In this session, we focus on turning a passion into a business.  Our guests are Randall Levere owner and founder of Erba Cycles, Nadeem Mazen co-founder and co-owner of danger!awesome and the CEO of, and Arthur Ganson, a sculptor.

Joining in the discussion were  Shirish Ranjit, a former entrepreneur and now software developer with MIT Lincoln labs, Mark Thirman, director of partnerships with Vodafone and former cofounder of AirPring Networks, Sanjay Manandhar, CEO of Aerva Inc, and Dave Powsner, a patent lawyer and partner with the Boston law firm Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP

Nadeem Mazen, Co-Founder/Co-Owner, danger!awesome, CEO,

Nadeem has had the good fortune to work professionally along many of his passions: he has led education teams in innovative research, directed award-winning viral music videos, created commercial animations, programmed software, and generated digital and interactive media for Discovery, Showtime, and CNN. His next venture brings a low-cost, disruptive education platform to market. 

For the present, though, Nadeem is a co-founder/co-owner of danger!awesome, a laser cutting and engraving studio, based in Central Square, Cambridge. danger!awesome’s aim is to bring high-end fabrication equipment to the community. Nadeem is also the CEO of, a design and consulting firm that works in strategy & interactive media, video production, and web app design & development.

Arthur Ganson, Kinetic Sculptor

Arthur Ganson began making kinetic sculpture in 1977. Since receiving a BFA degree at the University of New Hampshire in 1978, his work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in both the United States and Europe. He has held residencies at a number of institutions including the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where he has maintained an ongoing exhibition of his sculpture since 1995.

His work has been featured in numerous magazines, including Smithsonian Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. In 2005 his work was profiled on Nova: Science Now by WGBH television in Boston, and in 2003 where he appeared as an animated bear on the cartoon series Arthur. He has been a guest speaker at universities and conferences throughout the country, including the TED Conference in 2004 and the Long Now Foundation in 2010.

Besides making and exhibiting sculpture, he occasionally teaches classes in mechanics and wire bending. For the past 13 years he has been the ringleader of the MIT Museum’s Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction, a community event in which families and students of all ages assemble a giant chain reaction. He is the inventor of the children’s toy Toobers and Zots.

Randall Levere, Owner/Founder, Erba Cycles

Randall is the founder and CEO of Erba Cycles, a Boston-based manufacturer of hand-built bicycles made from bamboo and natural fibers for city and comfort cruising. From the time he raced them as a child, Randall has had a passion for bicycles. His early business career began with stints in engineering and internet marketing. On a lark, Randall decided to try making a bicycle from bamboo—-mostly, as a night/weekend project—-having been impressed trial rides on bamboo bikes made by others. That project became a passion and, then, a business. Randall started Erba Cycles and has been making bamboo bikes, which sell worldwide for $2000 and up, at their South Boston facility since 2009.

Direct download: Turning_a_Passion_Into_a_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm EST

A conversation with Jeffrey Solomon and Sanjay Manandhar about working with accountants.  

Jeff is managing shareholder at Katz, Nannis and Solomon, based in Needham Massachusetts.  A certified public accountant and a certified valuation analyst, Jeff heads up his firm's technology and emerging companies practice group.  His expertise includes advising computer software and high technology companies.  Sanjay Manandhar is the Founder & CEO of Aerva, a Boston-based start-up that develops platforms and applications for delivery of content on networked digital displays. Also in the conversation:  Mark Thirman, a director of partnerships with Vodafone and former CEO of the high-tech startup  AirPrint Networks, and David Powsner a patent lawyer and partner with the Boston law firm Nutter McClennen and Fish, LLP. 

Disclaimer:  This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice either on matters of law or on matters of accounting. If you have questions in those areas, you should consult your lawyer or accountant to discuss specific facts or circumstances.  Moreover, according the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the material here may be considered advertising.

Direct download: Working_With_Accountants.mp3
Category:High Tech Entrepreneurship -- posted at: 4:42pm EST






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