Wednesday, August 09, 2000

Serious Networking: MIT Entrepreneurship Gala

More networking, albeit a higher echelon of mostly gainfully employed (and employable), was occurring at Justin's on Wednesday, August 9, for the MIT Entrepreneurship Center's Gala Networking Reception. I arrived amidst a marathon of 45-second pitches that past students were making on their companies. 

I arrived during the presentations of MIT E-Society Hot Companies and NYC Sponsors. Some of the highlights were Identrus -- founded by Kristin Kupres and funded by VCs and Andres Nannetti of Rovia.com told us of his decorated past. Quixi's Jennifer Houser told us that their model for mobil technology is different from everyone else's – they use live operators. After the rounds of short speeches, the networking resumed and MIT Sloan School of Management Andrew Nelson introduced me to Ken Morse, MIT Entrepreneur Center MD (charming as ever), who introduced me to the equally charming American Bailey VC Douglas Bailey and his lovely wife. Ken then introduced me to the couple who'd traveled the furthest for this soiree -- Dr. Turgay Ozkan of the MIT Club of Turkey and his wife. He set up the First Turkish Export Import Bank and VC Association. Among Ken’s witticisms was, "Beavers are friendly, engineering animals that live in lodges and are capable of great things."

Comet Systems Ben Austin introduced me to his new wife, Elisabeth Stock of Computers for Children. Then he introduced me to the impressive MIT Corporation Chairman Alexander d'Arbeloff and his equally charming and impressive wife, Brit d'Arbeloff of the MIT Corporation.
Business Week's Kimberly Weisel and Mica Schneider were there chatting with Adero's Perry Soloman and Flatiron Partners' Jane Levy. HauteD├ęcor.com's Shuja Keen and I-hatch's Kelly Ryan were mingling with other MIT grads like Mnemonic Technology's Eric Sven Ristad, and Ethan Andrew who told me he's a business school graduate of MIT Sleep Deprivation. Soliloquy's Mark Lucente and John Martin introduced me to Alexander Ogilvy's Melissa Dennis. Arc : econsultancy Andrew Walter and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures Ross Goldstein were also there, along with several hundred other smart shakers, sampling salmon, popcorn shrimp and petit fours.
One Motorola Ventures was well represented by managing director Matthew Growney in a slick cream-colored leather jacket, and Susan Mahoney and Andrew Ramer.