I'm an unabashed promoter of the Web Innovators Group gatherings — especially to folks who are new to Boston, and even more especially to folks who've been here for eons but believe that we as a community don't know how to network. Just go to WebInno.
The free event brings nearly one thousand people to the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, to see three start-ups show off their products on-stage (the "main dishes"), and another six demo what they've built in a smaller room (the "side dishes.") Monday's event will feature DoInk, a site that aims to make animation as easy as creating a YouTube video; Milabra, an MIT spin-out that can analyze images on Web pages, in part to place relevant ads on those pages; and my favorite, Manpacks, a start-up based in Everglades City, Florida. Manpacks, "an automatic service for busy men," is like Netflix for underwear. You select a subscription level, and they send you a set of underwear, socks, and undershirts every three months. (Unlike Netflix, though, they don't want the goods back once you've used them.) Pay $24, and you get two sets of each, for instance. And it's up to you whether you get boxers or briefs, athletic socks or dress socks.
David Beisel, the Web Innovators Group founder who is planning to leave Venrock soon to form a new early-stage investment group, says that WebInno will go on. Beisel owns the event himself, separate from the venture firms he has worked for (Venrock, and prior to that, Masthead Venture Partners.) The events have had pretty steady sponsorship from law firms, banks, and tech biggies like Microsoft, Beisel says, adding in an e-mail, "WebInno is more than sufficiently well-funded to continue holding the events into the future," presumably with sponsorship from his new, as-yet-unnamed firm. (Beisel isn't officially confirming his plans to depart from Venrock now, or the timing.)
Miss this Monday's WebInno, and the next one doesn't roll around until September 13th.
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About Scott Kirsner Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
May 16 & 17: Convergence Forum on Life Sciences
Speakers from Bristol-Myers, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Biogen Idec talk about the next ten years of the biopharma business. Plus, journalist David Ewing Duncan on radical life extension. (I'm hosting.)
May 22: MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
Chief information officers from Guess, Haemonetics, Intel and other companies talk discuss "architecting the enterprise of the future."
June 25: TEDxBoston
The oldest and biggest of the locally-organized TED events is back, at the Seaport World Trade Center. Tickets are free, but tough to get. Also streams on the web and airs on WBUR.