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HAE Boston: Funding Your Big Idea

How do you get your big idea funded?

Join HAE for an evening with two premier VCs and two successful entrepreneurs to tell you what has worked, what did not, share their suggestions, tips and advice--and get your fundraising efforts off to a great start with an insider's perspective.

We'll also have barbecue from the Smoke Shop in Kendall Square, wine and beer, and time to network with fellow entrepreneurs! 


Bill Adler, CEO- True Fit

William R. Adler brings 25+ years of leadership and experience building global brands and scaling successful businesses across retail, software and services to True Fit, where he has been the Founding CEO & President Since 2010. Under Adler's leadership, True Fit has raised nearly $100M in venture capital to build and scale the Fashion Genome.  With a world-class team of established retail and data science leaders, True Fit has organized and mapped the world's largest platform of footwear & apparel data through strategic partnerships with thousands of top brands, hundreds of the world’s leading retailers, and over 60 million consumers. 

 Prior to True Fit, Adler spent a stint as an EIR and consultant to Battery Ventures after spending nearly a decade with Timberland, the $2B publicly traded global brand and retailer, in a variety of senior roles ranging from strategy to global brand management to general management. 

John Andrews, CEO- Celect

John has spent his career helping retailers, brands, and manufacturers, optimize their omni-channel strategies and operations. John is CEO of Celect, the leading provider of Inventory Optimization solutions based on a fundamental advancement in AI and machine learning.  Prior to Celect, John was VP of Product Management & Strategy for Oracle Commerce, coming to Oracle via the Endeca acquisition where John was VP of Marketing & Product Management. John started his career within Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Operations practice. John holds a BA in Economics and Computer Science from Boston College and received his master’s degree from the Harvard Business School.

Payal Divakaran, Principle- .406 Ventures

Payal is a Principal at .406 Ventures, where she focuses on digital health investing. .406 Ventures is a Boston-based venture capital firm with ~$650M under management. The firm invests in enterprise-oriented startups in sectors including digital health, cybersecurity, and data & cloud. Payal’s portfolio includes Axial Healthcare, Better Life Partners, CloudHealth (acquired by VMWare), ChaosSearch, Event Farm, Jisto (acquired by Trilio Data), Nomad Health, Redox, Trilio Data, WelbeHealth, Wellist, and Virtudent.

Previously, Payal co-founded a company called SpotRocket to help students discover high potential startups to work for. Payal has also worked at Eventbrite, Spectrum Equity, and J.P. Morgan. Payal received her MBA, with Distinction, from Harvard Business School and her BS in Electrical Engineering and minor in Management from MIT. 

Matt Fates, General Partner- Ascent

Matt has worked with emerging technology companies since 1996, including the last 16 years at Ascent. Matt was attracted to venture capital because it enables him to work closely with management teams over numerous years, developing strong relationships and building dynamic companies. He also loves seeing challenging problems solved by creative people leveraging new technology. 

At Ascent, Matt has focused on investments in data analytics (Interactive Supercomputing – acquired by Microsoft and Cymfony – acquired by TNS), business SaaS  (StrikeIron – acquired by Informatica, Promoboxx and Connected2Fiber) and security (Fidelis – acquired by General Dynamics, PerspecSys – acquired by Blue Coat Systems and Pwnie Express). Prior to Ascent, Matt was on the team at Norwest Venture Partners and Alex Brown & Sons.