Scott Kirsner, Globe writer and all around innovation oracle remarked recently that people in these parts have a “Yankee gene” that keeps us from shouting about our accomplishments as much as people do in some other parts of the country. His take was that we need to “shout louder and prouder” about the incredibly innovative and exciting stuff that’s taking place in our region. Well, Scott, I couldn’t agree more.
Besides being very fun and a terrific community-building endeavor, big awards shows like the upcoming MITX Innovation Awards are a great way to shine a light on the people and organizations that are creating what’s next. Shows like this create a platform for regional companies big and small to show the world their latest and greatest accomplishments. And because we employ a very rigorous judging system, you can be sure that the companies that make it through the selection process are likely to be winners in the marketplace.
We crowdsource the applications, so we can hear from all corners of the community about what you think is innovative. We have a set of criteria and rationale to determine what makes it through to the finals and what wins. All of this diligence and exploration produces a net result where the companies that win really are the most promising. Based on our data about what’s happened to past winners and finalists, it’s clear that our process works – winning a MITX Award highly correlates with future success. (I’ve said "MITX is a great picker," but my team tells me that’s not all that catchy….)
Awards shows like ours are important for the shouting louder and prouder part, but also for other reasons. It gives them the validation from a community of people who collectively represent hundreds of years of innovation and creativity. Many of these folks have experienced the process of new product development in very deep ways. This kind of input can be hugely helpful to these young companies or new solutions. So, they get much more than just recognition; they get new connections to potential capital sources, business partners, employees, or sales opportunities that they might not have had access to otherwise.
It is really exciting that the MITX Innovation Awards have been completely rethought and re-mojo’ed (work with me) – meaning that like the companies that enter it, we are innovating to be more relevant and meaningful in the current zeitgeist. As evidence, check out the new categories and just wait until you see what we do at the ceremony! We think it's going to do incredible things for our community. All in the name of adding more watts to our bright light. Hope to see you there!