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You're All Stars

The Mass High Tech All-stars awards are a yearly Who’s Who of the local high tech world. Award winners are chosen from such sectors as advanced energy, biotech, medical devices, electronics, hardware, Internet, software and telecommunications.  A gala event is held where the winners give short speeches (140 characters.)  For every character over 140, the speaker donates $5 to a chosen charity.  This year the charity is the FIRST Robotics program.
This is a wonderful idea – no one likes long speeches.  Every award show consists of people waiting for the end to the seemingly endless stream of thank you’s.  And, hey, if one of the speeches goes a little long, no one begrudges a donation to a good cause. 
That said, most award winners are CEOs and VPs with sizable fortunes to spend.  The Community Builder winner this year (me) does not.  As I have already made a sizable donation to FIRST… my two children… my thank you “speech” is located here and my verbal speech was short – a link to here.  (Seems fitting.)
The All-star awards are given to an individual.  It’s odd to get an individual award for such a community effort. Without Dan, Nat, Tim, the interns, the QR code team, hosts (The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, IBM, Microsoft, MassChallenge, ClockTower Place, CCR LLP, VideoLink and Continuum, Cummings Properties, SCVNGR), the whole Carlton PR & Marketing team, a few sponsors – from Turbo PR who sponsored the first event in 2009 to Turnstone, our first national sponsor, to Hyperion Law, Accounting Management Solutions and most recently Cambridge Trust -- and many, many others – Innovation Nights just wouldn’t be.
Without the social media community, Innovation Nights wouldn’t be a way to spread the word about all the cool products created here in the Bay state.  Every time someone tweets a message, posts a blog, includes one of the products in their LinkedIn or Facebook status updates, or just tells someone else what they saw, we all win.  Because Innovation Nights is a community effort. 
Together we can help introduce these new products to potential customers, partners, investors, and the service providers they need to make their businesses grow and succeed.  And if they succeed, they can reinvest back in the local community, and we all win.