Friday, November 16, 2018

#MIN116 Recap -- Innovation, Palm Trees, and Some Memories

This month's Mass Innovation Night, MIN 116,  took place at Lincoln North in -- you guessed it -- Lincoln, Massachusetts, sponsored by RW Holmes.  Delicious food was catered by Neillios Gourmet Kitchen -- the Swedish meatballs were particularly popular.
Our Host Venue Lincoln North
It was fun getting there through the woods (I always take the back roads to anyplace along 128) as the drive through the whole Virginia Road/Hanscom Air Force Base area brought back many memories ranging from childhood visits to the MIT Flight Facility to my first post-college job at the Air Force Cambridge Research Lab (writing FORTRAN programs to plot data about the Aurora Borealis). I wasn't exactly sure where the old defunct AFCRL was in relation to the part of Hanscom I was driving past. The hangar I remember from when my Dad worked at what was then called the MIT Instrumentation Lab (now Draper Lab) is gone -- replaced with a bigger more modern hangar -- but I did sort of recognize the general area of where his machine shop was in relation to the runways and it brought back wonderful childhood memories of air shows. Funnily enough, when I was talking with Eric Andersen about the woodsy drive to Lincoln North and the history of Hanscom, he brought up the annual air show. I wonder how many other MIN attendees have memories of the air show? Anyway, enough with the personal associations... on to the event ...

The Lincoln North building featured many indoor trees. I imagine working there would be kind of like working in an arboretum.
The Scene
Products ranged from an electric outboard motor to government transparency software. The presenters chosen by the online voting were:
It's not every day you get to listen to the MIN presentations underneath palm trees, so that added a little extra something to the experience. The microphone was a little touchy so it was kind of hard to hear WAVEPulse, but otherwise it was a good venue.
Palm Tree
Skippit uses real time video and voice interaction to create a more authentic online dating experience. A secure 5-minute call with your match eliminates those weeks of messaging leading to an in-person date where you discover within the first 3 minutes that you're not a match.
ClearGov is government transparency at your fingertips. According to the presentation, 1 out of every 3 towns in Massachusetts already uses ClearGov to share town finances and demographics. That's pretty widespread adoption. I love the idea of simplifying the way tax and budget information are presented and the ease of comparing similar towns statistically. I'd love to see my town embed this in their website.
Flux Marine has designed  a zero emissions electric boat motor.  It's kind of the Tesla of outboard motors. It eliminates the large amount of unburned gas that ends up in lakes and rivers every year too. Not only is it clean and sustainable, but it also offers better performance and reliability than gas engines. 
Flux Marine
WAVEPulse Sterilization technology from ONEightyC fragments proteins, providing a high level of sterilization and disinfection of organisms that frequently cause hospital-acquired infections. Sterilization of many surgical instruments like endoscopes poses challenges. WAVEPulse technology addresses some of these challenges with the ability to tackle prions and super bugs. I had trouble hearing the presentation, so I may have missed some things.
WAVEPulse Sterilization
The product showcase tables were filled with even more interesting stuff.  My personal favorite was Quell wearable pain relief. It's a drug free, non-invasive system that uses nerve stimulation to block chronic pain.  It consists of a device, a wearable band, an electrode that attaches to the device, and an app that lets you customize your therapy. It's small and comfortable to wear.
Emotuit provides analytics that measure college student engagement to help instructors better understand their students’ cognitive and emotional states, so they can improve their course to engage students better.
The Bond Box from Bond and Des Voeux welcomes new residents by introducing them to local small businesses. This goes way beyond Welcome Wagon. The box contains hand-picked items such as bath and body supplies, food and drink items, and gift cards – all from local Boston or Massachusetts businesses. The idea is to make moving less stressful by making you feel at home as soon as you land in your new home. It's just one of the services Bond and Des Voeux offers for move management. Do check out their website.

Bond and Des Voeux

NextWave Hire is software that helps companies hire the right people through inbound recruiting -- think inbound marketing but for HR. The software powers customers' employer brand content, social media presence, and career sites so they can connect with passive job seekers as well as active job seekers.
NextWave Hire

Kinima motion capture uses point cloud technology to track the human body in motion, measuring the body's balance, power rhythm and speed captured through marching, squatting, jumping and lateral bounding. Their table was constantly crowded, so I didn't get a chance to talk with them.
The audience choice award winners were Kinima, ClearGov, and WAVEPulse Sterilization with grand prize going to Quell.

The Experts Corner featured sponsor RW Holmes (of course) and McLane Middleton. McLane Middleton's table featured the best pens, so here's a twist on my usual Expert Looking Export photo:
Expert Looking Expert

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