Mass Innovation Nights 118 in Burlington

At-event voting winners; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights 118

January 17, 2019

Mass Innovation Nights features startup companies from around Massachusetts. This month’s Mass Innovation Nights was hosted at Workbar in Burlington. This month’s event included fewer tech companies that usual – the Boston startup scene is pretty tech-heavy – but I still attended because this month’s location was convenient for me and I enjoy supporting the local startup community.

Mass Innovation Nights 118: Workbar in Burlington, MA

NanaGram booth; photo by Geoff Wilbur

After about an hour of networking, during which attendees chat with the exhibiting companies, the presentations begin. Brief presentations by the “Expert Corner” experts are followed by presentations from four startups selected in a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website. And, at the end of the evening, awards are given to the winners of at-event voting (during the networking hour) by attendees.

The “experts” of the evening were representatives from Workbar and East Boston Savings Bank and presentation and confidence coach Linda Ugelow. The presenting startups were Candorful, Del Sur, Sweet Mobility Cane Wraps, and Aveyo. At-event winners were Del Sur, Aveyo, Lawn Serv, and A Cloud of My Own.

photo by Geoff Wilbur

Following are brief overviews of the ten startups featured at MIN 118. As I generally point out, these are quick, high-level overviews, and they’re based on the MIN website and handouts, brief conversations at the event, and presentation. If you find one of these companies interesting, please investigate for yourself. I include links to help out, and their websites usually have contact information.

Smarketing Connect helps connect local startups and small businesses with sales and marketing experts to helping build sales and marketing programs for everything from branding to driving revenue.

photo by Geoff Wilbur

NanaGram is a service that will print and ship monthly your digital photos to whoever you select. You submit via text or e-mail, and your nana gets your pictures.

Del Sur is a Lowell, Mass.-based company that make Argentine-style empanadas with all-natural ingredients. You can currently purchase at farmers’ markets or online, and they hope to have their frozen empanadas in grocery stores this year. Yes, the samples Del Sur brought to the event were delicious.

Candorful presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Sweet Mobility makes Cane Wraps that allow people to decorate their walking canes. The primary goal is to make people more self-confident and willing to use their canes. I’m a big fan of the bright reflective wrap that makes people easy to see while out walking. There are also other bright decorative colors. They include a protected personal information label. And they’re easy to wrap around your cane.

Designer Irina Gorbman’s IG Moda creates limited edition designer leggings, tops, dresses, and accessories from meditative artwork. The company slogan of “Wear Art – Recharge From Within” describes the company’s philosophy.

Del Sur presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Candorful connects military veterans and spouses with experienced interview coaches to help them practice for job interviews. While many of those taking advantage of the service are transitioning to civilian life, it’s open to all veterans and their spouses.

A Cloud of My Own is a device that helps secure your smart home devices from hackers.

Aveyo Spoonable Avocado is a creamy avocado snack. A way to get the health benefits of avocado with the convenience of yogurt. Also, delicious. They’ll be in stores soon and are available in three flavors: vanilla bean, strawberry, and “super cocoa.”

Sweet Mobility Cane Wraps presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Lawn Serv sells lawn subscription boxes. It starts with a soil test, from which Lawn Serv creates lawn kits specifically tailored to your yard. Then, each month, a box arrives with all of the lawn care products you’ll need for your yard. It’s priced comparably to purchasing those products from your local home improvement store but without the hassle of driving to the store to pick them up… and with the advantage of being selected specifically for your yard.

Aveyo Spoonable Avocado presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Recipi is a free tool that helps small businesses improve their web presence. Easy to use, like just following a recipe.

Conclusion

As always, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the exhibiting companies and their products based upon the pre-event materials and the conversations I had with attendees. You can find company information also by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 118 web page. Or follow one of the hotlinks I’ve provided to the companies’ websites.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #97: Mobile Apps

photo by Geoff Wilbur

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 97

January 15, 2019

January 2019’s Boston New Technology startup showcase, BNT #97, was out in the suburbs, at Microsoft’s offices in Burlington, MA.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 97: Microsoft in Burlington, MA

Skafos.ai presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

It was another solid BNT event, with pizza and networking to start the evening, as well as booths for some of BNT’s sponsors.

Then it was time for the seven featured startups to present. This month’s theme was mobile apps. Here’s a quick summary of each of the presenting companies. As always, if you’re interested, don’t rely on my description, formed over the course of a few minutes, to be entirely accurate. Just consider it an introduction and dig in deeper, check the websites, contact the companies yourself, and ask the questions you want answered.

