Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mass Innovation Night #MIN25

It was a dark and stormy night ... :-)

April showers were out in full force, but the innovation community packed the house at Continuum and Videolink's facilities in Newton for Mass Innovation Night number 25. The space was amazing. The place was mobbed! Shout out to Continuum and Videolink for sharing it with all these great innovators. Tours were wildly popular and fascinating.
The crowd starts to gather.
Innovators as far as the eye can see.
The focus this month was on  things rather than apps.  There seemed to be a sub theme of bicycles and bicycle technology going on too, which struck me as very appropriate for West Newton, the home of Harris Cyclery (almost as important to my childhood as the West Newton branch library). 

Once again, I didn't get to check out every single exhibitor, but I caught most of them. Products ranged from carpets and shoes to bags for your pooch's poop and everything in between. Some of the ones that made an impression on me:

Carpet Workroom makes custom area rugs out of  remnants. I love their focus on customer involvement as well as reuse of materials and good old-fashioned workmanship. 
Carpet Workroom
Heyday Footwear makes  "bling for your feet", shiny cool shoes. High-tops are already cool, but these are even cooler. I look forward to when they offer women's sizes.  
Heyday Footwear

Parachute Dog  makes a biodegradable dog waste bag kit.  Cleaning up after your pooch without perpetuating the immortal plastic bags is a definite benefit to society.

Parachute Dog
Our old friends from Memory on Hand were selling their USB flash drive bracelets. See my review of their useful and trendy product here.

The four presenters had folks looking up to them in the unique presentation space on the stairwell. Loved the improvised screen. Mass Innovators are a creative bunch!

Looking up at the presentations.
The product that knocked my socks off (what does that mean anyway? I've never seen anybody's socks literally knocked off. :-)) was the Leveraged Freedom Chair designed by Continuum in partnership with MIT to bring a wheelchair to people with disabilities globally. Conventional wheelchairs are not well suited for the rough roads and long distances encountered by the disabled in developing countries. The Leveraged Freedom chair combines the technology of a bicycle drive train with levers to create a nifty leveraged drive train that makes it possible for users to travel faster than they can on conventional wheelchairs, whether they're on pavement or off-road. And they've done all this while keeping the manufacturing cost to $100! Very impressive.

Leveraged Freedom Chair
The surprise hit of the night was Mouthwatchers with their antibacterial nano-silver toothbrush with patented flossing bristles. Who knew you could build a better toothbrush? Traffic at their table was brisk throughout the evening.

Videolink's ReadyCam 2.0 remotely-controlled broadcast quality video solution meets its goals: bring down the cost, do broadcast quality, and do it on demand. This ain't your laptop webcast.
Videolink's ReadyCam 2.0
New England Bike Expo  is an event designed to bring together people who love bicycles and alternative transportation, and folks looking to learn about the vibrant bicycle industry here in New England. They'll have tons of bikes and bike related stuff at Arts at the Armory Somerville,  May 7-8. Nice to see the bicycling culture that was so vibrant here so many decades ago surging to the forefront again.

Turner Business Services
Note paper content delivery devices on the shelves in the background.
Memories in an Instant

The Experts Corner was a happening place too, with Memories in an Instant taking "social media ready" photos, office furniture from new MIN sponsor, Turnstone, and lots of people consulting Turner Business Services.  I got Leaf Legal  to pose for my traditional experts looking expert shot. They tried to look very expert.
Leaf Legal

Those readers who've seen lots of my photography know that I love red brick, and there was plenty of that. It was even labled.

Brick Walls

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