Once again, I was pleased and proud to attend Mass Innovation Nights on behalf of Neuron Robotics.
As always, many, many thanks to Bobbie Carlton and Dan Englander for putting on a great show -- this time, back at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation for the first time since March (when there was flooding which unfortunately caused a great deal of damage). The Museum is looking good (there's a Steam Punk exhibit!!!) but they still need donations to help do repairs. Please give generously.
A frosty night did not keep people away, although walking from the parking lot, on the little foot bridge over the Charles River, reminded me that, yes, I live in New England. And the winters can be brutal. So on behalf of chilly people everywhere: brr.
The presenters were:
- Cambridge Semantics - they provide self-service data collaboration/reporting
- TenMarks - they make an online supplemental math program. Their video was really compelling
- Coloci - share future locations and activities, discover friends and meet with them face to face and,
- Media Armor - they produce mobile display advertising analytics and reporting.
The companies with tables were:
- Fivi - they have an ASP wellness application
- iCandy - they make a temporary reading glass 'treat'
- iZUP - they produce a mobile app to help prevent distracted driving
- Monavie - they produce all-natural fruit-based sports and fitness drinks
- Rentabilities - they make renting things like tents and bouncy houses (and more!) easy (thanks, Andy Cook!)
- nuBound - they manufacture a sports recovery supplement and,
- Locker Notes - they make tactile UI erasable magnets. That company is run by my Open Coffee friends Christian and Steve! This is what UI Kits has evolved into.
The experts were:
- Blair Baldwin of High Start Group - they perform market research and prepare insights, even for smaller companies.
- Nathan Therrien of Business Insurance & Investment Services of MA - they help to implement employee retirement plans and benefits
- Matt Harris and Scott Leonard of Redpoint Studios - they assist with introducing new products to market
- Sarah McKinnon of the Massachusetts TurboPR - he provides PR for startups, and,
- Sandeep Kaujalgi of Collabor Inc - they are a mobile solutions company.
It was great to see these old friends:
- Ben Hron of VC Ready Law
- Chuck Tanowitz of Its Fresh Ground, one of my favorite blogs
- Mark Sprague
- Eleanor Howe of eHowe Project Management
- Janet Egan, writer extraordinaire
- Joe Lima, principal at Lima Advisors
- Rick Prats, and,
- Seth Lipkin
It was great to meet these new friends:
- Jeff Durso, who's responsible for a Destination Weddings site and is looking for a new startup gig
- Leah Graves, and,
- Eleanor Howe's very nice significant other, Magnus.
I also got a chance to chat with Tim Stansky, who told me that Mass Innovation is thinking of coming to Worcester! We would love to see them -- we are big supporters of Mass Inno!
The next one is January 12th, 2011, at the IBM Innovation Center. See you there! Happy New Year! Continue reading
Once again, I attended Mass Innovation on behalf of Neuron Robotics. This time, the event was held at beautiful Fan Pier.
Bobbie Carlton and Dan Englander were our gracious hosts as always. The Mass Challenge incubator space at Fan Pier is fun, with a ping-pong table and numerous "idea walls" filled with the scrawlings of excited, creative folk. Makes you proud to be an entrepreneur!
The lucky presenting companies were as follows:
- HiveFire - Curata is B2B online marketing and content curation solution. The idea between content curation is to grab content from all over the web and filter it properly and include it on a website or in a newsletter as aggregated content. While many people do this work manually, Curata is intended to automate a lot of this process although the actual, final piece -- a person looking over the content one last time before publishing it -- is still not automated. But it's probably better that way.
- JoyTunes - They combine actual musical instruments with video games, thereby making it easy and fun for children (and adults!) to learn to play musical instruments. The first application is with a recorder, and they will eventually add the piano to their repertoire. It's hard to explain without a visual, so here's their presentation:
- Second Glass - Discover new wines, remember what you are drinking and share with friends. They've sold over 2500 tickets to various wine events (Wine Riots) and are going on tour so they will not only be in Boston bvut will also get into DC, Chicago and Los Angeles. They are creating a large online wine database. They even brought some wine to try!
- Zenesys - Affordable, Actionable Market Intelligence via crowdsourced research. This is all performed online although their researchers may have access to some offline materials. The cost runs from $1,000 for market sizing to $5,000 for competitive landscape analysis up to business analysis work for which you can get a quote.
This month's experts were:
- Scott Macmillan of Macguffin Games, which makes a new game called Mustache Mercenaries,
- Joe Ciccolo of Levatura, LLC - due diligence for businesses that don't have the time to perform due diligence on their vendors,
- Dan Davis of Accounting Management Solutions, which provides outsourced accounting for busy startups,
- Casey Gustus of High Start Group, which accelerates the market success of innovative products, and,
- Jay Wilder of My Brainshark, which is an online presentation software tool for business communications and elearning.
