Crowdfunding

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Best Funding Fit?
Crowdfunding vs. VC seed rounds: Which makes sense?
"Hands holding money" via Shutterstock
This is a guest post by Lee Hower of Boston venture capital firm NextView Ventures. The rise of crowdfunding in the last three to five years as a source of capital has been remarkable. Tech startups and potential investors have had greater access to one another than ever before, and beyond the startup world, a broad array of projects have been able to successfully seek capital via crowdfunding. Read More
Fashion statement
Can a Harwich startup turn wooden shades into a summer classic?
Cape Codder glasses are assembled in Harwich, from components made in the U.S. and China.
The three founders of Cape Codder Sunglasses had a pretty good summer in 2013. A single retailer ordered 400 pairs — basically, the startup's entire stock at the time — and by the time the trio went back to college in the fall, they'd sold about 1200 pairs of the wood-framed shades, which sell for $90 and up. This year, having just graduated from Boston College and Yale, they're testing the waters of crowdfunding. Read More
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
Weird medicine
Harvard lab building robot to harvest mosquito saliva (Yes, you read that right)
Yaroslav Tenzer, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard's Biorobotics Lab, has been working on a machine that can behead mosquitos and extract their salivary glands.

Most people kill a mosquito with a violent swat of the hand, but Yaroslav Tenzer is much more methodical — and tender. He needs the tiny pest’s body intact so he can harvest its salivary glands.

Mosquito saliva is the key to a potential malaria vaccine and Tenzer, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University’s Biorobotics Laboratory, has spent the last two years designing a machine that can very precisely behead an infected mosquito and gently squeeze its body to extract and collect its parasite-filled spit.

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Bugging out
We eat bugs. You should too.
Co-founders of Six Foods Rose Wang and Laura D'Asaro. (Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva)
By Rose Wang My college roommate, Laura D’Asaro, has been off and on vegetarian her whole life, because she has had environmental and moral qualms about eating meat. So when she went to Tanzania one summer and ate a fried caterpillar, it was love at first taste. Not only was the caterpillar delicious, but she also discovered a new way to eat meat that was much more sustainable and moral. Read More