September 10th 2015. A Drizzly grey day. A day in which ice cream and great ideas were shared in the second floor of Wilson hall. The Wentworth Accelerate Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center organized Kickstart event preceding a year of impending innovation and creativity.
What is a Kickstart event? The Kickstart event is an opportunity for aspiring innovators to explore the process of teambuilding and networking. People of various academic backgrounds come together and pitch ideas, socialize, and learn. Kickstart events unite people with and without ideas together into interdisciplinary teams. By organizing a place to meet for people unfamiliar with the process Accelerate plans to utilize the incoming talent pool and facilitate the innovation process for dozens of on-campus innovators. Accelerate Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center provides resources and infrastructure for people with ideas or a willingness to learn the innovation and design process.
Walking in, the first thing visible was Bee Goodzzz Honey Water. Co-founded by an Accelerate Alum, Scott Bonney (BELM ’14) Bee Goodzzz sells local Massachusetts honey and is working on a honey infused water. They used this opportunity and mass of humanity to conduct consumer trials for the concentration of their honey water mix. For their preliminary trial they identified two concentrations of honey/water that they found delicious. They passed out various concentrations of their product and asked consumers to vote on their favorites. After an hour of testing they claimed to have found the two edges of the consumer honey pallet. “We haven’t gotten anybody wanting to go stronger than B or weaker than A.” Scott Bonney explained. “The two are closer than we’d thought, at this point it’s too hard to tell which is preferred.” Using this opportunity they hope to tune their product closer and closer to the consumer’s taste.
Later in the event I spoke to an aspiring filmmaker named Abdullah Altamini. Abdullah is a freshmen business major with interests in producing scientific and informative documentaries. He saw this event as an opportunity to network with both technical and creative-types to help make his dream become a reality. Wondering what drew him to the event he explained an in-class visitation from an Accelerate team-member that really got to him. Seeing his passion and enthusiasm for such an engaging idea compelled Abdullah to see what Accelerate has to offer.
It was a common answer. Person after person answered the question “What compelled you to come today?” A team-member visited a classroom and gave a presentation. People new to Accelerate iterated how strong speeches explaining what the Wentworth Accelerate Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center was all about. It seems the grassroots of recruitment are the people, making a difference in the classroom.
As the event wound down the soap box pitch round occurred. Up and coming innovators stood up in front of 50 people and pitched their ideas in an open setting. Ideas shared included a better implementation of the domain naming system in computing, root causation tree websites, robotic personal organizers and much more. Meaningful questions were asked and the brave few received positive criticism and help. Sometimes a spark of bravery can provide the motivation to make your ideas come to fruition.
The bottom line for the people involved is that Accelerate is a tool, a tool to help students like you and I reach our potential not only as students; but as innovators and entrepreneurs.