The idea of a program discovering, supporting and publicizing Innovation in our region began in the late 1970’s with Robert J. Crowley, a prominent advocate of entrepreneurship, prolific supporter of innovation, and one of the most experienced venture capitalists in technology start-ups at the time. Bob was convinced that economic prosperity and well-being of a region is, and will always be, directly tied to Innovation. His distinguished and fundamental presence in the forward-thinking business environment of the time (he served as Chairman and CEO of MTDC -now MassVentures-, Chairman of the Smaller Business Association of New England or SBANE -later New England Business Association-, and Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum), offered him intimate knowledge of the area’s cutting-edge technologies, processes and services, and thus, the ability to invite worthy organizations to compete.
In 1986, he organized an “Evening of Innovation” as a kick-off event to a Trade Show event he was putting together; the event served as a recognition platform of small- and medium-sized trail-blazers and avant-garde problem solvers. Ben & Jerry’s and Staples were two of the evening’s Innovation Winners. Many of the start-ups that won an Innovation Award through the years are now household names, industry leading giants like Genzyme, Vistaprint, HubSpot, iRobot, zipcar Keurig, Nantucket Nectars, Carbonite, E-Ink, MassChallenge, Nantucket Nectars, Tom's of Maine, and so many more...
As the case is with small ventures more often than not, the program had some growing to do, and growing pains were part of its maturing process. Today, 35 years later, with the support and directional guidance of Kelly Crowley-McInnis, the late Mr. Crowley's daughter and a seasoned innovator in her own right, the Massachusetts Innovation Network (MassInnoV), a small, for-purpose non-profit organization continues his legacy and inspirational vision, to support and assist small- and medium-sized innovators grow and thrive.
Our Mission is to Recognize, Support and Publicize Innovation in the New England Region, and help enable small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups do what they do best: Improve Lives.