Thursday, March 12, 2009

How Many Bostonians Were at the White House Last Friday? Raise Your Hands, Please

I haven't seen the complete list of people invited to the White House last Friday for a summit of young business leaders, but the group included Twitter founder Evan Williams, Donald Trump scion Ivanka Trump, ex-Google exec Chris Sacca (who was a big Obama fundraiser), and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. There were 25 entrepreneurs invited, all under the age of 35.

The only Bostonian I know who was there was Greg Selkoe, founder of Karmaloop, an ultrahip online apparel retailer. (The Obama t-shirt in the image is just one item you can buy from the site.)

Others on the invite list: Michael Chasen, CEO of; James Gutierrez, CEO of Progresso Financiero; Catherine Levine, COO of Daily Candy; marketer Josh Spear; Jake Nickell of Threadless; Blake Mycoskie, Founder of Tom's Shoes.

Selkoe's PR rep e-mails to add that the young leaders met with officials from the Office of Public Liaison, Intergovernmental Relations, National Economic Council, Office of Energy and Climate Change, Domestic Policy Council, and New Media. "They were briefed by each of these government agencies on the Obama administration's new policies, plans for progress, and steps being taken toward economic recovery," she writes. "The White House expressed to them their desire to enlist the help of the young and the next generation of business leaders in helping contribute ideas and support for economic recovery and to help spread the word about their administration's desire to be open to new ideas, accessible, and transparent."

Interestingly, Selkoe was quoted in the NY Times this morning, defending artist Shepard Fairey (the guy behind the Obama "Hope" poster), who is facing several vandalism charges for allegedly plastering his artwork all over town.

Karmaloop is the official online outlet for Fairey merch... and yes, that Obama shirt in the picture is one of his creations...

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Healthcare in the Age of Obama

Steve Wardell is putting on an event in Boston next month called the "Transforming Healthcare Summit." It'll feature a keynote from Tufts Health Plan CEO Jim Roosevelt, and a panel with Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker, Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush, and John Glaser, CIO at Partners Healthcare. (I'll be moderating.)

Here's the focus:

    The American healthcare sector has never experienced such a time of crisis, uncertainty, and opportunity. As a result, the new Administration has made healthcare the centerpiece of its stimulus and reform plans. Billions of dollars are flowing into healthcare from Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, and tens of billions more are expected from Obama’s new American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, and from Daschle’s comprehensive reform plan. But how do you and your organization learn about the change and get ahead of it?

Date is Thursday, February 26th, from 5:45 to 9:30 PM.

If you're interested, you can use the code "innoeco1" when you register to get 10 percent off.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Karen Gordon Mills: Who???

So Obama apparently is about to name Karen Gordon Mills to run the Small Business Administration. Mills is apparently a venture capitalist who splits her time between Maine and Manhattan.

Check out the hyper-informative Web sites of her two firms, Solera Capital and MMP Group.

Doesn't this woman know the Obama administration is all about transparency?

Solera, according to some quick Google searches, owns the mac-and-cheese company Annie's Homegrown and has also invested in a chain called Calypso Christiane Celle, which sells women's apparel and accessories.

According to this piece from the Harvard Business School alumni newsletter, she worked for McKinsey & Co. and the leveraged buyout firm E.S. Jacobs & Co.

From that piece:

    Solera, which Mills cofounded in 2000 with a group of other investment professionals, has $250 million under management and specializes in later-stage invest-ments in companies that could use a boost in capital to grow substantially. “Our operating philosophy is to invest about $15–20 million in each deal and take a controlling interest,” notes Mills. “We like to be the capital that comes in to grow the business to the next level — build the next plant, make an acquisition, or expand the brand.”

    What makes Solera unique, she adds, is its research-intensive focus and the fact that its four managing partners are women. “But we're not a firm that invests only in women-owned companies,” says Mills. “What we've done is build a network — beyond our usual network — of powerful women executives, including HBS classmates Orit Gadiesh and Ann Fudge, who help us in deals with knowledge and access.”

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