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Robert J. Crowley

Inception by Way of Forward-Thinking

The idea of a program discovering, supporting and nurturing Innovation in the Bay State 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, and Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum), offered him intimate knowledge of the area’s cutting-edge technologies and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. 

Celebrating the First "Evening of Innovation"


© 2013 - The Boston Globe

In 1986, he organized an “Evening of Innovation” as a kick-off event to a Trade Show he was organizing; 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...


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An Innovation-Boosting Program: The Eddies


Today, 38 years later, the evening of innovation has evolved into The Eddies a 7-month innovation-boosting program, that provides individualized one-to-one mentoring, strategic guidance, entrepreneurial education, and connections to resources to help boost the commercialization efforts of early-stage start-ups. Although still an innovation competition, the Eddies' true benefits are found on the journey, not just the destination.


Extending our 38-year-old network and insights, the benefits of The Eddies to startups now also joins the area's ecosystem from abroad. The Global Eddies is a 3-month soft-land/launch program connecting incoming innovators to the local ecosystem, and providing them with knowledge tips they need to make their landing smoother. 

"Such a fantastic program offered, at no cost to entrepreneurs with invaluable resources, networking and mentoring!"

Ray Hamilton

Co-Founder & CTO of InvisaWear

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