The Light of Innovation

Keep the door open to new possibilities, and let the light of innovation shine through. That’s what I did last week, the first full week of 2013.  Recharged after time off, I was joined by friends and colleagues as we started the New Year ready for action.  Arriving in Boston on Sunday evening, I interspersed corporate meetings with connections to innovators.  Some of the most interesting interactions I enjoyed are illustrated by the following three examples.

First, in November I partnered with MassChallange to showcase Boston startups at EMC’s first corporate Innovation Market. Johnny Monsarrat, Founder and CEO Hard Data Factory, was representing his startup.  Johnny, a serial innovator turned entrepreneur caught up with me at the Prudential Center in Boston on 1/8/2013 to demo the world’s largest business high tech calendar while selling me on his branding ideas.  You never know where the next big idea will come from. Check out Johnny’s vision at EMC’s Innovation Market.

Second, Tom Ward and Jay Mixter, co-founders Twyxter.  They met me for breakfast in Framingham to demo their new social media platform. Their passion for innovation is equal to their vision to foster collaboration, productivity and loyalty among employees. The Twyxter community enables corporate employees to make new connections, lead more sustainable lives, and encourages charitable donations. Essentially employees sell, rent, or share “stuff” like books, bikes, couches and music instruments on their platform.  Through this community they create social interactions among people who work together which fosters new and stronger personal and working relationships across the corporation.  One of the things I liked most was the ability to donate the proceeds from these trades to charity.  What a great way to clean out your closet while giving back.

Founder and CEO Twyxter

Tom Ward, Twyxter CEO

Twyxter Founder and COO
Jay Mixter, Twyxter COO

My last stop before my 7:00 AM flight home was the MassChallange New Year’s party.  Yes, you can celebrate the New Year on Jan 10th, and Chinese New Year in Feb (if you plan ahead).  A little about Masschallange whose mission is to catalyze a startup renaissance. They do this by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately. Their primary activities include running an annual global accelerator program and startup competition, documenting and organizing key resources, and organizing training and networking events.

Attendees at the New Year’s celebration included Martin Sklar, President & CEO AblaCor MedicalAmir Eldad, Chairman New England-Israel Business Council, Ben Littauer, Boston Harbor Angels, Tito Jackson, Boston City Councillor, District 7 and EMC MassChallange Executive Sponsor, Joel Schwartz.  But is was my chance meeting with Nate Tepper, that was truly inspiring.  Nate the Founder at TEDxUMassAmherst, also is the Business Development at MassChallenge, and a Student Board Member at Entrepreneurship Center and shares my passion for communities of innovation.  Committed to our new found partnership, Nate invited me to be a “Friend” of TEDx, an offer I accepted with honor.

Nate Tepper

Nate Tepper

WIth the week ending on a high note I am looking forward to next week when I head back to Boston where I will meet with Robert Buderi, Founder and Editor in Chief of Xconomy, and also lecture at WPI’s School of Business class titled Global Entrepreneurship: The Israeli Phenomenon.

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