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MIT Enterprise Forum Gala 2010 at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC

In angel Investor, cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, finance, investment, Science, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

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The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of DC & Baltimore’s  2010 Gala on February 18, 2010 was an event to remember for 150+ small and medium entrepreneurs and the larger companies, VCs, Angel Investors and service providers who support and mentor them.

In a town where skepticism is rampant and who you know sometimes seems more important than what you know, the MIT Enterprise Forum of DC and Baltimore refreshingly brought together inspired professionals with knowledge, leadership and hope for the future to talk about international cooperation in launching and growing science based technology businesses. The Gala was held at the beautiful Canadian Embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue and it marked MITEF’s first DC based event. The glass windows of the Embassy looked out onto the Capital which provided a terrific backdrop for the distinguished gathering. One hundred and fifty entrepreneurs, scientists, venture capitalists and service-providers spent three hours mingling and eating, listening and asking questions of two fascinating keynote speakers with first hand knowledge about policy and the investment realities for Canadian and American businesses.

MITEF Gala program


This year’s theme was “Growing Opportunity for Technology Entrepreneurship in Domestic and Emerging Markets: The Role of Innovation in Economic Development” and was chaired by Patrick Mellody, a Director on the MITEF Board.  Jean-Luc Park, the MITEF Chairman and an Associate at the Calvert Fund moderated.

Jean-Luc Park Chairman Chapter of the MITEF of DC & Baltimore

The two keynote speakers were Jean-René Halde of the Business Development Bank of Canada & Phil Auerswald, founder and co-editor of the MIT Innovations Journal (along with Iqbal Quadir, Founder of Grameen Phone) and Associate Professor at George Mason University. The question and answer period went on for 30 minutes which indicated that people were truly engaged with both Jean-René Halde and Phil Auerswald.

Jean-René Halde’s visit with the MITEF was part of a larger business trip to the United States. Mr. Halde told the crowd that he was enjoying his trip and had enjoyed productive meetings with the heads of several private and public American institutions in Washington, DC. As CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Jean-René’s primary goal is to invest in and promote entrepreneurial activity in Canada. He does this with tremendous support from the Canadian government. He is enthusiastic about the many successful entrepreneurial partnerships between American and Canadian companies. Mr. Halde also shared what he believes are new opportunities in a difficult economic environment. Mr. Halde ended the evening by  showing his Canadian pride as this year’s sponsor of the Olympics. He generously awarded several pairs of red mittens adorned with the Olympic symbol to several lucky attendees.

Phil Auerswald came to the Gala hours after meeting with leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Mr. Auerswald brought a fresh new perspective to the MIT Enterprise Forum. He asked entrepreneurs to think globally as they create new entrepreneurial partnerships and establish new markets for their products. He asked them to engage foreign nationals to learn more about partnership opportunities in international markets. He also asked entrepreneurs to become more politically involved to protect their interests and grow their range of opportunities both at-home and abroad.

All in all- the evening was a tribute to the spirit of innovation and broad international entrepreneurial partnerships. Event Sponsors included The Canadian Embassy, Honeywell, Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz, LLP and ProVDN

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About The MIT Enterprise Forum
Open to all since 1981, the Enterprise Forum® has promoted the growth, education, and success of the entrepreneur and business community of the greater Washington & Baltimore area.
The MITEF is a non-profit, volunteer organization, it provides exceptional quality events that are open to the public.  Its many programs are targeted to local start-ups, high technology businesses, venture capitalists, angels, and the professionals who support them.

The DC  chapter is one of a network of 24 worldwide chapters of the Enterprise Forum , which was created as an outreach educational program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).  Participation and membership by the general public, regardless of their affiliation, is encouraged.

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The Author, Halima Aquino, is a Director on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum. She was also last year’s Gala Chair and this year’s Vice Chair. Halima is the Founder of Bolton Hill Consulting and Clean Tech Market Maker.

Photography and videos supplied by Allan Tone at ProVDN

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