There was laughter. That's a good sign these days.
On June 24th, Xconomy had it's much needed day-long event at my alma Boston University - XSITE, the Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship - and there was laughter. Some of it nervous reaction to current economic stagnation; but mostly because of relief from sharing great business successes and opportunities. B.U. President Bob Brown set the stage with a neighborhood history lesson on entrepreneurship.
Keynoter Juan Enriquez’s message (see his videos at TED) could be summarized in three headlines:
- The economy is in trouble
- Boston is the center of the universe
- You ain’t seen nothing yet.
My favorite line of the day goes to Noubar Afeyan, managing partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures - he said that during these days of "extreme uncertainty" every company needs the Entrepreneurial Spirit where you constantly innovate and adapt for better solutions... while staying efficient and lean. (this happens to be my business model).
For a Venture Capital update, check out Editor-in-Chief Bob Buderi's coverage. There is less laughter on the VC front lines.
The CleanTech session was full of energy but the challenge is navigating government regulation. Moderator Rob Day, president of the Renewable Energy Business Network, did a great job of keeping the conversation focused on what drives this sector's business success. He admitted that VCs aren't blinded by the good but practical revenue projections. More laughter when he said, “It’s not Web 2.0, you have to actually make something.”
Show stealer Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation took his time to nail his past/present/future solutions to the world's major problems. Here is a good overview by MassDevice. His water filtration unit is magic. High School robotic team (USFirst.org) competitions are fantastic - watch for the 2010 event at B.U. next Spring!
For more event coverage, check out Ryan McBride's superior take here.
Lastly, the XSITE Xpo was Xcellent (crowd voting controlers were fun-ish) - See a roundup of a dozen of the hottest young companies sure to lead the way through the recovery!