Innovation Economy

100 stories
Lighting up less
Can Quitbit's smart lighter help you drop the habit?
quitbit
A startup called Quitbit is launching a crowdfunding campaign today for a $150 cigarette lighter — early purchasers can get one for $70 — that can count how many times you've used it today, and relay the data to your smartphone. Quitbit's app lets you set goals for how many cigarettes you'd like to allow yourself, and share how you're doing with a group of friends on Facebook or Twitter. Quitbit hopes to start shipping its product by the end of this year. Read More
Growing pains
Tech startups in the hinterlands cope with hiring challenges
Workers at Dyn's headquarters, in a former mill building in Manchester, New Hampshire.
How do you grow a tech company when you're headquartered far from the talent hub of Greater Boston? Companies in places like Manchester, N.H., and Woodstock, Vt., are facing that quandary, after they've scooped up all the software developers they can find in those markets. Read More
Scenes from another century
Are we on the bubble?
Kirsner2
NEW YORK — I was walking around an expo touted as the “world’s largest startup event” last month, when I started to have flashbacks to the late 1990s. At New York TechDay, there were so many booths staffed by so many eager entrepreneurs pitching so many ideas that only needed a few million bucks and a few million users to become a real business. Read More
Some things never change
For all you founders who aren't the flavor-of-the-month, one from the archives
A screen capture from Boatscape.com's website, in 2000. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.
I had lunch yesterday with an entrepreneur I first met in 1999, at the height of the dot-com era. James Chung was one of the people I profiled in a Globe Magazine piece in 1999, headlined, "Let's do launch: So much venture capital, so little time." It painted a picture of Boston's venture capital and entrepreneurial scene at the height of the dot-com bubble, when Tom Crotty of Battery Ventures told me, "Our investors are just throwing money at us, and we need to find places to put it." Read More
New venture factory Blade adds veterans of Zappos, iRobot, Cisco
englishpaulm
The team has been expanding over at Blade, the startup factory in Fort Point Channel that doesn't officially open its doors until later this month. Blade's founding trio all came from Kayak, the travel-planning site that has its technology operations in Concord, but they've recently been adding veterans of iRobot, Millennial Media, Cisco, and Zappos. Read More
Startup showcase
Your scorecard for Techstars Boston Demo Day, April 2014
The last TechStars Boston Demo Day, in May 2013.
Updated: The startup beauty pageant that is Techstars Boston Demo Day took place Tuesday morning at the House of Blues on Landsdowne Street. You never know who will show up on stage to help the entrepreneurs sell their ideas: past editions have seen cameos by Big Papi, fashion models, and poetry slam champions. Read More
Doggone
So long, Dogpatch Cambridge: Polaris' startup hatchery is no more
Employees of Localytics working at Dogpatch Labs Cambridge in 2012.
R.I.P. Dogpatch Labs Cambridge. The startup hatchery, which once provided free office space in Kendall Square to selected startups, quietly closed in December, according to David Barrett, the venture capitalist at Polaris Partners who had been responsible for the space. It had operated for about five years. Read More
Angels helping angels
Jeff Stoler of SideCar Angels on Boston's angel scene
Jeffrey Stoler of SideCar Angels.
Back in 2012, I covered the launch of a new angel investing group, SideCar Angels. Their strategy was to "ride along" when other angel funding groups, individual investors, and "micro VC" firms put money into a business, adding $100,000 or more of additional capital. SideCar doesn't lead funding rounds on its own; it only joins in when other entities have given the green light. Read More
Party planning
Second Boston TechJam block party set for June 12th
techjam1
Boston's tech community block party is getting bigger in its second year. TechJam organizer Mark Lorion tells me that the event, slated for June 12th, could more than double in size from 2013. It's also moving to a more central location: City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall. Last year's inaugural event was held on a former parking lot on Northern Avenue and District Hall next door. Read More
Glam growth
Fashion Project, reseller of high-end apparel for charities, adding workers and Boston warehouse
Fashion Project CEO Anna Palmer, surrounded by donations and boxes of hangers in the startup's Boston office.
How fast is Fashion Project growing? When I stopped by last week, CEO Anna Palmer told me there were two possible venues for our interview: a makeshift conference room created by cardboard boxes and heaps of plastic bags, or the staircase between the two floors of the company's Fort Point Channel offices. (We picked the former.) The startup collects designer women's apparel and accessories from non-profits and individuals, and resells it on its own site or through a network of partners. Fifty-five percent of the proceeds go to charity, but donors can take a tax deduction for the full sale price of the item. Read More