Innovation Economy

120 stories
Craigslist killer?
New mobile startup Classy wants to facilitate campus commerce
(Photo by Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
The startup factory Blade is unveiling its first project today: an iPhone app called Classy that wants to supplant Craigslist and Facebook as the dominant way of buying and selling things on college campuses. Just in time for the mass migration back to Boston this month... Read More
Worth watching
Five promising startups from the Harvard Innovation Lab's Demo Day
Divya Dhar of Seratis, a startup developing a new communication tool for healthcare providers. Photo by Scott Kirsner / Beta Boston.
The Harvard Innovation Lab in Allston has been home to 84 startups run by students and recent grads this summer; they call it the Venture Incubation Program. And ten of the companies that have been making the most progress (while the rest of us have been working on our tans) gave short demos yesterday afternoon. These were the five that struck me as worth having on your radar screen... Read More
Gray day for plane-sharing
FAA letter may keep aviation startups like AirPooler grounded
Photo of Hanscom Field by Joanne Rathe / Globe Staff.
Cambridge-based AirPooler isn't exactly "Uber for private planes." But it is a way for private pilots to offer extra seats on their trips to people who'd like to tag along and share some of the expenses. (I wrote about the startup's launch in April, and in June it won entrance to the MassChallenge entrepreneurial program.) Trouble is, the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't seem to love the notion. Read More
Betaspring seeks backers
Providence accelerator Betaspring takes a break, focuses on raising new fund
Betaspring co-founder and managing partner Allan Tear. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston)
Betaspring is taking a breather. The Providence-based accelerator graduated its most recent class of seven startups in June, but doesn't plan to start a new cycle until next spring. Between now and then, they'll need to raise a new pool of capital, and Betaspring managing partner Allan Tear tells me that he's not expecting to get any support from public sources, which have provided substantial backing for Betaspring in the past. Read More
When the Sox are away...
VerbalCare emerges victorious from Fenway Park pitch competition
Screenshots from VerbalCare's product.
Boston startup VerbalCare left Fenway Park $15,000 richer tonight, after winning the "Fast Pitch" competition put on by WeWork, which operates a network of shared office spaces. The competition pitted three Boston teams against three from New York, and asked audience members to vote on the idea they liked best, so there may have been just a wee bit of a home field advantage. VerbalCare makes a tablet app to help patients at hospitals communicate with caregivers, and give administrators better insight into the patient's experience. The company has been conducting a pilot at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton. I covered VerbalCare earlier this year; and in 2013 they were guests on an episode of The Entrepreneurs Grill.
Quibble over the quadrant
NetScout Systems sues research firm Gartner, alleging pay-to-play coverage
netscoutsystems
If you've ever had a less-than-pleasant interaction with a tech market research firm, here's some enjoyable summer reading for you: a lawsuit filed yesterday by publicly-held NetScout Systems of Westford against Gartner, Inc., one of the most established of the firms that track technology offerings. Read More
Community combination
The Capital Network adopts Greenhorn Connect, student-focused networking organization
Greenhorn founder Jason Evanish with Samantha Hammar, executive director of The Capital Network.
A non-profit that helps entrepreneurs learn how to raise money is absorbing Greenhorn Connect, an organization founded five years ago to help students and recent grads connect with the local startup scene. The merger was just finalized this morning. The Capital Network will continue running several of Greenhorn's flagship events, like the career-oriented Greenhorn Summit and RamenCamp, and will also maintain Greenhorn's online calendar of networking events and workshops. Read More
Sizzle vs. science
Is Bose up to a challenge from Apple?
Bose and Beats headphones on the shelves of the Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston.

When Apple announces it is entering your business, it’s a bad day for any executive.

For Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corp., the largest consumer electronics company in Massachusetts, that day came on May 28. Apple said it would pay $3 billion to acquire Beats Electronics, a maker of headphones, speakers, and a music streaming service headquartered near Los Angeles.

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The long and winding road
Lilliputian Systems, MIT spin-out that raised $150 million, runs out of fuel
Former Lilliputian employees Mouli Ramani and Souren Lefian in the company's lab in 2011. Photo by Scott Kirsner for BetaBoston.
One of Boston's best-capitalized — and oldest — startups has run out of fuel thirteen years after it was founded. Lilliputian Systems, which had been developing a $300 system called Nectar that used butane to charge up portable electronics, has been selling off equipment and intellectual property, and plans to vacate its Wilmington office by September, CEO Sohail Khan tells me. That is after about $150 million of investment from venture capital firms that included Kleiner Perkins, Atlas Venture, Fairhaven Capital Partners, Stata Venture Partners, RockPort Capital, and Intel Capital. Intel had hoped to produce components of the Lilliputian system at its microchip factory in Hudson, which is being shuttered this year. Read More
IPO implications?
HubSpot's head of product and VP of engineering will depart in September
HubSpot chief product officer David Cancel, in one of the Cambridge company's conference rooms. Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston.
Big news being announced this afternoon at HubSpot, the digital marketing startup widely regarded to be on the verge of an initial public offering: David Cancel, the Cambridge company's chief product officer, plans to leave in September, along with Elias Torres, an engineering vice president. The duo joined HubSpot in 2011, when HubSpot paid $20 million for their 20-person startup, Performable, in its biggest acquisition to date. Read More
Circling the block
Can mobile apps help make parking in Boston less miserable?
parking1
I’m an optimist, and so despite almost 15 years of searching for parking, getting ticketed, and being towed in Boston, I still believe that something will eventually mitigate the misery. Several new mobile apps promise to do that. So I loaded them on my iPhone this month and set out in search of parking. Read More
Keeping score
Do you believe Massachusetts tech is major league?
littleleague
I have started to worry that instead of being in the press box for a Major League Baseball game, all of us who observe and cover the Boston tech scene are instead sitting in the aluminum bleachers of a Little League match that will end with a 24-19 score, and all of the players getting a trophy. Read More