MTDC and Governor Patrick Appoint Three New Board Members to Help Catalyze Innovation Economy
February 1, 2012, Boston, MA – Governor Patrick recently appointed Anita Brearton, Jeremy Halpern and Kanasha Herbert to the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC). All three bring extensive experience and expertise building great companies and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts has become a world leader in innovation and the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to continuing that trend,” said Chairman of the MTDC Board of Directors and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. “These three new board members bring the experience and insight necessary to help direct MTDC towards its mission of building and supporting the growth of innovative technology-driven companies in the state to help accelerate job growth and the economy.”
Anita J. Brearton is the Executive Chair for FashionPlaytes.com, the first experiential commerce company to fuse mass customization, gaming and community to create a compelling shopping experience for the next generation of consumer, the digital girl. A seasoned marketing executive with extensive technology marketing experience, Anita has served in executive and consultative roles for a broad range of successful early-stage, high growth technology companies. As a consultant Anita worked with A123 Systems, Altruick, Airvana, Azuki Systems, and BTI Systems helping to shape the positioning and go-to-market strategies that enabled these companies to achieve their marketing and revenue goals. Anita served as vice president of corporate marketing at Sycamore Networks, where she took the company from its infancy through its IPO to become an established player in the Intelligent Optical Networking market. Prior to Sycamore, Ms. Brearton held senior marketing positions with Artel Video Systems, Cascade Communications and General DataComm.
Passionate about supporting women led enterprises, Anita is a Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an angel investment group that provides early stage and growth capital to women led businesses across all industry sectors. Her investments include FashionPlaytes, Carnegie Speech, SweetRiot Chocolate, Gracious Eloise, Honestly Now, Lark and Crimson Hexagon. Anita is also the founder of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Council in Boston, and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Simmons College. In addition to her work supporting female entrepreneurs, Anita serves on the board of the Angel Capital Association, the Massachusetts Technology Development Council, The Sunflower Initiative and the advisory boards of Altruik, Inc. and Connect2 Communications.
“I am looking forward to working with the MTDC team and board to build upon the great work already being done in Massachusetts to create an environment that fosters and supports innovation,” said Brearton. “With a focus on providing capital that helps first time entrepreneurs and start-up companies in emerging markets move from concept to commercialization MTDC plays an important role in the innovation ecosystem.”
Jeremy D. Halpern is a partner in the Business Department and the Director of Business Development for the Emerging Companies Group of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. Jeremy’s practice focuses on private equity, venture capital and angel financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, equity and entrepreneurial compensation matters, and general start-up support. Jeremy spends a large portion of his time connecting with and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New England. Concurrently, Jeremy serves on the Board of The Capital Network, a Boston-based non-profit that provides education to entrepreneurs seeking early stage capital, and as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Tufts University. He is currently a mentor for CJP PresentTense, a Connector in the Boston World Partnership, and is a proud co-founder of both BostonIDEA and MassApps.
Previously, Jeremy was the Managing Director of Evolution Advisors LLC, a Boston based strategic transaction advisory firm, and the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Business Development for MobileTek Corporation, a developer of PC based applications enabling smarter mobility for consumer mobile devices. Prior to that, he practiced corporate law with other national law firms in Boston and Los Angeles.
Jeremy participates with or is a member of Launchpad Venture Group, Boston Harbor Angels, MassTLC, The Capital Network, Web Innovators Group and MobileMondays.
“MTDC has put a stake in the ground to provide seed, gap and expansion capital to technology companies as they move from conception to growth. I am thrilled to work with the board and the incredible investment team to ensure that Massachusetts remains at the cutting edge of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Halpern.
Kanasha S. Herbert is a business lawyer at Foley Hoag LLP’s Emerging Enterprise Center, where she advises startup companies on corporate formation, angel and venture capital financings and general corporate matters. She also advises venture capital firms on investments in portfolio companies and focuses on the high-tech, software and life sciences industries.
Kanasha’s business law practice focuses on advising public and private companies on a broad range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, financings as well as on assisting emerging companies in capital-raising activities. Kanasha regularly assists public companies with securities law compliance, including periodic reporting and securities registration. She assists investment advisors in the formation of onshore and offshore hedge funds. She also counsels clients, both public and private, on general corporate matters.
In addition to her business practice, Kanasha is active in Foley Hoag’s Pro Bono practice and has represented clients on domestic violence related matters and has provided legal assistance on housing and disability related matters. Kanasha was previously a hardware engineer at Hewlett Packard and Compaq Computer where she designed low to mid-range servers.
“Massachusetts has a wealth of talent in the technology sector that can contribute to the Commonwealth’s economic development,” said Herbert. “I am excited to participate in the venture capital ecosystem and help emerging companies grow into valuable participants in the state’s economy.”
“We are very pleased to have Anita, Jeremy and Kanasha join the MTDC board. Each brings their own perspective and expertise to help catalyze our state’s innovation economy through proficiency in startups, leadership, law and fundraising,” concludes MTDC President, Jerry Bird.
About Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation
Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), is a leading edge venture capital firm that addresses the “capital gap” for start-up and expansion of early-stage technology companies operating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MTDC has invested in many of Massachusetts’ most promising new technology-based companies. More information is available at www.mtdc.com.