Region Stages First Innovation Fest
SPRINGFIELD — Valley Venture Mentors staged its inaugural Innovation Fest on June 12, an event designed to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation and inspire more of both. And one company involved in VVM’s Accelerator program was celebrating more than anyone else.
Indeed, AutoDrop3D, a company based in New London, Conn. that has created an automated ejection system for 3D printers, took home the top prize, $10,000, awarded to this year’s Accelerator companies for further development of their ventures.
The other five finalists were: Thimble.io, an online academy that teaches robotics and coding through virtual courses and hands-on kits, which won $5,000; the Everywhere Office, which helps companies implement and manage their flexible and remote space ($5,000); Vector Health, which engages with patients post-clinic to promote treatment and appointment adherence ($2,500); and Vivifi, a company that helps individuals capture personal memories ($2,500).
The awarding of the large, ceremonial checks to those winners was perhaps the highlight of the day, but there were many of those. The Innovation Fest, modeled after similar events in Boston, Denver, and other cities, featured a number of seminars and talks, remarks from a host of speakers, a tour of the Fresh Paint mural art downtown, and hundreds of the collisions that such events are designed to create. More than 150 people registered to attend the festival.
Seminar topics ranged from “How to Revive Main Street” to “How to Bootstrap the Bejeezus Out of Your Startup” to “Future Forward: Live Better with Innovation in Healthcare.”