MassTLC: What drives innovation in Massachusetts today?
David Beisel: Universities and young people are the primary drivers. Universities are technology hubs, which serve as a hub-and-spoke model for innovation, where each year we see numerous young undergraduate and graduate students choose Boston and Cambridge for their home.
There’s also the state’s ‘innovation pockets’, both in geography and industry. Places like Kendall Square, the Innovation District and the 128 loop- with high density of brilliant minds within very small geographical areas-feed innovation. There are several industry ‘innovation pockets’ which Massachusetts supports, such as digital media and Internet companies, specifically companies focused on e-commerce, SMB services and mobile ad networks. In the last five years, there have been six major acquisitions in the mobile ad network space that were $100M+, and five of those six were Boston-based companies, like Quattro Wireless.
MassTLC: What’s your favorite unConference connection?
David Beisel: Three years ago, I met two young entrepreneurs and have kept in touch with them since – meeting every several months to receive updates and talk shop.
MassTLC: What do you love about the unConference?
David Beisel: I love the unConference because attendees can both lead and participate in topics that matter to them. If you find you aren’t as interested in the given topic, you’re encouraged to find a different session, and if, on the way to the next session, you happen to run into few people and start an interesting conversation in the hallway, that is ok too. It’s a very democratic marketplace for ideas.
MassTLC: How does one make the most of the unConference?
David Beisel: The key is not just attending the conference, but following up afterwards and transforming an initial one-time interaction into a budding business relationship. People who get the most out of the unConference are really proactive afterwards.
If you would like to join us for the MassTLC unConference this Friday, October 28 at Hynes Convention Center from 8-4:30, visit the MassTLC website. Sessions will be created the day of by attendees and experts-propose any topic close to your heart. Follow MassTLC unConference on Twitter or Facebook.