Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mass Innovation Night at NERD (#MIN24)

Microsoft NERD was crazy busy last night with Mass Innovation Night overlapping with Xconomy Mobile Madness. Wow, that was a huge crowd.  I didn't get to talk with all of the innovators this time, but I did get to chat with VoKnow, Touchbase, Hello Ladies, and Luminaire Coffee. And then there were the mini-whoopie pies from The Chococoa Bakery. I loved the espresso-filled one.

Crowd enjoying the food

Mini whoopie pies

Another cool feature of this month's event was that all the exhibitors had QR codes on their booths, which automatically sent out a tweet. Alas, I don't have a smartphone yet and my iPod Touch doesn't have a camera, so I wasn't able to try it out.

Conversation Media talking about Touchbase -- with cool megaphone

Conversation Media had the best prop, a megaphone.  Their TouchBase family geo-location service helps parents know where their children are and involves the kids in improving family communication too.

Luminaire Coffee demonstrating their coffee brewer to @Krushtown from Blogcastr
Coffee lover that I am, I had a great time tasting fresh-brewed coffee and talking with Luminaire Coffee about their technology for delivering hot water for coffee at just the the right temperature and flow rate. This is the perfect solution for those new "pour-over" coffee bars trying to compete with Starbucks' Clover machine. Luminaire had the second best prop, an old fashioned tea kettle -- their biggest competitor in the hot water space. And I ran into @Krushtown from Blogcastr at the Luminaire booth. You can check out his live blog from #MIN24 here. He got a good picture of the Luminaire machine.
#MIN24 came right on the heels of International Women's Day, so it was great to see Hello Ladies there. I had a great conversation with Liz about Women's History Month, women's salaries, and feminisim. In the immortal words from Bread and Roses "The rising of the women means the rising of us all".

With the presentations about to start, I didn't have much time to chat with the guys from VoKnow about their personalized real-time audio magazine, but I did manage to get a photo. Fortunately, they were one of the presenters, so I got the skinny from the presentation. This is definitely wicked cool.
Crowd listening to the presentations
Other presentations I enjoyed were Mobinett's Plug  interactive mobile networking platform for linking online social networking to the real face to face world and Chipalizer functional verification software for semiconductors.

In the Experts Corner, I connected with Anna Goldsmith from The Hired Pens, Amy Hafensteiner from Winter Wyman, and, of course, Christine Sierra from Carlton PR and Marketing. Amy and Christine posed for my traditional "Experts Looking Expert" shot.

Experts looking expert
As if all that weren't enough, I ran into former co-worker Kevin Wiant of Spar Networks who was there for Xconomy Mobile Madness. We had a great time catching each other up on our respective corners of the telecom world and news of other former Boston Technology colleagues. It was great to connect with Kevin again.

But wait, there's more. The feminist theme re-emerged while talking with Dianne Williams, mobile educator, techie geek, feminist, and archaeologist.  We talked and talked about what it takes to engage young women in engineering and science, how things are now for women vs. how they were when we were growing up, what's cool about geeking out over engineering and taking stuff apart to see how it works, and so on. Dianne told me about a documentary she saw on International Women's Day, Left on Pearl. That's now on my must see list.

Quite a night.

Note to self: attend more events that feature both mini whoopie pies and feminists. :-)


  1. Sounds like it was great, I couldnt make it...but I am in the next April 13th competition and very excited!!

  2. Great coverage and thanks for the shout-out!

  3. Thanks! Always a great recap of the event and we did have a fun and innovative night.