Celebrate Women’s History Month With Roxbury Innovation Center’s Female Founders Café Night


The Roxbury Innovation Center will feature a Café Night dedicated to Female Founders on March 22. Café Nights are a hub for budding entrepreneurs, civic technology enthusiasts, coders and business aficionados. During this Café Night, the Roxbury Innovation team will showcase a panel of phenomenal women who are currently trailblazing and innovating in the local tech community.

The panelists include:

These women will not only share their stories, triumphs and hardships as female founders, but will also answer questions posed by the audience.

The Roxbury Innovation Center is a civic entity that fosters local economic development by hosting panels, workshops, forums and gatherings for aspiring entrepreneurs. The Roxbury Innovation Center is run by the The Venture Café Foundation.

At Microsoft New England, we are thrilled for this event because we see it as an opportunity for women to learn from one another and gain and a tangible skill set that can be applied to the world of entrepreneurship. Founding a company is hard. Not only is it arduous to make the transition from the “idea” of starting a business to actually filing as an S-Corp or creating a business plan, but it is also daunting to not have a support group with whom you can share your frustrations and successes. We are so thankful to the Roxbury Innovation Center for opening up this event to the community as it marks the beginning of a truly collaborative entrepreneurial community that supports women.

Register Here

Microsoft New England Picks: 3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 2-8-16

Winter has returned, but we’re overlooking the snow to do some powerful things in the Boston area! Here are our top picks for 3 Not-To-Miss events this week:


1) Public Space Invitational: Experiments in the Streetscape
Wednesday, February 10, 5:30pm — 8:30pm
District Hall | 75 Northern Avenue | Boston
Twitter: @newurbanmechs | @VentureCafe | @DistrictHall

For millennia, public spaces have been key to civic life, as places where society comes together to debate, learn, heal, and celebrate collectively.

Last year, Boston’s Public Space Invitational challenged us to make public space more intuitive and beautiful. Examples such as LightWell at the South End Library Park, Stairs of Fabulousness at City Hall, and Tidraphone on the Congress Street Bridge demonstrated the need and desire for a diverse set of public space interventions in Boston.

Please join us to discuss the role of public space in civic design, hear from last year’s Public Space Invitational winners, and learn what the City has in store for the upcoming Public Space Invitational.

Microsoft-SQL2) Data Compression — How does it work, and is it right for you?
Wednesday, February 10, 6:15pm
Microsoft | One Cambridge Center | Cambridge
Twitter: @amtwo

High-end storage is expensive, and SQL Server data compression can make your database smaller. So lets compress all the tables! No–unfortunately, it’s not that easy. We’ll talk about how data compression actually works, and the differences between ROW and PAGE compression. As part of this, we’ll look at the costs and benefits associated with each type of compression. By the end of this session, you’ll have a better idea of when compression is the right solution, as well as what type of compression to use.

3) American Red Cross Blood Drivered-cross
Monday, February 8 — Friday, February 12, 1pm  — 6pm
MIT Student Center “La Scala” | 84 Massachusetts Avenue | Cambridge
Twitter: @MITstudents | @RedCross

The American Red Cross is partnering with MIT’s American Red Cross Team And Network (ARCTAN) to collect blood from the community.  Each pint of blood collected by the Red Cross can save up to three lives.

Microsoft New England Picks: 3 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 2-1-16

February snuck up on us, and brought with it some intense spring weather. This surprise warmth means you have no excuse to get out there this week — here are our top picks for events you don’t want to miss:

Boston TechBreakfast1) TechBreakfast
Tuesday, February 2, 8am — 11am
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter:  feat.

Interact with your peers in a monthly morning breakfast meetup. At this monthly breakfast get-together techies, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs share learn from their peers through show and tell / show-case style presentations.

python-boston-sq_400x4002) Boston Python February Project Night
Tuesday, February 2, 6:30pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @bostonpython

Python project nights are unstructured chances for Python developers to work together, mentor each other, connect socially, teach, learn, or do whatever else it is Python developers want to do together. Our project nights are great ways to build the Python community, by allowing them to meet and interact in whatever way they find most beneficial.

Abcam-logo3) Lunch & Learn for World Cancer Day
Thursday, February 4, 12:45pm — 3pm
Cambridge Innovation Center | 1 Broadway | Cambridge
Twitter: @abcam

Calling all Cambridge-Based researchers! February 4th is World Cancer Day and to thank you for all of the work you do, you are invited to attend a free lunch and learn. This lunch and learn will highlight David M. WeinstockDana-Farber Cancer Institute and Michael B. Yaffe, David H. Koch Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering. Both Boston-based researchers will be highlighting their recent publications with Cancer Cell. Join us in Kendall Square for lunch, two lectures and afternoon coffee and continued discussions.