Goalden Hour presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Metis Machine‘s Skafos.ai is a machine learning platform to help iOS developers enable machine learning and AI in their apps. The team did a great demo, showing how easy and quick it is to use.

Goalden Hour is a planning and goal-setting app that also helps achieve self-improvement goals. A combination productivity and personal development tool, a combo task-manager and calendar, it’s a unique blend within a single app.

Canary presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Canary is an app to help musicians and music venues book gigs. It provides an easy way for venues to request and musicians to confirm bookings. (Side note to anyone looking to discover great new music: You’ll probably want to begin right here, at Geoff Wilbur’s Music Blog. For those of you who didn’t already know about my other blog.)

Liquid Yoga Locker presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Liquid Yoga Locker is a pay-by-phone vending machine, as demonstrated in this YouTube video, from which its company, Manraaj, sells its healthy juices. Of interest was a point that came up during the Q&A, that the refrigerated lockers contain a lock to ensure no sales occur after a power outage. Indeed, check out the video. Ingenious way to get this product into unique locations via a vending machine and app.

PartRunner presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

PartRunner is an app that accesses an on-demand delivery service for materials in the HVAC, plumbing and electric industries. The company has partnerships with supply houses, a network of drivers, and a good sense of who its target market is and what they want and need. With what seems like a strong business proposition, the company is focused on executing.

Delfy presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Delfy is a social app for meeting new people and making new friends based on interests. Delfy relies on a freemium model with a heavy tilt toward advertising as a revenue source. This app uses an almost dating app-like approach to helping create and build adult friendships.

PinOn‘s Smart Menu is a “smart menu” app that allows restaurants to provide menu and other information via diners’ smartphones. From the diners’ perspective, it’s a customer app, but there are also waitstaff console and admin console components to the app for the restaurants. And, as you might expect, there’s an ability to provide data insights to the restaurants, as well.

PinOn presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

As usual, it was another interesting tour around the Boston tech startup community courtesy of BNT. And, as always, if my schedule permits, I’ll be back again next month to see a new set of tech presentations from another batch of Boston’s top tech startups.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #94: HealthTech Startups

Telapush‘s sign welcomes attendees to BNT94; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 94

October 16, 2018

This month’s BNT was hosted by Dassault Systemes in Waltham, MA on Tuesday, October 16th. The theme this month was healthtech startups.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 94: Dassault Systemes in Waltham, MA

Personal Remedies presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Boston New Technology’s Startup Showcase was back in the suburbs this month, easy for me to access again.

The event begins with about an hour of food and networking. Some of the event sponsors frequently have booths, as well. This month, most of the presenters also had booths, making for some interesting discussions even before the presentation portion.

Next up are the presentations. First, the sponsors are given a minute or two each to talk. Then the startups present. Each presentation is 5 minutes, with another 5 minutes allocated to Q&A.

Pilleve presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Following, I’ll write a little about each of the presenters at this month’s event. I’ll explain, as well as I can understand from their quick presentations, who they are and what they do. As always, if something intrigues you, don’t rely on the accuracy of my description. Instead, check out the websites and contact the companies for yourself. Because if you’re interested, you’re probably a much bigger expert in that product area than I am, so you’ll know better which questions to ask.

Conscioux presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Personal Remedies has a website and series of 36 mobile apps in a “choose this, not that” format that provide dietary information for people with chronic health conditions. Its corporate tagline is “individualized help for chronic conditions.” The company was at the event promoting its API (application program interface, for non-techies) that connects to a comprehensive database of health and medical information.

Pilleve is an integrated pill bottle that monitors prescription opioid use for high-risk patients to help prevent abuse and addiction. Based on the patient’s pain level, it metes out the correct amount of pills. It provides guidance and suggests, and, while it’s not tamper-resistant, it does register when it’s tampered with and alerts those who need to know. The goal of this device is to prevent an unintentional slide toward addiction and abuse in the first place by low-risk individuals, not to protect against it in high-risk individuals.

CareZooming presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Conscioux is a platform that promotes health by encouraging a plant-based diet. Designed to be used by corporations and insurance companies to encourage healthy eating, there is currently a free beta of the consumer version.

CareZooming connects clinicians and promotes innovation within the healthcare community. The path to profitability is via a subscription-based platform for clinicians to share information. There is also the opportunity for healthcare organizations to white-label it to encourage innovation within their clinician communities. You may recognize CareZooming from my review of Monday night’s Mass Innovation Nights event.

