How do you spend a beautiful Saturday in Boston's Innovation District? If you are like 100 participants and 40 advisors/mentors, you are participating in CityStart Boston today (Saturday May 30), (or as my iPhone has been correcting it for months during the planning process - City Stars). And anyone who would get up ridiculously early and devote their Saturday to helping their city deserves a big gold star. You can follow along over today and the next three weeks via #citystartboston.
Mass Innovation Nights 74 was a huge success! We were sponsored and hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Burlington at their luxurious new dealership. Our event took place on the showroom floor, surrounded by sleek cars. Catering from Chopp's American Grill in the Burlington Marriott provided delectable cheeses, charcuterie plates and tuna tartare. It was quite a night, and we look forward to returning to the dealership for our Foodie event in August. Thanks again to the whole Mercedes-Benz team who are totally awesome!
What? Hold Mass Innovation Nights #73 in four different locations? Live stream it via Google Hangouts on-air. Sure, why not?
Well, the reality is, our community wants to talk to each other. They want to "commune." They want to talk live with the person in front of them. They want to touch a product, shake hands with the entrepreneur and give a hug to an old friend.
Our triumphant return to the Innovation District was courtesy of LogMeIn who sponsored and hosted us in their tri-level treehouse-style AWESOME headquarters right on Summer Street, right over the bridge from South Station. Their super fantastic team let us "take over" their lobby, kitchen, cafeteria and portions of the mezzanine and showcase some super awesome new products!
Twice a year we feature food and food-related products at Mass Innovation Nights. More than just an excuse to stuff our faces (err, sample) with the local bounty, our foodie events have helped to widen the circle of local entrepreneurs we support.
Mass Innovation Nights #70 was our first chance to visit the beautiful IBM Innovation Center in Cambridge! Opened just over a year ago, we've visited a few times but until now had yet to schedule an event there! Big thank you to our truly awesome hosts -- quite the spread so no one went hungry either! Applause for our exhibitors who were all in place and ready to go on time, even with some tough traffic.
Closing out the 2014 Mass Innovation Nights at District Hall with Autodesk as our sponsor just felt right. One of our favorite spaces, it's awesome to have a separate presentation area and exhibit area, plenty of room to spread out. Autodesk sponsored their second event of the year -- the first one held in their Waltham location. (It's always a good sign when a customer comes back, right?) And speaking of coming back, thanks to our experts, Rich and Dan. (This was the second Experts slot for Rich Hegarty -- he's found it to be a great way to connect with new clients and give back.)
Huge shoutout to the awesome team at Constant Contact's Small Business InnoLoft for their hosting and sponsoring of Mass Innovation Nights #68. They throw quite a party and we had some amazingly cool startups to celebrate. We also got to hear about the AMAZING opportunity, the Small Business Innovation Program, a first-of-its-kind accelerator. Apply now to be one of the chosen -- free workspace, mentoring, $10,000 to spend on marketing. You don't have to give up any equity in your company; you just have to be able to help small businesses.
If there is one thing Mass Innovation Nights is good at, it's diversity. Diversity of product (organic whoopie pies, underwater dog treadmills, iPhone apps, enterprise software, etc.); diversity of location (everywhere from Quincy to Westborough, Beverly to Boston, Cambridge to Newton); and diversity of people (all different ages, roles and more.) So "theme" events are a little different for us -- not the norm. MIN67 was just such a departure. Working with the Babson Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, we lined up products from women-founded companies. (Sadly, we had a full