City Hall Plaza - On Thursday, June 1st, Boston Mayor Marty J. Walsh hosted the first-ever Courtyard Festival, a one night speaker and startup-celebrated event that explored the ways entrepreneurs are sculpting the future of the city through innovation.
Startups from across the Greater Boston Area were chosen to participate in their Startup Showcase at City Hall Plaza. CIC would like to congratulate all startups who were recognized at this event, including CIC-based startups and affiliates StartHub, Myomo, and District Hall (to name a few)! We’ve featured these companies below, and have included tips to spread the word about your startup so your business can be featured at events like these around the city.
The event kicked off with welcoming remarks from the Boston Chief of Staff, Dan Koh, followed by an on stage interview between Mayor Walsh and Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox, reflecting on their excitement for the City of Boston and the community here. A series of keynote speakers and demo tables followed the introductions with individuals giving short talks on their innovative products or services.
Melissa Yee, the Program Manager, and Editor, of StartHub, a comprehensive online platform “designed to connect, support, and grow Greater Boston’s world-class technology and early-stage community,” contributed in the selection process. When the City of Boston was looking for startups to invite to the Courtyard Festival’s Startup Showcase, they asked Melissa for her recommendations. StartHub was developed in collaboration with the City of Boston, Venture Cafe Foundation, Gust, and a wide number of partners from Boston’s startup community. Not only does StartHub find amazing opportunities for startups to get involved in the community, they also share their stories online, on social media, and in a weekly newsletter.
Medical robotics company (and CIC member company) Myomo was invited by Melissa to demo MyoPro - a portable, lightweight functional orthosis (brace) that supports the arm and restores movement to a weakened arm as a result of neuromuscular damage - and we couldn’t have been more excited! Myomo was selected as StartHub’s Startup to Watch and was featured on the website. See the exclusive interview with Melissa and the company's CEO Paul Gudonis to learn more.
Myomo has been a part of our CIC Cambridge community for almost eight years! When we heard of their featured success, we had to stop by! Their company's mission is “to enable individuals to overcome their paralysis by providing innovative, myoelectric orthotics and support services” (source). Pascal Gangi, Electrical Engineer with Myomo and active CIC member, demoed the MyoPro and MyoPro 2 at the event. I actually had the opportunity to test out their latest models and see for myself the positive change they are doing for Boston. The MyoPro is the original model, which uses circular sensors that wrap around your bicep. When I demoed it, a simple flex in my muscle allowed the machine to lyft upward as if had lifted my arm. They also had the MyoPro 2, which uses new sensor technology that is square in size and provides a stronger sensory reaction. Learn more about their application process to get a MyoPro.
I also couldn’t help but stop by District Hall’s showcase table to learn more about Boston’s innovation community. District Hall is a non-for-profit meeting space, mission-driven civic center and public workspace located in the Seaport District that builds community and makes ideas happen. They provide space for parties, hackathons, award shows, you name it! Over the past year, they have donated over $1 million back to the innovation community and are continuously creating opportunities for people to share their story with programs that build community.
Community Engagement Coordinator, Alyssa Rubin & Program Manager, Sarah deSimas recently launched a “Pop Up” demo series for local startups, artists and innovators to showcase their businesses and discuss their mission. It is a great offering for those who are just starting out and are looking to spread the word in exhibit type setting.
We’re already ready for next year’s festival!
So, how can my company be considered to be included in the next Courtyard Festival or startup-focused event in Boston? One option is to create a profile on the StartHub website for a chance to become a StartHub Startup to Watch, which gives recognition for contributing to the continued growth of startup ecosystem in the community. If you are selected, your company gets a tweet from the Mayor of Boston, as well as invitations to participate in events around the city. To stay updated on events pertaining to the startup community, sign up for their newsletter! You can also submit your event to display on the site while seeing what other startups are hosting in Boston under Events. For example, MassChallenge, who was also selected to participate at the event, will host a showcase of their own! Save the date for the MassChallenge Startup Showcase 2017, which will feature 128 startups participating in the MassChallenge accelerator in an exposition setting, on June 28th.
If you are interested in participating in District Hall’s next Pop Up or looking to get involved, check out their FAQ and reach out! For upcoming events, take a look at their public calendar or sign up for their newsletter. To host your next event at District Hall, fill out this form.
Lastly, be sure to check out the Events held by the City of Boston. This month the city is hosting an Employee Ownership Workshop: Making Business Better presented by Mayor Marty J. Walsh, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Women Entrepreneurs Boston, and the Roxbury Innovation Center on June 22nd.
Congratulations to all keynote speakers and startups in the showcase!