MassInnovation Night

Mass Innovation is bringing together techie enterprises in the Boston area. They had a slate of product and biz launch pitch presentations the other night. I love hearing this stuff. Seeing people on the stage. Wishing their enterprise good luck. It’s good stuff!

I was particularly impressed at how they used twitter to generate buzz and bring the crowd in. Well done. The event had a dozen or so bizes presenting on their product. I learned a few things. But it wasn’t quite as networky as I would have liked. People seemed to be at a loss for whether they were there to listen or there to pitch. Some of the other events I attend are all pitch, everyone is getting themself out there. I like the more talkative crowds – I’m more normal. And as I tweeted later, they were missing a key ingredient: BEER!

There was one particularly interesting presentation from Generic Viagra FreightFarms – a mobile trucking container self-contained crop growing technology integrator. Apparently this type of shipping-container farm is big in Europe and somewhere in Asia and just now coming over here. I suppose we’ve been deluded by rooftop farms and (ee gads) vertical farming (I disapproved this stuff as nuts many years ago). But the high-intensity containers are good for high-margin (read: illegal) crops and possibly yuppie salads.

I think anything not done by a tractor on real soil just doesn’t make energetic and long-term economic sense. But I did bump into one old buddy from the farming world (whom I almost hired once upon a time) who is consulting for a rival to this operation. He’s optimistic that for some high-end crops and servicing restaurants, these containers actually do have technologies that justify the energy and infrastructure. I suppose that’s what “innovation” is all about. Good Luck Container Farmers of the World!

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