ModiBrace presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

ModiBrace, who I first spoke with at a Mass Innovation Nights event in March, has developed a new kind of 3D-printable, adjustable back brace for scoliosis treatment. By reducing production costs and making the brace adjustable, this would be a vast improvement over current braces, whose expense and inability to be adjusted cause children with scoliosis to suffer with ill-fitting braces for far too many years. This brace is currently in the prototyping stage, not yet in clinical trials.

iCareBetter presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

iCareBetter is a customizable platform designed to help medical professionals improve patient outcomes. Designed to allow patients to watch videos to better understand that which was likely explained hurriedly in the doctor’s office, this platform is also interactive, ensuring that the patients understand the videos they watch. Monetization is expected to occur by charging physicians on a per-client basis. A free version is supported by commercials.

KEVA Health presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

KEVA Health’s product, the KEVA Health Advisor, is a platform that helps connect patients with medical information. An AI/analytic-driven SaaS product, it’s designed for patients with chronic disease and is expected to be monetized as an employer-pays, tiered-pricing service.

As usual, it was another great BNT event. If my schedule permits, as always, I’ll see you at next month’s BNT, too; it’s scheduled for November 15th and will feature cleantech/greentech startups.

Mass Innovation Nights 115: 5th Annual Women Founders Event

Mass Innovation Nights 115; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights 115

October 15, 2018

Mass Innovation Nights is a monthly startup showcase that features Massachusetts startup companies. This month’s Mass Innovation Nights was hosted by Boston Scientific and Brownmed and held at District Hall in the seaport district. Appropriately occurring during WE BOS Week, the theme for the evening was Women Founders.

Mass Innovation Nights 115: District Hall in Boston, MA

CareZooming booth; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights begins with an hour to network, grab food from the buffet, and visit with exhibiting startups at their display tables, providing attendees with an opportunity to converse with the companies in attendance while snacking on food provided by the event sponsor. Then the presentations begin, featuring the evening’s host, the “Expert Corner” experts, and the four exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website. At this event, in addition to sponsors and experts from Boston Scientific, Brownmed, and Hidden Gems, a representative from the mayor’s office spoke, as the event helped kick off WE BOS week, celebrating women founders in Boston.

Folia Health presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were Folia Health, IV SafeT, Aavia, and Astarte Medical Partners. Awards are also given based on at-event voting (during the networking hour) by attendees. At-event winners were Aavia, Folia, Allergy Amulet, and PionEar Technologies.

As usual, when I attend one of the startup showcase events, I’ll provide a quick overview of the featured companies based on information available through Mass Innovation Nights (website and handouts), the four presentations, and my conversations with some of the company representatives at the event. My observations will generally be very cursory. If you’re interested in additional detail about some of this month’s showcasing companies, you can follow the links I provide for more information.

IV SafeT presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Allergy Amulet is a device (that can be worn; hence: “amulet”) that can be use to test food for allergens at the point-of-consumption, within seconds.

Astarte Medical Partners has established a patient safety and compliance software solution, NICUtrition, via software and predictive analytics, that is designed to be used by hospitals to improve safety when feeding preterm infants. The company’s goal is to assemble information and provide solutions to promote gut health through a child’s first 1,000 days.

Mightywell‘s Might MedPlanner is a small, easy-to-carry-along case that discreetly organizes your medical supplies. This is the most recent product from Mightywell, as it continues to extend its line of medical products. Mightywell’s first product, the PICC Perfect PICC line cover, was showcased at MIN 81 nearly three years ago.

Aavia presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

CareZooming connects healthcare professionals to allow them to share knowledge, allowing new clinician discoveries and best practices to be duplicated elsewhere throughout the medical community.

Fluid-Screen‘s bacterial sorter uses system-on-a-chip technology to help identify bacteria within 30 minutes. Per my discussion at Fluid-Screen’s booth, a couple early uses for this technology would be in the pharmaceutical world to detect contaminants in food and drinking water supplies.

Folia Health has an app allows families to track health observations in three minutes per day. It can then be used as a resource for the community of families who need that information. Folia Health’s initial area of focus is cystic fibrosis.

Astarte Medical Partners presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

IV SafeT is an improved IV with an improved luer lock. If you’re in this field, please click through to look at the details yourself, but the website does note that this works especially well for preemies and infants because of its reduced size. (IV SafeT’s presentation did a great job of explaining the significant improvement, but I’m afraid I won’t do it justice via text.)

