Thursday, September 13, 2012

#MIN42 at Intrepid Labs

It was standing room only by the time the presentations started at Mass Innovation Night number 42. Our intrepid host, Intrepid Labs, deserves a big shout out for the great space and for finding a chair for presenters to stand on. The energy in the Intrepid space was amazing.
The Crowd
My favorite product of the night was Timbre from Intrepid Pursuits. It's a location-based app that finds bands playing at local venues near you and much, much more. It connects you to iTunes to play clips of their songs and you can buy tickets from concert websites right from the app. Their demo rocked. I think I even saw a couple of developers dancing in the co-working space behind the presenter. I downloaded it immediately. Heck, I may not be the young hip urban demographic they targeted, but the secret is out now -- I lurve live music.

Fiona and Pattie Making the Scene
So many products, so many people! It was a truly festive atmosphere -- one huge party! And who knew there was an orange color theme?  RaceMenu had huge orange banners at their table and wore matching orange T-shirts. Abroad101 had orange shirts too along with their green shirts. Fiona evidently got the orange message too.
Wearing orange and talking Raceday event registration

This being Cambridge lots of teams had matching T-shirts, so it was hard to pick "best costume". I have to go with RaceMenu just because their banners, coffee mugs, and overall decor matched their shirts.

The presentations were great and all came in within their allotted 5 minutes.

Johnny from Hard Data Factory presented Tech Cal Mobile with the most over-the-top high energy presentation I have ever seen at Mass Innovation Night. Amazing with a dozen exclamation points doesn't begin to cover the energy level!  And he baked chocolate chip cookies for all. Chocolate chip cookies! Tech Cal Mobile is Boston's largest high-tech and business calendar. If there's a meet up, a pitch contest, a networking event, a PHP hackathon, or venture capitalists dropping money from the skies, it's in there. This is just the tool for ramping up your participation in the fall event season.

PollVaultr did a great job presenting their service to help small businesses collect customer feedback with iPad-based surveys right at the point of sale. They also had one of their iPads set up at the MIN registration desk to collect feedback on the event.


The Leaf team did their five minutes on LeafPresenter, a very cool point-of-sale tool that enables businesses to manage their stores from the cloud through a single platform that provides traditional POS features, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and social loyalty all in real time at the point of sale. It's like e-commerce but in real brick and mortar retail businesses. Clearly an idea whose time has come. Green leaves were everywhere too.

Among the non-presenters, I liked  Cubby from LogMeIn a lot.  It's a better way to stay up-to-date across all your devices, or collaborate easily with colleagues. They've taken the DropBox concept way further.


I love how Earthfrendz turns scraps of fabrics and burlap into beautiful bags and wallets. Environmentally sustainable upcycled accessories -- what's not to like? Anything that reduces, reuses, recycles STUFF makes me happy. Pretty accessories make me happy too.


I would have used the convenient QR code to tweet about Abroad101 Study Abroad Evaluation Software except that the pre-loaded message said I was reminiscing about my study abroad experiences. Darn, I never studied abroad in my college years. My "study abroad" experiences have been more on the order of dealing with software problems at giant Japanese phone companies, photographing botanical specimens at the National Herbarium in Beijing, collecting pine cones in weird places, birding in even weirder places, and of course, spending way too much time in Hungary working on Conifers Around the World with my Hungarian dendrologist friends. BTW, the spellchecker keeps wanting to change dendrologist to hydrologist. There's a pun there somewhere waiting to get out, but I can't find it. Anyway, besides reminiscence, the Abroad101 people provide software-as-a-service tools to universities nationwide that want to collect study abroad program evaluations from students, automatically share that information with perspective students, create reports on their data, and compare their data to other institutions.

Two Tims Networking
One of the cool things about Mass Innovation Nights is the mix of "usual suspects" and new people to connect with.  I love catching up with folks I've met at previous MIN events, running into former co-workers, and making connections. In yet another MIN connection story, I discovered that Mapocosm, the app that enables anyone to self-publish their own mobile app based on location services, at very low cost, is exactly the app that my friend and former co-worker, Steve, currently of Steve's Travel Guides, is using for his Freedom Trail app. Steve wasn't there, but this still counts as a former co-worker sighting :-)

Another cool thing about MIN is the age diversity of the crowd. I love mingling with people with whom I can use the line "I was coding in assembly language before your mother was born" along with people to whom "coding in assembly language" is a meaningful term :-) One of the best moments of the nights was expert Larry Blumsack's description of himself as "chronologically gifted." Therefore, Larry gets the all-important closing "Experts Looking Expert" spot.

Expert Looking Expert

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for covering Mass Innovation Nights, Janet, and giving all those great products some blog love. Just so you know for next time, the pre-loaded tweets absolutely can be edited, or replaced with your own tweets. They are there primarily to help folks access social media with the preloaded important information -- links, user names, etc.