Massachusetts Innovation News & Events

fama pr – Innovative PR

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Technology PR – Seaport Innovation District

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 http://www.famapr.com/

Simply Amazing – They set the bar extrmely high in terms of providing PR to tech firms!

Located in the Seaport Innovation District fama PR is growing,  Check out the view!

fama PR is North America’s premier boutique public relations firm for technology companies, headquartered on the Boston waterfront in the city’s dynamic Seaport Innovation District. Working closely with clients, fama PR creates customized communications programs

Unlike other firms, fama PR;s account teams are comprised solely of experienced PR practitioners who apply a common sense approach to both strategy development and tactical program execution. This staffing model has proven to deliver superior results and unmatched client service. Working closely with clients, fama PR creates measurable communications programs that directly align with business objectives to increase brand awareness, revenue and valuation

Headquartered on the Boston waterfront in the city’s dynamic Seaport Innovation District, fama PR was named Boston’s Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and is the only PR firm honored as a Best Place to Work each year since 2007

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fama PR was recenlty feaured on BostonInno. Here is what they had to say about this amazing firm.

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fama PR offers their employees incredible benefits—we’re talking 100 percent payment of health insurance, a 401K plan, free iPhones or BlackBerries and free valet parking or T-pass reimbursement. That’s only the beginning, though. Anyone care for picturesque, postcard-worthy views of the Boston Harbor? (Yeah, we do, too.)

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The view from the fama PR offices in the city’s Innovation District will make you jealous. And these pictures don’t even show off the Baggo tournaments or yoga classes they’ve been known to host in the past. Let’s just say, the company has been repeatedly ranked as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Boston for a reason.

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Good news for you is, if you like the pictures you see below, fama PR’s Managing Partner Ed Harrison has admitted they have expanded their offices and have some space they want to fill out. So, check out their open positions, learn more about their company culture and get to applying.

Hungry? Check Out The Taste of South Boston – Sunday!

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Head over to  The Seaport Hotel this Sunday – March 24th!

All of us here at Media Crush attended this event last year and it was truly one of the best ” Tastes Of”  we have been to and we have been to a LOT of them!  The SBNDC puts a lot of work into this event and with such a great line-up this year may outdo last years!  Go with an appetite – and a thirst!

The South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation (South Boston NDC) will hold its 11th Annual Taste of South Boston on Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Seaport Hotel. This event has become one of the city’s premier food events enjoyed by over 500 attendees. For an entrance fee of $50, attendees can sample food and beverage offerings from 30 local restaurants while enjoying live music.

Taste of South Boston 2013

Taste of South Boston 2013

This year’s event boasts the largest number of participating restaurants, from the traditional South Boston neighborhood, the South Boston Waterfront and the Fort Point areas. As of press date, 28 local restaurants have committed to providing tastings including: 75 on Liberty Wharf, American Provisions, Aura Restaurant, Café Porto Bello, Cranberry Café, Empire, Franklin Southie, Jerry Remy’s Seaport, Larry J’s BBQ Cafe, Lincoln, Local 149, LTK, Lucky’s Lounge, Papagayo, The Paramount, Rosa Mexicano, Salsa’s, Salvatore’s, Sportello, Strega Waterfront, Sweet Tooth Boston, Tamo Lounge, Temazcal Cantina, Trade, Water Cafe at the ICA, and The Whiskey Priest. Al’s Liquors will be sampling select wines, and Harpoon Brewery will be pouring samples of their latest brews.

South Boston NDC is a recognized 501c(3) that has successfully developed over 180 units of affordable housing in the community. The Taste of South Boston is South Boston NDC’s annual fundraiser. Proceeds from this event support the South Boston NDC’s mission to provide affordable housing for working people, families, elderly and Veterans in our community. This spring, South Boston NDC and its partner Caritas Communities, will begin construction of Patriot Homes, 24 affordable apartments for Veterans.

Tickets can be purchased online at: www.tasteofsouthboston.com or at the office of South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation located at 365 West Broadway, South Boston. For general inquiries, email us at: info@tasteofsouthboston.com or call 617-268-9610.

Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School

Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of The Innovator's Dilemma, says Tesla, Apple, VCs and universities all face big disruptive threats.

Disruption guru Christensen: Why Apple, Tesla, VCs, academia may die.

Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of The Innovator's Dilemma, says Tesla, Apple, VCs and universities all face big disruptive threats.

Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, says Tesla, Apple, VCs and universities all face big disruptive threats.

Cromwell Schubarth - Senior Technology Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal

Full Article:  CLICK HERE

Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen literally wrote the book on technology disruption, and he thinks Apple, Tesla Motors, venture capitalists and most of the nations colleges and universities should be afraid.