The other companies present were:
- Agree'nSign which makes electronic document signature software
- Avitage - instantly assemble and deliver digital media programs
- Bubulu Labs, iYuva - Play. Create. Share. These are games for children, that can be played on smart phones
- eVisioner - Project Management, Team Governance webapp
- Penmia - capture your memories. I scored a free trial -- it's kind of like a private scrapbook/diary, online.
- Red's All Natural - The Best Damn Burrito, period. They looked good but the calorie gods were not in my favor. Next time I'll be sure to make some room as everyone I asked was positively raving about them.
Whenever I go to Mass Innovation, I seem to make new friends, like these fine folks:
- Networker Extraordinaire Jon Roussel, who blogged about our presentation from the last Mass Innovation. Thanks, Jon!
- Christopher Austin, a partner at Goodwin Proctor,
- Dan Kriegsman, who is a patent attorney
- Richard Turcott of HiveFire. He had this little flame thing that was mesmerizing.And,
- Eleanor Howe - is there anything she doesn't do? But her blog is what's really fun. Go take a peek and check out her takes on cocktails, Mad Men and the all-around scene in our fair metropolis.
Plus I saw many old friends:
- Ben Hron, who is an attorney who helps startups get to angel and venture capital funding. He's always kindly interested in what we're doing.
- Joe Lima who reminded me about The Community Roundtable. But now that's my day to go into Worcester. Would the community manager cognescenti consider a trip out to the hinterlands, I wonder.
- Eric Modeen, a Product Manager who I've seen at several events over the course of almost a year. It's always great to see him.
- Rama Nandiwada of IT Shore
- Mark Rodman - I saw him fly by, past the Penmia table.
- Rich Sands and I talked marketing. He recently handled a big announcement for his largest client, and he's pretty jazzed about that.
- Tara Greco - I had last seen her months ago.
- Masoud Shadravan who reports that his new job is interesting work and a he's on a terrific team. Excellent!
- Christine Sierra - I saw her rush by; don't think she saw me. And,
- Chuck Tanowitz - we got a chance to catch up on marketing ideas but also his grilled salmon with jasmine rice and roasted root vegetables. It sounded fantastic!
I think the best part for me -- other than reconnecting -- was seeing the Mass Challenge space itself. It's somewhat similar to our own office space. I guess we all start from the same point, more or less.
Here we all go. Continue reading
Experts -- I mean, Events -- Corner
- Boston World Partnerships — A non-profit organization, created by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to raise global awareness of Boston. Its mantra is: Inform and Connect
- BREW — Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week is going to be between October 13th and 21st. Are you hosting an event?
- Greenhorn Connect — Boston’s Entrepreneur Hub for Resources, Events and Organizations. We're happy to say we've been covered by them!
- Mass High Tech events — MHT runs its own events, and will also put yours on their calendar. Their future events include their upcoming “Demos with a capital “M”: Networking and Digital Marketing Demo Night” on October 7 as part of FutureM. Mass Innovation Nights friends get a discount! (Use code DKPL8116 when you register.)
- MIT Enterprise Forum is working to build our innovation economy.
- Todd Van Hoosear he's a Social Media Club Boston Founder, LaunchCamp organizer, and the VP of Social Media for Publicity Club of New England. He also writes for Fresh Ground. Here's an example of one of the many incredibly useful nuggets of information that Todd shares on a regular basis. I suspect Todd does not sleep.
- Workbar has flexible, shared office space for today’s mobile professionals offering flexible month to month leasing arrangements.
The Other Presentations
- LogMeIn's join.me enables impromptu meetings from across the hall or around the globe.
- TrustedOnes scores decisions -- good, bad, indifferent and godawful. And,
- Vizit is a revolutionary digital photo frame, which takes advantage of mobile network coverage.
All of the Other Great Companies at Mass Inno
- Convention Center Store has detailed information on all sorts of convention venues, plus a means of ordering whatever you could possibly need to make your event or booth a success -- even swag. Gwyn Thakur is the founder.
- Cuccicoos makes a sweet set of iPhone and iPod (plus other products) covers that not only protect, they also clean screens. The designs were really cute -- I think I appreciate such things more than the guys do.
- Internet Kit Trade Show lets you easily get computers set up at trade shows, and more!
- Novell Cloud Manager helps you to manage cloud computing processes.
- ParallelCities is a mobile and social networking platform. Elizabeth Tang is the marketer (she has the same role that I do!) and Sidi Gomes is the founder.
- Plyopower is a cardio program for your legs. Regina DeLuca is the founder.
- StarStreet is a sports stock market. Buy and sell virtual shares of players! I wonder if anyone in New England will give me anything for A-Rod? Founder Jeremy Levine assures me that you can get into their Beta with the code MassInno and see if you can get a plug nickel for the -- boo, hiss -- quintessential Yankee.
