Friday, October 12, 2012

MIN43 @ Verizon Innovation Center

Great Big Beautiful Space
Wow! The Verizon Innovation Center hosted Mass Innovation Nights in a beautifully designed space full of cool toys and innovations. Plus, they provided food! Great hosts.

Innovators Mingling (Yes, that guy is wearing a giant book bag.)
As always, the range of products at MIN was amazing. Everything from underwater robots to speaking out against domestic violence made the evening diverse and intensely interesting. It's not everyday you meet a guy wearing a giant book bag or a company with a cardboard mascot named Dominic.

Raising a Reader
The guy wearing the red book bag was from Raising A Reader promoting their Red Bag Program. The Red Bag Program circulates bright red bags filled with high quality, culturally appropriate children’s books through families’ homes so that children get to experience the culture of reading with their families. I can't think of a better way to show appreciation for the reading life than to help support bringing that life to kids who would otherwise miss out.

Market Me Suite
MarketMeSuite gives small businesses the ability to manage their social marketing just like they mange their email inbox. It's about time somebody made it easier for small businesses to take advantage of the huge variety of social media.

OK, I have to admit my favorite of the presenters was Aquabotix. For years I've fantasized about building a remote controlled underwater vehicle with a camera so I could study the underwater feeding habits of diving ducks. HydroView is that underwater vehicle with an HD video camera and connection to your iPad or laptop. They weren't thinking of my obsession with diving ducks, of course. What HydroView does is let you see fish, scope out dive locations, look for underwater treasures, find stuff that fell off a dock or a boat, check the bottom of your boat for damage, find out what's tangled in your propeller, and all sorts of things fishermen and boaters need to do.

I enjoyed talking with the folks from re:covers about their fashionable covers for orthopedic walking boots, casts and braces. Brilliant! They protect the site of the injury and add a stylish boost to your recovery. How cool is that?
Voices Against Violence
Voices Against Violence is a non-profit that empowers domestic violence victims and survivors to help themselves. Domestic violence is hard to talk about. It's complex. We need to talk about it more. A lot more. Maybe if people felt more empowered to talk about it and get help, more tragedies could be prevented.


NameFind helps find the perfect brand name for your business, secure the domain names, social media handles and trademarks, and does it all in one place. Plus they have a cool mascot.

Cool Mascot for namefind
Mystery Gift Machine makes gift giving as much fun and as surprising as receiving the gift. A robot descends from space, takes inputs, picks and ships the best gift. OK, it's not really from space, but it is fun. 

Mystery Gift Machine
The History List is a cool idea too. I didn't make it to the rest of the tables. There was just so much cool stuff to look at in the Verizon Innovation Center that I couldn't take all that in, let alone all the products/organizations and experts. That's when you know you're having a good Mass Innovation Night.

The Crowd
The space was awesome. Did I say that already? What with a car, a connected bike, cool touch screen games, Lego ... and more ...

Connected Bike in the Experts Corner

Bobbie and Robert
I got Bobbie C and Robert Gray from At-Hand Apps to pose for a "Bobs" portrait. And, as usual, I'll close with an Expert Looking Expert shot.

Expert Looking Expert from Constant Contact