Archive for May, 2008

May 21, 2008

Paragon Lake

Genotrope Record: Paragon Lake

Formation Date: 2006

Funding Status: Series A

Investors: Highland Capital

Founders or Execs past companies:Founders under 25 started company while students at Babson. VP eng from N2N Commerce

Industry: Consumer Web, custom jewelry

Offering Description: We simplify the design process for jewelers and their customers. We can craft anything from unique engagement rings to a personalized pair of earrings in as little as two weeks.

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May 16, 2008

Six Things Learned at POPSignal

1. PR Companies are good to have at Tech networking events. Otherwise there would be few females and all the conversations would go something like this ” and then I ran a benchmark series using the sysbench fileio option to further benchmarkall three types of EC2 instances. it looks like / mounted filesystem (/dev/sda) has much better raw io performance than the larger /mnt (/dev/sdb) filesystem.”

2. There is rumor of an upcoming falafel-off Tech Meetup to be held at MIT in the near future.

3. There needs to be a more macho name for a white wine spritzer.

4. There are a lot of interesting small web companies out there built and run by a single hacker/founder. www.jobvent.com is one example, along with a few stealth ones I look forward to profiling in the future.

5. Don’t let your drunken engineers hang around until the end, as they are libel to spill the dirt on the inner-workings of your organization. (Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me).

6. Brian and Jay know how to put together a networking event.

May 14, 2008

See You at PopSignal thursday at Tequila Rain near Fenway Park

If it is anything like their last gathering, Brian and Jay will have another mega networking event to their credit. http://www.popsignal.com/

May 14, 2008

Pixily

Genotrope Record: Pixily

Formation Date: 2007

Funding Status: Self Funded

Investors: Founders

Founders or Execs past companies: JPeople

Industry: B2B, B2C

Offering Description: Pixily is an online subscription service that helps consumers and small businesses aggregate, organize, find and share both paper and digital documents.

May 13, 2008

New Flash Company Graphs

We are pleased to announce that the old java applet is gone and in it’s place is a beautiful flash graph. The graph contains more information, when you mouseover a company node, you now see the Status, Industry and Comments fields. The companies are arranged in groups according to what stage they are in. Series A, Acquired etc…. SelectClick a node and it will be come the focus Company and display the relevant record. Clicking in the white space allows one to pan the groups which uncover any company previously hidden.

A great place to check it out is from the VC Directory.

Best of all, the graph loads much faster now. You might have to reload or refresh your browser window. Enjoy.

Congratulations to Ganesh, you made John very happy.

May 9, 2008

Check out Tech Tuesday next week

Dan Bricklin asked us to remind people of the upcoming event Tech Tuesday at The Skellig Irish Pub in Walltham. This regular event has been drawing good crowds for a long time. I will see you there as I have my sights on the XBox 360 the sponsor Microsoft is giving away.

May 3, 2008

Genotrope’s “Even Cooler” List of mostly Early Stage Companies

Scott Kirsner the well respected chronicler of all that is Tech in Boston, recently published his “Cool Half-Hundred” Companies list. In the same spirit, we are putting together our own purely subjective, no logical reason or diligent analysis list of companies that we think are worthy of the “Even Cooler” tag.

Web Fun:

Doink.com – Online art and animation with a social component.

Viximo – Virtual Goods Market

Swaptree – Online trading of CDs, Games and Books, with 3-way trading algorithm.

Web Services:

Kayak – Huge and successful online comparison shopping for airline tickets.

SecondRotation – sell and recycle electronics at an agreed upon price.

Good2Gether – Online distributor of Non-Profit information and donation mechanism.

Web Media/Advertising:

Affine Systems – technology that analyzes the visual content of videos and images ,” not just the metadata ”

Lookery (sorta Boston) – demographic advertising for Social Networks

Product Design / Web Design / Marketing

Bokardo.com – Social Web Design

Hunt & Gather – Interactive Media Agency

SimpleBits – world recognized expert in the field of standards-based web design

Research & Development

Arts Alliance Labsbuild highly scalable, advanced technology products

Virosity (BetaHouse) – ruby on rails development for early stage startups

Hacker Homes (where senior hackers go to play)

Abinitiomassively paralell financial analysis applications

ITA Software – advanced algorithms and distributed computing techniques for airline industry

Software:

Acquiavalue-added software products and services for the Drupal platform

Autovirtstate of the art solutions to the problems of Data Migration and File Server Consolidation

Cilk Artsproducts that allow rapid development of reliable, high peformance applications for chip multiprocessors

Tokutekaccelerate key database operations by orders of magnitude

Vertica Systemscolumn-oriented relational database management system (RDBMS)

Mobile:

Aylus Networks – MediaShare family of products and applications to enable a new class of real-time multimedia sharing solutions.

Envio Networks – mobile social networking?

Geezeo – Social on-line finance

Mobiciousbest place to find anything for your phone

Communications:

Auraria Networksproducts that are at the leading edge of content management and information identification and analysis

May 2, 2008

Boston calling Dave McClure or your clones

Recently there was an invitation only workshop at Boston University addressing the question, “Is Boston’s Venture Ecosystem Losing More Ground to Silicon Valley?dave mcclure photo

At some point we might be privy to some of the discussions and conclusions reached during that confab, but for now, I would like to add an issue to the discussion.

Where are the active angel investors like Master of 500 Hats in the HUB? Silicon Valley is rife with successful entrepreneurs that have now turned to investing and advising the next generation of startups. Individuals such as Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman and the PayPal mafia, Paul Bucheit and several other xGooglers and the list goes on.

Maybe it is just a perception and there is a lot of activity in this area, just not publicly acknowledged. It might be attributed to adherence to that old Yankee adage that “your name should appear in the paper only three times: when you are born, when you marry, and when you die.” as mentioned on the eCoastAngels web site. Or, the reason may be the dearth of successful Web and SaaS companies in the area. But it seems that even in relative terms, the Boston area lacks this kind of angel/advisor/entrepreneur. Is our attitude here to keep our success to ourselves rather than pollinate our neighbors? Lets see if there are more of these individuals than we know about.

So, I am hoping to bring visibility to the angel/advisory activity here in theHub. Following are a few examples of the individuals we need more of. The list is only a start and not exhaustive, please send me your examples of these individual and I will add them to this post.

Who do we have here in Boston filling this much needed space in the investment ecosystem? Well, certainly the premier contributor would have to be Paul Graham of YCombinator. They have the seminal investor/advisor model, which is proving successful. Too bad most of their companies have to move to SV to find investors. A case could be made that based on YC’s track record, if someone started an angel fund, say Dart Angels, by throwing 5 darts into a Demo Day dartboard, and investing in those five companies, they could be successful. That is a shame that the YC companies can find no traction here in Boston.

One example of local individual angel/advisor here in Boston is Andrew Payne After successful stints founding Open Market and Revinio, he is actively investing in and creating new consumer Internet projects.

Dharmesh Shah is a driving force on the local startup scene, both as a founder and angel investor.

Now the call is out. Hey there VistaPrint, Bladelogic, Tripadvisor, Akamai, Upromise, Lycos, Open Market, Storage Networks, EMC, MQube …..etc. whats up?

Readers have nominated the following individuals for the list of Advisor/Angels

Don Dodge local Microsoft Exec and Angel/Advisor of local startups