The History and Future of Mass Innovation

TUE, SEP 27, 2016 (00:00)

Massachusetts is home to more world changing innovations than almost anywhere else on the planet: the first use of anesthesia, the first phone call, the first venture capital firm, and the first same-sex marriage. Why has Boston been the key center of social and technological innovations? Can it maintain this momentum? What can community and business leaders and local governments do to nurture the factors that promote innovation? Local innovators, investors and influencers share their insights and perspectives on the history and future of innovation in this region. Photo by Unknown; film commissioned by AT&T. (Early Office Museum.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

+ BIO: Tim Rowe

Tim Rowe is the Founder and CEO of Cambridge Innovation Center (, which operates the largest facility in the world dedicated to housing startups. Hubspot, Great Point Energy, Gloucester Pharma, Tokai Pharmaceuticals, and many other large success stories have come out of CIC. Approximately $7B of venture capital is headquartered within CIC’s two buildings in Massachusetts, putting it on par with many countries. In addition to its original Cambridge, MA location, CIC opened new facilities in Boston, MA and St. Louis, MO in 2014, and in 2015 its first international expansion project in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In December 2015 CIC opened its newest planned site: Miami. CIC has won Boston Magazine’s “Best Place to Work” award, and houses approximately 900 startup companies today. In addition to his role with CIC, Tim is a Venture Partner and member of the investment committee of New Atlantic Ventures. Mr. Rowe is particularly interested in consumer-facing technology products with mass-market potential. Tim also plays a number of community leadership roles. He is founder and Chairman of the Venture Cafe Foundation, a not for profit that seeks to enhance collaboration within the innovation community, and is a founder and Chairman of Lab|Central, a not for profit that provides facilities for early stage life sciences startups. He serves on the Executive Committee of the New England Venture Capital Association. Earlier in his career, Tim served as a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, a Manager with the Boston Consulting Group and an analyst with the Mitsubishi Research Institute. Tim speaks Spanish and Japanese fluently. Tim holds an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a BA from Amherst College.

+ BIO: Janice Bourque

Janice Bourque has been Senior Vice President and Group Head-Life Sciences for Comerica Bank for the past 3 years. She is responsible for leading Comerica’s national strategy for the life sciences, delivering value to the industry and generating portfolio growth in the Northeast positioning Comerica to be the “Bank of Choice” for the life sciences. Formerly, Ms. Bourque was President/CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) for 12 years where under her leadership the MassBiotech 2010 was released which provided a blueprint for Massachusetts to remain at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution. She has held several previous senior managerial positions, including CFO/controller of Cambridge Medical Technology Corporation, senior public accountant for Coopers & Lybrand Emerging and Middle Market Group, and as a NASA Space Science grant project manager for the first satellite payloads to be repaired by the space shuttle missions. Ms. Bourque is currently on the Board of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Board Chair of the Boston History and Innovation Collaborative, treasurer for National Foundation for Family Homelessness and board member of the Women Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology (WEST). She has won numerous awards and was a Boston Magazine 100 most influential woman. Ms. Bourque received her MBA degree in finance and accounting and her BS degree in veterinary science from the University of New Hampshire.

+ BIO: Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989-1992), Professor Kanter has been repeatedly named to lists of the “50 most powerful women in the world” (Times of London), and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” (Accenture and Thinkers 50 research). In 2001, she received the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Career Award for her scholarly contributions to management knowledge; and in 2002 was named “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” by the World Teleport Association, and in 2010 received the International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals. She is the author or co-author of 18 books. Her latest book, SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good, a manifesto for leadership of sustainable enterprises, was named one of the ten best business books of 2009 by

+ BIO: Travis McCready

Senior executive & thought leader with 15+ years economic development expertise in private, public & large scale not-for-profit institutions. C-level management experience in finance, operations, strategy, business development, marketing, government & public affairs, and media relations. An accomplished and innovative strategic planner and negotiator with hands-on leadership experience in the innovation economy, social and cultural infrastructure, large-scale real estate development, and complex, multi-stakeholder economic development initiatives. Frequently invited speaker on leadership development, innovation clusters & economic growth, and the creative economy.

+ BIO: Dr. Robert Krim

Dr. Robert Krim is a Framingham State University Associate Professor in the Department of Business, where he teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As an entrepreneur, he started and led two companies. He spent more than a decade (1997-2010) founding and leading the Boston History and Innovation Collaborative, a Boston-based research partnership. The “Bump and Connect” At the Collaborative, Dr. Krim headed the decade-long research project Innovate Boston, which found that the five main drivers that have led Eastern Massachusetts to be one of the most innovative regions in the world for over four centuries are: Entrepreneurship, Networking, Local Demand, Local Funding, and National/Global Demand. His “Bump and Connect” phrase for the interaction of entrepreneurs which drives innovation (4 of the 5 drivers) has become quite popular in explaining innovation.

Massachusetts Historical Society
What Will Work Look Like In The Future?