Posts Tagged by Tim Rowe

New zoning law to transform Kendall Square

Kendall Square will become a livelier  business and residential area as a result of a new zoning law passed last week by the Cambridge City Council.

According to Tim Rowe, president of the Kendall Square Association and a founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center, the zoning change will:allow a new gateway to MIT facing the Kendall Square MBTA station, construction of 1.1M additional square feet of new commercial space around the T stop,  hundreds of new housing units, plus additional restaurant and retail space on the ground floors of  all new buildings.

The new law requires that at least half the restaurant and retail space be operated by non-chain retailers, and that 5% of all new office space be set aside as “innovation space,” defined as small (avg. 200 sq. ft.) spaces rented on a month-to-month basis, with substantial shared-space components such as kitchens and coworking areas. The requirement for “innovation space”, along with incentives to building owners who increase their startup space to 20%,  address the concern that with the success of Kendall Square–which has seen considerable development in the last few years–global corporations ” might otherwise squeeze the startups out,” according to Rowe.

The law also requires MIT to create a new bike path (subject to a feasibiliy study) crossing Kendall Square that could eventually provide connections all the wya to the MInuteman bike path, which runs from North Cambridge to Bedford.

In a blog posted to the CIC community, Rowe said, “It is hard to overstate the importance of this change to the future of Kendall.”

–Anita M. Harris

Anita M. Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and digital marketing firm headquartered in the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square. 


Video Highlights: Pitching for Business

Here are  video highlights of Pitching for Business-an interactive workshop sponsored by the  Harris Communications Group at the Cambridge Innovation Center on Feb. 23, 2012.

-Tim Rowe,  venture capitalist; founder and CEO, Cambridge Innovation Center

-Ann Getman, principal, Getman Strategic Communications
-Aaron Niederhelman, co-founder, INNOVATE Boston
-Lisa Williams, founder,
-Joe Wrinn,  communications counselor to universities

Anita M. Harris, president, Harris Communications Group

Tim Rowe:   ” Pitching is an art, not a science”         5:39 minutes

-The goal is to find out if there’s a match
-Establish credibility
-Establish quantity
-Establish humanity
Link to video of Tim’s complete talk                       9:58 minutes


Ann Getman,  principal, Getman Strategic Communications  2:05 minutes

-Know your audience; avoid jargon
-Include what you do, for whom, and why


Aaron Niederhelman, co-founder,  INNOVATE Boston   
1:05 minutes

-Engage in a conversation



Lisa Williams, founder,        2:33 minutes

-Your pitch is an x-ray of your idea
-Slow down; write it down (with Brendan Smith, founder, Bizulu)
-Be concrete


Joe Wrinn, counselor to higher education       2:05 minutes

-Establish a personal connection
-Tell a story

VIDEO BY R2 Integrated

–Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations 3.0 firm in Cambridge, MA.





Tim Rowe of Cambridge Innovation Center and Kendall Sq. Assn to speak at “Pitching for Business” Feb. 23, 2012

The Harris Communications Group pleased to announce that Tim Rowe, founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)  and president of the Kendall Square Association, will kick off Harriscom’s  upcoming “Pitching for Business” workshop, to be held at the CIC, 1 Broadway, in Cambridge  from 3-5  on Feb. 23.


Rowe, who was featured in NPR’s “This American Life” as a judge of MIT’s 2009 $100K Elevator Speech Competition,  serves on the boards of several private companies. Prior to his current roles, Tim was a Manager with the Boston Consulting Group in Boston and an analyst with the Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo.   Tim holds a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In this interactive workshop, seasoned communication experts will offer tips on how to  develop and deliver a succinct, powerful pitch. We’ll then break into small groups for coaching and practice–with

Moderator:  Anita Harris, President, Harris Communications Group; former national tv journalist and

  • Ann Getman, Principal, Getman Strategic Communications; former Boston chapter president, Public Relations Society of America
  • Aaron  Niederhelman, founder, INNOVATE Boston, former VP of Sales and Marketing,  SoftArtisans
  • Lisa  Williams, founder,
  • Joe Wrinn, counselor to higher education, former  Harvard University News Director

followed more networking at CIC’s Venture Cafe.

RSVP by 12N  Wednesday Feb. 22. 

Link to This American Life Program on MIT Elevator Pitch Contest 


–Anita Harris

Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning  public relations firm specializing in strategic, integrated outreach for clients in health, science, technology and energy, worldwide. 

Update: CIC’s Venture Cafe Now Less of a Free-For-All

Note: This blog has been updated based on new information-also posted at  Clarifying Venture Cafe’s New Policy. 

Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)  leaders founded Venture Cafe almost two years ago with the idea of opening  a Kendall Square restaurant where entrepreneurs and funders could walk in and meet one another over drinks or a meal.

In the economic downturn, the CIC turned that beta version into an alpha version–in which just about anyone was welcome for free drinks and networking on Thursday afternoons on the CIC’s fifth floor.

Yesterday, the CIC launched a new model in which members of the innovation community will be welcome as guests–but after three visits, anyone not affiliated with certain yet-to-be named entrepreneurial groups must formally apply to become  “contributors”… who actively aid others to pursue their innovative and entrepreneurial goals.” CIC clients and members of many other innovation-oriented groups will not need to apply.

