Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mass Innovation Nights Southern Exposure #MIN57

The MIN Crowd at Quincy Center for Innovation
Quincy Center for Innovation welcomed Mass Innovation Nights number 57 to their recently opened space. It's a great space and they did a great job of hosting.The crowd was lively and engaged, always a good thing at a MIN event.

The variety of products really showed how huge and interesting the entrepreneurship scene is around these parts -- not all techie by any means -- everything from toothbrushes to tourism and beyond. The four chosen presenters were:

Boingnet  has a different take on marketing automation with a great way to create campaigns across web, email, mobile, and all that jazz, with custom landing pages and micro sites. I loved that their presentation involved a live audience participation demo registering participants to win free candy. Disappointed that I didn't win the peppermint bark, but way impressed with the Boingnet platform.
Team Boingnet
I enjoyed talking with the guys from Canary about local online selling. They do all the grunt work  for the sellers, from researching the value of an item to writing and managing the online listings. They help the buyers find answers to their questions, coordinate sales, and provide a discounted delivery service. On top of that, they donate 12% of each sale to charity. Happy sellers, happy buyers, and happy charities - what more could you ask for? Oh, and they had cool gold-colored brains on their table. I think I have to give them Best Prop of MIN57.
PlowMe connects customers in need of snow removal with contractors. Their network makes it easy to book a plow for your own property on the North Shore or your Mom's on the South Shore and makes it easy for the contractors to optimize their routes.  They had a raffle for snowplow service, which could come in handy this weekend with a northeast storm approaching. Oh, and they do have Merrimack Valley contractors in their network.
The folks from Equali Tees impressed me with their philosophy: We are all equal, but we are also different and both aspects should be celebrated. Their designs are simple enough to work with your personal style and they encourage you to make them your own. Some of their designs are connected to various charities that connect with their mission. The team looked great in their tees and hoodies. Best Costume of MIN57 definitely goes to Equali Tees. Check out their Etsy shop.

Equali Tees

Team Equali Tees

Speaking of T-shirts, remember Project Repat from MIN36 and from the MIN500 panel? They surprised Bobbie C with a special MIN blanket featuring T-shirts of MIN alumni companies.  It's cozy and warm and full of memories. There's a story with every one of those logos. What an awesome surprise.
Look at all those MIN companies!
The Blanket
OK,  so Eric Braun (@SouthShoreEric) doesn't really have 30 hands, but the 30hands mobile app can make teachers feel like they've got lots of extra help. It's a fun storytelling app that allows students, teachers and just about anyone to create presentations or narrated stories  based on photos, images or slides using a smartphone or tablet. Eric walked us through a demo in less than 5 minutes.

South Shore Eric
I love how One Hen approaches teaching entrepreneurship to kids in grades 3 to 6. Inspired by a children's book about a young boy in Ghana that grows his one chicken into the largest poultry farm in the country, they teach kids the skills to be social entrepreneurs. Kids learn to make a difference for themselves and the world.  It is awesome to teach kids financial responsibility and personal initiative,  and even more awesome to teach them  global awareness and giving back. 
One Hen
I got a toothbrush and two free cookies from Brush in Time, checked out Cara Group Travel's travel planning services for my ancestral homeland (well, the Irish half, not the Nova Scotia half), and took a look at Lallitara's latest creations since I last saw them at the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Social Impact Pitch Contest back in September. So many great products, so little time.

The Experts Corner was buzzing as usual. Andrew Oatway, a business lawyer, did an excellent job of fielding questions from attendees and posing for me looking very expert for the traditional "Expert Looking Expert" shot.
Expert Looking Expert