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Local tech execs rock out at charity benefit for cancer research

CEOs show up at The Sinclair to cover songs by Nirvana and the Sex Pistols

Local tech executives including Joe Lemay, CEO of RocketBook, performed rock songs at a charity benefit called Tech Tackles Cancer in Cambridge.Aaron Pressman

Some of Boston’s top tech executives gathered on Tuesday night to show off their rock and roll chops and raise money for cancer research.

To kick things off, Christopher Lynch, chief executive of software company AtScale and a punk rocker in his youth, belted out “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. Rocketbook CEO Joe Lemay brought three astronaut-costumed cheerleaders for his rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” And Ken Steinhardt, field chief technology officer at data storage company Infinidat, played bass and sang “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love” by Van Halen.

They were among more than a dozen acts playing to a full house of supporters at The Sinclair in Harvard Square for the 2022 incarnation of Tech Tackles Cancer, an annual event originated by Lynch. Tuesday’s show, which raised about $300,000, was the first live version of the event since the pandemic started. All the acts were backed by local band Tony Savarino and The Savtones.

Other performers included Cara Hogan, chief marketing officer at ShipIn; Tom Barry, director of customer onboarding at BitSight; and Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.


Money raised at the event will go to childhood cancer research at St. Baldrick’s Foundation in California and One Mission, a pediatric cancer support charity based in Westborough.

Lynch said he plans to take the Boston fundraising effort nationwide, with similar shows to be organized in dozens more cities. “We think we have it down to a science,” Lynch told the crowd. “The band is ready to travel.”

The charity will also expand support to more causes beyond childhood cancer, he said.

“You’re going to be hearing more in coming months about ‘Tech Tackles X,’” he said. “We see it as being bigger and broader in terms of the types of issues we tackle.”


Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.