Monday, December 17, 2012

a buzzing #MIN45

Festive Boston Globe
The Hive at the Boston Globe was buzzing last Wednesday night. Who could resist that pun? Not me. Seriously though, #MIN45 was one of the busiest Mass Innovation Nights I've been to. The place was packed and there was tremendous energy.

Best Hat!
The bee theme was everywhere, with jars of honey and a guy from The Hive in a beekeeper outfit welcoming us at the check-in desk. I immediately awarded him Best Hat of #MIN45, figuring nobody could top that.

The Crowd

So many products to see, so many people to meet! The food and demo tables were already busy non-stop by about 6:15. Conversation and networking was so fast and furious that getting people upstairs to hear the presentations on the dot of 7:00PM was challenging. The four chosen presenters were MariwearProfitBricks, Landing Page Builder, and SnapHop. All were excellent choices.

The women from Mariwear have a brilliant product: a top comfortable enough to lounge and sleep in but with enough shape and support so you still look dressed.  A team of models changed into their Mariwear tops for the presentation. Going bra-less never looked so good!

The one photo opp I missed was  the bra-less Mariwear models with the guys from ProfitBricks in T-shirts personifying Performance, Flexibility, and Price all lined up in the bra-free zone at the front of the presentation room. Oh well.

Showing Off Carbonite Labs' T-Shirt
What with the bee-keeper suit, the Mariwear models, the ProfitBricks t-shirts, and the Carbonite t-shirts, I had a hard time choosing Best Costume. Since I already declared the beekeeper Best Hat, I think I have to give Best Costume to Mariwear.

The Crowd with Smartphones Ready to Tweet
Landing Page Builder presented a genuinely  intuitive approach to custom landing pages for small businesses.  You don't have to be a designer or hire a designer to create a landing page with embedded forms and videos and other design elements. And it's completely web-based.

Landing Page Builder
I enjoyed tasting a peanut butter cup from Unreal Candy -- great taste without all the junk that goes into most treats.

One of the coolest things I saw was Tote-a-Tree, a reusable and easy to carry Christmas tree disposal and carry bag, very relevant at this time of year. Nifty to be able to move that big tree into and out of your house without dislodging needles and getting pine sap all over.

tote a tree
The folks from Carbonite added to the fun with a photo booth. This brought out people's playful side, with folks posing in all sorts of amusing combinations.


One of the secrets to networking:  knowing how to talk about football. Water Cooler Football offers workshops on networking and on how to use gridiron language to connect in the current competitive economy. They were also handing out a useful card diagramming how to work a room at a networking event.

Watercooler Football
One of the best things about Mass Innovation Nights is that you are almost guaranteed to encounter something you've never thought of. The DogsAtWork Canine Underwater Treadmill from Trailblazers Aquatic was one of those for me. Genius idea for dog rehab.

Talking About DogsAtWork Canine Underwater Treadmill
Jewelry is another category that shows up regularly at Mass Innovation Nights and #MIN45 was no exception with cute charms from Samantha Faye.

Go Pro Workouts showcased revolutionary workout programs at their demo table.

In the analytics realm, we had 42 Stats from Servalytics serving up a SaaS solution to integrate employee feedback with enterprise data.

The biggest hit of the presentations was definitely RecruitingHop from our SnapHop friends. The consensus of the crowd was that it's downright shocking in this day and age that you can't easily apply for a job from a mobile device. Think about it. Shouldn't you be able to apply for a job at Apple with your iPhone? RecruitingHop fixes that. Adam applied for a job from his phone live during the presentation. The crowd was impressed.
Recruiting Hop
After the presentations, the demo tables were crowded once again. Everywhere you looked, small groups of people engaged in intense conversation. The energy was still so strong that some people were actually running from demo to demo.

Still Buzzing After the Presentations
The Experts Corner was indeed full of experts offering their expertise to the entrepreneurs. So, as has become traditional, I'll close with an "Expert Looking Expert" pic.

Expert Looking Expert

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