Diane Hessan, one of Boston's most respected and award-winning entrepreneurs, joins Panos Panay for a discussion focusing on her experiences as the founder of a leading consumer collaboration agency, Communispace, and how her most recent venture as CEO of The Startup Institute helps students to accelerate their career.
As the founder and CEO of Communispace, Diane Hessan led 500+ employees in building and managing the nearly 700 private communities the company has created for a premier list of over 200 global corporations. Hessan is now the CEO of The Startup Institute—the no. 1 career accelerator, helping individuals gain the skills, mindset, and network to succeed in jobs at startups. The company's primary objective is to align passion with profession, and usher students into a life they love.
Hessan has spent her 35-year career helping companies become customer-focused—both as a business executive, and as co-author of the book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. The book was a Business Week best-seller and was published in 11 languages.
She has received many honors for her leadership, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year (National Finalist), the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, Boston Business Journal's Most Admired CEO and the Boston Chamber Pinnacle Award. Recently, the Boston Globe listed her as no. 3 on its Top Women in Technology List, and Communispace was listed as one of 25 Top Places to Work in Boston. In 2014, Hessan was again named to the Boston Business Journal's Power 50 Most Influential Bostonians.