Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mass Innovation Night Recap #MIN62

The late afternoon sun put the spotlight on Mass Innovation Night at Progress Software in Bedford yesterday.  Progress provided a wonderful space, great food (including cannoli!), and beverages. Thanks, Progress.
Big Welcome From Progress Software
It's always amazing to see the diversity of the innovations showcased at these MIN events.  This diversity was definitely on display at #MIN62 with the Wentworth student startup spotlight. From neat storage for nail polish containers to a discreet vest for carrying around outpatient infusion equipment, I enjoyed talking with the student entrepreneurs from Simply Stored and Gentoo about their products.  Greg from Gentoo did a great job of explaining to me what some of the problems are with the current packs for carrying around chemo infusion equipment,  including how dangling plastic tubing can catch the attention of a cat and with cats' well known propensity to lick plastic this could cause leaking. That was only one of the many issues, but it got my attention.

Dan from CLVboost had the most energy of all the presenters. CLVboost takes email marketing to a whole new level. CLV's aim is to help customers increase return on email marketing by segmenting their audience and engaging the audience with the right material at the right pace.  Based on the speed and energy level of Dan's presentation, I'd say he definitely boosted his Customer Lifetime Value in 5 minutes!


It's good news that is focusing on getting young people started in careers through transferable skills and attitude.  Focusing on recession grads, Veterans transitioning into civilian careers, and people with non-traditional backgrounds,  provides searchable professional profiles built around candidates' transferable skills and leadership qualities, and an entry-level job search engine that matches people with companies looking for driven, long-term hires. The job board space is pretty crowded out there, but this looks like a good niche.

For the young folks just starting out: "It's not about what you've done, it's about what you'll do!"
Not only did Vocoli have the coolest video demonstrating the need for their product, but they also had matching shirts. They are onto an excellent way to help your organization actually act on employee ideas.  Forget the old fashioned suggestion box where employee suggestions go to die!
Best Costume of #MIN62 - Vocoli
A surprising number of #MIN62 attendees raised their hands when asked if they had tried archery. It must be the popularity of Hunger Games. Everybody wants to be the next Katniss Everdeen. :-) So I guess it's not surprising that one of the coolest and most popular innovations was the UNO archery bow sight iPhone app. The app takes the aggravation out of setting up a bow sight for both expert and beginning archers. And the compound bow definitely took the prize for Best Prop.
UNO - Compound Bow - Best Prop

Gradeable  makes grading faster with a web and mobile platform that enables teachers to give students test results before they even leave the classroom. That lets teachers spend more time teaching and less time grading.


My camera started misbehaving, so I didn't get photos of all the products this time, but that doesn't mean the event was any less exciting than usual :-) Some of the ones I didn't photograph but did check out at their tables were: ADM-Live, Coastal Dog Apparel, and FITRAX.

ADM-Live addresses a problem I've been encountering more and more frequently. Why can't I easily  submit a PDF form on line? ADM-Live  makes it possible to enter data, e-sign, and submit any PDF form on line.

Coastal Dog Apparel is not beach wear for dogs (I was not the only person to make that joke), it's clever, comfortable beach wear for guys.  Those who don't have loads of brothers or other men in their lives may not be aware of an uncomfortable phenomenon that men often experience: chafing from spending time in the surf and on the beach in conventional bathing trunks.  Coastal Dog Apparel designed a unique, comfortable anti-chafing bathing suit to solve that problem. It's basically a traditional swim trunk with a soft seamless inner short that keeps out the sand.

FITRAX  table was getting a lot of attention and they ended up winning the first prize in the American Airlines Business Extra Points voting.  FITRAX uses sensors, mobile, and cloud technology to integrate fitness facilities into the overall health care conversation by syncing health and fitness data among personal trainers/coach, physicians and healthcare providers.

And for the closing Experts Looking Expert shot, who better than the folks who are expert at making Mass Innovation Nights happen?!?!
Experts Looking Expert