July 15, 2013

MITX Announces New Board Members and Future Leaders Group this Month

Things have been pretty busy over at MITX this July. Over the past couple of weeks, the non-profit has announced six new additions to their Board of Directors as well as ten members for this year’s version of the Future Leaders Group. Both sets of announcements include some pretty big names from the local innovation ecosystem.

While constantly promoting “What’s Next” in the “innovation economy” in Boston (and New England), MITX has really added some impressive local innovators and thought leaders to its Board of Directors that is already a “Who’s Who” for Boston tech/innovation.

This year’s group includes David Chang, the COO of Paypal Media; Wayne Chang, GM of Crashlytics/Twitter Boston; Jennifer Lum, Co-founder of Adelphic Mobile; Mark McWeeny, President of New Ventures and CMO at Rue La La; Rudina Seseri, Partner at Fairhaven Capital; and Seth van der Swaagh, Head of Industry for Telecom Advertising Sales at Google.

“With the board we try to represent the entire ecosystem that MITX represents,” said Debi Kleiman, President of MITX. “We try to add people in such a way, that it provides a balanced view of the entire ecosystem.”

Kleiman explained further, “We pick people from the mobile world like David Chang. We pick people from the startup world and the entrepreneurial space like Jennifer Lum, or we pick Venture Capitalists like Rudina. And Mark from Rue La La is representing the excitement that is surrounding e-commerce in Boston.”

“And Wayne, he checks a whole bunch of boxes,” she added. “He’s an accomplished serial entrepreneur, he’s Twitter, he’s mobile; he checks a whole bunch of things for us as far as where we want to see MITX grow.”

The new board members gathered for the first time last week, and Kleiman was astounded by how many connections they already had with existing Board of Directors members. Whether they had worked at one time for someone or invested in another's company, the existing relationships will further strengthen the MITX community.

In addition to the new Board members, MITX announced the ten members of this year’s Future Leaders Group. This group is selected from several nominations and pared down to “ten very exciting, young, entrepreneurs, innovators, or folks who are having an early impact on the innovation economy here in Boston,” as Kleiman said.

The new members are the fourth group that MITX has selected. Some past alumni include Matt Lauzon of Gemvara and Matrix, Cort Johnson of Terrible Labs, Jake Cacciapaglia of RunKeeper, and Brent Grinna of EverTrue.

This year’s Future Leaders Group includes Spencer Bramson, the CEO and Founder of ChatterMob; Devlyn Brisson from Wayfair; David Brown of TUGG; Chris Chiusano, a Senior Web Designer at Constant Contact; Sasha Hoffman, the Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Plastiq; HubSpot’s Anum Hussain; Caitlin Jordan of Digitas; Sam McElhinney, an Account Manager at Google; Paige Salvia from Hill Holliday, and Harvey Simmons, the Dean of Marketing Affairs at EverTrue.

Kleiman said the purpose of the Future Leaders Group was to “help us make sure we are relevant and meaningful to the generation that’s coming up within the innovation economy.” “In return,” she added, “we mentor them and connect them to some of the top people in the industry.”

MITX plays such a vital role in the Boston tech/innovation community, it will be great to how much the new members of the Board of Directors and the Future Leaders Group add to the innovation economy as a whole.

Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz.  You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.