Kelly Culnan | 12.19.17 | Community Culture

2017 Highlights: Running on an Entrepreneurship Framework

  • community
  • Entrepreneurship
  • NC Triangle
  • Smashing Labs
  • tech

With a 7 year company anniversary and 19 new employees, Smashing Boxes has accomplished a lot in 2017. We have devoted much of the year to refining our focus, setting goals, and following through. As Smashing Boxes develops as a company, we’ve made an effort to maintain our roots, emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship within an agency. Our team members are self-starters and have pushed past new limits this year.

To reflect on these accomplishments, we’ve compiled some of the highlights.


Introducing our eBook


We kicked out 2017 by launching our very first eBook, “TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE SERVICES: DESIGN TOOLS FOR INNOVATION”. It’s a comprehensive guide to apply service design to healthcare challenges. We created this book as an aid for researchers, innovators, and anyone else with a passion for creating better health-related experiences for people. The best part? It’s free!



At Smashing Boxes, we care about our people. The last thing we want is for a developer working tirelessly on a coding problem to take a sip of yesterday’s luke-warm, bitter coffee. To prevent this misfortune, a Labs Group took the initiative of creating CoffeeBot. This device tracks our coffee’s information and alerts team members when a new pot is brewed. Now everyone on our team can enjoy fresh coffee!


mHealth @ Duke

This past April, we partnered with the Global Digital Health Science Center to celebrate the 5th year of mHealth @ Duke Conference and explore the lifecycle of digital health science. Industry, research, and design experts spoke on topics integral to the successful development of digital health solutions. And of course, we live-tweeted some of the most impactful messages for the folks who couldn’t make it!



Moogfest, a festival of technology, music, and art, has come to Durham every May for the past three years. This year, we partnered with Moogfest and hosted VIP Power Hour, an event to highlight the work created through Smashing Labs. We believe that ample time for innovation is vital to continually pushing our limits and implementing what we are learning in a meaningful way. The swag bags included parts to make your own programmable synthesizer, and our team posted a step-by-step guide on assembling these parts!


High School Internship Program with Made in Durham

We believe that developing our youth is imperative to the future of our community. With the help of Made in Durham, we worked with three high school students who created a landing page for a gaming company. They created the concept for the company, the designs, and the landing page with the support of development and design team. We even helped set them up with LinkedIn profiles and some essential networking skills to pitch their ideas. We’re excited to see these students continue to develop in the tech world!


HealthTech 2027

July brought the very first HealthTech2027, a Meetup conceptualized and hosted by our team to collaborate with leaders in healthcare and technology in the NC Triangle. So far, we have put on five events featuring discussions around how next-generation technologies will drastically change the design and delivery of healthcare over the next 10 years. We’ve had professionals from a variety of companies and backgrounds take part in HealthTech2027, as collaboration is the true focus of this event. In 2018, we are eager to explore new topics and formats, and continue to involve our partners and community members.

A short clip from our team on why HealthTech2027 is unique:



All Things Open

Smashing Boxes is a proud sponsor of ATO 2017, with 3212 attendees. Not only did we sponsor the event, our team was also heavily involved a number of aspects of All Things Open. Our development team designed and developed the official All Things Open Website. Our Director of Tech, Brandon Mathis, gave a Front-End Engineering talk on “Intro to GraphQL.” Our designer, Doug Ransdell, created the official logo for ATO as well as the T shirt. We also proudly sponsored 20 individuals to attend the event. Thank you, All Things Open, for allowing us the opportunity to be part of yet another awesome event! Save the date for next year!


Words from our CEO, Nick Jordan, on this year and looking ahead:

“This year was all about building a solid business infrastructure and refining our entrepreneurial framework. Looking ahead, throughout the next two years we’ll be working towards an important transformation from scrappy startup to a company that is built to last.”


We’d like to express our gratitude for our partners and clients. We wish you all a warm and happy holiday season. There are some exciting projects in store for 2018, and we can’t wait for you to see.

Have an idea for a project in 2018? Drop us a line.

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