Southern New England Entrepreneurs Forum

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Wednesday, October 17th 2018, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

UMass Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 151 Martine St, Fall River, MA 02723

Piranha Pond is a "pitch party" where a select group of entrepreneurs has up to 5 minutes to convince a panel of investors to meet with them to further discuss their ventures. Using a format similar to the popular television show Shark Tank, our investors provide feedback to the entrepreneurs about their presentations and companies, and information to all about why they decide to be "In" or "Out." If they are "In" they will meet with the Entrepreneur at a later time to discuss their company. If they are "Out" there is no interest at this time. Again, the investor lets us know why s/he will not move forward with the presenter.

For this event, we seek companies beyond the idea stage. The ideal company will have raised funds from friends, family, and/or grants such as SBIR's. If the company's product is a software or SAAS product, it should be in beta testing or later.

A selection committee will choose the top 6 applicants to present. The successful applicants will be deemed to have companies most likely to interest the investment panel. In the past, the successful companies have been beyond the idea stage, with a finished product and/or revenue or significant progress toward commercialization if a pharma, equipment or medical device company.


If you'd like to pitch, please follow the below instructions:

Step 1. Read the Entrepreneurs Guidelines on how to pitch and other rules. Note the important timelines.

Step 2. Go to the registration site and pay a $50 application fee (otherwise, your application won't be reviewed). 


IMPORTANT NOTE: paying the $50 fee and applying does not guarantee that you will be selected to pitch, since we always have more applicants than the limited time frame of the program.


This is a public event. If you are not planning on pitching but you would like to watch the presentations, please sign up for ticket here.

Pricing structure:

$30 for general public

$25 for SNEEF alliance organizations

FREE for UMass Dartmouth students & staffs (need to show valid UMass ID and ticket at the door)

FREE for active SNEEF members (need to log in to buy tickets)


The investors who have participated at the Piranha Pond events give generously of their time and counsel. They are primarily Angel Investors or early stage Venture Capitalists. They help our entrepreneurs and our audience understand what they are seeking in a company before writing a check.

investors panel

Jules Fried

Angel Investor / Serial Entrepreneur

Jules Fried is a highly accomplished Senior Executive, C-Suite Officer, Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Attorney, Venture Advisor, and Board Member with success across technology, life sciences, healthcare, medical devices, finance, banking, capital equipment, manufacturing and legal businesses. 

Fried has held leadership positions at Bionik Laboratories Corporation; First Commons Bank (Co-Founder/Director); Interactive Motion Technologies (CEO); Atlantic VIC LLC; Lappin Company; Strictly Personal (Co-Founder/Principal); Roll Systems (Co-Founder/SVP, 17 years); and U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. 

Leveraging extensive experience in business analysis and strategic planning, he is a valuable asset for companies looking for comprehensive problem-solving and growth. His broad expertise includes early-stage technology; sales and marketing; operations; corporate communications; legal counsel; capital raising; process optimization; product development; situation management; IP; strategic partnerships; talent acquisition; and international business.

He co-founded, built, and led a 2X Inc. 500 manufacturer recognized as a global industry leader, raising multiple rounds of capital, and achieving 70% market share and $47M annual revenue, with eventual sale to >$1B European multi-national.

Greg Zaic

Principal at NMT Capital

Mr. Zaic has over 25 years of private equity investment experience. He has served on 20 boards of directors: 17 private and three publicly traded companies. Mr. Zaic currently serves on three boards of directors and is an advisor to a fourth company. These companies are involved in a broad range of fields including medical technology, telecommunications, healthcare services, internet marketing, medical devices, robotics, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, tissue engineering and driver attention management. Mr. Zaic has provided assistance and guidance on issues associated with fund raising, business strategy, corporate expansion, corporate combinations and organizational development. He has been involved with 7 IPOs and 5 mergers.

Mr. Zaic has managed venture capital funds totaling over $100 million as a general partner. During his career, he has led portfolio company investments from seed stage to Initial Public Offering, establishing ties with many of the leading US venture capital funds and investment banks. During his investment career, more than 90% of his realized portfolio company investments have achieved an IPO or a successful merger. His investment track record (1986-present) is an IRR of 31% per year.

Scott Sargis

Partner at IEC Partners

Scott Sargis is a partner at IEC Partners, a boutique growth strategy and transactional advisory firm with offices in Newton, MA and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Scott was formerly with the Monitor Group, a global consultancy that was acquired by Deloitte. He served in a variety of capacities there, including as the leader of the firm’s Middle East practice, based in Dubai and Riyadh. Earlier in his career, Scott was with Strategic Pricing Group, a boutique pricing strategy consulting firm where he led the development and management of one of the firm’s largest clients as well as the firm’s Western Region practice. Scott has spent significant parts of his career with several engineering and environmental consulting organizations, as well as alternative and mainstream energy companies, including the Chevron Corporation.

Scott is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In addition, he holds a JD degree from Suffolk University Law School and is licensed to practice in Massachusetts.

David Fogel

Managing Director at Swifton CFOs LLC.

David Fogel is Managing Director of Swifton CFOs LLC, an outsourced CFO firm that provides emerging businesses with strategic and cost-effective financial leadership.

David's expertise lies in constructing a reliable financial framework to attract funding, which has been a valuable guide for his clients' continued growth.

As a contributor to the ongoing development of greater Boston's entrepreneurial ecosystem, he has been an active presenter and panelist with TechStars, MassChallenge, CleanTech Open, The Venture Forum, McCarter English Series on Entrepreneurship, Greentown Labs, Harvard Entrepreneurship Conference, MIT Enterprise Forum Smart Start Program, Startup Leadership, The Capital Network and the MIT Entrepreneurial Teams (MIT e-Teams).  He had also presented at entrepreneurial classes at Tufts University, Brandeis University and Brown University.

He is also an active member of the screening and due diligence committees of Beacon Angels, TiE Angels and Mass Medical Angels.

David is Adjunct Instructor of Finance and Accounting in the MBA program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  David is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). David has a BS from Miami University (Ohio), and a MBA from the University of Cincinnati.


100 Ledgewood Place, Suite 102

Rockland, MA 02370

Phone: (781) 421-6157

Contact us at
Office: +1 (508) 999-8056

UMass Dartmouth Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship 151 Martine St, Fall River, MA 02723

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