Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Successful Mass Innovation Night #MIN31

Wow! A huge space, big screen, tablecloths, an excellent food spread, and a great atmosphere for Mass Innovation Night at Trade Center 128.  Cummings did a great job hosting this month's event. I toured the new Launch co-working space at Century Suites too.
A Huge Space and a Huge Screen Await the Crowd - Note Percussion CM1 Table on the Right

It was an eclectic lineup of new products with mac n cheese, design-your-own shoes and bags, social media analytics, content management, kids' arch supports, and more. It's fun to see the diversity of entrepreneurship happening in Massachusetts these days. The size of the space made it easy to get around to everybody and check out their products. I always enjoy talking to people about their products, even if they're not techies. I love a good geeky talk about content management and love mac n cheese, but it's fascinating to talk to people about how fast kids outgrow their shoes, designing your own handbags and shoes, and the service economy too.
Sarah from Good Tastes <3 Mac & Cheese
Sarah from Good Tastes was handing out samples of awesome frozen mac n cheese. I tried the Brie & Fig and the Wild Mushroom and can't wait to get some more of the Brie & Fig.

Shoes and Handbags
Imagine designing your own shoes and bags. That's exactly what Open Runway lets you do. It is a "design your own fashion" platform where you can create and share your own made to order handbags and shoes.
Speaking of shoes, why is it that all the innovations in kids' sneakers are about bling and not about comfort? Kids need comfort too.  Arch Angels® are the first children’s comfort insole on the market designed specifically to meet the needs of active children’s feet.

Arch Angels
The four presenters were:
The crowd packed the space for the presentations, some even watching from the stairs or upstairs in the Experts Corner.
The Crowd
It's about time somebody came up with a tool to help you use Twitter to reach the audience you want. Terametric Optimizer for Twitter does just that, integrates real-time analysis with guidance on what to tweet, when to tweet it, and whom to target on message. They also had nice swag, with T-shirts and hats.  Since this wasn't a Cambridge event, they weren't actually wearing the T-shirts, but I'll award them best costume anyway because nobody was doing the matching shirt thing this time.

There are a ton of Content Management products out there, but small to medium enterprises are still spending too much on 3rd party services firms to roll out and update their online presence. Percussion CM1 returns the power of content management to the content owner  with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.  Marketers can manage just about every component of their site without a whole lot of web expertise. The folks from Percussion were fun to talk to and had good swag, with yo-yos and pens and stuff in bright orange. One thing I have observed at MIN and other events is that geeks love orange. I don't know why, but they do.

The Experts Corner was upstairs and the experts were looking expert as always.
Experts Looking Expert

What if drawing a sophisticated diagram online were as intuitive as drawing it on a piece of paper or a white board? Grafpad is a web app for creating legible diagrams online that combines the simplicity of drawing your concept/idea on paper with the power of applications like Visio. It uses image recognition to let you draw by hand instead of fiddling with complex menus. You don't need a manual and training to draw your idea on a napkin. The app is essentially a smart napkin. Those who remember how much of computing technology was designed on napkins can't help but appreciate the simplicity of Grafpad.
It was great meeting Leo from VKW Virtual Knowledge Workers, trying out Ravid's simple video messaging application, and chatting with Jon from Splitwise too. I had so much fun at #MIN31 that it won't all fit in one blog post! Stay tuned to this space for more on my tour of Launch and more on virtual knowledge workers.
Leo from VKW
Networking at MIN31

No comments:

Post a Comment