Highland Celebrates Entrepreneurship and 20 Years of Working Together to Build Great Companies

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Bringing together leaders, innovators, legends, partners and friends for CEO Summit and largest entrepreneurial and startup gathering ever held in New England.


Bringing Together Leaders, Innovators, Legends, Partners and Friends for CEO Summit and Largest Entrepreneurial and Startup Gathering Ever Held in New England


LEXINGTON, MA – October 2, 2008 – Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm celebrating its twentieth year of helping great people build great companies, today announced their 20th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Gala Celebration and Highland CEO Summit 2008. Over the course of the next several days, the firm will be gathering limited partners, CEOs, key executives and business, technology and entrepreneurial leaders from around the world to foster collaboration and further help advance the company-building process.

“These are transformative and pivotal times and the advancement of entrepreneurialism that drives innovation has never been more significant,” stated Bob Higgins, General Partner at Highland. “We’ve had the opportunity to work with truly exceptional entrepreneurs and companies over the last twenty years. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities of the next twenty as we continue to evolve our organization and strategy to partner with the most innovative entrepreneurs and management teams around the globe.”

Highland CEO Summit 2008 is a two-day event focused on the underlying theme of building successful and sustainable companies. Involving over 100 participants, the Summit will provide an unsurpassed opportunity for CEOs, company founders, and industry leaders to meet, exchange new ideas and insights, share best practices, discuss challenges, and debate strategies and tactics. Focus areas for this year’s Summit include an emphasis on strategy, leadership and management through challenging times, finding and retaining great people, and navigating today’s markets for a successful exit.

On Thursday, Highland will be hosting the 20th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Gala Celebration, a special evening designed to connect company founders, CEOs, executives, academic and university startups, and other key partners instrumental in driving the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In attendance will be 1,000 special guests, including 250 CEOs, long time limited partners of the firm, employees from Highland-backed companies, and business, technology and thought leaders from around the world.

In conjunction with the Gala, Highland will be holding its Courtside Final Four basketball championship at the Museum of Science. Launched in 2003 to recognize and appreciate the hard work involved in building great companies, Courtside brings together employees of Highland-backed companies for a competitive and fun-filled social event. Twenty-two teams competed for a slot in this year’s Courtside Final Four, with StreamBase Systems, owater, ExaGrid Systems and City Sports competing for the championship.

Highland was founded in 1988 by Bob Higgins and Paul Maeder, both general partners that are still actively involved in leading the firm. Since inception, the firm has focused on nurturing the entrepreneurs and the ideas of tomorrow in ways that catalyze and actualize innovation that matters. A Highland market differentiator is the team-oriented approach it takes in providing the right mix of strategic guidance, hands-on leadership and deep industry domain expertise for helping entrepreneurs and their teams become market-leading organizations.

Highland’s focus has continued through the years, with the firm raising $3 billion of committed capital and backing 200 companies, 90 of which have gone public or been acquired to date. Recent Highland-backed exits include Starent Networks (IPO), lululemon athletica (IPO), Helicos BioSciences (IPO), VistaPrint (IPO), Optasite (acquired by SBA Communications), Navic Networks (acquired by Microsoft), Quigo (acquired by Time Warner) and PA Semi (acquired by Apple).

Highland has continued to expand their operations and strategy and now has offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Geneva. In addition, the firm has launched the Highland Consumer Fund, a $300 million fund focused exclusively on investment opportunities in consumer-facing enterprises.

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