no harm no foul' pitch opportunity and does not negatively impact each startup's chance to get in front of investors again.

7/3/2017 Startups notified.
7/7/2017 Pitch-ers Practice Session (required; open to the public); draft pitch decks due that night
     7/9/2017 Pitch-ers' final slides due at NOON

7/10/2017 Pitch Program: 6pm doors open for 6:30pm start;
food included.

Applicants: Includes admission for applicant even if not selected.# see rules; a small amount of F3 (friends, family, ...) acceptable.  Please apply if you are a Startup that has some level of success (beyond concept; see below). Rules are here (must read) and 

Audience admissions: Cheer on an entrepreneur and hear what investors want. General Admission - $45; Partners (ask your organization for a code) - $25; TSB Members - $10.

Investor panel:

Sophie Chapelle, Golden Seeds
Lisa Frusztajer, Converge Ventures
Charlie Hipwood, Mass Ventures
David Kessler, Boston Harbor Angels

Ben Littauer, Walnut Ventures
Catherine White, Golden Seeds

 Catherine White, Golden Seeds Charlie Hipwood, Mass Ventures, Investor Sophie Chapelle, Golden Seeds, Lisa Frusztajer Ben Littauer, Walnut Ventures David KesslerDavid Kessler


This is a Pitch program where a select group of entrepreneurs has up to 5 minutes to convince a panel of investors to meet with them to further discuss their ventures.

It is designed to give an opportunity to startups who would not normally be
ready or have the connections to get in front of a VC or Angel group, yet
need the chance to pratice and get feedback.

Our investors offer questions for clarity and provide feedback to the entrepreneurs about their presentations and companies, and information to all about why they decide to be “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” indicating if they will meet with the Entrepreneur at a later time  or if there is no interest at this time. The Investor may also do a thumbs "East-West" if the company doesn't meet their investment criteria but they are willing to make an introduction to someone else (investor, partner, industry connection).

The successful applicants will be deemed to have companies most likely to interest the investment panel. In the past, the successful companies have been beyond the idea stage, with a prototyped product, some customer interest or a bit of revenue, or significant progress toward commercialization if a pharma or medical device company.   

Pitch Practice Session

A chance to practice timing and get the blips out is scheduled for July 7 at 5:30pm at TechSandBox. Feedback on what's not clear will be given. Draft slide decks are required that evening. Coaches: Juby Jacob, Director, GE; Larry Nannis, former KNS founder; Barry Rosenbloom, with Barb Finer

BIOs of Investors

Sophie Chapelle, Angel Investor – Golden Seeds, 37Angels, is an active member of 2 angel groups: Golden Seeds (Boston Chapter) and 37Angels (NYC based group of Women-only investors), looking to support tech-based start-ups in a variety of B2C and B2B industries.

A chemical engineer by training, with a degree from Columbia business school, Sophie has 25 years of healthcare technology as biopharma industry experience, working in several small and very large companies in roles of growing responsibilities in collaborative R&D, technology licensing, sales & marketing, leading business development and transactions, operational delivery, strategic planning and profit & loss management.

Lisa Frusztajer started her career with Sun Microsystems, then helped grow a small software startup called KYOS, and then joining Avid Technology, the leading provider of audio and video technology for media organizations and independent professionals. Lisa is currently focused on angel investing, consulting projects, and running a real estate management company. Lisa’s background is an eclectic blend of marketing, engineering and project management, as well as of technology, manufacturing, higher education and finance. She serves on the Board of Trustees at a secondary school and has been a board member of other education-focused nonprofits.

Lisa holds an AB from the University of Chicago, a MS from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Charlie Hipwood is an investor on the team of Mass Ventures, the quasi-state of Massachusetts’ venture capital group. 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.

David Kessler is an angel investor and retired entrepreneur. He worked in the computer software industry for more than 35 years. During that time, he founded or co-founded a number of for-profit companies and one nonprofit.

In 2012, David entered the fascinating world of angel investing. Since that time, he has participated in 13 deals – 5 tech, 6 life science and 2 other.

Ben Littauer is an angel investor with expertise in Internet and communications technologies, as well as healthcare IT, as well as the Boston funding ecosystem.  Currently an active member of Walnut Venture Associates and Boston Harbor Angels with over 40 investments in a wide variety of startups, he sits on the boards of several portfolio companies.

Mr. Littauer was Technology Strategist for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he defined the architecture for PatientSite, allowing patients to communicate securely with their healthcare team and view their own medical records.  He was a consultant to the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium on healthcare data security projects.

Mr. Littauer was co-founder, President, and CTO of Baranof Software, the leading vendor of service-level management software for messaging and Internet applications. Baranof was sold to Tally Systems in 1997.

Catherine White is a member of Golden Seeds, an angel group focused on women leaders.  She founded and was president of FinArc, LLC (, a money management firm specializing in socially responsible investments.  Previously she was on the start-up team for International Heritage where she was a portfolio manager and limited partner of a growth and income mutual fund.  White is a director of FinArc Investments, Inc. and the Cutler Center for Investments and Finance at Babson College. She was a director of BostonFed Bancorp (BFD: American Exchange), Babson College Graduate School of Business, and other institutions.

She has an MBA from the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Management at Babson College and BA from Dickinson College.