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...
Today, 36 years later, the Massachusetts Innovation Network (MassInnoV), a 501 (c)(6) non-profit organization, continues Mr. Crowley's 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, and help enable small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups do what they do best: Improve Lives.