Sunday, 25th February 2018


Posted on 03. May, 2011 by in LEADERSHIP

MindShare - Photography by Michael Vonal

I knew about MindShare long before I was an invited CEO. So, when I was invited as CEO of OptiView Technologies, I considered it an honor. I knew several CEOs who I respected that had gone prior and I was happy to attend. So what is MindShare? Let me back up.

In my words, MindShare is one of the best networking opportunities and resources for CEOs for emerging companies in the Washington, D.C. region. More formally, as Mind- Share’s board describes it as “an exclusive, invitation-only organization for CEOs of the most promising, high tech, emerging growth companies.” The organization was formed 15 years ago to create a sense of community and spirit of innovation for entrepreneurs on the east coast, similar to that which was established in Silicon Valley. MindShare’s mission is to help CEOs build long-term, sustainable companies by creating opportunities and a sense of community.

MindShare - Photography by Michael Vonal

MindShare - Photography by Michael Vonal

As a MindShare CEO, you join about 50 other CEOs of the hottest emerging companies in the region for that year’s class. The program meets once a month for dinner, networking, and a panel discussion related to critical topics for building a business at the CEO level. Topics include everything from raising venture capital to hiring the best team to how to generate PR for your company. I found the series to be interesting and informative and looked forward to Q&A where the discussion sometimes got even more interesting. But, to me, the real value is in being part of the network once you are alumni. This is a group of seasoned entrepreneurs with many name brand CEOs you would certainly recognize, including Philip Merick (webMethods), Tim O’Shaughnessy (LivingSocial), and Patrick Sweeney (ODIN Technologies). The group communicates and collaborates continuously via Listserv for the most part, but a few other social media tools are used as well. Should you have a question in your daily business on anything operational, financial, marketing related, you name it, you can throw it out to the group. And I have found the group to be responsive. And supportive.

Also useful and quite enjoyable are the MindShare Network social gatherings. The largest gathering each year is the MindShare graduation for the new class, which generally draws out about 150 MindShare CEOs. The current leadership is co-chaired by April Young, Gene Riechers, Harry Glazer, as well as 13 other business leaders in the technology community. The broader MindShare Network is led by two CEO graduates of MindShare, Edwin Miller and Charlie Thomas. Edwin is known for Everest Software and Charlie Thomas for Net2000 and Razorsight. Their biggest goal this year is to “energize the Mind- Share Alumni Network leverage the power and value of what MindShare has built,” according to Edwin.

As of now, more than 550 CEOs have graduated from MindShare and it’s entering its fifteenth year. Here are some stats that I personally find quite impressive. MindShare companies have created more than 20,000 jobs and over $5 billion in revenue in our region. Many MindShare companies have gone public via IPO and the group has raised over $1.2 billion in venture funding. Now that is some MindShare.

Post By Donna Hemmert (3 Posts)

Donna HemmertDonna Hemmert is currently CMO for Kadoo, your Private Video Cloud. As the CEO of OptiView Technologies™, she repositioned the Web content acceleration company and it was acquired. Donna was the VP of Marketing for Roku Technologies®, one of the first peer-to-peer software companies. Prior, Donna worked at Netscape™ Communications, where she drove multi-million dollar partner relationships. As Director of ISPs in the PSINet Wholesale division, Donna led business development, and created and implemented the marketing and sales strategy. She was also the Director of Business Development for InterCon Systems, the Macintosh leader of TCP/IP software.



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