The author of The Innovators Dilemma said Wednesday that all of them could be killed by less advanced competitors in the same way that many once dominant technology companies have been in the past.

Christensen shared his theories about how innovative giants are felled and replaced by relatively less sophisticated rivals, speaking to an attentive crowd of young entrepreneurs and funders at the Startup Grind conference in Mountain View on Wednesday.

Basically, his theory of disruption centers around how dominant industry leaders will react to a newcomer: It allows you to predict whether you will kill the incumbents or whether the incumbents will kill you.

If a newcomer thinks it can win by competing at the high end, the incumbents will always kill you.

If they come in at the bottom of the market and offer something that at first is not as good, the legacy companies wont feel threatened until too late, after the newcomers have gained a foothold in the market.

He offered as an example the introduction of cheap transistor radios. High fidelity, vacuum-tube powered incumbents felt no threat from the poor quality audio the transistors produced and missed the technological shift that eventually killed many of them.

Here is what Christensen said threatens Apple, Tesla, VCs and academia.

Apple too good for its own good?

Apple could be on path for a classic disruption in Christensen’s view.

Successful innovative products like the iPhone are usually based on proprietary technology because that is how the dominant business carves out, protects and builds its top market position.

But at some point as they get better and better, they start to exceed what people actually need or are willing to pay extra for.

When that happens the people who have the proprietary architecture are pushed to the ceiling and the volume goes to the open players. So in smartphones the Android operating system has consummate modularity that now allows hundreds of people in Vietnam and China to assemble these things.

Just like I pray for Harvard Business School, I pray for Apple.

They always have won with their proprietary architecture and because of their advantage. If you ask them what is the core of the company, they will say it is design and the interaction with the customer. Manufacturing really is not our core competence.

So you just give that to the Chinese. But then what happens to them? As the dominant architecture becomes open and modular, the value of their proprietary design becomes commoditized itself. It may not be as good, but almost good enough is often good enough.

The real value in making the iPhone, Christensen argues, is in the sophisticated manufacturing that is being done on it overseas, something that can no longer be done competitively in the U.S.

He believes that and the commoditization of smartphones threaten Apple in the long run.

Tesla goes down the wrong road

Instead of coming in at the low end of the market with a cheap electric vehicle, Tesla Motors competes with premium offerings from legacy automakers.

Who knows whether they will be successful or not, he said. They have come up with cars that in fact compete reasonably well and they cost $100,000 and god bless them.

But if you really want to make a big product market instead of a niche product market, the kind of question you want to ask for electric vehicles is, I wonder if there is a market out there for customers who would just love to have a product that wont go very far or go very fast. The answer is obvious.

The parents of teenagers would love to have a car that wont go very far or go very fast. They could just cruise around the neighborhood, drive it to school, see their friends, plug it in overnight.

Because that kind of electric car offers something that doesnt threaten incumbents and provides a low-end solution, Christensen says that has a greater chance of surviving and ultimately upending the auto market than Teslas flashy Roadsters and sedans.

VCs aiming too high

Christensen said he thinks the venture capital world needs to be disrupted because it is focused too much on making big killings on big investments at a time when there are plenty of good smaller investments to be made on companies that will be disruptive.

He offered as an example his friend, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Before teaching, Christensen ran a small company in Massachusetts at the same time Romney started Bain Capital, and the firm invested $1 million in Staples when it was just starting out.

Romney actually took the time to call and to ask him to buy his supplies from Staples, even though he was just a small business. But when Christensen some years later sent another friend who was raising $1 million for a good idea, Romney told the man that Bain didnt make those kinds of investments any more. They only wanted to invest $10 million or more.

Venture capital is always wanting to go up market. Its like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. ‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.’ People in private equity complain that they have so much capital and so few places to invest. But you have lots of entrepreneurs trying to raise money at the low end and find that they cant get funding because of this mismatch. I think that there is an opportunity there.

A new course for academia

Christensen wrote his first opinions on why Harvard Business School and other higher-ed institutions were in line to be disrupted back in 1999. Much of what he predicted then is coming true, and the disruption is accelerating.

For 300 years, higher education was not disruptable because there was no technological core. If San Jose State wants to become a globally known research institution, they have to emulate UC Berkeley and Cal Tech. They cant disrupt, he said on Wednesday.

But now online learning brings to higher education this technological core, and people who are very complacent are in deep trouble. The fact that everybody was trying to move upmarket and make their university better and better and better drove prices of education up to where they are today.

Right now, Harvard Business School is investing millions of dollars in online learning, but it is being developed to be used in our existing business model, and well sell it to other universities to use in their existing business models.

