Entrepreneurial War Stories

Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Worcester, MA - On Tuesday, January 8, 2002, The WPI Venture Forum, an organization devoted to developing technology-based entrepreneurship, welcomes Mr. Stanley N. Lapidus, founder, chairman and director of EXACT Sciences, who will relate some of the mistakes he has made in his climb up the business ladder. He will provide examples of some personal gaffes to encourage and reassure entrepreneurs that such scenarios are part of the growing process. Mr. Lapidus will also compare some of his early blunders with those made after years in the business world.

A renowned engineer, inventor and entrepreneur, Mr. Lapidus founded EXACT Sciences in 1995. Previously, he founded two other successful companies: Itran Corporation and Cytyc Corporation. An assistant research professor in the pathology department at Tufts University Medical School, Mr. Lapidus also serves as an advisor to the Harvard School of Public Health's Center for Cancer Prevention. He earned a BS degree in electrical engineering from Cooper Union.

No one ever said becoming successful was easy. But every challenge you face, every curve you maneuver, every hurdle you overcome adds knowledge and stamina - two important ingredients for the successful entrepreneur.

The WPI Venture Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2002, at 6:30 p.m. in Campus Center Odeum (please note the change in location of the meeting), on the WPI campus with registration beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for individual annual and lifetime members, $20 for non-members. To register, call 508-831-5075 or visit www.wpiventureforum.org. This meeting is the fourth in a monthly series for 2002 academic year.

Case Study

In addition to the keynote speech by Mr. Stanley N. Lapidus, there will also be a case presentation. As the global community searches for viable alternatives to fossil fuel energy, one source remains virtually overlooked – the wind. Mr. Jonathan C. Ricker is tapping into that under-utilized resource. President and founder of Mass Megawatts, Inc., Mr. Ricker has been researching wind power generators for the last ten years. His version of a wind-powered electric generator, known as a Multi-Axis Turbosystem or M.A.T., is a 24-foot tall, 24-foot wide and 24-foot long steel structure that begins generating electricity with a wind speed of 14 mph. Since wind speeds average just over 15 mph, the design is profitable, according to Mr. Ricker.

Recently, Mass Megawatts built one of its high-tech windmills atop Dresser Hill in Charlton. This prototype is capable of generating two kilowatts of energy, which is ample to service only a portion of a single-family home. In the next five years, Mr. Ricker hopes to manufacture thousands of M.A.T.s for worldwide distribution. Each structure would produce one million kilowatt hours of energy annually, enough to supply power to approximately 150 homes.

Following Mr. Ricker's presentation, a panel of experts will offer comments and constructive feedback. Mr. Alan Glou of Glou International Inc., an executive recruiting firm, brings his expertise in the issues of executive search and management consulting issues to the panel. Two other as-yet unnamed business experts will join Mr. Glou in providing Mr. Ricker will helpful suggestions in his search for venture capital funding.

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.