Three Years of Accelerate
CELEBRATING THREE YEARS OF INNOVATION
“When Accelerate was launched it was an experiment,” says Frederick Driscoll, the dean of Wentworth’s College of Engineering and Technology whose support helped to pave the way for the center. “Since then we’ve attracted nearly 3,000 participants from across the Institute’s core programs.”
Read more about Accelerate’s story here.
SIL Final Wrap Up BostInno
SIL HAS HUGE SUCCESS WITH FRANKLIN PARK ZOO
This summer Accelerate launched its second Social Innovation Lab. The Social Innovation Lab (SIL) is a 12 week program in which Wentworth students work in interdisciplinary groups with external collaborators in order to solve real world problems. Following last summer’s SIL, six students were brought on to work their summer coops as Social Innovation Fellows. This year the SIL worked with the Franklin Park Zoo to enhance both animal enrichment and visitor engagement. The group was divided in order to have two individual groups each working with a different animal.
Jennifer Roy (BIND 2016), Ryan Cataldo (BSME 2017), and Josh Willis (BSEN 2017) worked with Jockamo the giant anteater, while Leslie DeLeon (M’ARCH 2015), Chad Davis (BSME 2016), and Eric Galano (BIND 2016) worked with the gorilla troupe. The team made great strides throughout the summer by going through the design process and determining what the most effective and innovative ways to accomplish their goals were. Their final prototypes included a food launcher for the gorillas, a press plate and pre-made mold for creating destructible termite mound for Jockamo, and a display case to house a mold and information about the animals. The work the students did impressed the many professionals they had the opportunity to work and network with as seen in this BostInno article written about their accomplishments. To see some of the work the SIL Fellows documented themselves check out their page at acceleratesil.tumblr.com.
GENTOO MAKES WAVES + PREPARES PRODUCT LAUNCH
After being a finalist at MassChallenge, Gentoo has been preparing for a product launch over the last couple of months. Their Gentoo Vest has been seen now at HealthInno and the inaugural Pioneer Valley Innovation Nights PIN and will be represented at MIN64 this week. The Gentoo Vest is also one of the semi-finalists for the Livestrong Big C competition. This Spring Nick Cox, from BetaBoston, wrote a great article about the startup and their product, which provides mobility and a sense of freedom to patients undergoing strenuous treatments such as chemotherapy. We’ll be following Gentoo closely as they are waiting for their final product to arrive at their door steps from the manufacturer. The Gentoo Vest is available at http://www.gentooinc.com .
SIL in BostInno
SOCIAL INNOVATION LAB AT THE FRANKLIN PARK ZOO
Students in this summer’s Social Innovation Lab are working with the Franklin Park Zoo. The zoo has posed different opportunities for the students to innovate and improve the zoo experience. The excerpt below from this BostInno article highlights some of the work and opportunities they have found.
“We have a lot of understanding in animal behavior,” said Zoo New England President and CEO John Linehan, “but we fall short in technology and engineering.”
Linehan, who’s “been at the zoo forever,” is looking for a fresh, unfettered perspective, which Wentworth’s students have adequately provided. “They’re taking a broader approach,” he added. “They’re really getting the big picture.”
Monique Fuchs, Wentworth’s associate vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship and co-founder of the school’s Accelerate, Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center, explained the students are focusing on three key areas: animal enrichment, visitor animal engagement and visitor education, paying specific attention to the giant anteater and the Western lowland gorilla.”
You can follow along with the Social Innovation Lab this summer at acceleratesil.tumblr.com as well.
CTTB in BostInno
COLLEGE STUDENTS’ CHANCE TO BRING INNOVATION TO BOSTON NEIGHBORHOODS
Accelerate is organizing this summer’s College Think Tank Boston in conjunction with the City of Boston’s Office of Business Development. The students at the Think Tank will be posed the following challenge to solve: “What models might best drive deeper interaction between innovative start-ups and the residents and businesses of Boston, helping to create Boston as a start-up lab?” Lauren Landry’s BostInno article talks about last year’s Think Tank and the impact that the city has already seen from it. Here is a part of that article:
“The OBD has partnered with citizen feedback platform Textizen and Boston Main Streets to discover what each group is looking for in an innovative way. A styrofoam sign can currently be found in the Washington Gateway Main Street, a business development and neighborhood improvement organization located in the South End, that asks citizens what they would like to see in the community, whether a coffee shop or women’s apparel retailer. Residents can text their answer, while also having the ability to submit an option not shown.