But there is a different business model that is disrupting this in addition to online learning. Its on-the-job education. This model of learning is you come in for a week and well teach you about strategy and you go off and develop a strategy. Come back later for two weeks on product development. You learn it and you use it. These are very different business models and thats whats killing us.

Fifteen years from now more than half of the universities will be in bankruptcy, including the state schools.

In the end, I am excited to see that happen.

Cromwell Schubarth is the Senior Technology Reporter at the Business Journal.

His phone number is 408.299.1823.

Awesome Boston Launch!

Debi Kleiman

Boston Just Got More Awesome

By Debi Kleiman | MITX

It was a cold, clear, winter day, only a year ago when the seed was planted.

Awesome Boston

A dedicated group of Boston-based community leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, academics and government leaders gathered together at the 2012 World Class Cities Partnership Chatham Forum to think about how to make Greater Boston a better place to live and work, with an eye on innovation and futuristic thinking.

A recurring theme – our Innovation Economy has a PR problem.

There is no Boston story that we all know, that defines us – that tells the world about what makes our scene unique. Perhaps it’s just plain old New England modesty, but it’s holding us back from greatness. We are terrible marketers of Greater Boston’s tech scene. We need to shout loud and proud about our successes, inventions and achievements. In doing so, we will attract more talent to our companies and drive more innovation. This kind of Boston branding will translate into so many other good things for our community.

So today, a small group from that winter offsite a year ago, now loosely organized as the Mass Action unCommittee, is beta launching what we think is at least part of a solution.

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AwesomeBoston.org was created to be a place where we could showcase our success stories and dynamic innovation leaders. But we didn’t want to stop there; we wanted to find a way to get these stories and people in front of our #1 asset – the students that call Boston home for four years. If they can meet these folks and hear their stories firsthand, then these students will start to see their own Boston success story and choose to start their careers here.

Awesome Boston Launch from peter andrews // collaboratorium on Vimeo.

AwesomeBoston.org has two parts to fill this need: the Speakers Bureau and the Content Hub. For the Speakers Bureau, we wanted to make our innovation leaders accessible to students. We offer students an easy way to bring local CEOs and exciting entrepreneurs on-campus for business club and interest group events.

The first set of CEOs volunteered without hesitation when we told them the goal. Through the Speakers Bureau, students can invite a leader to campus and create a connection between their on-campus world and our innovation scene. This is a great first step to helping these students find a business network in Boston. As we all know, once you have a network, it’s very hard to leave.

The second part is the Content Hub. There is so much fantastic content created by the many organizations that hold events and meet-ups, with blogs and videos about our home-grown success stories and entrepreneurs. We wanted to aggregate this content, regardless of source, so that it’s easy to see what makes Boston’s innovation scene so very awesome. We have some terrific content already from our partners, but we’d welcome more. Let us know if you’ve got something that fits with the awesomeness at AwesomeBoston.org, as we’d love to include it.

This site is really just one way to meet the goal of shouting louder and prouder, building brand Boston. Relentless storytelling is the answer. We all should be talking more about Boston, why it is a character in all our success stories and why what we have here is so special. Let’s not keep it a secret anymore. We can make it even more Awesome!

Got ideas for AwesomeBoston.org – please let us know by visiting the site. Got comments about why your Boston is awesome? Share them in the section below.

Debi Kleiman - Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange

Debi Kleiman – MITX

Debi Kleiman is President of MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange); you can reach her on Twitter @drkleiman.

The Mass Action unCommittee includes:

Peter Andrews (Design and Dev for AwesomeBoston.org), Devin Cole, Danielle Duplin, Helena Fruscio, Paul Hlatky, Tito Jackson, Mike Lake, Yoon Lee, Chad O’Connor, Lisa Reilly, Jaime Reynolds, Erica Rife, Ian Sample, Nancy Saucier, and C.A. Webb.

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ABOUT AWESOME BOSTON

AwesomeBoston.org is the destination for success stories in Greater Boston.

Whether it is startups with huge ideas, large companies grown from humble roots, nonprofits making society thrive, thought leaders in academia, or government officials and investors connecting people to vital resources, each of these key pieces of the Boston ecosystem should be better known to each other and to the public. 

Born out of ideas discussed at the Urban Excellence unConference in February 2012, AwesomeBoston.org was created by a group of dedicated business, academic, government and non-profit leaders committed to improving Massachusetts, the Mass Action unCommittee.

The purpose of AwesomeBoston.org is twofold:

1. In an effort to better define Boston’s “story,” the site provides a platform where Boston-area business success stories are told and promoted.

