Since March, a group of data-savvy epidemiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital have watched Ebola slowly spread through West Africa, ominously lighting up their dials first as a trickle, then a torrent of mentions on social media and online news reports.
The group, HealthMap, has been steadily ahead of the curve tracking this year’s outbreak. One day, they hope to be a step ahead of the next big disease.
Read MoreDelicious dealPhoodeez catering raises $600k, led by Project 11
Katie Rae was at an MIT conference when a familiar thought crept into her head: “How quickly can I duck out of this boxed lunch and go get real food?”
“But I peeked into the box and said, ‘Wow, this actually looks good,’ ” she recalled. “That was my introduction to Phoodeez.”
Now Rae’s venture capital firm, Project 11, is leading a $600,000 investment round in Phoodeez, a Boston startup that caters corporate functions by supplying food from multiple local restaurants that specialize in different types of cuisine.
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer is a rare bird in several ways. Not only is he chief executive of an industry-leading website based in Massachusetts — TripAdvisor is the world's biggest travel site — but he took the company public in 2011 after first selling it to InterActiveCorp. (More on that here.) I sat down with him last month to talk about the company's four acquisitions so far in 2014; his take on travel startups like Airbnb, Uber, BlaBlaCar, and TripIt; and whether he's happier or less happy being the CEO of a public company.
Read MoreDashing Across the RiverAnother player in the dinner delivery market, DoorDash now in both Boston and Cambridge
In what seems like a never ending quest, more and more companies are looking to win what appears to be a wide open race to become the go-to online delivery service for Boston. In addition to Caviar, Instacart, GrubHub, Drizly, Postmates, Favor, now DoorDash, a West Coast delivery startup, has arrived in Boston to add just another possible option to get your food dropped on your doorstep. Read MoreTipping pointKendall Square passes from tech center to biotech center
The three-story brick building at the corner of Main and Osborn streets in Cambridge, on the edge of Kendall Square and the MIT campus, captures three distinct eras in the city’s innovation history. In the early 1800s, it was the site of Kimball & Davenport, the first builder of passenger railroad cars in America.
Read MoreFashioning fashionable offerings of all kindsFifty shades, by Gray
Fashion matters, if you are doing anything that can have multiple combinations (such as making clothing, researching drugs, packaging bundles of financial entities, creating apps, whatever), and if you want people to choose YOUR thing rather than choose the combinations other people are offering. Read More
Glowing LEDS, geometric silks, 3-D-printed headdresses, and cage-like bras were on display at a science-themed fashion show at the MIT Media Lab this week, each a daring blend of science and style. The garments were the product of a mind-meld between teams of scientists and designers from across the world, as part of the first-ever Descience contest.
Read MoreThe virtual view from HollywoodA report from Oculus' first conference for virtual reality software developers
The virtual reality headset maker Oculus — now owned by Facebook — held its first conference for software developers last month. I bumped into Shane Scranton, a Vermont entrepreneur, the day before he flew out to Hollywood for the conclave, and asked him to share his impressions afterward. Scranton's startup, IrisVR, has been pitching investors and architecture firms on software that can take three-dimensional models of buildings and "translate" them easily and quickly for viewing on the Oculus goggles. It's an amazing experience: you can walk through and look around spaces that haven't yet been built.
Read MoreLet slip the Kombuchas of WarIn battle for Kendall Square coffee supremacy, Voltage or Tatte?