In a letter to guests, Tim Rowe, a founder of both the CIC and Venture Cafe, and Chris Myles, Venture Cafe’s Executive Director, explain that “an analysis of the attendance of the Cafe has led us to conclude that we….have space for only 120 Contributors. As a consequence, becoming a Contributor is selective, similar to applying to a university, and is by application.  Applicants must also provide up to three references (these maybe Venture Cafe Volunteers, Contributors, or a well-known member of the innovation community…”

The new model is an “ongoing experiment,” they write,  aimed at creating “a more focused, committed core of regular attendees while preserving plenty of space and opportunity for new participants.”

As a frequent participant, I do think it’s a good idea to limit the numbers and to impose some structure on the Cafe. At times, the room gets overcrowded and chaotic;  it’s sometimes difficult to find the people one hopes to meet.   But I hope the new plan allows Venture Cafe to maintain the spontaneity, excitement, and sharing  and openness that participants have enjoyed in its earlier incarnations.


—Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is President of the Harris Communications Group, a  public relations firm specializing in marketing communications, thought leadership and social media for companies in health, science, and technology, worldwide. HarrisCom is located in the Cambridge Innovation Center at 1 Broadway in Cambridge, MA. Anita also blogs at New Cambridge Observer





MIT-Kendall Innovation Celebration Lives Up To Its Name

Koch Institute Gallery

The Celebration  of Innovation in  Kendall Sq—held on April 29 at  MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research-–  definitely lived up to its title.

Among other innovations I’m still celebrating:

  • A university president (Susan Hockfield of MIT) walked over,  introduced herself and actually seemed interested in learning about ME.
  •   21 speakers got through their material in 25 minutes,  total. (Good thing, because the audience of approximately 150 stood, sipping wine, throughout).
  • Living” bronzed” statues of dead inventors Ben Franklin, Ada Lovelace, and Thomas Edison walked silently around the room–stopping, occasionally,  to pose for photos.
The event, sponsored by MIT and the Kendall Square Association,  was  introduced by Sarah Gallop of the MIT Office of Government and Community Relations and KSA.
Here’s a link to a video of the event–which Gallop sent me a few weeks after the event.
 Hockfield, the first speaker,  described some of the 150  new restaurants and corporations now populating the area.
Community leaders, scientists, technologists,  businesspeople and students then  provided brief rundowns on historic and present day scientific, economic,  community,  and  technologic advances associated with Cambridge.
  • Rudi Belliardi of the Wellington-Harrington Neighborhood Association described the development of polarizing lenses and quinine
  • Daniel Heller, a fellow at the Koch Institute, said that the Robert Langer Lab, where he works, is seeking ways to target cancer using nanotechnology.
  • Barbara Broussard, president of the East Cambridge Planning Team,  spoke about the development of  synthetic penicillin.
  • Noubar Afeyan, chair and co-founder of Joule Unlimited, explained how his company is developing renewable fuels from waste carbon dioxide.
  • Tom Waggener, Physioanalytics and Susan Hockfield, MIT

Economic Development 

  • Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of the Mass Competitive Partnership, provided an overview of economic development  in the Kendall Square Area.
  • Alex Laats, partner Commonwealth Capital Ventures, outlined the origins and importance of  the Internet.
  • Bill Aulet, managing director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, spoke about  the rise of entrepreneurs.
  • Yi-Han Ma, co-president of the MIT Sloan Venture Capital and Private Equity Club, went into the growth of the venture capital industry.
  • Tim Rowe, Founder and CEO of  the Cambridge Innovation Center, and President of the Kendall Square Association, described the area as a “Startup Hive.”


  • Cambridge Mayer David Maher introduced the topic of  ”community;”  Margaret Drury, the Cambridge City Clerk, described her pride at officiating at the nation’s first same-sex marriage ceremony.
  • John Durant, Director of the MIT Museum, told us about the upcoming weekend’s Cambridge Science Festival.
  • Program directors Rebecca Gallo and Caitlin McCormick, described their work at the East End House;  children Selena, Nubian, Ralph and Christelle acted out roles to bring out the current and historic importance of the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House to the city’s immigrant population.
  • Jane Hirschi, Executive Director of CitySprouts, explained the importance of school gardens and kids growing food.
  • Travis McCready, Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, described a recent low-tech camping experience in order to emphasize  the growing role of technology in daily life.
  • Gavin Kleespies, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society–which provided historical background for the event– spoke on the development of microwave Radar
  • Susan Athey, Harvard Economics Professor and Microsoft’s Chief Economist, described the growth of Internet search–confessing that, perhaps for obvious reasons,  she is biased toward Microsoft’s Bing.
  • Roscoe Thomas, the Area IV Neighborhood Coordinator, told of  the trials and tribulations experienced by Elias Howe before he became  the first in the US to patent a sewing machine.
  •  Rod Brooks,  MIT Professor Emeritus  and Founder of Heartland Robotics and iRobot, spoke on the past and future of robotics.
After the event,  walking by sidewalk art by Robert Guillemin,   the Whitehead Institute, Novartis, and Amgen on the way  to my car,  I felt energized by the creativity, forward-looking spirit and excitement of the gathering. And I mused at how far Kendall Square has come since I first visited there in the 1970s–when it was inhabited mainly by run down factories and empty lots.