One of the more old-fashioned aspects of staying in a hotel is having to pull a leather binder out of a drawer and then pick up a 1980s-era phone to order room service, arrange a wake-up call, or set up a spa appointment. A Cambridge start-up, MobileSuites, wants to upgrade that part of the guest experience, letting you use your smartphone to explore the amenities and interact with the staff. After piloting the app with three hotels last year, MobileSuites says the iPhone app can now be used at about 700 hotels around the United States, including chains like Hilton, Westin, and Marriott.
Read MoreCheck it outBoston library projects land $700,000 from Knight Foundation to teach public about privacy and city data
On Friday, The Knight Foundation awarded over $700,000 in grants to two Boston-based organizations that are using libraries to educate the public about digital privacy tools and share information about public data. Read More
I caught up with Isaiah Kacyvenski Thursday evening just after he'd arrived in Phoenix for this Sunday's Super Bowl. Kacyvenski told me he'd put in a pretty full week at the Cambridge-based electronics startup MC10 — interrupted by the blizzard, of course — before heading west. Nine years ago, when he traveled to the Big Game in Detroit, it was as a starting linebacker and special teams captain for the Seattle Seahawks.
Kacyvenski, a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School, is the only Super Bowl veteran I've ever met who's part of the Boston startup scene. When he was drafted by the Seahawks in 2000, he became the highest NFL draft pick in Harvard's history, and his career lasted until 2008, when injuries forced him to retire. He's now a business development executive at MC10, which develops flexible electronics. I asked Kacyvenski a few questions before he headed to the NFL Players Association party last night.
Read Morethe perfect spaceSpaceFinder launches in Massachusetts to help artists find unconventional venues
Gregorian Oriental Rugs opens at 10 a.m. every weekday, and with wood floors and high ceilings, this converted paper mill in Newton is an airy showroom for antique Turkish flat-weaves, Ikats from India, and countless other intricate, handmade imports from the Far East and Middle East. Some evenings, however, the expensive carpets and rugs are folded, stacked, and put aside, and the store is transformed into an intimate performance venue for local artists. Read MoreClosets for HappinessFashion Project announces $7.2 million in funding
With a show of confidence from the fashion and retail industries, Fashion Project, a website that resells donated high-fashion clothing and shares the proceeds with charity organizations, announced today that it has raised $7.2 million in funding. Read More
A collaboration between the Startup Institute and Yelp may seems like an odd pairing — but it could prove to be partnership worthy of five stars.
The online business-review giant has decided to provide partial scholarships for the Startup Institute's eight week business development courses. The scholarships will be based on financial need, with applicable students in need of assistance referred to the program. Read MoreA worthy new nameAfter a successful 2014, student services company SimpleTuition rebrands as Valore
Techstars Ventures, based in Boulder, recently announced it raised $150 million for its third fund, which it will use to invest in companies that are part the Techstars ecosystem, but beyond the seed stage. According to Techstars co-founder David Cohen, that community of potential portfolio companies includes Techstars graduates, companies founded by Techstars alums, and those started by entrepreneurs who have served as mentors for the program. Read More
Perhaps you've been cooped up in the house for the past 24 hours and are going stir crazy. Or maybe you're back at work, and your body is still aching from shoveling. Either way a vacation probably sounds like a good idea right now.
So it's more than convenient that Cambridge-based Hopper, a company that collects data on airlines and flight costs to find customers the best deals, launched a mobile app in the Apple iOS App Store today that will send users notifications when the cheapest flights are available for the destinations they're hoping to travel to.
Read MoreThe blizzard through the eyes of Boston's best Instagrammers
Brian Thopsey acknowledges that when it comes to online equity investing — investors backing startups through sites like AngelList and Crowdfunder — the data are still messy. And we haven't yet see the floodgates open, with Regular Joes putting a few grand here and there into fledgling businesses in exchange for shares of stock. That, Thopsey says, won't happen until early 2016. But he's already working to build a company, Fund Wisdom, that will gather data about what's happening on these new sites.
Read MoreAn alternative to shovelingPlowz and Mowz, the Uber of snowplows, has 225 trucks ready to shovel your driveway
Looking for a way to get your driveway cleared that doesn't wreck your back? There's an app for that.
With winter storm Juno slamming the city over the past 24 hours, the Syracuse-based startup Plowz and Mowz has been put to the test. The on-demand plowing service has been dubbed the “Uber of snowplows,” and launched in Boston this fall (the also offer lawn mowing in the warmer months). Co-founder William Mahoney said that this bout of weather has been their biggest effort yet, and he expects to service over 2,500 customers over the course of the storm.