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Posts Tagged ‘nordic technology group’

Over at Bill Littlefield’s Only a Game on WBUR radio, Karen Given recently provided the background on athletic banners made in New England. The radio show is entertaining for all sorts of listeners as it covers anything remotely related to sports.

“The sewing room at New England Flag and Banner is humming with activity,” says Given. “It’s been that way for a while now — the company’s been around since 1892. The current owner, Ned Flynn, has only been in charge since 2006. …

“Among the photos on Flynn’s wall is one of Fenway Park, adorned with red, white, and blue bunting to celebrate the return of baseball after World War II.”

After a mini tour, Given describes the banner-making process: “Staples temporarily hold together full sheets of brightly colored fabric — usually nylon. The paper is used as a stencil to mark the pattern, but the design isn’t cut out. At least not yet.

“Skilled sewers, some of whom have been working here for 30 years, deftly zigzag around the stenciled marks. And finally, the extra fabric is cut off by hand, layer by layer, revealing the design.

“ ‘It’s counterintuitive,’ Flynn said. ‘People think we sew letters on and sew logos on. It’s actually the opposite. What we do is sew the image on and then we cut everything around it off.’ ” More here.

I like to read about longtime businesses like this chugging along in New England. I also like reading about start-up businesses. With three entrepreneurs in the family — including Suzanne (Luna&Stella), Erik (Nordic Technology Group), and John (Optics for Hire) — I am pretty sure the local economy is going to be OK.

Photo: Karen Given/Only a Game

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Fun time at Mass Challenge!​

Mass Challenge is an incubator “accelerator” for entrepreneurial companies, perhaps the biggest worldwide. I’ve blogged about it before.

Of the 125 finalists in this year’s challenge, 48 gave one-minute pitches last night to an audience of about 200 friends, family, and investors at 1 Marina Park on the Boston waterfront.

Besides being entertaining, it was inspiring. So many people working hard on so many great ideas!

A couple noteworthy presentations were from MIT people. Helmet_Hub tapped the skills of MIT materials science students to create a helmet-vending machine. They have already partnered with the City of Boston’s Hubway, which lends bikes point to point. Another MIT-based organization, Global Research Innovation & Technology (GRIT), uses bicycle parts to make inexpensive wheelchairs for Third World patients. Very impressive. (More on GRIT here.)

I also wrote down that soundfest has a better kind of hearing aid. Prime Student Loan screens students so banks can make a safe loan even if graduates have no FICO score.

Wanderu was one of the few female-run companies. It does for ground travel what kayak and others do for air. Zoomtilt creates ads that are said to be so funny and entertaining, people actually want to watch them. Guided Surgery Solutions helps oral surgeons drill into the right place.

Roameo helps you find out what’s going on near where you are right now. Newartlove helps artists sell their work. Social Made Simple helps small businesses with social networking. (Check it out, Luna & Stella.) CellanyxDiagnostics has a more precise test for prostate cancer than the PSA.

I will likely follow up on a worthy-cause business called Bootstrap Compost. They teach you to compost, give you the bucket, pick it up, deliver it to farms, and give leftover compost to schools. You can have some, too. Bootstrap is very low-tech, doing most travel on bikes. It is proud of keeping tons of food scraps out of landfills.

I was also impressed at the Mass Challenge diversity — men, women (OK, not many women), old, young, scientists, artists, business types, different races, different nationalities, humorous, solemn.

No need to worry about the economy long term. Not with the joy of invention alive and well.

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