Monday, November 17, 2014

#MIN68 Recap - Live Music, Skee Ball, Sliders, Oh My!

Innovation, food, games, music, you name it and we had it Wednesday night at the InnoLoft at Constant Contact  for Mass Innovation Night number 68. InnoLoft is a nifty space for startups with lots of amenities, including games. The skee ball games got a lot of use by the Mass Innovation Nights crowd and the competition was fierce.  Constant Contact provided tasty food including several kinds of sliders. The hosts really set the tone for the evening.

Skee Ball

Chicken Sliders Were Going Fast
Where to start with the cool products?  How about Howler with location-based advertising that helps small business get deals right to your phone? The deals find you! I've seen similar apps, but the two things that made Howler stand out for me were the ability to fine tune the type and amount of content you want to receive and the use of Blue Tooth Low Energy radios instead of GPS for location services (less battery drain and it can even find you indoors).

Howler's Table Was Popular -- Two People So They Handled Two Questions At Once
I never thought of the space I'm occupying at the moment as real estate until I heard BetrSpot's presentation.  A seat in a restaurant, a spot in a line (think ticket sales or Black Friday door busters),   or a table near an electric outlet in a coffee shop become  "micro-real-estate" that you can buy and sell with this location-based app (both Android and iPhone)  that creates marketplaces in these crowded first-come, first-served environments.  You think parking spots for your car are a hot commodity? What about seats at the coolest bar in town? The world is way more crowded these days, especially in the urban areas where techies work, so I can see this idea taking off pretty quickly.  I do have to say that parts of his presentation reminded me of the classic science fiction novels  Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up. I started visualizing how useful BetrSpot would be for people selling their standing room on higher ground as sea levels rise.  But that's just my imagination run wild.  Really, get this app now and commoditize your spot in the Black Friday lines.
Live cello music at MIN!!! What next? The undisputed hit of the night was Cadenza, an app for musicians that allows them to play their instrument accompanied by a real orchestra that listens to them and adapts to their tempo in real time. I bet more young musicians would stick with practice if they had this available to them.  The cellist was playing in the presentation area ahead of the presentations and began to draw an audience of his own. The live demonstration of the app adapting to his tempo made Cadenza's presentation the best preso I've ever seen at MIN.
Live Music for the Live Demo of Cadenza
Lindsay Tia 's beautifully designed and crafted bags were a big hit also. Each one is unique and made in the USA, and did I mention gorgeous?

Beautiful Bags from Lindsay Tia are Made in America
EventFish simplifies the process of planning an event. for mere mortals like us, who are not professional event planners and aren't planning blockbuster events but ordinary stuff like birthday parties and family gatherings. They bring together all the tools you need to plan the perfect event, in one spot. Everything from ideas to cleanup can be created, booked, and bought with a click of a button.
Eventfish Had the Most Colorful Booth
The transaction application from realtycloud makes it easy to make an online offer on a property and close the deal on that transaction.
Checking out realtycloud
The presentation on PhishingGuardian from AstraID made a big impression on the audience, many of whom were unfamiliar with "spear phishing" -- targeted phishing attacks -- as a security threat to enterprises. Their impostor detection technology can distinguish between your real users and hackers impersonating genuine users, something that is becoming increasingly important with the rise of social networking. This is a much needed addition to the anti-cybercrime tool box.
AstraID Booth Had a Longer Line than the Food Table
The fan favorite voting rewarded Lindsay Tia, Howler, and BetrSpot with 2000 American Airlines Business Extra Points and the big winner, Cadenza, with 5000 American Airlines Business Extra Points.

And from the Expert's Corner,  the #MIN68 Expert Looking Expert was Rich from Emmett and Company with his expertise on video production, an increasingly important service in this Kickstarter Indiegogo crowd funding world. It was also a delight to talk with Rich about his work with Hidden Pond Equine Rescue.
Expert Looking Expert