Innovation Economy

140 stories
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
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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?
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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?
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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
An app for VIP access
Tablelist collects $1.5 million, with visions of becoming the OpenTable of after dark
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In his prior life as an real estate broker for international students in Boston, Julian Jung went to a lot of nightclubs and saw a lot of bottles of high-end liquor ordered. Jung says he has witnessed upwards of $15,000 spent in a single night in Boston, and has seen epic $50,000 evenings in New York. Read More
Eve's distant cousin?
Robot startup Jibo unveils a multi-purpose 'social bot' for the home
Jibo founder Cynthia Breazeal and software architect Jonathan Ross with a Jibo prototype. Photo by Scott Kirsner/BetaBoston.
Roomba hunts dust bunnies. Autom helps you shed pounds. But Jibo wants to be the first multi-purpose robot for your home — a countertop assistant that can snap family photos, remind you of the day's schedule, relay messages, entertain children with interactive stories, and facilitate videoconferences. The $499 product is being unveiled today, but won't be available until late in 2015. Read More
Have we got a deal for you...
Coming soon: Two more apps that will serve up location-specific offers
Screenshot from Epoque's website.
How many times have you heard this scenario pitched: You're walking down Newbury Street looking for lunch, when suddenly your phone chimes with a geographically-relevant offer. If you go just one block down, you can get 25 percent off lunch at a new French bistro (your favorite cuisine!) Read More