Public Space Invitational: Reflections & Information Session

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 4.14.36 PMFor millennia, public spaces have been key to civic life, as places where society comes together to debate, learn, heal and celebrate collectively. Last year’s inaugural Public Space Invitational (PSI) in Boston made us all think about how public space can be used in ways befitting the 21st Century, by leveraging new models of engagement, lightweight hacks and technology.  Examples as diverse as Lightwell, the City Hall Stairs of Fabulousness, and the exciting additions to the Greenway last summer demonstrated that the community has creative ideas that can make public space more functional and intuitive, as well as generally improve civic engagement.

Join us to discuss the role of public space in civic innovation, hear about this year’s Public Space Invitational, and dig into specifics of last year’s results from some of the inaugural PSI winners.


    • Sam and Leslie Davol of Uni
    • Michelle Laboy of LightWell
    • Liz LaManche of Stairs of Fabulousness

In coordination with the Venture Café Foundation, the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center will convene a conversation on Civic Tech on February 10, 2016, 5:30PM – 7:30PM at District Hall.

Register today: click here.

About Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center New England:
The Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center aims for Microsoft to be “of” the community, not just exist within it. Through the Innovation and Policy Center we are extending beyond the tech community to:

      • Connect stakeholders from tech to the broader business, academic and government communities;
      • Catalyze important technology and public policy discussions, and;
      • Contribute more directly with the health and vitality of greater New England.

About Venture Café Foundation
The Venture Café Foundation is a non-profit whose mission consists of three pillars:

        • Building and connecting communities of innovation
        • Expanding the definition of innovation and entrepreneurship
        • Building a more inclusive innovation economy

The Venture Café Foundation enhances and accelerates the innovation process through:

      • Spaces for individuals and organizations to gather, tell stories, and build relationships, such as Venture Café at CIC in Cambridge, District Hall and soon the Roxbury Innovation Center.
      • Programs that create connections, such as Captains of Innovation and the Innovation Visitor Bureau.
      • Conversations and events that expand an understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the Innovation and the City conference and Civic Innovation Series.

Microsoft New England Picks: 5 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 1-25-16

The first month of the year always seems to fly by — and when you’re invested in your local tech scene, that’s a guarantee. Help us wrap up January with our top picks for events not to miss this week:

tech-sandbox1) StartUp LinkUp
Monday, January 25, 6pm
TechSandBox | 105B South Street | Hopkinton
Twitter: @TechSandBox1

What happens when you combine Crowdsourcing, LinkedIn and Pitching? You get Startup LinkUp: a Forum where Entrepreneurs pitch to find Mentors (and other help).

capital-network2) Boston Accelerators: Navigating Your Options
Monday, January 25, 6pm — 8pm
Morgan Lewis | 1 Federal Street | Boston
Twitter: @TCNupdate | 

You might be interested in getting your startup into an accelerator – and rest assured Boston has no shortage of options – but it’s hard to know exactly what the best options for your stage and industry are. From business support, mentorship and desk space, to equity vs non-equity, marketing, and even prize money – accelerators offer a whole lot and can really help you develop your product, brand, and network. At this panel, you will hear from different types of accelerators about their selection process and programming so that you can make the right choice for your startup. Join us for a panel discussion, drinks and post discussion mingling with speakers from Techstars, MassChallenge, RevUp by Betaspring, Clean Tech Open & InnoLoft by Constant Contact. With our panel you’ll get to learn about National, Non-equity, Revenue Model, Industry Specific and Corporate Accelerators.

ga_datasci3) Data Science Career Panel
Monday, January 25, 6:30pm — 8:30pm
WeWork South Station | 745 Atlantic Ave. | Boston
Twitter: @GA_boston

Great Data Scientists come from all different backgrounds. Hear from leaders in the field about how their careers lead them to data science, and how their past experiences apply to the work they do currently.
ChallengeCup-Local-Logo_wDates_color14) 1776 Challenge Cup: Boston
Tuesday, January 26, 5:30pm — 9pm
Greentown Labs | 28 Dane Street | Somerville
Twitter: @1776 | #1776ChallengeGlobal startup incubator and seed fund 1776 and local new product showcase MassInnovation Nights are bringing the 2016 Challenge Cup to Boston. The global startup competition is designed to identify and support startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges in sectors such as: civic tech, education, energy, food, health, money, security or transportation.

thinkKids5) Think:Kids Tier 1 Intensive Training – Winter 2016
Wednesday, January 27 — Friday, January 29
Microsoft New England R & D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @thinkkids

