Innovation Economy

125 stories
A sensor you can swallow
Google's quiet partner on cancer-detection project: Mass.-based Entrega
Entrega board members Robert Langer, Jonathan Behr, and Colin Gardner. (Globe Photo / Jim Davis.)
Earlier in the week, Google took the wraps off an intriguing project that is part of its secretive Google X skunkworks: a magnetic nanoparticle that would travel through the bloodstream searching for early signs of cancer. But what Google executive Andrew Conrad didn't mention is that a Boston-area startup, Entrega Inc., is working with his company to actually deliver the nanoparticles, using a novel kind of pill. Read More
Looking back
How Menino made the Innovation District happen
menino
The first time I ever saw Mayor Thomas Menino in person was 1997. I went over to what was then the Computer Museum — now it's part of the Boston Children's Museum — for an event that was promoting the neighborhood as Boston's Cyber District. Web design shops and Internet consultancies were starting to fill the old brick warehouses of Fort Point Channel. "I want this city to grow and show its technology leadership," the Mayor said at that event. "We need to continually educate people about what's going on here." Read More
Who got bought?
LogMeIn acquired a Calif. mystery startup to improve its collaboration product
(Globe photo / Essdras M. Suarez)
LogMeIn is staying mum on one of its most recent acquisitions. In September, the Boston-based software-as-a-service company paid $15 million for Meldium, which makes it simpler to sign on to web-based services. But it paid $6 million for another San Francisco startup, according to its latest quarterly report. It only describes this second acquisition, which also took place in early September, as involving a "collaboration software provider." Read More
Adding clinical expertise
Merck veteran signs on with Clarus Ventures, Cambridge healthcare investment firm
Employees of Clarus Ventures, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm.
After departing pharmaceutical giant Merck in June, Barry Gertz is signing on with Clarus Ventures of Cambridge. Gertz had most recently served as Merck's head of global clinical development, overseeing research and development of more than 25 products. Clarus invests in startups creating new drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices. Read More
Innovation Economy
5 things the next Massachusetts governor should do for innovation economy
Kamil Peters of Kamil Peters Metal Sculpture at work in the Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke. (Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe)

HOLYOKE -- Like Dorothy stepping through the front door after crash-landing in Oz, I knew I wasn’t in Boston anymore.

Boston’s Innovation District is pricey. Construction cranes are everywhere, parking is scarce, and lunch options plentiful. Here in Holyoke’s newly-christened Innovation District, there are beautiful brick mill buildings, cheap hydroelectric power, and a new walkway alongside the canals — but almost no people.

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Superconnector
Meet the woman who connects MIT's software smarties with their futures
MIT administrator Anne Hunter (center) in 2012, with MIT students Irena Huang (left) and Elaina Chai (right.)  Photo by Patricia Sampson, MIT.
Over the past decade and a half, I've heard MIT students and grads regularly mention something called the "Anne Hunter list" — sometimes referred to more generically as "the jobs list." It's how they land jobs at Google and Dropbox, or at startups that will become the next Google or Dropbox. It's also how they score free pizza and t-shirts at company recruiting events on campus. So I started to wonder: exactly who was this Anne Hunter? Read More
A big data supergroup
Netezza veterans reunite for Cazena, focused on shifting data warehouses to the cloud
Cazena CEO Prat Moghe, previously a senior vice president of Netezza, a data warehousing company acquired by IBM. Courtesy of Cazena.
A Waltham startup is coming out of stealth mode today, with $8 million in funding. Cazena reunites several veterans of Netezza, a data warehousing startup that went public and then was acquired by IBM for $1.7 billion four years ago. The deal is unusual in that it's the first time California-based Andreessen Horowitz — the venture capital firm co-founded by the fellow who brought you the Netscape browser — has participated in a Series A round of funding for a startup here in Massachusetts. Andreessen Horowitz is investing alongside North Bridge Venture Partners, the Waltham VC firm. Read More
A 'respawning' year?
Chalking up latest wins and losses in the local videogame scene
Image from the forthcoming game The Flame in the Flood, from the Cambridge game development studio The Molasses Flood.
2014 has been a turbulent year for the Boston-area videogame industry, from the shut-down of BioShock-maker Irrational Games in February to this week's layoffs at Turbine, a division of Warner Bros. that creates games like Lord of the Rings Online. Another big hometown studio, Cambridge-based Harmonix Music Systems, named a new CEO and laid off about 37 people in May. Adding a bit more news to the mix... Read More
Techstars grad makes good
Getting from A to B: EverTrue CEO Brent Grinna on what it takes
From left: Brian Goldsmith of Bain Capital Ventures, co-founder
Eric Carlstrom (back row, white shirt), CFO Niall Hawkins, COO
Elisabeth Carpenter, CEO
Brent Grinna, VP of Product
Matt Sly, and
Mike Krupka of Bain Capital Ventures.
EverTrue, a startup that helps universities and prep schools connect with and raise money from alums, is announcing that it has raised some more cash of its own today. Bain Capital Ventures is leading an $8 million round of funding for the Boston company. That brings the total amount EverTrue has raised to $14.5 million. I asked founder and CEO Brent Grinna about what he thought were the keys to getting from its first major round of funding (often known as a Series A round) in March of 2013 to this second round (the B round) just about 18 months later. Read More
Regulators examining 'Uber for manicures'
Office manicure startup Manicube under scrutiny from Mass. regulators
Photo courtesy Manicube.
Does it violate Massachusetts regulations to have your nails painted in an empty conference room at work? A startup that dispatches manicurists to offices in Boston, New York, and Chicago is attracting scrutiny from the Massachusetts board that licenses cosmetologists and nail salons. At issue: whether it's kosher for Manhattan-based Manicube to offer manicures outside of a licensed nail salon. This is the latest tussle between regulators and a startup taking a new approach to an established industry, similar to Uber in transportation or Airbnb in hospitality. Read More
Up on the roof
Is this the coolest "office" in Boston's Innovation District?
John Stoddard, "founding farmer" at Higher Ground Farm.
On a warm September morning, it's hard to imagine a better place to work that the rooftop above the Boston Design Center. There's a fantastic view of downtown through an archway, the harbor is sparkling, and a cruise ship is parked at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal next door. And at Higher Ground Farm, their casual Friday dress code likely differs a bit from casual Friday at your office... Read More
New gig for Grace
Executive shuffle at Objective Logistics and Rekindle
Phil Beauregard and Matt Grace, co-founders of the Boston startups Objective Logistics and Rekindle. (Photo by Joanne Rathe / Globe Staff)
I wrote last month about parallel entrepreneurship: founders who are involved with more than one startup at a time. One of the examples was the team of Phil Beauregard and Matt Grace, who started the restaurant management software company Objective Logistics in 2009, and the social app Rekindle this year. Read More