Diane Hessan — C Space
Diane Hessan is a successful entrepreneur, marketer and author. She is currently working on a variety of projects in the Boston tech ecosystem, and is engaged in a wide-ranging longitudinal study of the American voter.
She is also Chairman of C Space (formerly Communispace), where she was CEO and founder. C Space, “with a Blue Chip client list that would make a Madison Avenue giant jealous," according to Advertising Age, is the leader in helping companies get insight and inspiration from their customers. Diane led Communispace to 13 years of exponential growth, and it now has over 500 employees, and offices in over a dozen countries.
Formerly CEO of Startup Institute, Diane helped build the company into a force for building great talent in the innovation economy. Since its inception, nearly 1500 students have gone through Startup Institute programs, in Boston, New York, London, Chicago & Berlin.
Diane is co-author of the book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. The book, a Business Week best-seller, was published in 11 languages.
Diane has received many honors, including the Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Most Admired CEO award and Boston Power 50 award from the Boston Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, the Northstar Award from Springboard, the Great Boston Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, and a range of Best Boss citations. Last year, she was honored as a Distinguished Entrepreneur at Babson College and received the Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship from Brandeis.
Diane serves on many boards, including Panera, Eastern Bank, Brightcove, Tufts University, CoachUp, Mass Challenge & Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. She has 2 grown daughters, and is founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that sings about business.