Startups Getting the Word Out—Cost-Effective Public Relations for Entrepreneurs

Prescience International presents a panel and networking reception focused on public relations for early stage startups.


As a startup, you need to effectively get the word out about your products and/or services. But as a startup, your main issue when hiring a PR firm is its cost. Fortunately, an expensive PR agency or a large PR department are no longer necessary to get your message out. But you do need to plan things right and know the tools available to support you in your buzz quest.

Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Press Release? What is the best way for emerging technology companies to spread the word to the public, potential partners or customers, and future investors?

On March 5, experts and successful startups will gather for an interactive discussion, delivering the tricks and tips for early stage companies to successfully share their story:
• What channels to utilize?
• When is the right time for a press release?
• How to get media coverage when the time is right?
• How “some press is NOT always good press”?
• How to implement a strategy while still bootstrapping?

Among other topics, our experts will discuss how to formulate a plan, what tools are available, and what efforts generate the most impact.


Wade Roush, Chief Correspondent and SF Editor, Xconomy

Wade is a veteran journalist with a focus on information technology. As a staffer with MIT’s Technology Review from 2001 to 2006, he served as senior editor, San Francisco bureau chief, and executive editor of Before joining TR, Wade was the Boston bureau reporter forScience, managing editor of supercomputing publications at NASA Ames Research Center, and Web editor at e-book pioneer NuvoMedia. He has a B.A. in the history of science from Harvard University and a PhD in the history and social study of science and technology from MIT. His work has appeared in ScienceTechnology ReviewIEEE Spectrum, and Encyclopaedia Brittanica, and he has been a guest commentator on CNN, CNBC, NECN, WGBH, NPR, and PBS.

Ron Leuty, Reporter, San Francisco Business Times

Ron Leuty has covered biotech for the San Francisco Business Times for nearly six years.
Ron has been a reporter or editor for 25 years, including editor of two startup business journals and business editor of the English-language Prague Post in the Czech Republic.
Ron has won numerous journalism awards, including a “Best in Business” award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his piece looking at how Bay Area business leaders mobilized and connected with scientists when one of their own was diagnosed with a fatal brain-wasting disease.
You can follow Ron’s work on Twitter — @rleuty_biotech — or on the Business Times’ biotech blog, BiotechSF.

Jenya Meydbray, Co-founder and CEO, PV Evolution Labs

Jenya Meydbray is the co-founder and CEO of PV Evolution Labs. An advisor to leading solar companies, Jenya has worked on developing methods of evaluating long-term solar panel performance for product development and bankability. Prior to founding PVEL, Jenya was the Senior Quality and Reliability Engineer at SunPower Corporation where he developed accelerated test methods for high efficiency solar cells and modules. Jenya began his career at NASA Ames Research Center’s hyper-gravity facilities. Jenya has studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, and holds two photovoltaic-related patents. Jenya received a BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Santa Cruz, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University. Jenya is an Advisory Board Member to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s International PV Module Quality Assurance Forum.

Kirsten MaynardDirector, Sparkpr

As Director of the VC & Green Tech practice at Sparkpr, Kirsten draws on her 8 years of experience providing strategic business and marketing communications consultation to clean tech and green business/lifestyle startups in energy efficiency, smart grid, solar energy, waste-to-energy and sustainability. Prior to her own independent consultancy Kirsten was a member of the executive leadership team within Sony Corporation of America, managing cross-brand PR and marketing for Sony Music, Pictures, Electronics, PlayStation, Metreon, etc. Previously she headed consumer technology accounts at Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. Early in her career Kirsten led agency activity to launch Old Navy for national retailer The Gap, and managed public relations and advertising for McDonald’s Corporation. Kirsten got her start as an environmental journalist, broadcast producer and technical director for Ziff Davis.

Diane Heditsian, Chief Executive and Creative Officer, deClarity

Diane Heditsian is Chief Executive and Creative Officer of deClarity, an award-winning digital communications firm focused on the life sciences. She founded deClarity while in her 20’s and is celebrating thirty years of helping start-up and mature biotech, pharma, medical device and diagnostics companies tell their stories through video, 3D mechanism of action animations, websites/web ad campaigns, and dynamic exhibit media. deClarity clients include Genentech and Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Nektar Therapeutics, Medivation, Vivus, Onyx, Affymax, Alexza, Jazz Pharma, and Genomic Health. Prior to founding deClarity, Diane produced and wrote broadcast television, most recently serving as the producer of the nationally syndicated television program, PM/EVENING Magazine. Diane is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tufts University and serves on the Alumni Admissions Committee and as an advisor to the Communications and Media Studies Department. Diane is also a research advocate on a UCSF NIH-funded Specialized Program in Research Excellence (SPORE). You can communicate with Diane on Twitter @DianeHeditsian or visit to send her an email.

Lead Facilitator | Melinda Richter, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Prescience International

Melinda Richter is the Founder and CEO of Prescience International, an award-winning firm dedicated to accelerating the commercialization of science and technology into economic wealth and social impact. Melinda is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned business strategist with over 20 years’ dedicated to creating strategic visions based upon extensive operational experience and in-depth marketing intelligence. Leaving a successful career with Nortel Networks, Melinda launched her life sciences career in the San Francisco Bay Area by developing capital efficient ways to commercialize technology in sectors that require extensive funding and timelines to get to market. Melinda then established Prescience’s innovation center model, which gives early stage companies a big company advantage by providing access to infrastructure, education, and capital. This model is exemplified through the San Jose BioCenter; formerly a 40,000sf state-of-the-art research facility, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC); one of the first cleantech incubators ever to be established in the U.S., and Janssen Labs a 32,000sf innovation center located at the Janssen R&D West Coast campus in San Diego. Melinda co-founded the UC Berkeley BioExec Institute and currently sits on its Board of Advisors. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and an M.B.A. from INSEAD in France.