This winter Think:Kids and the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are pleased to offer our Tier 1 Intensive Training featuring Dr. Stuart Ablon and Think:Kids staff.  Think:Kids promotes an innovative and evidence-based approach to understanding and helping children and adolescents with behavioral challenges called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS). This two and a half day intensive training is intended for parents, mental health clinicians and educators who have some prior exposure and are interested in becoming more proficient in the CPS approach

MLK Day: Service & Education

EdV_Prize_033In recent years, MLK Day has become a day of service, and as MLK Day approaches it always makes me consider the volunteer opportunities I my life. I am fortunate to be able to volunteer at my kids’ school and my synagogue’s religious school. I even coach my 7 year old son’s soccer team in the Fall and Spring – and as a non-soccer player, that one is pretty funny!  But with two school age children and a husband who is an Elementary School principal, my personal passion to enhance education with technology leads to me often centering my volunteer time around education.

With so many amazing non-profit orgs in Boston, sometimes it is difficult to find just one meaningful volunteer opportunities that can also take advantage of my skills, but I feel lucky to have connected with a few groups that I can contribute to and that leave me feeling very fulfilled — and I’d like to highlight a few:

  1. Generation Citizen– Providing all students with an education in Action Civics. Action Civics provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in our democracy as active citizens. GC envisions a country of young people working as active and effective citizens to collectively rebuild our American democracy.
    • VOLUNTEER to speak to a class, judge at Civics Day or attend the Civic Tech Challenge.
  2. Museum of Science– Ensuring students receive science and engineering education through innovative exhibits and events like the recent Science Behind Pixar exhibit.
    • VOLUNTEER at a special event like Computer Science Education Week or support the museum with your expertise through a task force focused on Technology, Food, etc.
  3. Youth Cities– Teaching students about entrepreneurship by engaging local startup founders, venture capitalists and other entrepreneurs in our community and teaching them how to build a business.
    • VOLUNTEER by becoming a mentor or attending the March to May bootcamp concluding event to hear more about the student projects.
  4. EdVestors– Improving urban education with a focus on Boston Public Schools.  The work of EdVestors focuses on delivering dramatically improved educational outcomes for all students.
    • VOLUNTEER by attending the Seed Fund Showcase or School on the Move event to support the org and the innovative schools in their network.
  5. Resilient Coders– Teaching young people from traditionally underserved communities to code, creating skilled workers, increasing diversity in the tech industry and filling the pipeline for the tech industry.
    • VOLUNTEER as a mentor to RC students or to speak to a cohort of students during a bootcamp.  You can also hire Resilient Coders to for technical projects like building web sites or apps.

This list is just a start.  I hope you will share your favorite organizations where you spend your time @asprung or in the comments below.  Happy volunteering!

Major News Broadcasters to use Microsoft Pulse during the 2016 State of the Union


Microsoft Pulse, a tool that enables anyone, anywhere, on any device to vote and engage in a live event or broadcast, is partnering with CNN, MSNBC, NBC Universo and Telemundo to allow Americans to participate and give real-time feedback to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. To participate and make your voice heard during the State of the Union address, watch CNN or NBC Universo at 9pm EST tonight and vote at or You can also stream the speech and vote on or

Want to hear more? Visit the Microsoft Pulse blog and follow @MicrosoftPulse on Twitter.

Microsoft New England Picks: 4 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 1-11-16

We’ve got a cold front coming our way, but that won’t stop Bostonians and Cantabrigians from taking over tech. Here are our top picks for events you can’t miss this week:

boston-new-tech1) Boston New Technology January 2016 Product Showcase
Monday, January 11, 6pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R & D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @BostonNewTech | #BNT61

Free event! Come learn about 6 innovative and exciting technology products and network with the Boston/Cambridge startup community!  Each presenter gets 5 minutes for product demonstration and 5 minutes for Q&A.

incite-health_Harvard2) Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Pitch Night
Wednesday, January 13, 6:30pm
Microsoft New England R & D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @InciteHealthHMS | @HMSPrimaryCare | #PCPitch

Join us for a night of innovation and entrepreneurship as the HMS Center for Primary Care InciteHealth Fellows pitch their innovative ideas to an investor panel for a grand prize of $25,000.

nav_ksa_logo3) Kendall Square Association Lunch & Learn: Get the Most Out of Your Membership
Thursday, January 14, 12pm — 1pm

Kendall Square Association | 510 Kendall Street | Cambridge
Twitter: @kendallnow

Join us for a brief presentation on Kendall Square Association Membership. We encourage staff from all member organizations to attend, as well as those considering membership. Learn more about how the KSA connects you with neighbors, tells your story, and convenes the community! Not sure if you’re a member? Check the KSA Directory, or contact Membership Director, Tracy Wax (

boston-FIG4) BostonFIG Talks
Saturday, January 16, 8am — 6pm
Microsoft New England R & D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @BostonFIG

The Boston Festival of Indie Games is expanding our event to help better serve and educate the game community. FIG Talks comprises a day of talks from experts in the fields of game design, development, education, business, and more.

