Monday, February 19, 2018

You bet there's a lot to like about Lowell -- #MIN107 Recap

Mass Innovation Nights returned to Lowell on Thursday, February 15th for #MIN107 at UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub.  The City of Lowell and UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub co-sponsored and co-hosted the event and provided excellent food catered by UTEC's catering program.
The Crowd Begins to Build
The turnout was impressive. It was great to see so many innovative folks from near and far, especially people I know.  I loved  running into Rajia Abdelaziz and Ray Hamilton, founders of invisaWear,along with EforAll Lowell and Lawrence Program Manager (and FreeVerse! co-founder as well as Sizzling Kitchen restaurateur) Joey Banh. InvisaWear presented at MIN95, a year ago right here at the Innovation Hub, and they are EforAll alums too. There's a great concentration of entrepreneurship and innovation all around the Merrimack Valley, especially in Lowell. You bet there's a lot to like about Lowell!
Ray, Rajia, and Joey
The four presenters chosen by online voting before the event were:
  • WakeMealarm
  • wmnHealth
  • CAIDE Studio BSR
  • adopets
WakeMe is a social video alarm clock that plays short, personalized videos from your friends and family on your smart phone to wake you up. Making waking up a social experience gets you engaged in your day immediately. It's a much more pleasant awakening than an alarm clock -- you might even start to look forward to waking up.
wmnHealth, introduced by Dynamicly,  is a conversational platform for women to tackle mental and neurological diseases. Mental illnesses and neurological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease affect women differently from men. wmnHealth aims to promote conversation and research and development using analytics and AI. Daily flash briefings on the latest information on women's mental and neurological health are available through an Alexa app.  A chat-bot (they call it a virtual agent) named Marine answers questions and helps you track your brain health. It sounded like a really interesting application of both analytics and AI.
Also in the cool uses of AI category, CAIDE Systems made a big impression with CAIDE Studio BSR, which uses deep learning technology to speed up stroke diagnosis. It can automatically diagnose and detect three different types of strokes from analyzing the CT scans (or other medical images) of the brain. It can reduce the time to analyze the image and make the diagnosis to under two minutes. Given how crucial every minute is in dealing with stroke, this is a big win. They got my vote for favorite.
Olive Lee and Jacob Lee Demonstrating CAIDE BSR
Everybody loved adopets, the latest pet adoption management platform. People interested in adopting a pet can view animals available for adoption across various locations. You can filter by gender, size, and age too. So if I want to find an older male cat near me, it's a snap. I've seen variations on this idea at pitch contests and MIN events before, but what stood out was that it's provided at no cost to the shelters or the potential adopters. Their plan is to make money promoting pet supplies to adopters once they've adopted their pet. It was no surprise that adopets won the grand prize.
The AI theme of the night continued with axelvideo's  axle ai tool for content creators to find and re-purpose video quickly. Deep learning software automates the analysis and search. You can search for video content by selecting frames or still images from the Internet and find content that contains similar objects, themes and logos. It makes managing your video content library way simpler.
axle ai
DSP Wireless  showed off the RCB-W24A-LVDS Wi-Fi interface for the Intan Technologies RHD2000 series of electrophysiology amplifier boards. It was fascinating to see so much progress in devices for bioelectric signal acquisition -- so small and low cost compared to what data acquisition devices were like back in my "real-time data acquisition" days. There are so many useful applications for this kind of technology, like monitoring electrophysiology lab experiments or even acquiring signals from the brain and transmitting them to control a prosthetic.  I wish I could have spent more time talking with them about these devices.

DSP Wireless
With the growth of indoor farming, the FLW900 LED Grow Light from Exact Lux  seems like a  product whose time has come. It's a powerful LED grow light that delivers constant light levels for the life of the LED. These light fixtures are designed to be sustainable -- that is they can be repaired and upgraded over time. The Exact Lux table was getting a lot of attention.
Exact Lux -- Best Hat of MIN107
Also, I hereby award Best Hat of MIN107 to the Exact Lux trucker style hat. There were no teams with matching T-shirts this time, so I guess I have to award Best Costume to Exact Lux too.
Plants Growing under FLW900 Grow Light
Another crowd-pleaser was 360 Properties's immersive approach to viewing a property.  If you're selling/leasing a property you can showcase it online in ways that your customers can explore it from every angle. It's impressive enough on a traditional browser or a smart phone, but it's amazing  using a VR headset. Check out the demo on their website.
Checking Out 360 Properties
Probit Systems had a table with materials about their cloud solution for monitoring data center servers as a service. That's about all I can say about it as there didn't seem to be anyone manning the table.

The winners in the audience choice voting for the night were:
That's quite an impressive array of products.
The Audience Favorites
As a finishing touch on a great night, attendees got nifty gift bags from our City of Lowell hosts. In addition to coupons and special offers from Lowell's local businesses and restaurants and a nice pocket sized map of downtown, the goodie bags featured a Sweet Lydia's chocolate-coated marshmallow on a stick. Lydia's s'moresels are a reason to come to Lowell in themselves.

As is traditional, I'll close with a photo of experts looking expert. Director of Economic Development Andrew Shapiro and Vice Mayor Vesna Nuon repping the City of Lowell agreed to be my featured experts.
Experts Looking Expert

No comments:

Post a Comment