Thursday, June 14, 2012

Epic #MIN39 on the North Shore

Mass Innovation Nights visited the North Shore for the epic MIN39 event. OK, all MIN events are epic, but meeting in a giant former shoe factory/historic landmark is pretty darn epic . The Cummings Center in Beverly welcomed us with a well-appointed conference room, speedy wi-fi, and pizza. Hosts who provide pizza are awesome!

With the humid weather and the hot conference room, the APURE Air Purifier and Fan from Gulls Nest was attracting lots of traffic to their table. Cool in every sense of the word.

High-tech Fans from Gull's Nest Selling Like Hot Cakes
The four presenters showed us textiles, toys, video sharing, and good health. That's quite a range of products.
Crowd Tweeting the Presentations

The guys from Ministry of Supply looked cool and comfortable in their high performance business clothing despite the humidity. This is the kind of startup that wouldn't get off the ground in Silicon Valley because nobody wears business attire, but judging from the MIN39 attendees there's a definite niche for comfortable and practical dress shirts in Massachusetts. I hereby award the official MIN39 best costume award to Ministry of Supply.

Ministry of Supply -- Best Costume
I loved TheO™ from Physical Apps, a foam ball that combines your smart device with custom apps for fun physical games and activities. A smart ball for your smart device. Imagine bowling with your friends around the web with a real ball. 
TheO Ball
Bonfire Health is a multi-media health education company that changes lives by changing lifestyles. In case that sounds boring, the lemon flavored fish oil samples they were handing out were pretty exciting and didn't taste half bad.

Bonfire is Enthusiastic about Your Health
 Burst did a demo of their Mobile Video Solution designed for families. I was amazed at how fast and how simple it is. Way easier than and more private than Facebook.

The Burst Team
Theresa gave me a demo of  Strappy the Holder,  a polypropylene belt attached to a stretchy ring. It's extraordinarily well-designed.  The belt is worn as a bottle carrier and by adjusting the size of the ring a person can attach various size water bottles. Your water bottle moves with you instead of banging against your leg. Ingenious. You can add some decorative  "Bling for your Bottle" too.

Theresa Demonstrating Strappy
Bling for Your Bottle
And Theresa Got Her Parents to Watch the Table for Her
Why hasn't somebody invented such a massively useful thing as Zipboard before? It's a portable, retractable whiteboard that becomes a rigid whiteboard when you extend it. It even comes with a dry erase marker and eraser that store right inside the unit. Work in an open plan office? Teaching a class on the beach? Imagine having an easy to carry whiteboard right where you need it. Want to diagram plays for your soccer team right there on the sidelines? It comes in comes in 8 different sport specific versions.

Analytics is one of today's major buzzwords and a good source Social Media Analytics is much sought after. Klurig Analytics offers services to help social media marketers and social media agencies to calculate the Social Media ROI of their campaigns.

Klurig Analytics
By the time I got to the Demand Limiting Controller (DLC) from Save Energy Systems I was pretty tired and sweaty but anything having to do with HVAC always piques my interest, so I listened to the pitch for their simple, networked system to optimize HVAC units and reduce peak demand as well as energy costs with interest. So much interest, I forgot to take a photo of them.

This month's Experts Corner was up on a platform at the far end of the room behind the presentation screen. It was kind of fun to see the experts elevated. For the traditional Expert Looking Expert shot, I caught  Christina coaching on Ed using Pinterest for marketing.

Expert Looking Expert