Date: Oct 12, 2023Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Smart Startups – What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know – Advice from 18 Harvard Business School Founders (in-person)

Thu, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM RapidSOS
General PublicEntrepreneurs


Two startup company founders and angel investors talk about the surprising lessons they uncovered for entrepreneurs when interviewing eighteen companies founded by HBS graduates. They will cover timeless and unconventional pearls of wisdom but also timely lessons to survive in today’s difficult environment.

Conventional “wisdom” holds that the most successful entrepreneurs are born with a genius for starting companies, experience one lightning-bolt moment of inspiration after another, follow a tried-and-true process to scale to a billion dollars, and attract deep-pocketed investors at every turn. The real story is a bit more unconventional—and much more interesting.

Catalina Daniels and James H. Sherman, who studied the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship as classmates at Harvard Business School, founded and exited several companies and served as angel investors, realized that there was so much they’d learned the hard way—working in the trenches.

Inspired, Daniels and Sherman interviewed eighteen HBS entrepreneurs such as Blue Apron, Rent the Runway, Gilt, and AdoreMe, probing them about what they discovered along the way and what they wish they had known beforehand. The result is wisdom that challenges assumptions, destroys preconceived notions, crystalizes hunches, and articulates perceptions with a depth possessed by few people in the world.

Daniels and Sherman will talk about what surprised them the most and about what they think is most relevant in today’s difficult tech environment.

6:00 pm Check-In; Event from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Pre-registration is required and will close at Noon on Wednesday, October 11th, 2023.

Please note that no refunds will be issued.



Catalina Daniels, MBA 1991

Venture Partner at ERA Chair at Birdhouse Coach to startups

CATALINA DANIELS graduated from Harvard Business School and the Free University of Brussels (BA, MA). She spent seventeen years at McKinsey & Company, where she was a partner, before leaving to become an entrepreneur and angel investor. As a ven¬ture partner at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA), she mentors U.S. entrepreneurs and helps non-U.S. entrepreneurs expand in the United States; she also sits on multiple boards. A Belgian national, she splits her time between New York and Europe.


James H. Sherman, MBA 1991

Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Media Exec., Angel Investor, & Author

JAMES H. SHERMAN graduated from Harvard Business School and Stanford University (BA, MA). He started his career at Bain & Company, working in media with Time Inc. and Pearson. In 1997, he launched the internet division for Martha Stewart Living. He then became a serial internet entrepreneur, launching three ventures, including an internet strategy consulting firm, ShermansTravel Media, and an e-commerce firm. An angel investor and mentor to entrepreneurs, he sits on the board of HBS Alumni Angels New York. He lives in Manhattan and Bellport, NY.


Joanna Stone Herman, MBA 1997

Partner, Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips

Joanna Stone Herman is a Partner at Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips and serves as the TMT Industry Group Co-Head for Oaklins International, our global investment bank with offices in 60 cities across 40 countries. Prior to joining Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips in 2011, Joanna worked in several senior executive roles including as SVP Global Strategy for LexisNexis, EVP of Corporate Development for Thomson Financial Corporate Group, VP of Strategy for Thomson Learning and Director of Strategy for Dow Jones. Joanna also served as CEO and co-Founder of Librify, a technology start-up that was the exclusive e-book platform for Target, sold to Scribd in 2015. Joanna has a B.S. and Masters degrees from MIT and an MBA from HBS.

Date Time

Date: Oct 12, 2023Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM


RapidSOS3 Park Avenue - 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
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  • 15 / HAE Member Registration
  • 15 / Member/Member Guest (limit one)
  • Free / Patron Members (please contact
  • 30 / Alumni Non-Members
  • 40 / General Public



James Sherman, MBA 1991 & Catalina Daniels, MBA 1991


3 Park Avenue - 22nd Floor, New York, NY, 10016