DocFlight is a company that connects Chinese patients with custom, personalized treatment from American doctors, including nutrition plans, telemedicine, a personalized drug prescriptions.

PionEar Technologies‘ tympanostomy tube is designed to reduce the risk of unnecessary surgeries and repeated ear infections in children.

MightyWell booth; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Aavia is a pocket-size smart device and accompanying app to help ensure birth control pills are taken “on time, every time,” as the company’s slogan says. The device automatically detects which pills have been taken (or not) from the typical blister pack and connects via Bluetooth to a phone app.

The WatchRx Smartwatch for Seniors helps seniors manage their prescriptions, while also giving caregivers and healthcare providers access to this information. I first encountered WatchRx at a Boston New Technology showcase in May 2017.

Also at the event was Microscopic Art, a company that sells (“cells”?) cool science-themed décor, apparel, and accessories.

Conclusion

At-event voting winners; ; photo by Geoff Wilbur

As always, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the exhibiting companies and their products based upon the pre-event materials and the conversations I had with attendees. You can find company information also by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 115 web page. I’ve also included hotlinks to the each of the exhibiting companies’ websites so you can get information beyond my brief introductions.

It was, as always, a pleasure to see some of the emerging companies on the Boston area’s startup scene. I’m already looking forward to next month’s event.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #93

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 93

September 18, 2018

Proximate presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

This month’s BNT was hosted at Foley Hoag in Boston’s Seaport District on Tuesday, September 18th.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 93: Foley Hoag in Boston, MA

In typical fashion, food and networking kicked off the BNT Startup Showcase. And, as usual, some of the event sponsors had booths (tables) set up for the evening.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to all the exhibitors, but I did speak with WordPress experts TRBdesign, HR solutions firm TriNet, and peer-to-peer car sharing/renting company Getaround.

WorkAround presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

The presentations began about an hour into the event. First, the sponsors were given a minute or two each to talk. Then the startups presented. Each presentation was 5 minutes, with another 5 minutes allocated to Q&A.

Following, I’ll write a little about each of the presenters, including my best understanding of who they are and what they do. Obviously, if something intrigues you, don’t rely on the accuracy of my description. Instead, check out the websites and contact the companies for yourself. Because if you’re interested, you’re probably a much bigger expert in that product area than I am, so you’ll know better which questions to ask.

URSA Idetic presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Proximate bills itself as Sales Intelligence as a Service. It taps a company’s sales history and scores its leads. Via personalization, predictive intelligence, and analysis of leads, Proximate is a cutting-edge customer relationship management (CRM) tool. As noted in the Q&A period, Proximate can be layered on top of a company’s existing CRM.

WorkAround is a service that helps companies source online work to skilled refugees. Refugees may be highly skilled but are not allowed to work in their host countries. This is a solution to that problem; with Internet access, they are able to work virtually for companies elsewhere. It was interesting to see some of the WorkAround advances since I first heard the company’s CEO speak at a Mass Innovation Nights event back in March. Notably, the new aspects of the client interface.

Cluster Audio presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

URSA Idetic is an “autonomous systems intelligence platform.” Or, per its name, Unmanned Robotics Systems Analysis. Simply: Drone intelligence. With early military work likely to make venture capital completely unnecessary for URSA Idetic, this is a rare startup that may be able to grow fast enough based on its early revenue. The company’s goal is to be the source of autonomous systems data.

Cluster Audio‘s CA550 Speaker System is a tactile audio system that allows gamers and movie watchers to feel the sound. Described to us as un-technically as possible, Cluster Audio’s “Sound Sleeve” is a subwoofer inside a cushion you can drape over your couch. Of course, personally, with my music interests, I’m curious about how this system will help me “feel” my favorite tunes. I need to somehow arrange for a test-drive.

Ridj-It presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Ridj-it‘s slogan is “Carpool your way to adventure!” It’s a “travel tech platform” that allows drivers and riders to organize adventures, while connecting them with small businesses for discounted booking rates. This first struck me as an adventure-travel/day-trip focused, specialized and supersized version of Meetup serving a specific market. But for that market, it seems like a great idea. It’s specialized enough that a more broadly focused competitor would have difficulty duplicating the experience.

Thoughtblox presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Thoughtblox is a knowledge-sharing system. Per its own promo, “transforming mailing lists to engaged knowledge networks.” Unlike existing communication platforms and knowledge-sharing systems, Thoughtblox uses filters rather than folders to facilitate information-finding. When reading about Thoughtblox before the event, it was tough for me to visualize from a text description, but after seeing the brief demonstration during the presentation, the interface is quite slick and user-friendly.