The polling happens in real-time and, by working with Main Streets, the City can access both personal opinion and hard data. The organization can tell the OBD what kind of businesses their particular neighborhood is missing. Other pilots of the program include Greater Grove Hall andUpham’s Corner, the latter of which Boston Mayor Marty Walsh recently invested $3.1 million in.
Ideas from this CollegeThinkTank, scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MassChallenge, will hopefully be implemented with similar urgency.”
Five Emerging Startups Funded for $23,500
Eleven interdisciplinary teams [lineup] pitched their emerging startup ideas to a panel of judges at the Pitchfest on April 9, 2013.
The following five teams generated innovative ideas, delivered solid business models, and were awarded funding from the judges:
UrbanFlex [$6,000] Zachary Jackson (Industrial Design) and Alex Schwarzkopf (Electromechanical Engineering)
CareEz [$6,000] Ciro Podany (Architecture), Walmen Dumaliang (Industrial Design), Tory Lam (Architecture), Nick Strout (Architecture), and Derek Bisson (Architecture)
.DAT [$5,000] JT White (Master of Architecture), Lucy Brown (Master of Architecture), Joseph Meucci (Master of Architecture), Samuel Walusimbi (Master of Architecture), and Grant Wilkes (Computer Science)
Trafficflux [$3,500] Matthew Michaud (Computer Science), Ben Greenier (Computer Science), and Abraham Oosten (Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design)
FindMe [$3,000] Ben Sewards (Computer Science), Ralph Giangregorio (Computer Science), Chou Yang (Computer Science), and Chris Streeks (Computer Networking)
Judges for “Pitchfest” included Bobbie Carlton, founder of Mass Innovation Nights; Armand Milazzo, President and founder of Milazzo Enterprise, LLC; Stefania Nappi Mallett, founder of EzCatering; and Fady Saad, co-founder of e-Powerhouse.
Metavap BostInno August 2014
METAVAP MAKING STRIDES
“Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes, and even happens before an entire industry can get off the ground.”
The recently funded Accelerate team Metavap has been making a big impact this summer in the world of medical cannabis use. The team, consisting of Haiden Goggin, Tony Travaglini, and Paramveer Pabla, has been innovating the current standard for vaporizers. As Nick DeLuca says in his recent BostInno article, “Designers and engineers by training, the trio decided that the traditional vaporizing devices were simply counterintuitive. So, in the spirit of innovation, they set out to create a next-generation inhalation device that offers quality and dexterity.”
The team’s current focus for the product, called VUE (Vaporization User Experience), is to ensure that patients are comfortable with their device. Most patients will be using this on a daily basis, and as such the patients expect ease of mind and high functionality with their device. Haiden Goggin realizes we live in a world full of devices now and sees it as a way to build products in this developing industry, “People have higher expectations for their devices now more than ever.” The entirety of the BostInno article can be found here: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/07/31/boston-students-metavap-vue-medical-marijuana-vaporizer/
Bay 5 Motors Bike Ride PR
BAY 5 MOTORS + THE DEVELOPING MOPED COMMUNITY
Zach Richards (BIND 2014), a member of Bay 5 Motors, has been working to develop a more visually appealing, American-made moped. Funded by Accelerate in the spring, Zach has taken part in several moped rides and become involved in the moped community in general. He can be seen in this Bangor Daily News’ video of last year’s Pinball Run. The riding footage taken from the moped was done with two Go-Pros attached to Zach’s bike, and for another perspective here is a video made by one of the group members.
The ever-expanding moped community is something that Zach has been involved in since before ever starting Bay 5 Motors. After attending last year’s event, he plans to go to the second Pinball Run. Last year, the riders started in Portland, ME, and ended in Key West after nine days of driving. This year’s ride is “Inspired by the chronicle tales of wonder penned by Mark Twain,” as the 1,400 mile route starts at Minneapolis, MN, and will end in New Orleans, LA.
