"If you can spare the time, a visit to The Venture Café might be worth your while.

"Author Teresa Esser’s entertaining and illuminating new book about the perils involved in launching a high-tech business was inspired by a real café – the Muddy Charles Pub on MIT’s campus.

"Once a month, new and would-be entrepreneurs from MIT gather at the Muddy Charles to network, swap ideas, offer advice and issue warnings. They hear from business people who have been there, done that and are willing to pass along the lessons of experience.

"For those who don’t have such an entrepreneurial mecca in their neighborhood, reading The Venture Café: Secrets, Strategies, and Stories from America’s High-Tech Entrepreneurs may be the next best thing."

--Wharton Business School's Knowledge@Wharton

" In her entertaining and illuminating new book, The Venture Cafe: Secrets, Strategies, and Stories from America's High-Tech Entrepreneurs, author Teresa Esser was inspired by a real place -- the Muddy Charles Pub on MIT's campus. Based on tales from the pub and her own reporting, Esser offers advice, anecdotes, encouragement and sympathy to those setting out on the entrepreneurial journey. "

--The New York Times' electronic DealBook, edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin

"The Venture Café is well written by someone who is not an entrepreneur, but knows them well."

--Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge Book Recommendations Library

"The book captures the essence of what entrepreneurship is all about : a frame of mind. Rich with lively anecdotes and interviews, it highlights the challenges, the passion and the survival spirit it takes to make it happen. Good reminder : the basics need to be in place to turn a good idea into a successful business, a reality that the e-bubble had led us to forget. "

--Daniel Borel, Chairman - Logitech International SA

" Teresa Esser's The Venture Cafe blasts past the current IT industry gloom and provides a witty, readable, and gripping primer on the calculus of risk and reward in entrepreneurial ventures.

Her book moves beyond the conventional and makes the case that the funkiness and out-of-the-box, slightly uncomfortable but often inspiring experience of the neighborhood cafe is as much a state of mind as a place and helps generate the innovativeness and flexibility in thinking that venture efforts require.

This book is part inventory of how to think and what to do in entrepreneurial efforts -- but it also reads in many parts like a novel, based loosely on the real world experiences of a real firm. I recommend it highly. "

-- Steven Clemons, Executive Vice President, New America Foundation

" The Venture Cafe makes engaging personal history but, more importantly, describes the DNA of the dot-com refugees who now are shaping the gene pool of tomorrow's large corporation.

"The wise manager will use Teresa Esser's book as a guide to the culture required to assume the risks and grasp the opportunities in our accelerating economy."

- Christopher Meyer, coauthor of Future Wealth and Blur

"Eureka! Teresa Esser has found it - the essence of high tech venturing - and delivered it in one great, empowering book.

"The Venture Café reveals, in detail, the angst and exuberance of the entrepreneurial mind and captures the culture, the big issues (both personal and professional), and the nitty-gritty practical realities of what it takes to forge ideas into innovations and succeed in the marketplace.

"It is must reading (and re-reading!) for those who are technology entrepreneurs and for all our students who hope and dare to someday be."

-Paul Bottino, Executive Director Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard

"With great stories and wise advice, Teresa Esser walks readers through the thicket of starting a company.

"If you're a fledgling high-tech entrepreneur, you'd do well to have a sound business plan, plenty of caffeine, and a copy of this book."

- Daniel H. Pink, author of FREE AGENT NATION

" Takes you inside the minds of technology entrepreneurs."

- Guy Kawasaki, CEO, Garage Technology Ventures

" Teresa Esser's The Venture Cafe demystifies the venture capital industry and the entrepreneurial mind."

--Howard Anderson, Founder, the Yankee Group, Founder, YankeeTek Venture Capital, and Co-Founder, Battery Venture Capital

"While The Venture Cafe offers lessons in the art of entrepreneurship, it's not a dry book, thanks mainly to the many profiles, stories, and anecdotes culled from the high-tech boom."

--The ASEE Prism Online

"Teresa Esser's bold new book, The Venture Cafe, reveals the inner workings of the new and uncharted world of high-tech start-ups. Captured through over 150 personal interviews with high-tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Esser's candid insights come directly from the people who are making high-tech history.

"The Venture Cafe's firsthand accounts of entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of technology and business will provide any entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or high-tech visionary leverage in an increasingly competitive market."

--Melissa L. Greipp, Attorney, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"The spirit of entrepreneurship can be very contagious. Teresa Esser's book captures not only an entrepreneur's passion but also the environment which fosters it.

"The Venture Cafe documents the atmosphere at MIT, where technologists, angel investors, venture capitalists lawyers, and advisors converge to discuss new business ideas. But Esser doesn't stop there. She gives a unique perspective to the players as the companies succeeded and failed both during and after the craze.

"The book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn from other entrepreneurs, think like venture capitalists, or find hot spots similar to those at MIT."

--Phil Bangayan, MBA candidate, Alfred P. Sloan School of Management

"In reading The Venture Café, I was captivated by the extremely up close and personal accounts Esser gives of the psyche, visions, and work ethic of the small group of MIT entrepreneurs she profiles.

"In less than a decade, this subculture?s visions were birthed, pioneered a new business universe, and created massive wealth for the successful.

"While MIT is synonymous with technical excellence, it is perhaps less known that it has developed and refined entrepreneurial networking to an art form.

"The Venture Cafe sketches the complicated networking that nurtured new businesses and illuminates the compressed timeline for a start-up to reap profits. Indeed, the rags to riches path for start-ups becoming IPO?d and making millions for their founders was likened to the mercurial rise of a rock star.

"Esser, an MIT graduate herself and wife of a successful MIT entrepreneur, has an insider?s lens which brings the culture into focus for those who have heard the company names, were captivated by the technical gadgetry produced, or watched the many companies rise, stall, and either surge ahead or fail.

"There is no doubt that the current economic malaise has slowed the launching of new entrepreneurial ventures and left many venture capitalists with fifteen business boards to direct, a predicament likened to '?raising fifteen sick children.' However, Esser makes a strong argument that the Institute?s entrepreneurial spirit has survived the darkest days and is successfully recreating itself.

"The boom of the late 1990?s may have been the economic equivalent of the 1969 Woodstock and may never be exactly replicated due to its connection with the historical events of the day. The Venture Café, however, leaves no doubt that the unique visions, energy, and networking in the MIT entrepreneurial community are not gravestones to the past, but keystones for future building and expansion."

--Ken Tate, MBA Candidate, Alfred P. Sloan School of Management

"Hang gliding, taking a vacation cruise, and playing blackjack stand out on the menu of metaphors that Teresa Esser cooks up in The Venture Cafe to personalize founding and investing in high-tech start-ups."

--Cecil Johnson, Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Read the entire review

Read my profile in EE Times!

" The Venture Café paints a vivid picture of the personalities, dreams and defeats of entrepreneurs, as they impart insights into the ups--and downs--of the high-tech industry.

"The people you will meet inside will become your mentors, even if you never meet them and even if you never start your own company. "

--Belinda Juran, attorney, Hale and Dorr LLP

" Great conversation, big ideas to 'change the world,' tips on how to make it happen...truly fun to read and most valuable for any tech-oriented entrepreneur."

- Stan Davis, author of Lessons from the Future and coauthor of Blur

" A twelve-step guide to entrepreneurial success! "

- Yonald Chery, Co-Founder of Virtual Ink and
CTO of Newbury Networks

Do you have anything to add? Email Teresa Esser, with questions, comments, and suggestions.

Table of Contents Buy the Book About the Author Speaking Engagements Frequently Asked Questions Praise The Venture Cafe, available through