talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: InsightSquared

Funding Status: Seed?

Founders Backgrounds: Hubspot, Bessemer VP

Investors: ?

Industry: B2B, SMB business analytics, Sales pipeline tool

Offering Description: Customizable, intuitive and actionable business/sales intelligence data.


5 Boston Consumer Web Companies to Watch

What city comes to your mind when you hear consumer web startups? Did you say Boston? Ok… probably not.

Yes, it is true that we are much more well rounded in the variety of companies that we foster, but keep an eye on the ever increasing number of consumer ideas popping up here.

The following is a list of a spectrum of consumer sites starting with a extremely successful $200 Million+ revenues site and ending with promising new entrants.


CSN Stores With revenues topping $200 million, CSN Stores is a top 3 online retailer of home and office goods and until recently, one of the unheralded successes in Boston web businesses.  Now that they are a force in the industry they have decided to seek the recognition they deserve.


Punchbowl Battling huge entrenched competition, Punchbowl has steadily grown into a one stop solution for party planning. By offering a service that goes well beyond sending invitations, Punchbowl has differentiated themselves by helping users through all stages of planning and hosting a party.


Daily Grommet is a gem of a web site. Featuring one unique product a day and making great use of video, they have created an engaging and informative shopping experience. Take a look and you will surely find something you can’t live without.


TurningArt , described as a Netflix for art was launched this summer.  A monthly fee allows users to put up a new piece of art every few months and of course purchase a print or even the original when you decide you want to own it. The art selection is high quality and varied enough to fit most any taste. It also seems like a good venue for artists to gain exposure and hopefully make some additional sales.

Svpply is a social shopping site following in the footsteps of StyleFeeder before it. Decidedly more design hipster oriented, you probably won’t find any recliners or Deluxe Marge from the Simpsons costumes. What you will find is a pleasing minimalist aesthetic and products recommended by users with an eye for design.

As you can see, there are some interesting things going on in the consumer space here. These examples are just a few of the web companies starting up in the Boston area. If you have any favorites you feel deserve recognition, please add them in the comments.


talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: Scalebase (hiring)logoscalebase

Funding Status: Series A

Founders Backgrounds:  Aluna, IDF, Orbotech

Investors: Cedar Fund

Industry: Database, Cloud Software

Offering Description: ScaleBase is a new cloud‑based service that provides high availability and scalability for your SQL databases. It is an extremely sophisticated load balancer that provides your databases with as much cloud elasticity as you need by enabling significantly more concurrent user connections and SQL commands for any type of SQL database applications!



talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: Savewave logo savewave

Funding Status: Series A

Founders Backgrounds: Upromise, Jingle Networks

Investors: Flybridge, First Round Capital, Founder Collective

Industry:  B2B, digital promotion, distribution, and rewards fulfillment company

Offering Description: SaveWave is building a platform to enable consumer packaged goods brands and retailers to promote their products and services to all consumers through fully digital promotion, distribution, and rewards fulfillment.  In addition to providing Upromise Grocery, a program through which over 12 million members can earn college savings rewards by purchasing participating products in over 27,500 supermarkets and drug stores nationwide, SaveWave is expanding its distribution reach through customized offer syndication with retailers, affinity rewards programs, and media channels.

Boston Web Startups Q4 2010, Launching Soon?

Every quarter we publish a list of the newest web startups in the area that are working towards launching publicly.

Masschallenge surfaced a great many new companies over the summer and I think had an impact on the amount of new companies making themselves known publicly early on.

So, this list is shorter than usual. As always, sign up for the betas and help these new companies with valuable user feedback so they can hone their value proposition and build something people want.


logo fashionstake

talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: Fashionstake

Funding Status: Seed Round

Founders Backgrounds: Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Company

Investors: Battery Ventures

Industry: Consumer Web, Fashion, eCommerce

Offering Description:

Be part of a new fashion democracy.

Unlock an exciting new way to experience fashion with FashionStake, a revolutionary online marketplace for contemporary and luxury ready-to-wear fashion.

The Keys to Brand Transformation: Learn From Local Success Stories

mitx banner

MITX is hosting an event next week at the Arnold Offices. It’s called: The Keys to Brand Transformation: Learn From Local Success Stories, and it’s from 8am – 10am on Wednesday, October 20.  See here ( for full details.

