Blue Economy Featured on The Point with Mindy Todd

On The Point, we talk about the Blue Economy: a long range plan to promote and sustain a marine-centered live-work-play economy. The Cape and Islands economies have gone through a number of transitions over past few hundred years, from agriculture and whaling to fishing and now tourism. But for decades, community and business leaders been searching for a way to expand and diversify the economy beyond our seasonal tourism base; now they have their sights set on  the Blue Economy. Joining Mindy Todd to discuss this vision of the Blue Economy is Peter Karlson, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and on the phone from her office, Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.  Here’s a link for information on StartUp Weekend Blue

Climate Change and the Cape

As you know climate change was one of the key areas to focus on during out ideation session.  Cape and Islands Public Radio did a series on the subject recently


Cape Cod Time Article: The Future is Blue

In case you missed it, the Cape Cod Times wrote a great article on the Blue Economy and the Startup Weekend event:


Blue Economy Ideation Session

Tonight we completed a fantastic ideation session with community members that have a vested interest in creating blue economy companies.  The common themes were:

Data – Automation – Sensors 

There were a few concepts that got distilled out of each major challenge area:

Climate Change

The causation and effect of sea level rise prompted a series of thoughts around providing an educational platform that provides public awareness and set of tools for the public to discover on their own what climate change means to them.


Tremendous opportunity for the region to leverage and expand the aquaculture businesses, especially around fin fish.  There was also a big discussion around the opportunity to provide shark detection and public warning/alerting perhaps being a platform for multiple sources to feed into the system.  Another concept was around providing more real time information to fishermen around the market information and a marketplace for them to buy/sell their catch and equipment.   Finally a hot topic and concept around the use of “ropeless fisheries” where you can anchor gear on the bottom and have it release to the surface when needed.


An enormous topic and opportunity to be the leader in the world in wastewater for the region. Innovation should drive the industry, the future will be decentralized and watershed based.  Concepts include providing information to the public about how they are using and disposing of water, collecting data, analyzing, aggregating and publishing the results.   Similar to what we do with energy usage, there are tons of parallels there.


We all loved the concept of an “ocean ranch”. This allows universal platform for energy generation (wind, wave, tide, solar), research and aquaculture… awesome.

Blog Post Content

Human Centric Design, MakerBot Innovation Sessions

Last Thursday April 2 Startup Next Boston Managing Director Mike Grandinetti talked about Human Centric Design at Makerbot Boston.

The event was a huge success and In case you could’t attend you can watch the entire presentation here.

Special thanks to our guests: Joel Schwartz (Sproutel), Ryan Wright (WrightGrid) and Geut Gonen (NI-O Toys) for their useful insights.

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Mentors and facilitating team summary of experience

Startup Next Boston

Student Entrepreneurship in the Greater Boston – Cambridge Area

Mike Grandinetti

On Thursday, February 26, a well-attended and high-energy event was held on Hult’s Boston campus to celebrate and explore student entrepreneurship in the greater Boston/ Cambridge area.  This region has historically been a hotbed for student entrepreneurship, pioneered by MIT.

Many famous student startups were born in the Boston community before achieving iconic status, including Facebook and Microsoft as well as ZipCar, Akamai and Napster.  More recently, student –founded startups such as Rent The Runway, Uncharted Play and Plated have vaulted to prominence.

The event was organized and facilitated by Hult Global Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Mike Grandinetti, in his role as Faculty Advisor to both the Hult Startup Platform and Hult Science in Business Student Clubs.  As a serial entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor and educator in the Boston area for over 20 years, and currently Managing Director of StartupNext Boston and a Community Impact Fellow with OpenIDEO, Professor Mike tapped into his network to bring in a range of experiences for Hult’s students to benefit from.  After starting things off, Professor Mike facilitated a fireside chat with each speaker and then guided a question and answer session with a very engaged audience of students from both Hult and other area universities.

