We’re in Boston where we attend the HOW Interactive Design Conference and met with USAs biggest Clean Tech Incubator, the Greentown Labs!
HOW Interactive Design Conference
The day kicked off with an interesting session where all participants got a letter and we were tasked with creating bad dog names using our letters – an engaging way to meet new people. First presenter out was Denise Jacobs who delivered an inspirational presentation about your inner critic and how this should not stop you from being a superhero! Technically, the most interesting showed us incredible new work from Adobe – rapid prototyping tools that will increase prototyping speed tremendously; for mobile as well as workstation, with particular note to the preview of the project Comet.
“A prototype is worth a thousand meetings!”
But by far the most interesting presentation was delivered by Scott McCloud, an American cartoonist and theorist; he told an incredibly engaging story on comics and design, using examples from badly designed signs such as the one you will find below. His presentation was as much an important insight on visual storytelling across different media but a short masterclass on visual literacy.
Day one was great and we decided to skip happy hour in order to make sure we could make it to our meeting at a different part of town, with the acclaimed Greentown Labs.
Greentown Labs was founded in May 2011, and is strategically located minutes from Harvard, MIT and Tufts Universities, and form part of the growing innovation cluster around Union Square in Somerville. Last week they announced an expansion plan of 50,000 square feet at a price of $11 million to become a Global Center for Clean Tech Innovation.
“Imagine a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play.”
Greentown Labs provides its entrepreneurs with a wide range of facilities, equipment and software – in addition to network, education and events. It was our lucky day as they were hosting their bi-monthly EnergyBar networking event when we arrived. The EnergyBar brings together investors, entrepreneurs, government representatives, students and anyone else interested in the clean technology and energy spaces.
We were warmly greeted by Megan Fellows, Marketing and Operations at Greentown Labs, and were given an introductory presentation and tour before we joined the networking event. It was a well spent evening, where we learned to know both highly interesting companies as well as people.
It was incredibly interesting to see their prototyping space and shared machine shop tools.
One of most successful companies in the incubator, Woxel 8, the creator of the world’s first multi-material 3D electronics printer, have developed their solution here. They recently announced a $12 million series A Funding and have outgrown the incubator space and moved into a neighbouring building.