Featured Speakers:

  • Mark Minelli – President, Minelli, Inc. (winner of a 2010 Rebrand Award for the YMCA of Greater Boston)
  • Sam Hammar – Communications Strategist, City of Boston’s Innovation District
  • Dan Marques – Director of Online Marketing and Analytics, Gemvara

It looks like an event that will provide a lot of valuable information to both new and established companies.

MITX was kind enough to let us give away 4 tickets (2 remaining) . If you would like to attend, please email tickets”at” with  “Brand Transformation” in the subject line.

The first 4 emails will receive the tickets. You must register before Deadline:October 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM.

This is a $70 value if you are not a member of MITX.

Great Upcoming Events for Boston Entrepreneurs

Between October 4th to October 21st, Boston will enjoy an even higher concentration of Entrepreneurial focused events. Thanks to two Weeklong Event Experiences being put together by local organizations.

Future M is the first ever multi location experience dedicated to what is new in marketing.  October 4-8, 2010, dozens of events and activities will showcase the leading ideas, thinkers and companies on the future of Marketing. Panels, summits, roundtables, user groups, virtual events, demos, parties organized throughout greater Boston – all focused on what’s new and what’s next in Marketing.

Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week  or Brew Boston, is shining a spotlight on the entrepreneurial spirit in and around Boston.  Brew is happening October 13th – 21st.

Although all events look to be valuable, three in particular stand out as must attend. One is already sold out so if you are interested, don’t hesitate to register.

Customer Development: The Second Decade — with Steve Blank’s co-author Bob Dorf

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (ET)

Speakers: Bob Dorf, Author, “Customer Development: The Second Decade;” Simeon Simeonov, CEO, FastIgnite

This event is for:
* Entrepreneurs and CEOs who want to build capital-efficient businesses
* Geeks who want to be founders
* Marketers who want to find the right customers cheaply
* Angel investors and VCs who want to generate great returns

“Scalable Intimacy: The Next Step in Social Marketing”, coming up on October 7th at FutureM! (SOLD OUT)

Speaker: Mike Troiano – founding CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Interactive and current President, Holland-Mark Digital.

If you’ve gotten your brand up on Facebook and Twitter, and are starting to wonder why you bothered, this session is for you.

Startup Marketing Bootcamp: Workshop + Lessons Learned Friday, October 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (ET)

Flybridge Capital Partners and Highland Capital Partners have teamed to help consumer facing and online B2B start-up companies navigate the new world of marketing. This intense start-up marketing boot camp will bring together leaders from across the marketing world to provide attendees with insights, roadmaps and real-world case studies for incorporating new marketing technologies and approaches into their business

It’s shaping up to be a great October, so see you out there.

A Boston Angel You Should Know

Yes, we have  already heard about the dearth of Consumer Web Angel Investors here in Boston. So you might be interested to find out about a local Angel that has a pretty impressive track record in both quantity and quality of deals.

The fund Lead Dog Ventures is  run by John Landry and has been active locally since 1994. He has been a fixture around Boston since the inception of the enterprise software industry as CTO of companies like Cullinet , McCormack and Dodge and Lotus.

Here is a photo I pinched from his blog (hope he doesn’t mind) to show you that the guy has gravitas.

jobs and Landry photo

As you can see the portfolio is not completely Consumer Web, but the recent fundings of oneforty, Daily Grommet, Ayeah Games and Blueleaf demonstrate the trend towards web oriented businesses.

Take a look at John’s talk at the Angel Boot Camp to get a good feel for how he invests.

So it is not all gloom for Web companies seeking angel funding here in Boston. Some of the traditional enterprise oriented angels will be able to make the transition as John did, and we need more coming from operational experience in web companies to make up the slack for those that don’t, but there are good  angels are out when you’re looking.


talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: CardStar Card star logo

Funding Status: Series A

Founders Backgrounds: Lumifi, Trust Digital

Investors: Verizon, Launch Capital

Industry: Mobile Application

Offering Description: Developing mobile applications that perpetuate the use of loyalty cards and mobile coupons. The CardStar application consolidates membership and rewards cards on smartphones — letting consumers access scannable cards from within a single app and enabling merchants to tailor mobile deals and information to their customers.