NBIA's 23rd International Conference

Click here to view the conference program.

For more information, call (740) 593-4331 or email education@nbia.org.

Highlights and Activities

Sunday, April 7

Old Town Trolley Tour of Boston

Reserve your seat aboard the Old Town Trolley to visit Boston’s most storied attractions, including Newbury Street, Fenway Park, Boston Common and the Harvard and MIT campuses. As you wend your way through the city, hop off and explore as often as you wish; another trolley will come along soon.

The trolley service runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up your ticket in the second floor Grand Ballroom Prefunction area near NBIA’s Registration Desk any time between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Fee: $38

NBIA New Member/Nonmember Reception

If you’re a new NBIA member or interested in learning more about us, attend the New Member/Nonmember Reception. NBIA staff and veteran members will explain how to get the most from your membership. A round-robin with NBIA board members also will provide a quick introduction to NBIA leaders and jump-start your conference networking. Immediately following this event, head to the opening reception with new friends and colleagues.

Opening Reception and NBIA Expo

Don’t miss the official kickoff event for NBIA’s conference. If you didn’t participate in the Preconference Institute, your first stop is the registration desk, where you’ll collect your name badge and materials and get answers to any conference-related questions you might have. After that, meet other incubation industry professionals and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Check out the NBIA Bookstore for new and hard-to-find titles, and be sure to visit the NBIA Expo, where our exhibitors offer products and services that help you provide better support to entrepreneurs.

Monday, April 8

NEW: Networking Breakfast and NBIA Expo

Join us for breakfast and you’ll make key connections to carry throughout the conference – and perhaps your career. Chat with colleagues based on common interest in hot topics, from university and rural incubation to crowdsourcing and accelerators. If you’re not feeling chatty, browse the NBIA Bookstore, stop by the NBIA Expo or simply enjoy the continental breakfast.   

Luncheon With Keynote Address: Desh Deshpande

Desh Deshpande is president of Sparta Group, a family investment office dedicated to emerging growth and middle market companies. A distinguished entrepreneur and investor, Deshpande is co-chair of President Barack Obama’s council on innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, and he serves as a lifetime member of the MIT Corp. His donations have made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, which works to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace.

Vendor Mixer

Enjoy drinks and hors d’eouvres while mingling with NBIA’s supporters. Learn more about the services they provide to make your job easier and help you support entrepreneurs. NBIA’s partners offer NBIA members discounts and special pricing on goods and services, and some of our partners extend special pricing and services to incubator clients.

MassChallenge Tour

Register to be one of 100 conference attendees who will tour the facility of MassChallenge, the world’s largest start-up accelerator and competition. This four-month program is open to any start-up from any country and any industry. MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with access to world-class mentorship and training, and awards more than $1 million in cash grants with no equity taken.

Meet in the hotel lobby at 5 p.m. to board a bus to MassChallenge. You’ll arrive back to the hotel by 7:30 p.m.

Fee: $49

Tuesday, April 9

Continental Breakfast With Keynote Address: Akhil Nigam

Akhil Nigam is founder and president of MassChallenge, the world's largest start-up accelerator and competition. MassChallenge – which received 1,200 applications from 34 countries in 2012 – lets 125 finalists from any industry compete for $1 million in cash prizes. Nigam is a graduate of Harvard Business School and was a founder of a software start-up he helped to grow to 100 employees in five years across the United States, India and Singapore.

NBIA Awards Luncheon

Help NBIA honor the industry’s top incubation programs, incubation networks, clients and graduates at this celebratory luncheon. The NBIA Incubation Awards are one of the conference highlights each year. The awards recognize those who have made important contributions to the business incubation industry through innovative programs, services and products. This ceremony concludes with the announcement of the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year, an award presented annually to a program that exemplifies overall excellence in business incubation.

NEW: Social Media Meet-ups

During these 20-minute peer-to-peer learning sessions, you’ll discover how your colleagues use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to advance their programs and their careers.

Cambridge Innovation Center Tour

The Cambridge Innovation Center is not your traditional incubation program. Its 450 start-ups – mostly growing technology and life science companies, professional service firms and venture capitalists – make it the single largest collection of such companies in any one building in the world. Since its founding in 1999, CIC has helped transform Cambridge’s Kendall Square into what the Boston Consulting Group called “the most innovative square mile on the planet.” CIC houses several incubation programs and nearly 100 MIT- and Harvard-connected start-ups.

When registering, choose between a 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. tour. Meet in the hotel lobby at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., respectively, to catch the bus to CIC.

Fee: $49
This tour is sold out.

The NBIA After-Party, Brought to You by Turnstone

Don't have plans once the day's programming ends? Whether you're new to business incubation or don't yet have commitments for this night, join NBIA partner Turnstone, a Steelcase company, for drinks and fun.

Join colleagues at 8 p.m. at nearby Dillon's Restaurant and Bar (955 Boylston Street). 

Wednesday, April 10

Hot Breakfast With Keynote Address: Kerry Siggins

Kerry Siggins is CEO of StoneAge Waterblast Tools, an employee-owned company based in Durango, Colo., that specializes in tools and mechanized equipment for water blast cleaning. Since Siggins joined the company as director of operations in 2007, StoneAge has more than doubled revenue, tripled profits and increased its international presence. StoneAge has 68 employees and is adding 4-7 additional jobs this year. Siggins was recently named one of Colorado’s 25 Most Influential Young Professionals, and she is very involved in several Colorado- and Durango-based economic development groups.

Plenary Panel: Rock Star Managers, Rock Star Companies

This plenary session pairs several incubator managers and their highly successful clients to share their experiences of working together. The panel discussion will focus on the programs and services the incubators provided and give you an insider’s look at the relationships that helped these teams find success.  

Massachusetts Incubator Tour

On this tour, you’ll visit North Shore InnoVentures and the Venture Development Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston. 

North Shore InnoVentures, located 22 miles north of Boston, focuses on two of the strongest technology clusters in the state: clean tech and life science. Currently serving about 20 companies – half of them virtual – the nonprofit program brings shared physical resources, sponsor services, experienced entrepreneurs and investment advisors together with promising young companies. NSIV was founded in 2008 and is located in a portion of Beverly’s Cummings Center, once a brownfield site and the renovated 2 million-square-foot former headquarters of a global shoe machinery company.

The 18,000-square-foot Venture Development Center is located on UMass Boston’s waterfront campus. The program offers move-in ready wet lab and office space; ongoing mentorship from an experienced and dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence; and program support in the areas of business development, IP strategy, commercial potential of technology and early team formation. The program houses four university initiatives and about 26 companies that focus on life science therapeutics, diagnostics and instruments, and information technology for health, education and business.

Meet in the hotel lobby at 12:45 p.m. The buses are expected to return to the hotel by 7 p.m. A boxed lunch will be provided on the bus on the way to the North Shore InnoVentures.

Fee: $95
This tour is sold out.