On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and HUBweek presented Demo Day, a snapshot into Boston’s cutting-edge start-ups and innovation. Over 100 Boston-based start-ups convened at Hynes Convention Center to showcase their developments in industries including: health care, technology, clean tech, biotech, social enterprise, food, consumer & retail, and hardware.
I have had the privilege of interning with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in the Communications department for the past four weeks, and was lucky enough to snag a VIP pass to this event (well… no, not VIP, but I did get myself a free t-shirt).
My first impression of the event was that the energy in the Demo Day room was inexplicable; I witnessed moments of brilliance, kindness, passion, support, innovation, and more. After spending the day observing and assisting with the production of the event, here are my top three takeaways from HUBweek’s Demo Day:
1. Boston’s innovation community is revolutionary
When referring to the innovation community, I’m tempted to use the word “dreamers,” but that is just not the case. The innovation community in Boston does so much more than dream, they truly make it happen. Greater than the ideas pitched at this event, was the passion that served as the keystone to these companies. I witnessed a young female-entrepreneur present her fashion line for patients of terminal illness, stemming from her experience with Lyme disease and low confidence during this time. In Denise Kaigler’s breakout workshop, she discussed the importance of defining your “why” or purpose. Many other companies brought passion and enthusiasm for their service or product making their “whys” very evident. These are the types of companies that are going to impact the world, but first, they’re going to revolutionize the lives of individuals.
2. When it comes to events, it’s all hands on deck
If you’ve ever been involved in the production or organization of an event, you know that you have to be prepared for when things don’t always go as planned. The event production staff from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as well as HUBweek deserves a huge round of applause for the time, energy, and creativity that went into the development and execution of this event. Special shout out to Celia Richa for recently joining the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as the Programs Director, and for doing a wonderful job with the production of Demo Day.
3. Boston is THE place to be
Having left my small hometown in Pennsylvania to pursue my education at Boston College, I can confidently state that this particular decision was the best decision I could have made. Having seen the innovation and ideas presented at Demo Day, I am reassured that Boston is prepared to tackle whatever obstacles tumble into its future. Boston cultivates growth and it promotes powerful discussions and potential solutions. Participants in Demo Day ranged from young professionals to executives in need of a new path, yet all of them shared two commonalities: a love for the city of Boston and an enthusiasm to positively impact the future. Throughout my experience at Demo Day, it was quite evident that Boston’s future is going to be special and there is no better place to be at this present moment.