It was a beautiful Boston afternoon for our annual Strawberry Shortcake Social. We owe many of these traditions to Susan, our receptionist, who looks after us as superbly well as she does our guests. The gathering also served as a nice send-off for Team Axio before their flight to San Fran for a big week out in Silicon Valley. Mark (far right; member of our IT team), looks to be carefully eyeing up the bowl of strawberries and debating whether to go for seconds. Can’t say we blame him - it was delicious.

It was a beautiful Boston afternoon for our annual Strawberry Shortcake Social. We owe many of these traditions to Susan, our receptionist, who looks after us as superbly well as she does our guests. The gathering also served as a nice send-off for Team Axio before their flight to San Fran for a big week out in Silicon Valley. Mark (far right; member of our IT team), looks to be carefully eyeing up the bowl of strawberries and debating whether to go for seconds. Can’t say we blame him - it was delicious.

The below recap on Mike Farber’s session is courtesy of Arye Barnehama and Laura Berman of Axio:

One of my favorite quotes has always been, “When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say that it happened naturally,” spoken by Lao Tse. This is the job of Mike Farber, the CEO of LaunchSquad, a “full-service” PR firm. Mike, a JD, directs high-growth startups from behind the scenes to sculpt their stories for the public to read, listen to, watch, and be inspired by. 

The initial question of the Socratic-style dialogue with Mike began with a basic question of “what is…”, in this case, “What is PR?” The startups in the room pondered, gave answers based off what we’ve read, experienced, and been taught about PR. Soon, however, Mike made the heart of the answer blatantly simple. PR is whom you surround yourself with. It’s a form of validation, a source of credibility, a stamp of approval. It almost reminds me of schoolyard rules. At school, your reputation is based upon whom you hang out with. It is part of human nature to discuss the lives of others, but what people say about you is largely affected by whether you hang out with the “cool kids,” the “nerds,” or the “jocks.” The same rule seems similar to how PR can affect the image of your startup. If you have the NY Times write about you, you can bet that people will believe in the credibility of your business. If you have an article in TechCrunch, you won’t be guaranteed credibility, but you’ll be in with the “cool kids,” of the startup community. So, PR is not just about reaching as many people as you possibly can, it’s also about associating with the sources that you want. The sources for PR that you choose become part of the story that your startup wants to tell, whether your goal is to convert customers, become a thought leader, or launch an innovative technology. 

The next step to successful PR is looking at it as an ongoing storytelling and relationship-building process, as opposed to a one-time solution. The ability to

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The Brothersport Games work area out in Menlo Park is well optimized for collaboration and team productivity.  That  being said, some may even call it a little messy.  On the latter point, how does that compare to the now legendary London Conference Room in Cambridge that houses Axio, CareDojo and Webcred? Well we shared the pic with some of the residents.  As one put it: “lol they got nothing on us.”  And another more succinctly: “The London is more than just a messy room… it’s a state of mind.”

The Brothersport Games work area out in Menlo Park is well optimized for collaboration and team productivity.  That  being said, some may even call it a little messy.  On the latter point, how does that compare to the now legendary London Conference Room in Cambridge that houses Axio, CareDojo and Webcred? Well we shared the pic with some of the residents.  As one put it: “lol they got nothing on us.”  And another more succinctly: “The London is more than just a messy room… it’s a state of mind.”

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Robbie Greenglass of Highland played a huge part in helping to make the Summer program in Cambridge a success.  From reviewing & vetting applications, working closely with teams throughout the summer, getting to know them better socially (those Monopoly games will be remembered for a long time), and being involved in so many of our events & activities, he was instrumental part of the experience.  Robbie took a moment to reflect on the summer below:

"Back in April, I walked in to a meeting at Highland after watching about 100 video submissions for our Summer@Highland program. With close to 300 applicants in total, we needed to split up the batch and start narrowing down the list to a handful of teams that are going to become our office mates for Summer. Having virtually met each team for only 3 or 4 minutes in a video, I had no idea what to expect when the summer actually started. Every summer has its surprises (like last summer when I got 11 people stuck in an elevator in NYC for over an hour), highs, lows, and most of all, an amazing amount of energy injected into Highland’s offices. While we had moved into our new Cambridge office last October, this summer was our first program in the new office. And at least for me, it was an amazing one!

From Day 1, Highland was transformed by the new members of our family. Our relatively quiet office in Kendall Square was turned into a co-working space with some incredibly bright new minds. The lights of the 16th floor stayed on much later into the night than usual…  For me, I got the chance to work with almost all of the teams here in Cambridge (those Handybook guys were always on the phone when I tried to stop by). And it has been one of the best experiences I have had so far at Highland.

I would usually take a stroll to see the teams a few times a week to see how everyone was doing. Here is the usual landscape: Our London Conference room was home to three teams. From team Webcred, Nam would usually be asleep on the air mattress (with JetBlue eye mask on), Connor in a daze because he was up all night teaching his college classmates how to code so they could come work for him.  Arye and Laura would be packing up their silver briefcase with Axio headbands to go demo their concentration monitoring device, all garbed out in Axio t-shirts and hoodies. Ilya would always be stressing that the Home Care space has way too much regulation in place, and Faheem, well, who knew where the hell Faheem was! 

Walking down the hall, we would get to the usually dark office of Team Wellframe. However, the darkness was not for lack of people in the office. These guys get the award for most all-nighters. And I am sure that will not be the only award these guys ever get as Jake, Trishan, Vinnie and Archit are about to hit the hospital market by storm with their new Cardiac rehab app.

Stepping out of the darkness and walking a little further down hall we would get to MyBetterFit. Ahh MyBetterFit. These guys really liked to redecorate their office. One day, a new couch appeared! Then, a second bean bag chair! And while there was sometimes the misunderstanding of what “This food is for Highland Partners Only” signs meant, MBF was hard at work building a next gen application for women choosing birth control (and if you ever need to find the good kind of Pop Chips or Pirates Booty, they would be hidden somewhere in their office).

Finally, we get to Handybook. As I said before, they were always on the phone! So, I never got to say hi. But they have an impressive amount of sticky notes on the glass door. So they got that going for them, which is nice.

The Summer@Highland teams turned our office into a bee hive of activity. With speakers in throughout the summer, trips to Martha’s Vineyard, late night games of Monopoly (Arye, don’t forget that I have future monopoly deals with you), and a lot of laughs, it was an amazing experience for me. It has truly been a pleasure to meet and work with every one of these teams. They are all an impressive group of entrepreneurs, and I only hope that our paths continue to cross. For me, the 100 days of summer flew by way too fast. I wish we could start all over again!”