Our PresentationI think I'm not the greatest camera person. Actually -- scratch that -- I know, for a fact, that my videocam skills are suboptimal. So, a great big thank you goes out to BostInnovation for taking excellent video of much of Bob's presentation. And thank you to Cheryl Morris for her recap of the event.
Bob's talk centered around the fact that a lot of people have a perception of robots that's colored by Hollywood. We think Rosie from the Jetsons, or R2D2 (Nadia Nassif mentioned Small Wonder's Vikki), but the reality is that robots are, how shall we put this? Lamer than that.
Yes, it's true. They're lamer. They are industrial drones or basically just arms. But what people don't think of as robots, can be classified as such. Like some high-end cars. BMW (We swear we're not sponsored by BMW. Yet.) makes a vehicle that detects how closely you're following a vehicle ahead of you and will adjust your cruise control speed accordingly, then speed you back up once the spacing allows it. Or your home -- do you have central air conditioning? If you do, it will click on and off depending upon the ambient temperature of your home. This is, essentially, a form of robotic control.
And when people want to make a robot-like device or toy, they often think of the end product, but the reality is that there's too much in the way. So much of the time, you end up reinventing the wheel, as the essential system allowing you to get your robot and your computer to speak to one another is lacking. That's where Neuron Robotics and the Bowler Communications System come in.
The BCS allows you to have your computer and robot talking quickly. How quickly? It's an eight minute experience -- a point that caught the attention of a great deal of the audience. And who doesn't want fast?
Bob concluded by, of course, talking about the DyIO and about our vision of interoperability. We want to be an essential robotics developmental platform. We want to be your go-to when you think about putting together a robotic device.
The talk went over well. The BMW line in particular got a laugh. Bob had high energy and the audience seemed captivated. And, yes, there was even a joke about the eight-minute experience -- Sean Boyce only has time to build a robot unless it takes 3.5 minutes. For you, Sean, we'll see what we can do.
New Friends!Wherever we go, it seems, we make new friends. Here are some of the terrific people we met.
- Eric Andersen is a Senior I/T Architect and Consultant for IBM Global Services in Cambridge Massachusetts. He's an avid tweeter and has been very kind about mentioning us on Twitter! Be sure to follow him -- he knows so much!
- Heinz Bachmann is an Electrical Engineer who loves solving RF, microwave and wireless problems -- particularly strange and unusual problems.
- Caleb Barlow is the Director of Small Business Solutions at IBM. He podcasts!
- David Barron is a technology consultant.
- Josh Berg runs an online personalized shopping mall.
- Mick Darling blogs about trends in tech, business and politics.
- Daniel Davis is the Director of Life Sciences at Accounting Management Solutions.
- Andrew Drane is the Senior Web Developer at Better Lesson
- Janet Egan is a fabulous writer (and I'm not just saying that 'cause she wrote such nice things about us). We Janets must stick together!
- Barb Finer helps companies differentiate their products and penetrate their markets.
- Jon Frisch is focused on new business and client relationship management at T3, his real estate firm.
- Jason Gleason is the Lead .NET Engineer at HealthcareSource -- and he really likes robots.
- Elli St. George Godfrey is an entrepreneurial coach and the coauthor of the upcoming book, When Life Happens. Good luck with the book!
- David Haith is a BAFTA award winning Creative Director and was co-founder of two major digital studios in London during the 1990's.
- Matthew Harris is a Principal at Red Point Studios.
- Christopher Herot blogs about communications and social media.
- Darnley Howard is the President of Advansa International.
- Gregory Huang is the Editor of Xconomy Boston and National IT Editor. He's a journalist reporting on technology, business, and science.
- Kenneth Kozik is a patent attorney.
- Sean Laurence's favorite charity is One Laptop Per Child. I think I'll go check out OLPC, too.
- Scott Leonard is another Principal at Red Point Studios.
- Jeremy Levine is trading Tom Brady on his sports stock market. Does Gisele know?
- Tony Loftis is a Project Manager who works in global sales and service.
- Maureen Mansfield knows all the secrets to great travel!
- Connie Michener -- psst I think she wants a hexapod for Christmas ....
- Cheryl Morris writes for BostInnovation.
- Nadia Nassif is a Principal at Springboards Language Training and Consulting.
- Lex Nemzer is a small-batch coffee roaster. I can guarantee that he makes better coffee than I do.
- Peter Reilly is a CPA.
- Pardees Safizadeh is the Director of Social Media at Greenhorn Connect.
- Stanley Shein is a Co-Founder and Director at C-Level Clone.
- James Walker is another Director at C-Level Clone. They provide expertise on business-based financial solutions.
- Rachel is also known as Wishew
- Connie Wright is Managing Director at Accounting Management Solutions.
- Lori Yarvis is an attorney focusing on small businesses. And,
- Lihua Zou is a student.
