Venture Hits the Heights
Not just football rivalries, now alums can compete through venture funding
Photo via WINSLOW TOWNSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Today, the Maroon & Gold Fund, an "affinity fund" being run through Launch Angels was announced. The fund looks to raise up to $2 million from Boston College alumni and use that money to invest in 12 to 15 early stage BC-founded startups. While the new fund will help propel BC—which has already produced some recent startup success stories such as Jebbit, NBD Nano—it also presents a new battleground for ultra-competitive college alumni to fight for bragging rights. Read More
Another Trip?
eBay to spin off PayPal...Will it work? Look to TripAdvisor
Photo of PayPal's Boston office via PayPal
News comes in today from all quarters that eBay will spin off PayPal, which it acquired in 2012, as its own public company, sometime late in 2015. While the news raises some questions, and answers a few others, the move could breathe fresh life into Paypal which is competing with Apple, Stripe, Square, and others in the mobile payments space. Read More
Special space for Crimson startups
First look: Harvard's new Launch Lab, a home for alumni startups
Harvard-affiliated startups began moving into the university's new Launch Lab this month.
Just three years after Harvard University opened its Innovation Lab, a space for students to develop startup ideas, there's a new annex for alumni businesses located right across the street. The Launch Lab is intended to support not only recent grads who may be growing companies they started when they were students, but also alumni several years out who are working on new ventures. Both the Launch Lab and the Innovation Lab are in the former WGBH television complex on Western Avenue in Allston. I stopped by earlier this month to have a look... Read More
Who's Next on Beacon Hill?
Soooo...neither candidate for governor seems to know much about technology
Photo of Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker spoke at a forum in Microsoft’s Cambridge office. DINA RUDICK/GLOBE STAFF
From Cal Borchers piece in The Boston Globe:
Charlie Baker talked about his “favorite” collaboration between Harvard and MIT — but couldn’t name it. Martha Coakley thought describing a high-tech innovation as “disruptive” was a bad thing, even though startups wear the label like a badge of honor. Both major-party candidates for Massachusetts governor were clearly out of their element Monday before an audience of about 150 tech workers during a forum at Microsoft’s Cambridge office.
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Happy Coffee Day!
Home to revolutionaries and innovators, Beantown has a long history with coffee
Photo via The Boston Globe
Coffee has powered all kinds of change-makers in Boston. In 1676 a man named John Sparry got authorization to open the first coffee shop in the New World. In the 1700s, activists nursed plans for revolution in the Green Dragon, a coffee shop in Boston's North End. Today, cafes lining the streets of the Seaport and Kendall Square host innovators plotting a different kind of change. Read More
sick review
Yelp reviews and Twitter can track food poisoning sources, Harvard study finds
(Shutterstock)
On New Year’s Day in 2010, a group of three friends in Worcester visited a popular pizzeria for lunch. But by the next morning, all three regretted that trip. “Today, I woke up deathly ill, and proceeded to kick off 2010 by vomiting,” one member of the group wrote on Yelp on Jan. 2. “The three of us had different items—not sure what took us all down—but we suspect Zorba's as we all went our separate ways and are all deathly ill today.” Posts like that, it turns out, can prove quite valuable to health officials. Read More
Hip to be square
InsightSquared is so quiet, you wouldn't know they might be Boston's next big tech company
InsightSquared chief executive Fred Shilmover
Cambridge's InsightSquared is one of those companies that is often discussed as the next potential HubSpot or DataXu. I.e., a Boston startup that develops from a small, early-stage startup, to a "where-did-they-come-from" growth company, to a business that generates buzz, is pointed to as a model for others to follow, and whose name starts getting bandied about as a possible IPO candidate. Read More
Upward momentum
Superpedestrian gets $4 million for Copenhagen Wheel, which turns bikes into hybrids
superpedestrian

MIT spinout Superpedestrian has added $4 million, including investments from actor Jared Leto and General Catalyst Partners, to produce its wheel that converts bicycles into electric-hybrids for easier hill-climbing and long-distance rides.

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Make it in Mass.?
Can manufacturing in Massachusetts go viral?
Eric Hold works on the electrical boards of a mass spectrometer at 908 Devices in South Boston. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)

“What we need are manufacturing jobs, not stupid social apps.”

That was a comment appended to a column I wrote in August about two app start-ups in Boston, and I thought it raised a good question: Who is creating those new manufacturing jobs? If you want to weld, rivet, or stamp for a living, rather than code and upload, where will you work?

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