Entrepreneurs Make it Sizzle

In business there are few things as exciting as hearing about a new idea. Particularly if that new idea solves a problem or enhances the way we live.

It is no secret that today’s technology has helped us achieve unprecedented innovation; new ideas bring tangible rewards for business, consumers and the welfare of our economy. And today, so much innovation is based on the opportunities we see right at the intersection of hardware and powerful broadband networks.

So it was especially exciting to participate in this month’s Verizon FiOS and MIT Enterprise Forum meet-up, which brought together more than 250 entrepreneurs to discuss and present their ideas to a community of technologists and venture capitalists.

Walking into the event at the super-hip Hotel Yotel, I was immediately struck by how busy and energized the crowd was.  I overheard at least 9 “napkin pitches” from entrepreneurs ranging across a wide spectrum of industries, from healthcare, to the connected home, to hospitality and entertainment.

My highlight was KISI, a start-up that was launching a simple device to allow us to use our smartphones as keys to our house and apartments. Imagine that? Pretty soon the car keys, the house keys, along with currency for any and all transactions, will reside on our mobile devices. (Although I am not yet ready to give up my purse, it sounds like it could be much lighter in the future!)

Following brief welcome remarks from the hosts, attendees were treated to wise words from New York City’s Chief Information and Innovation Officer, Mr. Rahul Merchant, who encouraged everyone to “let your imaginations run wild.” This, as he oversees the successful deployment of high-speed Internet across every neighborhood of the City.

It was also a special treat to meet some of the many people I know on Twitter, including some awesome innovators who attended a Twitter event to coincide with the first Verizon FiOS/MIT meet-up, which took place in Massachusetts in April.

This is remindful of the importance of real life connections which no matter how exciting social platforms become, will never be replaced.