The goal of the day is to provide useful, actionable information for independent game developers and designers across both digital, tabletop, and live action games.

Generation Citizen Civics Day: Empowering Massachusetts’ Young Changemakers


Twice each year, Generation Citizen hosts Civics Day at the Massachusetts State House. Civics Day is an opportunity for all of the GC students to showcase their work from the semester, demonstrate how they learned to identify the root cause of a civic issue, establish a plan and take action. It was at Civics Day in 2014 that I first discovered how GC is empowering young people to speak up and be heard.  From cafeteria food to youth violence, the GC students are learning how to explain their view point and motivate all of us to influence change in the community.

Now, as a member of the Boston Board of GC, I was honored to serve as a judge at the December 2015 Civics Day. Aliyah Jackson was named GC Student Changemaker and delivered an inspirational closing speech about her experience with GC and encouraging all students to engage:

“…we are never too young to fight for what we believe in. The future of our society is in our voices. We have the power to make a difference each and everyday. So what are we afraid of? We should work together as a whole and mold our future for the better. Our journey doesn’t stop here with Generation Citizen, it’s only just the beginning to the future we wish to see.”

Aliyah’s complete speech is posted here (video) and below:

Want more? Here are some highlights from the most recent GC Civics Day:

What will inspire us at Generation Citizen’s 2016 Civics Days? I can’t wait to see.

Microsoft New England Picks: 6 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 1-4-16

It’s a new year, and it’s time to brush away the holiday lethargy and kickstart 2016. Join us this week for some of our top picks for events you don’t want to miss:

sumu-app1) Tech + Real Estate Meetup
Tuesday, January 5, 5:45pm — 7:45pm
Warehouse Bar & Grille | 40 Broad Street | Boston
Twitter: @sumuapp

Whether you’re interested in investing in real estate, investing in a startup, in real estate, or making your own startup, get to know the lay of the land! Get to meet the movers and shakers of the industry.

tom-maloney2) Well Formed Outcome for Starting Your Business
Tuesday, January 5, 6:30pm — 8:30pm
Microsoft New England R & D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @outcomedriven

Well Formed Outcome thinking is a very powerful approach to achieving what you want. The elements of outcome thinking are drawn from people in all walks of life who consistently achieve what they want in a way that is compatible both with those around them and with their environment. By following the steps to setting a well formed outcome you are modeling the way these successful people think about outcomes. This way of thinking works in all situations and at all levels, from setting an outcome for a five minute discussion, to establishing a vision for a company. The success comes from ensuring that your thinking about your outcomes meets all the conditions for a well formed outcome. Each element is crucial to the eventual likelihood of success.

venturewell3) VentureWell E-Team Stage 1 Workshop
Thursday, January 7 — Saturday, January 9
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @venturewell

The E-Team Program provides early-stage support and funding for collegiate entrepreneurs working on market-based technology inventions. E-Team grants have been funding collegiate student and student/faculty teams to move ideas out of the lab and classroom and into the marketplace. The program enhances this opportunity by providing expert entrepreneurial and venture coaching, experiential workshops, and a potential investment opportunity to help realize the commercial success of the technology inventions and innovations that come through our organization.

ga-LOGO4) WeWork + GA Present: Intro to the Boston Startup Community
Thursday, January 7, 6:30pm — 8:30pm
General Assembly Boston | 51 Melcher Street | Boston
Twitter: @GA_boston | @WeWorkBOS

This free class is an orientation to help newcomers to the startup scene get acquainted with the exciting world of tech in Boston. We will give you the inside scoop on key events/meetups to attend, people, companies, VCs, blogs, incubators, programs, hot issues, and more.
Come meet others getting started in the local startup community and enjoy an after work drink on us!

ga-networking5) General Assembly Open House: Your Year Of Yes
Friday, January 8, 4:30pm — 7pm
General Assembly Boston | 51 Melcher Street | Boston
Twitter: @GA_boston 

It starts now. Swing by our local open house, and find out how GA can help you say “yes” to a more fulfilling career in 2016.

bac-logo6) Brookline Arts Center Annual Snowflake Festival
Saturday, January 9, 12pm — 4pm
Brookline Arts Center | 86 Monmouth Street | Brookline
Twitter: @brooklinearts

The Brookline Arts Center is pleased to host its annual Snowflake Festival and Open House Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 12:00-4:00pm. Join us for an afternoon filled with artwork, activities and fun for all ages!