Spiro presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Spiro is an AI-driven sales automation system. A CRM tool that serves as a reminder system, learning from its user and tailoring itself to the user’s needs. I jotted down the four short sentences that describe Sprio: It observes. It recommends. It learns. it guides. After just the brief demo during the presentation, I walked away exceptionally impressed.

As usual, it was another great BNT event. I’m already looking forward to next month’s BNT, scheduled for October 16th and slated to feature HealthTech startups. If my schedule permits, I’ll see you there.

Mass Innovation Nights 114: AI, Robotics, and CleanTech

Mass Innovation Nights 114

September 13, 2018

Mass Innovation Nights features startup companies from around Massachusetts. This month’s Mass Innovation Nights was hosted by MathWorks in Natick.  The theme for the evening was AI, robotics, and clean tech.

Mass Innovation Nights 114: MathWorks in Natick MA

MIN114 At-Event Voting Winners; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights begins with an hour to network, grab food from the buffet, and visit with exhibiting startups at their display tables, providing attendees with an opportunity to converse with the companies in attendance while snacking on food provided by the event sponsor. Then the presentations begin, featuring the evening’s host, the “Expert Corner” experts, and the four exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website.  Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were The Robot Wand, Reason8, Kestrel Agritech, and Proximie. Awards are also given based on at-event voting (during the networking hour) by attendees. At-event winners were Proximie, WaveSense, Kestrel Agritech, and The Robot Wand.

MIN’s Bobbie Carlton; photo by Geoff Wilbur

As usual, when I attend one of the startup showcase events, I’ll provide a quick overview of the featured companies based on information available through Mass Innovation Nights (website and handouts), the four presentations, and my conversations with some of the company representatives at the event. My observations will generally be very cursory. If you’re interested in additional detail about some of this month’s showcasing companies, you can follow the links I provide for more information.

Altaeros booth at MIN114; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Altaeros helps provide remote wireless access to rural communities and other hard-to-reach locations via its SuperTower, which looks like a blimp. (See picture; demo table balloon, obviously, is not actual size.) Tethered and able to be raised and lowered – to top off the helium, for example – it serves as a wireless antenna covering an expansive area.

WaveSense uses ground-penetrating radar to allow self-driving vehicles to more easily navigate roads in inclement conditions – where road markings may be obscured by snow, for example – because it allows the vehicles to know where the roads are based on the geological (and man-made) features beneath the road.

The Robot Wand presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

BluCloud‘s “Gateway Blu” makes analytic data available anywhere anytime by transporting that analytic data cellularly. I first encountered BluCloud back in May at a Boston New Technology showcase. Because I had met them before, I didn’t spend time chatting with BluCloud at this event, but you can read my much more detailed account in this summary I wrote about the BNT event in May. If I had found time to chat with BluCloud, I would have asked how their customer penetration has progressed since then, since they already had a few customers and a lot of locations connected this spring.

Reason8 presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Reason8 is an app that takes meeting notes for you. In addition to transcribing the meeting, the app summarizes the meeting and provides a list of what it determines are likely action items; more advanced features continue to be in development. Reason8 is currently designed to target notetaking at in-person meetings.

Quinncia is an AI-based interview preparation tool geared toward university students. I previously learned about Quinncia at the Boston New Technology showcase in February.

Kestrel Agritech presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Electrona Robotics‘ Pilotfish remote submersible is a reasonably priced option for shooting HD video underwater, designed as an option for those who require remote underwater filming that in a relatively robust format at an affordable cost.

Kestrel Agritech is a drone-based crop monitoring and pest detection system that uses thermal imaging to help detect, analyze, and notify farmers of pests so farmers can take targeted, quick action.

Proximie presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Southie Autonomy‘s The Robot Wand is robot-agnostic software that creates a platform to control robots using verbal commands and gestures. This can be useful in areas like material handling. During the Q&A at the end of the Robot Wand presentation, its presenter noted that current markets where this is in high demand include heavy manufacturing and test kitting (e.g., 23 and Me)

Electrona Robotics Pilotfish booth at MIN114; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Yobe Inc.‘s VISPR is able to identify speakers’ voices in high noise environments. On the VISPR website, it is described as a “voice identification system for user profile retrieval.”

SkyMan Unlimited is a team of FAA-certified remote pilots who fly drones (“unmanned aerial vehicles”) for commercial and industrial clients.

