C.A. Webb has been named next president of the KSA. Webb will focus on expanding the association's mission to grow Kendall Square into a global center of innovation -- a destination for people and companies creating breakthrough technologies and life-changing therapeutics.
Webb’s leadership approach won her acclaim while at the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) which she reinvented and turned into a powerful force within the Boston startup and broader business community. Her focus on authentic community building, empowering collective action, advocacy around critical policy issues, and highly differentiated placemaking and brand building put the NEVCA on the map.
Webb has spent her career as an entrepreneurial problem solver in both the private and not-for-profit sectors where she has helped build emerging organizations into brands that create lasting impact. Most recently, she co-founded _Underscore.VC, a tech fund using a network-driven approach to bring emerging and experienced entrepreneurs together to build the next generation of great tech companies. Prior to that, she led NEVCA for four years where she worked in partnership with local entrepreneurs and VCs to shape Massachusetts into the best place in the world to start and grow companies.
Kendall Square is the densest cluster of innovation on the planet. Webb sees the KSA as playing a critical role in harnessing and amplifying all of the strengths and potential in the community.
“Kendall Square already is a magnet for innovation-driven technology and biotech companies, along with the service providers and other businesses that work with them,” said Webb. "In just the last couple of years, we’ve seen companies like Shire, Pfizer, and Facebook move hundreds of people into Kendall and announce that they are acquiring space in order to hire and bring even more employees here. The hum and energy of this community is like none other. But there is also much untapped potential.”
"The KSA board is thrilled to have C.A. Webb join us as the leader who will take the association and Kendall Square to the next level,” said Sarah Gallop, KSA board chair and MIT Co-director of government and community relations. “The magic of Kendall Square is that we’re all working in a broad array of fields on a tremendous variety of innovative projects — thousands of them — yet we’re closely connected and actively pushing toward common goals. The KSA is already a central force in cultivating that magic connectivity, and it will only become more important as the region continues to grow."
Webb says that the future of Kendall Square is one of shared prosperity, inclusivity and access.
“We will be working together in the months and years ahead to bring the extraordinary activity happening inside Kendall Square’s research labs and offices into the streets and the digital world to offer access and inspiration for all,” said Webb. “We’ll also be working closely with developers, philanthropists, residents, the city of Cambridge and others to make Kendall Square a center of public art and unique gathering spaces for greater Boston’s and the world’s citizens to connect. Alongside that work, we will push hard for more ambitious plans to address deferred maintenance and service advancements at the MBTA, and we will be working with our members to develop best-in-class strategies for building truly diverse and inclusive organizations.”
To kick off Webb’s presidency at the KSA’s annual meeting on March 29, the KSA will host a conversation with the Boston Globe’s award-winning Spotlight team on its recent seven-part series: “Boston. Race. Image. Reality.” Attendees will be invited to participate in follow-up discussion groups to explore meaningful ways that their organizations and the KSA can work to build a stronger and more inclusive Kendall Square community.
Webb serves on the boards of The Boston Foundation, the Alliance for Business Leadership, MassRobotics, Room to Grow and Resilient Coders. She also is a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum, a select group of women business leaders. In 2015, Webb was recognized as an "Innovation All Star" by the Boston Business Journal and in 2016 was named one of the 30 most disruptive people in Boston tech by Boston Magazine.
She earned her undergraduate degree in English and Women’s Studies at Wellesley College and obtained her MBA at the Simmons School of Management.