Familiar Faces!It's always great to see our friends. They make every event so much easier and more fun.
- Robert Adelson is an attorney
- Stacie Andrews runs the Meet Impact Calendar.
- Josh Bob is the founder and principal of Textaurant.
- Eric Braun runs the South Shore Innovation space.
- Rodney Brown reports and photographs for Mass High Tech. He took a great photo of Bob and me!
- Mike Burtov runs ONY group.
- Mike Cohen is one of the principals of the VC Ready Law Group.
- Andrea Dacayanan runs One Fast Bite.
- Jeff Del Papa runs the New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society (The NERDs!). He wanted to know how much G-force the DyIO can stand. That would be an interesting experiment.
- Jason Evanish runs Greenhorn Connect. They have an events calendar and more, and even profiled us!
- Abby Fichtner works for the Microsoft BizSpark program.
- David Fogel - need a CFO for hire? Ask him.
- Allison Friedman runs Rate It Green, whereby you can check just how ecologically conscious a company is.
- Paul Geffen is an engineer for Bit9.
- Cynthia Gilbert is a patent attorney.
- Nick Goggans works to improve communications and make them more effective.
- Ben Hron is the other principal of the VC Ready Law Group.
- Kelley Kassa is a terrific writer!
- R. Colin Kennedy is a co-founder of Invizual.
- Rick Kollmeyer works to help innovators refine and perfect their ideas.
- Joselin Mane broadcasts every week about TweetUps in the Boston/Cambridge area.
- Marlin May has a brand-spankin' new job! He took a photo of Kevin and me!
- Jon Michaeli is a VP at Quno.
- Ricart Prats is a software engineering management professional
- Richard Reinertsen and I used to work together at Fidelity Investments.
- Yilmaz Rona is an financial advisor.
- Rich Sands works to help companies build and sustain buzz.
- Brian Selchick is our lawyer!
- Masoud Shadravan is a software engineer with a brand-spankin' new job!
- Christine Sierra is a media consultant.
- Mark Sprague works to help companies drive customers to their websites.
- Margery Stegman is a communications specialist.
- Marsh Sutherland can help you easily grow your social network.
- Chuck Tanowitz is one of the principals of Fresh Ground Communications.
- Todd Van Hoosear is the other principal of Fresh Ground Communications, and,
- Marcia Weiss helps executives communicate better and more effectively.
Where to Now?It looks like we'll have something planned for late October. I don't have a lot of information yet, or even if it will be open to the public. I will have some appearances around the Boston-Cambridge-Waltham area as well. Plus we are going to be working on getting settled into our new incubator space. I'm sure I'll be blogging a bit about how that goes.
Thank you again for all of your kind support. We greatly appreciate it, and we know that we could not have been voted in to present at Mass Innovation without the kind and generous support of all of you.
This is but the beginning. Continue reading
The time is almost here!
We are really looking forward to this one. I have been coming to Mass Inno for almost a year and have always loved this event. It's such a joy to be a part of it!
Thanks to everyone who voted for us. We'll see you tonight. And -- don't forget to bring a Smart Phone or some other way to tweet! Thanks!
We are very excited about going, and can't wait to see everyone there!
Thanks so much to everyone who voted for us! And, if you haven't already (voting ends at noon today, Eastern Daylight Time), here's the link: Mass Innovation Voting.
Mass Inno voting ends tomorrow.
We are truly humbled by, and grateful for, your kind and generous support. We are very excited about going to Mass Inno.
Thank you to Bobbie Carlton and Mass Innovation. And a big, sincere thank you to all of you!
Onward to glory!
See you there! Thanks for voting for us!
At Mass Innovation, you're going to see DyIOs. And they are going to be hooked up to all sorts of things.
But, what's a DyIO? DyIO stands for Dynamic Input- Output device. It's interoperable, and can be connected to any type of computer. Mac? No problem. PC? We hook them up all the time. Linux Box? You're included, too.
And, what is it used for? It's used to allow your computer to communicate with the outside world.
How? Come to Mass Inno and we will show you! See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation:. The race is a hot one and we could really use your vote. Thanks!
Before the big show, there are a million little bits of preparation. Now, I can't divulge exactly what's going to happen (they made me swear on a stack of DyIOs not to tell), but I can say this much: be sure to bring your smart phones to Mass Inno and be ready to sign into your Twitter accounts.
You're going to need them. See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation. The competition is fierce and we truly need your help. Thanks!
We're starting to think about what to pack in our bags, as Maker Faire is in ten days.
USB cables? Check.
After that -- aside from things I know I'm bringing, such as my business cards -- it's a mystery even to me!
So I guess I'll be surprised along with everyone else. Make sure to use hashtag #NRMF when you tweet about the event. See you there -- but before you go, please vote for us to present at Mass Innovation in September: Mass Inno voting Thanks!
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