One Allston-based group has also started their own local moped rides. ‘The Uglies’ started their first large-scale event last year at Lucky 2 Strokes, a moped shop in Allston. Some might ask, “Why? What’s the point?” Shannon McMahon writes in her Boston.com piece: “They ride, throw parties, and talk mopeds… The Allston-based Uglies say they are in it for friendship and are looking for new members.”
50 on Fire
WE ARE ON FIRE!
“2,000 nominees. 200 finalists. 50 winners. Tomorrow night we’ll celebrate them all, and crown Boston’s 50 on Fire.
But what does being “on fire” mean? After sifting through the thousands of nominations from our audience, and our panel of judges carefully reviewing each and every finalist, how are the winners selected?
Being “on fire” is a combination of the concrete and the intangible. It’s proven growth, public accolades, and hard metrics of kicking ass mixed with creativity, bravery, and presence. The best way to put it is you are changing Boston for the better in ways which simply can’t be ignored.
What makes the 50 on Fire is inspired innovation, created by change makers whose accomplishments truly speak for themselves.” Among 16 finalists in the Education category, Accelerate was in great company with MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Berklee and Babson.
Six Emerging Startup Ideas
SIX EMERGING STARTUP IDEAS FUNDED
53 ideas were submitted to Accelerate this semester alone! From those twelve teams pitched on Nov 14, 2013 in front of five judges to receive gap funding for their startup ideas and to get them to the next level. Teams are comprised of students from different disciplines, which typically propels ideas significantly as multiple different perspectives are considered.
Alpha Industries, Aqua Lung, Modular Branch System and Gnar Guard received gap funding, while ImpactAlert and Resistance were recognized as significant contributions to Accelerate. See more of the participating ideas here.
The five judges included Jeffrey Altschuler, founder/CEO of Altronics Manufacturing and WIT alum; Bagley Ethan, principal innovation catalyst at Constant Contact; Rick Grundy, VP/director at AVTECH Software and WIT alum; Karen Reuther, creative director and brand specialist at Cast Collective and Accelerate’s Innovator-in-Residence; and Larry Blumsack, founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training.
Prior to the Nov. 14 event, 15 teams had been funded through Pitchfest for a total of $78,000.
Social Innovation Lab Launch
The Social Innovation Lab [SIL] allows students to apply their product and technology innovations to problems that need to be solved, in areas that are relevant, and to impact communities and individual’s lives.
SIL is launching May 20 and is a pilot Co-op program, where five students from five different disciplines tackle five challenges. The programming, such as workshops and events, however, is open to the public and everybody is invited to get inspired, collaborate, engage, and ideate on how to change the world by addressing small and large problems with systemic reach.
JEANNE DASARO | INNOVATOR-IN-RESIDENCE
Jeanne Dasaro has worked over the summer with our students in the Social Innovation Lab and will continue during the Fall semester for our Startup Challenge. She brings six years of experience as an entrepreneur and innovator. She is the founder of the Wonder Women of Boston network, helping women leaders, artists, and professionals of diverse backgrounds connect with and support each other. As a videographer, Dasaro developed and produced North End Stories, a chronicle of the neighborhood’s Italian heritage. She also served as co-founder of the New Prosperity Initiative (NPi), a community media organization dedicated to social justice, knowledge-sharing, and dialogue across for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
- 2nd best thing about a @designmuseumbos meeting is a sunny mid day bike ride. The 1st is visiting the museum! http://t.co/vZOEDjbr45 about 10 hours ago
- Best of luck with first day of classes and see you Sept 10 at 6pm for our kickstart event! #WIT1stDay http://t.co/PVE1E9qX7n 02:46:37 PM August 31, 2015
- Pitching our incoming students! What's your idea? Kickstart Sept 10! #WITWOW15 06:06:11 PM August 28, 2015
- Talking to our new students on Friday! Today we're training your new coaches! Kickstart your idea Sept 9! #WITWOW15 http://t.co/v2ofQrplDh 06:05:00 PM August 26, 2015
- Excellent article by @HarvardBiz on design thinking. https://t.co/HP53AKiIJo 03:18:42 PM August 19, 2015