Eric Paley hosted a fireside chat last Tuesday and 70+ interns, students and local talent packed the room. Eric talk about his journey as an entrepreneur and his current role as a venture capitalist in the Boston area.

Eric who co-founded Brontes Technologies, which produced digital dental impressions (which was later acquired by 3M), and then co-founded Founder Collective, talked about his journey, from building his first company to funding his most recent. He also talked about the seeking funding, what the process was like and then receiving funding from his now co-founder David Frankel.

He also talked about going through the process of Brontes Technologies’ acquisition by 3M, where part of the deal was that Eric would stay on the team. An opportunity that he jumped at willingly. “None of us really did it for the money, we just wanted to see the product through,” Eric said in response to an intern’s question about why he chose to stay on at 3M once Brontes was bought.

Eric’s talk highlighted three important messages and lessons for young entrepreneurs:

  1. You have to get to a place where VCs want to invest in your business — VC funding can be like “rocket fuel” for a startup and you might not be ready for it
  2. Leverage your network of trust when looking for investors, advisors, team members, etc
  3. Engage experts related to your business to advise you and support your startup

The lessons came from Eric’s own experiences growing and selling his companies, but are valuable to know before setting out to start your own.

Following the talk, students fired off questions for another 45 minutes, eager to learn from Eric and hear what he had to say. If this event excited you check out the TechGen calendar, because we’ve got a packed calendar with events just like this for you!

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