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Tim Rowe    

Founder & CEO of Cambridge Innovation Center

Tim Rowe is an entrepreneur, community builder, and expert on how to foster innovation within organizations. Born and raised in Cambridge, MA, he is the Founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center, the largest facility in the US dedicated to housing early stage technology businesses.

The CIC houses approximately 350 startup and early stage technology companies, and is perhaps the densest collection of startups anywhere in the world. The Boston Globe has described the CIC as "what may just be the most important building in Greater Boston." Google, Inc. began in New England within the Cambridge Innovation Center, as did Great Point Energy and many others. Approximately 550 companies have gotten their start at CIC since it was founded in 1999. At last count about $1.1B had been invested by venture capitalists in these companies.

Tim is also a Founder and Venture Partner with New Atlantic Ventures, a $120M early stage venture fund based in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Notable past investments include EnerNOC, a leader in demand-response energy management, and Qliance, a Seattle-based company revolutionizing how primary care is delivered.

Tim's past work includes 4 years with Boston Consulting Group in Boston, Madrid, Tokyo and Singapore; a two year stint as a lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management; and a role in organizing the "Woodstock of the Web" at CERN in 1994.

Tim is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Amherst College. He is fluent in Japanese and Spanish, and speaks basic Mandarin Chinese.

Tim was named one of Boston's "40 under 40" young business leaders by the Boston Business Journal, and was elected in the Spring of 2009 as President of the Kendall Square Association, which he helped found. The KSA seeks to improve, promote and protect this important global technology hub.

Speech Topics


Innovation and Entrepreneurship: The Magic Ingredients to Healthier Economies

Recent research shows that new jobs in the United States come almost exclusively from new companies. Established companies are collectively shedding jobs. This is leading many established organizations to seek a better understanding of the approaches to business fostered in startups that are leading to such successful outcomes. Not only do US based companies need a better understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship but countries around the globe need to address these issues as they are faced with crushing unemployment and stagnating economies. Some of the questions Tim will address in this talk include: What is innovation and where does it come from? How can we create an environment to get more? Where does successful innovation-based entrepreneurship come from, really? How are healthy startup cultures fostered? Tim speaks from his experience at the Cambridge Innovation Center, telling success stories of individual entrepreneurs, and describing how the startup ecosystem works in the MIT innovation cluster.

Creating Innovative Environments for Startup Success

Our old ideas about incubation of startups are broken. Its not just that they arent working any longerthey never worked. Recent research shows this. But today there are new paradigms enabling governments to spur the creation of many healthy new startups. Cambridge Innovation Center serves as a model. The new paradigms use less government subsidy, and are more impactful, because they do a few basic things right. Chief among these, is that they are designed in a way to attract the strongest entrepreneurs from the region and around the world, rather than being designed to appeal to weaker entrepreneurs. Tim discusses what one needs to do to build such a center.

Building Effective Startup Ecosystems

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