Archive for June, 2010

June 25, 2010

Do Anchor Companies Have an Effect on the Start-up Eco-system?

This article originally appeared as a guest post on Greenhorn Connect on Tue, 06/15/2010

Starting and growing companies that become or have the potential to become huge, is a goal of several initiatives and members of the entrepreneurial community in the Boston area. The reasoning behind this is the premise that huge companies provide a proving ground and talent resource that feeds the local start-up economy.

So let’s do a little research to observe this effect and see the companies that can be traced back to a local behemoth in our area.

Since EMC is the 800 pound gorilla in our woods, that should be a great place to start.

To view a dynamic and more legible EMC company graph use this link.

emc connected companies

As you can see, a company the size of EMC has a large graph of connected companies. This represents many acquisitions as well as large public companies from which they now recruit executives.

But what we are interested in are the companies that have spawned from EMC and where EMC executives have moved to the start-up companies.

Let’s start with some acquisitions we selected from the larger group. This list includes Equallogic which is the largest most recent liquidity event in the New England Area, at a purchase price of $1.5 Billion cash. Several sales and marketing executives were from EMC.

Archivas was formed by founders from EMC, Abuzz, AppIQ and Network Integrity and built a solution for fixed content archiving which was bought by Hitachi Data Systems within three years of inception.  Some of the founders have gone on to found Nasuni, a cloud based storage company.  iBrix was purchased by HP in 2008. Another cloud based storage company founded in 2009, TwinStrata has benefited from the addition of an  iBrix executive.

Each of the acquired companies had executives from EMC whose leadership contributed to the successful outcomes.  It is no surprise that these companies are in the storage market, the ‘bread and butter” and seminal business for EMC.

Mature start-ups are well represented with storage again a major sector but also moving into cloud computing and Rich Internet Applications.

The founder of  Nexaweb, building RIA software, was an architect from EMC, who has now gone on to found another company Yottaa, in the cloud services space.

Cloudswitch a Matrix company has technical leadership from an Architect/VP that used to be a Distinguished Engineer at EMC.

Sepaton is an interesting case. EMC executives still are part of the leadership team, but the original CEO from EMC was forced to exit due to a “non-compete” lawsuit. It turns out that EMC is not shy about suing companies here in Ma, as they also went after Nexaweb, but that suit was settled.

Several Series A VC investments with EMC connections represent the trends towards virtualization,  data management and grid computing.

The CEO of PeerApp, a grid compuing company,  started at EMC as a key developer of the  revolutionary storage platform that yielded as much as $6 Billion in annual revenues.The CEO of Certeon led the product development and marketing of streaming solutions at EMC after the company he founded, Bitcasting was acquired. The founder and President of Lattice Engines was director of business operations at EMC.

Lastly these seed round companies have roots within EMC.  Sadly both messageSling and Carespace are now defunct. Such is the nature of bootstrapped companies. The storage market is  very mature here in the Boston area.  It makes sense that companies founded by executives with significant domain experience can go straight to Series A VC investment without the need for a seed round.

Conclusion:

Storage is a mature and thriving sector in the Boston area. Along with EMC the  anchor company, there are many new companies and returning successful founders that perpetuate innovation and a thriving industry cluster which is now pushing the trends in cloud computing and virtualization.

Based upon this simple analysis, we can conclude that anchor companies have a significant effect on their geographic markets. While this example is not exhaustive and there may be many other downstream companies impacted by EMC, it is clear that the Boston area could benefit from several other large companies in other Industry Segments.

June 24, 2010

Social Design Meet hosts TestCase: Designing for Conversion

A new group; the Social Design Meet is starting up and TestCase is pleased to contribute at their first meeting. testcase logo

Both groups share the same goal of creating events that are not only great social/ networking gatherings, but also an event where you can leave knowing you learned something.

This third TestCase subject is Social Design for Conversion.

If you would like your design to be evaluated at the meetup, contact Kabir sdm@riotvine.com

It is intended for founders of social and consumer web properties.

the Social Design Meet goal is to foster a design oriented community of like minded individuals in the Boston area intent on building the next generation of great social apps. A community is the best way to spur innovation

If you agree that a focus on user experience is what will make the next web products great, then you should plan on attending.

Sign up here and BTW, as with all TestCase events, there will be free Beer and Pizza.

June 15, 2010

Sembled

Genotropegrzrlogo Record:  Sembled sembled logo

Funding Status: Seed

Founders Backgrounds: Great Hill Partners (Boston-based private equity firm).

Investors: Friends & Family / Founder

Industry: Consumer Web

Offering Description: Sembled.com LLC helps consumers identify the easiest “assembly requried” products and strives to reduce frustration and time required in assembling a product with detailed video and photo instructions and commentary.


June 1, 2010

Still Time to Snag a Ticket to MITX Awards Wednesday 6/2

As we wrote about in our April postmitx awards logo, we think the MITX Awards are very cool and give local companies some much needed exposure.

This year is no different. There are tiny bootstrapped startups and VC funded startups all competing to be top in their category.

These Ten Categories have very interesting companies vying for the award:

Go check it out if you haven’t been before, you won’t be disappointed.