Startup Next Boston 1

Professor Mike kicked off the event in Hult’s aptly named Fenway Bleachers auditorium, with its great view of the Zakim Bridge. He started by testing students knowledge of well know Boston student – founded startups as well as student familiarity with recent Kickstarter project. He then provided an overview of the current state of student entrepreneurship on a global basis, including enabling factors such as the consumerization of IT, short-term coding academies, affordable subscription cloud-based apps, pre-accelerators, university accelerators and seed capital funds, student entrepreneurship – focused VC funds and crowd-funding.

The event also included two student entrepreneurship–focused venture capitalists, one from the DormRoom Fund, Bruno Faviero, Managing Director, who focuses on managing investments for the 12 major research universities in the Boston area;  and Kate Murdock, who focuses specifically on funding Northeastern University bred start-ups. In addition, Kate serves as an analyst at Northeastern’s IDEA accelerator, where over 200 startups have been launched and incubated, including a few that were recently VC funded. Bruno is the Founder of Hacking MIT and other MIT – related startup events. Bruno and Kate discussed the extraordinary range of startups being launched around the greater Boston area by students, with a focus on the 23 companies that DormRoom Fund has invested in directly.

Startup Next Boston 2

Michael Gaiss, former SVP of Highland Capital Partners and current founder and CEO of BigThink!, which focuses on connecting students interested in entrepreneurial careers with startups, spoke about the stark difference in hiring requirements between large corporation and startups. Unlike corporates, startups focus less on GPA and more on hands-on experience that indicates a passion by the student for the role and the market space.  He also discussed his observations as Entrepreneur in Residence at UMass Boston, where the school recently expanded its Venture Development Center.

For the benefit of the Science in Business Club, Professor Vinit Nijiwhan, who runs Boston University’s Office of Technology Development, spoke of the challenges and successes of commercializing university based research. During his tenure, he changed BU’s model from licensing to startups, with great success. With this new startup-driven approach, BU has achieved more success in commercializing its science and technology in the past five years than in the previous 30 years.

Mike Grandinetti

At the conclusion of the event, Professor Mike, Bruno and Kate served as mentors for a pitch session. Many Hult students stepped up to pitch their ideas to a crowded room of  100 plus attendees where they received constructive feedback. Many also used the opportunity to get real-time input from their fellow students on the desirability of their ideas.

In summary, the event was exceptionally well received by the engaged students who  asked many great questions,  volunteered to pitch,  and engaged in direct discussions with speakers during the networking breaks scheduled through-out the evening. It’s clear that student entrepreneurship is thriving in Boston.

3-Minute read: Innovate or die

Mike GrandinettiIn order to grow, all industries must undergo significant disruption—the business world’s equivalent of a wake-up call. Business professor Clayton Christensen first used the term ‘disruptive innovation’ back in 1995, to describe the process by which a product or service starts out in its simplest form at the bottom of the market, before moving up to eventually displace established competitors.

Creative disruption: it’s unavoidable

The waves of creative disruption – technological or digital – have caused the acceleration of change across industries. For example, 3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing and healthcare industries, and companies such as Netflix have changed the way we consume ondemand media. Leading disruptive innovators recognize the need to move away from the beaten path of success and security, in order to connect with the engaged and empowered consumer: Apple’s takeover of the mobile phone industry, after starting out with computers, and Google’s expansion into ads, causing advertising giants to sit up and take note, are just some examples of the direction innovation has taken over the last decade alone.

How to become a leading innovator: collaboration and continual reinvention

As creative disruption continues to blur the lines between industries, and organizational leaders come to realize that they cannot continue business as usual – a concept referred to as the Innovator’s Dilemma – innovation is affecting the way many organizations operate. The life expectancy of companies has been compressed by 80% since the 1920s, and by 2021, 40% of Fortune 500 companies will simply have disappeared.

