Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Smooth and Well Balanced #MIN105 Recap

Whoa! Mass Innovation Night on a Tuesday? Yup. Hosted at WeWork Mass Ave and sponsored by Relativity Whiskey. The theme for the night was "smooth and well balanced".  Relativity Whiskey set the tone with free tastings. Their table and the bar were extremely crowded so I'd say it was a big hit.
Crowd Checking Out Relativity Whiskey's Table
The crowd was surprisingly big given the weather -- rain, fog from the melting snow, and the promise of icy roads later in the evening.  There were so many people that it was difficult to get around from table to table. The products were definitely eclectic this time, ranging from CRM software to cashew milk. There's always something you never thought of before.

The four chosen presenters were:
Team Spiro
Spiro  is the CRM equivalent of a self-driving car.  It uses AI technology to take a lot of the work out of sales. Spiro updates itself,  reminds you who to call,  automatically creates, updates and manages your pipeline, and even recommends which prospect you should connect with next. From the demo, it seems pretty easy to use. Lately I've been hearing about and seeing more products that apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to CRM, so it seems these guys are onto a developing trend.
Treasure Chest -- Best Prop of MIN105
Everybody hates passwords, right? It's so tempting to use the same password for everything, or to write your password down on a Post-It note, or rely on a less than adequate password manager. So how do you protect your treasure chest?
PassHub  is an easy-to-use password manager that provides a very high level of security with mobile authentication through the PassKey Lite app. No more relying on password managers that perpetuate the vulnerability of passwords by relying on one master password.  PassHub provides strong multi factor authentication as well as client-side and end-to-end encryption and it's conveniently accessible any time on any Internet connected device.
GoPetie was getting a lot of attention. Who can resist cute pets, right? Its platform connects pet owners to to each other and also to pet service providers. GoPetie is partnering with many cities and towns in Massachusetts to roll out their proprietary system for licensing pets so owners don't have to make the trek to city hall all the time. It's a whole social network around pets. You can schedule play dates, pet sitting, dog walking as well as report missing pets and find pets available for adoption. Although I can't imagine her Blue cat majesty enduring a play date, I think this is a pretty cool tool.
nutty life
Cashew milk definitely fits into the "smooth and well balanced" theme. The nutty life cashew milk is  handcrafted, creamy and delicious, and contains way more nuts than the usual store-bought, mass-manufactured brands of nut milk. Each bottle is made with organic cashews, organic dates, and sea salt. And while the usual brands only contain about 2% nuts, nutty life contains 8-35% nuts, depending on the blend. No weird chemicals either! I tasted the happy sappy flavor, which contains maple water, organic dates, sea salt, and organic cashews. I absolutely loved it and gave nutty life my vote for audience choice.
The Crowd Assembling for the Presentations
GoPetie, Spiro, and nutty life Chatting before the Presentations

Commonwealth SavingsQuest
I enjoyed chatting with Commonwealth about incentivizing people to save with gamification. Their SavingsQuest product is a website and mobile app that encourages micro saving with badges, and challenges sort of along the lines of some of the fitness tracking apps.Their pilot test among Visa card holders showed that SavingsQuest users saved 25% more often than cardholders who did not have SavingsQuest. Sounds like a fun way to encourage savings.
Savory Living
Savory Living provides a 10-week healthy eating lifestyle program to help you turn healthy eating into an enjoyable and sustainable lifestyle. It runs online, on-demand and is FSA and HSA eligible.
JobGator -- Best Costume of MIN105
Jobgator is machine learning based software that tailors and evaluates resumes to increase candidates' chances of being found and interviewed by recruiters. They had the best T-shirts of the teams that had matching shirts, so I hereby award them Best Costume of MIN105.
Reina Valentina
I enjoyed talking with Reina Valentina and I loved the clothes they had on display. Reina Valentina is an online boutique that sells modest chic clothing for the professional woman. The clothing combines modesty and contemporary style for a professional and empowering look.  They source from female designers and they give a portion of the proceeds to the Hunger Project, so they're socially conscious all around.
Team Reina Valentina
Modest Chic Fashion
I didn't manage to get a photo of the folks from Wasabi, a cloud-based object storage service that's cheaper and faster than AWS.

Wanderful was so popular that I couldn't get close enough for a decent photo,but I did hear enough to understand why it was so popular. It's an identity-verified homesharing network by and for women, kind of a "sisterhood of women travelers meets Airbnb." It sounds like a great way to connect with a place where you don't know anybody yet and be confident and safe doing it. I was not surprised they were among the prize winners.

The Audience Choice prize winners were:
  • GoPetie- Grand Prize
  • nutty life
  • Wanderful
  • SavingsQuest
Prize Winners Getting Ready to Pose for a Photo
And finally, this month's Expert Looking Expert is Tom Dodge expertly explaining the whiskey-making process in his new role as brand ambassador for Relativity Whiskey.
Expert Looking Expert

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