Archive for ‘Boston Startup’

August 24, 2010


talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: Blosonlogo bloson

Funding Status:  Seed

Founders Backgrounds:, Raytheon

Investors: ?

Industry: Consumer Web, Social Cause

Offering Description: Bloson gives you the social content you want, and the social action the world needs.

August 12, 2010

When Will These Web Sites Launch Q3 2010

Every quarter we compile a list of new web properties that are in private beta or “coming soon” stage. We hope to give them a bit of exposure and help with early customer sign up.

The other goal is to encourage them to come out to the public and start to get feedback from the user community. We are rooting for you, so launch that leaky boat or take your first steps on the water.

We think  Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) was giving good advice when he  said this.

‘If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.’

First let’s recap the list from last quarter to see what progress has been made. Still private beta. Still splash page. Still splash page that says  “Stop by again later this year.” currently under construction looked like it was live, but when we tried to sign up, it says “oops, requires an invite token” not public yet. Says “apply for Alpha” has launched and recently transitioned to a paid service.  If you are building a web app you need to know how well it supports cross browser functionality. Give Mogotest a try. has launched and is free to sign up. Give Wattzy a try if you want to save on energy bills. Looked like it was live, but clicking on Sign Me Up, asks you a few anonymous questions and then gives you this message.  “Enter your email to get notified when we launch” not launched. We set up a mailing list for people who want to be a “Friend of FanZanimal, Inc.”

Score: Only two out of the ten have launched. Wattzy and Mogotest. Congratulations to both and go visit and spend some time or money with both.

When Will These Web Sites  Launch Q3 2010

Now let’s take a look at the list for next quarter. Pay them a visit and sign up for their beta tests if you’re interested. These new creations need your support and input to find their way and make something you want to use.

August 11, 2010


talentGraphzgrzrlogo Record: TurningArt turningart logo

Funding Status: Seed

Founders Backgrounds: Bankfox

Investors: ?

Industry: Consumer Web

Offering Description: It’s like Netflix for Art Prints. Browse the work of our hand-selected artists and build a queue of artwork that you’d like to explore.

July 6, 2010


talentGraphz grzrlogo Record: Abine Abine logo

Funding Status: Seed

Founders Backgrounds: Datapower, LRN, Security Metrics

Investors: Self Funded?

Industry: Consumer Web Security

Offering Description: provides Internet privacy solutions for consumers. Abine’s products and services allow regular people to regain control over their personal information while continuing to browse, interact and shop online.

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.


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

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


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: 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.

May 21, 2010

The Angels Investors are Coming to Boston in June

Two really great events for startups to get exposure to angel investors are being held in Boston this June.angels

The first event, Angel Boot Camp is being held June 1, 2010 at Microsoft NERD.  This event is spearheaded by Jon Pierce, local;  Hacker, Entrepreneur, Founder of Betahouse, Founding Member of The Awesome Foundation.

The lineup of is an awesome list of successful entrepreneurs and angel investors that includes Angus Davis, David Cohen and Phin Barnes to name only a few.

The stated goal of Angel Boot Camp is to educate, inspire and grow the angel investor community. As such, active and aspiring angels are the primary audience. But we also welcome entrepreneurs, VCs and other people interested in learning more about angel investing, provided they agree not to pitch at the event.

This is a must attend for anyone that has thought about or wants to learn about Angel Investing.

Two weeks after that, the Open Angel Forum Boston is coming. This event was created by the always interesting serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis (founder of Mahalo) as a response to the Keretsu Forum that was charging startups to pitch to them.

There have already been Open Angel Forum events in La, and NYC. Both angels and startups had great things to say about the events.

As yet the venue or agenda has not been announced. Currently Jason and Bijan Sabet are the only two investors listed as attending, but expectations are high the list will include the best angels and undiscovered start-ups in the area.   Don’t miss this event if you want to meet the best start-ups and angel investors in Boston.

Apply here if you are an angel, start-up or interested in sponsoring the event.

Wow, that is such great news for the local web startup scene! The month of June should produce an interesting crop of new companies or provide some much needed capital for the seed program participants.

May 5, 2010

Local VCs Return to Entrepreneurship: NOT !

So we were totally wrong on this. It turns out word has it that along with David Beisel, Rob and Lee are forming a new fund to make early stage investments. So much for jumping back into the ranks of entrepreneurs. 🙂

Recently, a couple of local Venture Capitalists have made the jump out of the investment ranks and into the struggling entrepreneur cohort.

This is good news that we are adding to the ranks some potentially important new companies to the local New England startup community. This is a much preferred trend than the opposite where successful founders become VCs.

The new companies that they are working on are as yet unannounced, but we will be tracking their progress and profile the new companies as soon as some information is available.

Rob Go a former principal at Spark Capital made his announcement at the end of his post Top 3 Things I Learned as a VC

“I’m starting something new that I am very excited about.  My co-founders and I have already begun laying the groundwork, but we aren’t ready to talk openly about what we are doing just yet (stealth mode is back in vogue again, after all.)  That said, I’ve always been a pretty open and transparent guy, so I’m sure I’ll be sharing more details soon.”

On Monday May 3rd, Lee Hower announced his transition from a principal at Point Judith Capital to work on his new project in his post Changes… my transition & new plans.

We wish them both the best of luck and look forward to watching their new companies grow successful here in the Boston area.

April 30, 2010

What is Cool about the MITX Technology Awards

The MITX Technology Awards is coming up June 2nd at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, and you should consider going. I went to the 14th Annual MITX Interactive Awards show last November and they put on quite a production.

Some of the past winners of the Technology Awards include public companies like Logmein and Netezza, upcoming VC backed startups like the juggernaut HubSpot, SCVNGR and many acquired companies like StyleFeeder, Imlogic and iBrix. MITX and their judges seem to have pretty good track record for identifying winners.

The coolest thing about the event is that they give companies of all sizes and stages great visibility and a shot at coming away a winner.

Check out the list of finalists below and you will see one founder bootstrapped companies with less than a thousand monthly uniques up against public companies and well funded VC backed start-ups. This “level playing field” is a great opportunity for these newer companies to get the recognition they deserve and a chance for the limelight. I applaud MITX and the judges for their choices.

Analytics and Business Intelligence 2010

  • Project: Mobile application analytics service
    Company : Localytics
  • Project: Netezza TwinFin
    Company : Netezza
  • Project: Panjiva
    Company : Panjiva
  • Project: Vertica Analytic Database
    Company : Vertica Systems

Cloud Computing 2010

Devices 2010

E-Commerce/Alternative Retail 2010

Marketing/Customer Relationship Technologies 2010

Mobile Applications 2010

Mobile Infrastructure 2010

Online Advertising 2010

Rich Media 2010

  • Project: Brightcove online video platform
    Company : Brightcove
  • Project: Episend
    Company : Episend, Inc.
  • Project: Gotuit Video Metadata Management System ™(VMMS)
    Company : Gotuit
  • Project: myBrainshark
    Company : myBrainshark
  • Project: RAMP MetaQ (pronounced “meta cue”)
    Company : RAMP
  • Project: Wistia
    Company : Wistia, Inc

Social Media 2010

Technology Enablers (Previously known as Enterprise Software) 2010