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Startup Battlefield: War Stories of Victory & Defeat

Starting a business isn't for everyone. But keeping a business moving forward during its many trials and tribulations takes gumption -- and a whole lot of other stuff.

Join us for an intimate evening of honest conversations. Hear from foodie, software, social change, recruiting, and education people who've been through the highs and lows of startup life -- and who are there right now.

RSVP now while we're still finalizing the lineup. (And maybe plan to hug a fellow founder. Or not.)



Mili Mittal (@mmittal), founder of Morsl, will discuss:


* How to convince employees to use the lean methodology approach
* What to do after a co-founder break-up
* Persisting in your startup when you can't find funding
* Building a support network  
* The non-balance between you, your startup, and your personal life

Larry Roshfeld, a product guy building a new startup, will talk about:

* The lean way to kill a startup, including:
* How to choose the wrong market
* How to choose the wrong people
* How to choose the wrong investors

Tracey Pilone (@traceypilone), co-founder of Element 84, will talk about:


* What it's like to work in a family-owned startup
* Keeping it lean to keep it stable
* Tips on work/life balance in an "always-on" job
* How to successfully work with friends

Julie Kantor (@JulieKantorBOJ), co-founder of Barrel of Jobs, will discuss:


* Why you should be a startup pig
* Refusing a seed-round, and why you should embrace the fall
* Choosing to succeed long-term, over 20 years
* Choosing to put a startup on ice, after only 9 months



Mili Mittal is the CEO and cofounder of Mili is the team hustler - responsible for product management, fundraising, marketing/PR, biz dev, recruiting... basically anything non-technical. Prior to founding, Mili was a management consultant at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in Washington, DC. In her tenure at CEB, Mili helped the company launch a $3.5M business, then called the Infrastructure Performance Improvement Lab, which measured clients’ IT delivery and support service quality. During this time, Mili also cofounded the Rhythmaya School of Dance, a metro-DC Indian dance school and performance company. Mili holds a BA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and an MBA and Certificate in Entrepreneurship from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where she was lucky enough to have Steve Blank and Eric Ries as professors. When she's not leading, you can find her cooking, blogging, running, dancing, or wedding planning (all in the company of good wine and friends).


Larry Roshfeld is a "Product Guy", with 20+ years of experience in business strategy, product development, marketing and sales of software products into global markets. Larry earned a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry (with minors in German Literature, Philosophy and Psychology) from Clark University and a Master's degree in Counseling & Consulting Psychology from Harvard University.

Larry started his career as a programmer for a startup founded by 2 Harvard professors (it sounds better than it was). Larry then joined Lotus Development, where he served in a number of business and technical management roles within Lotus. After Lotus was acquired by IBM, Larry lead a skunk works that built the first Java applets for browsers. After a few painful years in big companies, Larry returned to the startup world.

Larry joined Riverbed Technologies, which built synchronization and management software for mobile devices. Riverbed was sold to Aether Systems (a pioneer in wireless and one time “Wall Street Darling”) for approximately $1billion in stock. Larry learned first-hand why cash is better than stock.

Since then, Larry has been an executive or founder of a number of startups (some successful, so not), including Approva, CorasWorks, CivicUS and Sonatype. He is now in the process of building and raising financing for a new startup that he isn’t talking about publicly. In his free time, Larry is a regular platelet donor for the Red Cross, and helps run a number of volunteer projects that support Breast Cancer charities, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and wounded soldiers and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Tracey Pilone is the co-founder and operations director at Element 84. In addition to handling the business development work for the company, she works with Element 84′s agile development teams to manage and deliver projects to our customers. Recent projects include upgrades and several iOS apps including ON-Board for Prior to starting Element 84 she spent several years working in and around the Washington DC area as a construction manager in commercial construction. She is the co-author of Head First iPhone and iPad Development, Head First iPhone Development and Head First Algebra, all with O’Reilly Media. She has a Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech, a Masters of Education from the University of Virginia, and holds a Professional Engineer’s License in Virginia. You can follow Tracey on twitter as @traceypilone.

Julie Kantor is co-founder and equity owner of Barrel of Jobs, an innovative for-profit tech company that crowdsources jobs and is putting America back to work! She is looking for her next leadership opportunity in April 2013 as Barrel of Jobs has moved into 'hibernation' mode. Julie is a known in the community as a people person, a brand-builder, entrepreneurial leader, and networked fundraiser with a 20 year track record. She writes weekly for Huffington Post Business and Tech and has been featured in VentureBeat.

Kantor was recently honored by: Center for Innovative Technology as 2012 CIT GAP 50 Winner, Distilled Intelligence Competition put on by, DCWeek Pitch Jam. She writes weekly for Huffington Post Business. Julie will serve as chair of the entrepreneurship & small business track for Women MBA International in Boston October 2013. 

Prior to joining Barrel, Julie spent 20 years as a proven social entrepreneur in the field of entrepreneurship education with demonstrated growth to serve over 24,000 local youth in DC, MD and VA and raising 20 million. She launched the Boston region of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) out of her one bedroom apartment and took over the Washington DC Region just as the angel investment was coming to an end.

After a brief tenure at Inc. Magazine, Julie launched NFTE-Boston in 1992, serving the most economically challenged neighborhoods of Massachusetts. In 1995, she took over operations of the Greater Washington Region.

Julie received the NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) Leadership Award in 2005 and 2007 for the top operating unit in the country, was NFTE Executive of the Year in 1999, Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 people to watch under 40 in 2000, served on Mayor's transition team for tech and entrepreneurship, Smart CEO's 15 top DC leaders we admire edition (May 2012). Kantor was catalytic in expanding NFTE programs in India, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston. 

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Kantor started working in small business age eleven. She attended Sidwell Friends School and earned a BA from Simmons College in Boston. Kantor lives in Washington, DC with her husband, daughter and Shitzuh Ferdinand. On her spare time she loves to hike, travel overseas, and is a pretty amateur karaoke singer.

Join or login to comment.

  • Ryan P.

    Bummed to miss this. I don't suppose there was any video/powerpoints?

    1 · March 20, 2013

  • Peter B.

    I enjoyed the presentations and found them informative. Larry’s was great, assuming that some of it was provided for entertainment value rather than substantive value, such as the advice about who to hire or have as a partner (as illustrated by Tracey’s experience), how to make hiring decisions, how to respond to reference checks, and so on.

    March 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was so helpful to hear others stories, their trials, etc. The speakers were candid but also gave us hope.

    March 20, 2013

  • Charles P.

    I'd like to buy a ticket for a friend - is this possible after I've already completed the transaction on my ticket? Thanks!

    March 15, 2013

    • Rebecca H.

      Try it! Not sure. If not, have your friend bring $20 to the door, no problem.

      March 16, 2013

    • Charles P.

      Would you hold a ticket so I can grab it for him at the door?

      March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't wait!

    March 15, 2013

  • Mark M.

    Unfortunately I'm out of town. Hopefully I'll catch you all at the next one.

    March 12, 2013

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