The threat of death at the hands of tradition and custom is pushing companies to collaborate in order to stay relevant, and forcing the CEOs of leading companies to ask: do we have innovation in our bones? After selling off its low-end server business to Lenovo, tech giant IBM entered into a partnership with Apple, distributing iPads offering industry-specific enterprise mobile solutions—a smart move by IBM to exploit the power of one of the world’s most powerful brands.

Another method of innovation being employed by companies is one of continual reinvention, explained by the Three Horizons model:

Horizon one: extend and defend products

Horizon two: drive emerging products

Horizon three: create new, viable opportunities

The unwillingness to let go of the old and look beyond past and current successes is something Bill Gates summed up perfectly, when he said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Past success doesn’t guarantee it in the future, so we all have to be lifelong learners, beginning with the CEO.

Be brave, innovate

Mike GrandinettiWhen it comes to innovation, courage yields the best results—and the pay-offs have been huge. Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble’s open innovation initiative, Connect + Develop, reaches out to external talent in order to innovate and improve. The lean start-up approach adopted by General Electric allows the company to act like a start-up, by “unlearning perfection” in order to manage new product development—effectively disrupting the market with faster, smarter decisions. Digital innovation is another area Nike has influenced for some time now. Collaborating with Apple to create the Nike+ Fuelband allowed Nike to merge fitness with smart mobile technology—a bold move in uncertain times, and something competitor Adidas has been slow to adopt.

“The unwillingness to let go of the old and look beyond past and current successes is something Bill Gates summed up perfectly, when he said:

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

Past success doesn’t guarantee it in the future, so we all have to be lifelong learners, beginning with the CEO.”

About the author:

Mike Grandinetti Professor of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Management, and Marketing MBA, Yale School of Management

Mike Grandinetti

Professor Grandinetti is an award-winning faculty member, having received four Global Teaching Excellence Awards from Hult and been named Professor of the Week by the Financial Times in 2013. He is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience working with global start-ups and venture capitalist firms.

Read Original Article from Hult International Business School’s Magazine


Rapid Prototyping with Mike Grandinetti


Mike Grandinetti knows a thing or two about innovation and technology. He’s juggled multiple careers and positions over the years, including entrepreneur, educator, public speaker, mentor, consultant, and board member. For over 30 years he’s worked with the likes of Startup NEXT Boston, Hult International Business School, Open IDEO, and more. Needless to say, he’s the perfect candidate for the next MakerBot Innovator Session on Thursday, April 2nd at 7 pm

Human Centric Design

Mike will be at the MakerBot Retail Store in Boston, MA to present at MakerBot Innovator Sessions, a gathering of 3D printing enthusiasts doing something different in the world of tech, education, and more. Mike will focus on Human-Centric Design enabled by 3D printing, specifically skills essential to managing innovation initiatives for developing new products. He’ll discuss how rapid prototyping with 3D printing is a major step for the field of Human-Centric Design. It’s a great opportunity to meet a well-respected and internationally known start-up and tech speaker.

Register today for the event in Boston on Thursday April 2nd at 7 pm.

Read original article posted by MakerBot.

Bill Warner – Mentor Startup Next Boston

Bill WarnerWilliam J. (Bill) Warner is the founder of Avid Technology, Inc. and Wildfire Communications, Inc., FutureBoston, Inc, and Warner Research, LLC. He won an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1993 for the development of the Avid Media Composer. In 1999 , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Avid with the Oscar® for its success in transforming the editing process in filmmaking.

In 2002, Warner started a shared-space center for entrepreneurs called the Collaboration Space at Warner Research.This center is now called the Brickyard Collaboration Space and provides low-cost space to early stage entrepreneurs.

In addition, Mr. Warner has acted as an angel investor for eight startups, and for three non-profits. The startups are in such diverse areas as 3D animation, email-based blogging, event networking, ad insertion for online videos, visual environments for nightclubs, shared calendars, and compensation design and management. Bill is also working on book about entrepreneurship called “Intention and Invention.” It explores how to optimize the connection between what drives an entrepreneur, and how they go about making inventions that spring from that drive.