Startups

144 stories
Who's better, who's best?
New social site WhoQuest aims to help find the best person for the job
whoquest-screen
How do you find the best person for the job, whether it's a gig playing your holiday party or designing a new logo for your company? A Boston startup called WhoQuest thinks it can supply the answer: just ask your social network, and let people vote the replies up or down. The recently unveiled site feels a bit like a people-focused version of Quora, the question-answering site that has raised about $160 million in funding. Read More
Valley investor barnstorms in Boston
Audio: Peter Thiel visits BU to talk entrepreneurship (and backing Zuck)
BetaBoston's Scott Kirsner onstage with investor, entrepreneur, and author Peter Thiel, at Boston University's School of Management. (Photo courtesy of Rob Kornblum.)
Just sharing some audio I recorded yesterday at a talk Peter Thiel gave at Boston University's School of Management; I moderated the audience Q&A afterward, which was a lot of fun. Thiel is on the road with co-author Blake Masters promoting his new book, Zero to One. I teased him a bit that his only tweet so far is a plug for the book... and his quick answer was that he went from zero to one tweets. Read More
Innovation Economy
Trolling campuses for the next Facebook
(From left) Barron Roth, John Moore, middle and Luke Sorensen discuss Downtyme during a development meeting at Boston University. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
Two April days, separated by a decade. Two college sophomores walk into the Charles Square complex in Cambridge to meet with prospective investors. They’ve both built apps to help students communicate with friends on campus, and attracted a small community of users. Read More
Gobble Gobble
#TellBeta: Help us give thanks for Boston's startup scene
What do you appreciate most about Boston's innovation community?
Last week, when Mayor Martin Walsh spoke with leaders within Boston's startup community about his goals for 2015, a theme emerged: He needs to do more to promote Boston as a place where innovation thrives. In the session, people around the room shared their stories about how the city's unique chemistry fosters a community of upstart businesses. And it was clear that those stories were only the tip of the iceberg. Read More
Innovation Economy
Infinite Web shelf space sparks a surge of food startups
CropCircle Kitchen employee Jackson Barros prepped jalapenos for Alex’s Ugly Sauce. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
As we approach the biggest eating week of the year, I’ve noticed a growing number of entrepreneurs in Boston trying to figure out how to get onto your shopping list and into your fridge. And investors are trying to figure out how to get a piece of the next Annie’s Organic (acquired by General Mills for $820 million this fall) or Vitaminwater (acquired by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion). Read More
New Angels
Angel Boot Camp: The Peace Corps for millionaires
Image via <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-196122302/stock-vector-businessman-flying-freedom.html?src=pp-same_artist-224791360-0SOeekusz_q2xh1SZW0H8Q-2">Shutterstock</a>
If you missed the Angel Boot Camp at MIT’s Tang Center the other day, you missed a lot. Organizers Jon Pierce, Rob Go, and Jay Acunzo put together an amazing lineup of angel investors and brilliant startup savants. Read More
Pitching in the shadow of Fenway
Here's the line-up for today's Techstars Boston startup showcase
Jakob Garrow of EdTrips high fives a group of fifth graders from Mason-Rice Elementary School in Newton, at today's demo day.
It's graduation day for the latest class of entrepreneurs participating in the Techstars Boston accelerator program. They'll pitch an audience of investors and fellow founders at the House of Blues on Landsdowne Street, hoping to get the capital and connections necessary to make it big. Among the twelve startups are teams designing new bikes for city-dwellers, devices for wireless music streaming, and sites that aim to become the OpenTable of school field trips. This is the first Techstars session run by Semyon Dukach, an angel investor, entrepreneur, and one-time leader of the MIT Blackjack Team. Read More
Innovation Economy
5 things the next Massachusetts governor should do for innovation economy
Kamil Peters of Kamil Peters Metal Sculpture at work in the Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke. (Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe)

HOLYOKE -- Like Dorothy stepping through the front door after crash-landing in Oz, I knew I wasn’t in Boston anymore.

Boston’s Innovation District is pricey. Construction cranes are everywhere, parking is scarce, and lunch options plentiful. Here in Holyoke’s newly-christened Innovation District, there are beautiful brick mill buildings, cheap hydroelectric power, and a new walkway alongside the canals — but almost no people.

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A big data supergroup
Netezza veterans reunite for Cazena, focused on shifting data warehouses to the cloud
Cazena CEO Prat Moghe, previously a senior vice president of Netezza, a data warehousing company acquired by IBM. Courtesy of Cazena.
A Waltham startup is coming out of stealth mode today, with $8 million in funding. Cazena reunites several veterans of Netezza, a data warehousing startup that went public and then was acquired by IBM for $1.7 billion four years ago. The deal is unusual in that it's the first time California-based Andreessen Horowitz — the venture capital firm co-founded by the fellow who brought you the Netscape browser — has participated in a Series A round of funding for a startup here in Massachusetts. Andreessen Horowitz is investing alongside North Bridge Venture Partners, the Waltham VC firm. Read More
Brand new bots
Local robotics startups debut at downtown showcase
Soft Robotics is making air-powered stretchy robot fingers whose grasp is not too hard and not too soft. (Image: Soft Robotics)
Two robotics startups from Greater Boston debuted products this week at the RoboBusiness conference and exhibition. Just a year old, Soft Robotics presented its gentle, air-powered versatile robot grippers in public for the first time. For Sonzia, a Somerville firm that incorporated in September, it was a first public demonstration of immersive, interactive environments for children with learning disabilities. Read More