It's hard to believe that this is only the fourth Mass Innovation Night, since it's quickly become a great place to network with some amazing people. It's also cool that it's in America's First Factory. We get a sense of what innovation can do and how transformative it can be.
And yes, of course there are some great innovative companies there. Some, like Drync and Web Notes I've seen at other events in town such as the Web Innovator's Group and Mobile Monday, but it's nice to see how they've progressed since then.
I also had a fascinating discussion with Andreas Randow, CEO of StudioShare.org, not only about his company but about is own history of innovation. I was also impressed with the passion with which Paul Martin showed me SpaceMAX, as well as the innovations coming out of Intuit Labs. Who knew that the company behind QuickBooks can help small businesses effectively use Facebook? A great example of what happens when you empower your employees to come up with new ideas.
But the true value of Mass Innovation Nights is the after-party at Biagio's in Waltham. It's there that I got a chance to talk with Elli StGeorge Godfrey about the issues that entrepreneurs have when they try to shift from having an idea to making it a reality. Her business is in coaching those entrepreneurs. It's also where I get to meet, face-to-face, many of the people I follow on Twitter such as Jeff Cutler, Bob Collins and Ari Herzog.
Because social media allows us to easily connect with people who have like interests. Turning those connections into meaningful and profitable relationships takes a little more work... like having a beer.