Tech CEO Forum 2015 | Recap

The Connecticut Technology Council is incredibly grateful to its partners, supporters and sponsors for their help in hosting yet another successful Tech CEO Forum. The weather was perfect at the Madions Beach Hotel where 37 CEOs gathered for networking, cocktails, dinner and a panel discussion.panel

Doors opened at 3:30pm where attendees gathered to for a panel discussion on successfully exiting a liquidity event. Jennifer Good, co-founder, president and CEO of Trevi Therapeutics Inc., Marc Reich, president of Ironwood Capital, and Oni Chukwu, president and CEO of etouches covered topics including how to sell, how to find an advisor, and how to emotionally let go of your company. Some of their remarks are as follows:

How do you sell your company?

“From an investment strategy, preparation to sell starts at the very beginning.” – Jennifer Good

“Focus early on where the company is headed” – Marc ReichGood

“When you’re small, you can’t afford not to have an advisory board. You need to have a clear vision of where you’re going.” – Jennifer Good

How do you find good advisors?

“Finding a good advisor is important but don’t take time away from sales and marketing; integrated your efforts.” – Marc Reich

“Having a strong board of directors and management team is key. Sometimes it’s all you need in the sense of advisors” – Oni ChukwuOni

How do you emotionally let go of your company?

“If you’re getting money for your company, take it and run. You’re then able to let go of the responsibility and move on… it’s worth it.” – Oni Chukwu

“Be clear with everyone on your team about your company timeline and stay focused on your goal. When the check appears, take it.” – Jennifer Good

“It’s not just about the money. Some CEOs are incredibly unhappy because they never had an exit plan. Remember, it’s not just a transaction, its a about balance and lifestyle.” – Marc Reich

“Never forget that once you take investment funds your role, above all else, is to please your shareholders. If you want full control you’re better off starting a family business and staying away from major funding.” – Jennifer GoodMarc

How do I hire the right the candidates?

“Perform due diligence but remember that you just never know. It’s a crap shoot most of the time.” – Oni Chukwu

“Start with making sure the individual is qualified – the rest will unfold once they get in house.” – Jennifer Good

After the panel presentation, attendees stretched their legs on the hotel balcony overlooking the water. Past On the deckhors d’oeuvres including prosciutto wrapped dates, beef tenderloin skewers, and tuna tartare were accompanied by an open bar. Upon the conclusion of the networking hour, attendees made their way to their tables for dinner and a keynote presentation from John McCreight, Founder and Chairman of McCreight and Company Inc.

John delivered a valuable and engaging dinner presentation focused on leadership and strategy. The following are some highlights from his talk:

  • CEOs are missing the fact that employees are the TEAM.
  • It’s crucial that outside partners understand your strategy.
  • Unfortunately, communication is a lost art.
  • If your team can’t write out your business strategy on a postcard, they don’t understand it.
  • Focus on being a more aggressive and effective Johncommunicator.
  • Do not depend on email! Communicate directly whenever possible.
  • Do the best work you can do with the team you have.

John finished his talk by saying, “Being a CEO today is tougher than I ever remember.” He encouraged the CEOs in attendance to continue working towards simplifying their strategy and striving towards being an effective communicator.

A big thank you to sponsors CohnReznick, Capital One Bank, Comcast Business, Morgan Stanley, Webster Bank and Wiggin and Dana for supporting this event and our mission to unite the executive professionals in the technology community.

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