Innovation Economy

142 stories
Speak softly...
Apple is growing the Cambridge research team focused on improving Siri speech recognition
The low-key entrance to Apple's current office in Kendall Square. (Photo by Scott Kirsner/ BetaBoston)
On the eve of its next big product announcement, Apple is expanding its super-secret research office in Kendall Square. Several commercial realtors tell me that the Cupertino company has leased more than half a floor at One Broadway, an MIT-owned building that also houses Facebook's small local team, several venture capital firms, and the Cambridge Innovation Center. The new office, about 13,000 square feet on one of the building's upper floors, is a major expansion for Apple, which currently has a small team on the building's fifth floor. Read More
Parallel entrepreneurs
One is not enough: Let's start two
Phil Beauregard (left) listens as partner Matt Grace makes a presentation to team members at Objective Logistics, one of two companies Beauregard and Grace have founded together. (Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)
Sitting behind the computer monitor on Phil Beauregard’s cluttered desk at a startup called Objective Logistics is a hardcover book published in 2011: the authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Jobs managed to pull off something that is rarer in the business world than a no-hitter is in baseball. For about a decade after his return to Apple in 1997, Jobs ran two successful public companies, Apple and Pixar, simultaneously. Read More
Construction report
Inside CIC's shared digs in Downtown Crossing, still under construction
CIC managing directors Brian Dacey and Stas Gayshan, in the new Downtown Crossing location.
CIC — formerly known as the Cambridge Innovation Center — began opening its Boston outpost back in May. But construction on the shared office space in Downtown Crossing is only about half done. Two floors are occupied, with another two slated to open starting in October. The space at 50 Milk Street was formerly occupied by Brown Brothers Harriman, a private bank. Read More
New founder on campus
MIT taps Inkling co-founder Josh Forman as newest entrepreneur-in-residence
Inkling co-founder Josh Forman, MIT's newest entrepreneur-in-residence.
The Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT has a new entrepreneur-in-residence for this academic year: Harvard alum Josh Forman, who has worked at Microsoft and the high school social network Sconex. Forman was also a co-founder of Inkling, an e-book publishing startup that was on Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" list this year and has raised about $55 million in venture capital. Read More
Celtics CEO joins $35 million funding round for ticket search engine SeatGeek
Wyc Grousbeck, Bob Higgins, and Mark Wan of Causeway Media Partners. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Silicon Valley's Accel Partners and Cambridge-based Causeway Media Partners are among the investors pumping $35 million into SeatGeek, a search engine for tickets to sporting events, concerts, and other live events. Similar to the way Kayak.com scours the web for airfares and hotel rates, SeatGeek does the same across multiple ticketing sites like StubHub and Broadway.com. Also putting money into the Manhattan-based startup are the rapper Nas, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, and NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning. Read More
Upgrading your weekend
WiGo aspires to be the app that coordinates social life on campus
WiGo founder and CEO Ben Kaplan, left, with co-founder and CTO Giuliano Giacaglia. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston.)
It's one of the enduring questions of campus life: What's everyone doing tonight? An app born on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester, WiGo, wants to provide a visual answer, showing you photos of friends who plan to go out, and letting you "tap" others you'd like to encourage to come along. Read More
Market forces
Beyond Pricing will help Boston Airbnb hosts adjust rates based on demand
Airbnb host Jen Lawrence rents a pull-out couch in the living room of her Somerville home. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
If you've ever tried to book a flight during February's school vacation weeks, or a hotel in Arizona in August, you've seen demand-based pricing in action. In some cities, even parking meters adjust their prices based on how many spots are left on a block. Now a San Francisco startup, Beyond Pricing, is bringing demand-based pricing to people who rent out their homes — or just spare rooms — through Airbnb. The free service adjusts the price of a condo in the North End or a spare bedroom in Back Bay up or down, based on how much demand exists on each specific night of the year. Read More
Boston's biggest businesses
In education and health care, the future is about cost and access
Image licensed from Shutterstock
The future is not up and to the right. Yet if you look at two of Massachusetts’ biggest industries — health care and education — that’s the trajectory. Better quality, high pay, strong reputations, expensive new facilities, and breakthrough innovations mean you can charge more, more, more. Read More
The escalators are gone
First look: Filene's transformed into new office for communications firm Havas
Gone are the mannequins and automatic mark-downs. The new major tenant of the landmark Filene's building is Havas, the French advertising  & public relations company.
I must admit: even though Filene's closed almost ten years ago, I was a little sad to see the escalators, the stacks of sweaters, and the perfume-spritzers gone. But the Watertown architecture firm Sasaki Associates has kept a few traces of the department store that was once part of every Bostonian's life as it transformed the top four floors of the landmark Downtown Crossing building into offices for Havas. Havas is a French communications conglomerate that owns Boston ad agency Arnold Worldwide; Debi Kleiman, an executive vice president at Havas Media and former director of the trade group MITX, gave me an early look at the space last week. Read More
Tapping into Boston talent
Security startup Lookout will add Boston office after naming local exec CEO
Lookout chief executive Jim Dolce.
Interesting string of events for Lookout, a San Francisco startup that focuses on security for mobile devices... In March, the company named former Verivue and Akamai executive Jim Dolce as CEO. Last week, the company added $150 million in new funding. And in October, the company plans to open its first U.S. office outside of the Bay Area, in downtown Boston. Read More
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