Proximie is a platform for the healthcare industry. It is designed to facilitate collaboration and remote assistance via augmented reality (AR).

WaveSense booth at MIN114; photo by Geoff Wilbur

3D Educational Services (3DES) is a low-cost robotics kit geared toward 7th and 8th grade. It is meant to help bring robotics into the classroom and help inspire students’ interest.

Conclusion

As always, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the exhibiting companies and their products based upon the pre-event materials and the conversations I had with attendees. You can find company information also by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 114 web page. I’ve also included hotlinks to the each of the exhibiting companies’ websites so you can get information beyond my brief introductions.

It was, as always, a pleasure to see some of the emerging companies on the Boston area’s startup scene. Next month’s Mass Innovation Night will be MIN’s 5th Annual Women Founders event. Sponsored by Boston Scientific (with supporting sponsor Brownmed), Mass Innovation Nights 115 will be held on Monday, October 15th at District Hall in Boston.

Mass Innovation Nights 113 in Natick

photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights 113

August 8, 2018

This month, Mass Innovation Nights was back in the suburbs, this time in Natick. Hosting by Middlesex Savings Bank, MIN113 took place at The Center for Arts in Natick, frequently referred to as TCAN. This even was one of the less tech-heavy rosters of companies (which I note because this is a tech blog, after all), a little atypical because the Boston area is home to so many tech startups, but the featured businesses are always interesting, and this month was no exception.

Mass Innovation Nights 113: The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN) in Natick MA

MIN113 At-Event Voting Winners; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Mass Innovation Nights begins with time to learn about the exhibiting startups by visiting with them at their tables. This is followed by presentations from the host, the “Expert Corner” experts, and the exhibitors who win a pre-event vote on the Mass Innovation Nights website.  Presenters as a result of the pre-event voting were TechScreen, Chocolate Therapy, Delete All My Data, and wiseHer. Awards were also given based on at-event voting. At-event winners were Bodega Bag, Miles2share, Chocolate Therapy, and WiseHer.

miles2share booth at MIN113; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Here’s my quick run through the companies in attendance; you can follow the links for more information about them.

miles2share is a ride-sharing program. Its app available for both iOS and Android devices. I like the fact that miles2share works with you to create a “circle” of potential ride-sharers rather than just pairing you up for individual rides.

PetsEmpower is a non-profit that facilitates providing foster homes for pets during crises. Because when in a domestic violence situation, it’s important not to have to worry about your furry family members.

TechScreen presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Loco Coffee is a new spin on coffee. It’s a preservative-free cold brew that includes coconut water in its can o’ coffee, which the company notes adds sweetness without the necessity of adding sugar. I’ve now sampled the drink and, indeed, it is a little sweet. The coconut water also seems to help the drink finish smooth.

Delete All My Data is a service that actively and aggressively pursues the removal of its customers’ data from data brokers’ databases?

TechScreen is a SaaS product that improves IT recruiting.

Chocolate Therapy presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

wiseHer is a platform that connects women with experts who can provide advice needed in business or in life in general.

The Bodega Bag is a bag the allows people to carry groceries on their backs. Up to 20 pounds of groceries, the company advertises.

Chocolate Therapy is a Framingham, MA chocolate shop that specializes in producing (and selling) chocolates and hosting events (chocolate-making, team building, birthday parties, and other group events). They were promoting their new chocolate bars at MIN. And providing delicious samples, of course.

Delete All My Data presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Adventure Activities USA is a company that specializes in outdoor adventures. Their business ranges from hosting activities and corporate retreats to selling equipment.

Pillars, the drinkable Greek yogurt company, was a last-minute cancellation. I had been looking forward to sampling their product. I think I may have tried some at a grocery store sampling recently, but I was especially hoping they’d have some plain yogurt with them; that’s personally the one I’d like to try.

wiseHer presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Conclusion

As always, I’ve done my best to accurately portray the exhibiting companies and their products based upon the pre-event materials and the conversations I had with attendees. You can find company information also by following this link and then clicking on the “Vote Here” tab of the MIN 113 web page. I’ve also included hotlinks to the each of the exhibiting companies’ websites so you can get information beyond my brief introductions.

It was, as always, a pleasure to see some of the emerging companies on the Boston area’s startup scene. Next month’s Mass Innovation Night will also be in Natick, on September 13th at the office of the event’s host Mathworks. MIN 114 will feature robotics, AI and clean/green energy products. Barring a scheduling conflict, as always, I hope to be there.