2. AwesomeBoston.org serves as a portal for college and university student groups to gain access to successful Boston-based leaders who have volunteered to speak at on-campus events in an effort to further share and promote the success that can be had by launching and growing a business in Massachusetts.

AwesomeBoston.org makes sure these success stories reach a broader audience so that they can inspire more people to choose Boston for its unparalleled access to opportunity.

unCommittee Members:

WHAT IS AWESOMEBOSTON?

Awesome Boston is a newly launched program that brings the collective “story” of Boston’s innovation economy to the the world around us, showcasing the game-changing business and vibrant start-up culture that drives this great city.
Launched as a collaboration of prominent civic groups and leading citizens, the AwesomeBoston.org portal seeks to engage and inform people around the world about Boston’s unparalleled economic opportunity.
The Awesome Boston initiative takes this message further by bringing successful local C-level execs to our local college campuses to discuss how the Greater Boston ecosystem was an integral part of their success and why it was, and is, a great place to live, work and play after college.
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Unleashing Ideas – Entrepreneurship Week

Unleashing Ideas - Global Entrepreneurship Week

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK BEGINS TODAY IN 130 COUNTRIES

35,000 activities. 7 million participants. One Week.
Follow the action all week at www.unleashingideas.org

Unleashing Ideas - Global Entrepreneurship Week

UNLEASHING IDEAS

WASHINGTON, DC – As economists and policymakers alike focus on the coming fiscal cliff in the U.S. and its global impact, thousands of new start-ups are springing to life and millions of people are exploring their entrepreneurial potential — all during one week. For the fifth consecutive year, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) features a wide range of events, activities and competitions designed to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems that are responsible for job creation and economic growth.

“Today marks the beginning of another celebration of the new and young firms that are fundamental for sustainable growth and stability, not just in the U.S. but around the world,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “This new generation of startups is unleashing ideas through the marketplace that not only create wealth, but that solve challenges and improve our daily lives.”

An initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW connects people through activities designed to help them acquire the skills and networks necessary to take the next step, no matter where they are along the startup spectrum. National campaigns in 130 countries are in full swing as more than 24,000 partner organizations hold nearly 40,000 activities.

GEW kicks off the week naming Dropifi as the grand prize winner of the Startup Open, a competition that recognizes the year’s most innovative new company. The young cofounders from Ghana took the top prize for their “smart” widget that replaces static “contact us” forms — reading such things as personalities and emotions, allowing companies to better analyze incoming messages and route them accordingly. Dropifi won an all-expenses-paid trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in March 2013 to attend one of the world’s largest gatherings of startup champions, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

While GEW has just officially started, hundreds of startups have already sprung to life through Startup Weekend events in 66 cities around the world since Friday. These boot camp style events move participants rapidly from idea to minimum viable product in 54 hours. Another 65 cities are set to host similar events next weekend with the winners from both weekends competing against each other in a Global Startup Battle. Organizers estimate that more than 1,200 new startups could be formed over these two weekends alone.

Winning the top prize for one of the early competitions as a part of GEW – the Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition – was Biosyntia of Denmark. It won for its work in helping chemical manufacturers move to biochemical methods while reducing costs and CO2 emissions.

Other highlights coming later this week include:

  • Entrepreneurs 2012: GEW’s Jonathan Ortmans joins former U.S. President Bill Clinton and an impressive list of keynote speakers at the four-day business conference in London.
  • Get In the Ring: Hosted in the Netherlands, this event includes entrepreneurs from 17 countries who pitch a panel of  investors in an effort to secure anywhere from €100,000 – €1,000,000 in startup capital.
  • Meet the Lions: Africa’s promising young startups compete through pitch competitions across the continent.
  • Global Student Entrepreneur Awards: Students who own and run businesses while attending a high school, college or university battle for the title of Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year and their share of more than $150,000 in business support services.
  • Creative Business Cup: National winners from the creative industries in 23 countries pitch revolutionary ideas with strong market potential as they face off in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • The Startup Kids: San Francisco, London and Berlin host featured screenings of this documentary film on young web entrepreneurs — including interviews with the founders of Dropbox, Vimeo, Soundcloud and more.
  • Cairo Startup Cup: More than 160 applicants have been narrowed to seven finalists competing in this business model competition in Egypt.
  • Growing SMEs: Princess Maxima of the Netherlands headlines this international conference in The Hague to explore trends in developing, growing and financing small and medium enterprises.
  • World Series of Innovation: Fun, experiential learning is the focus of this global classroom activity that allows students to think creatively and invent new products that address everyday opportunities through one of five innovation challenges.
  • Nordic Startup Awards: The national finals in Denmark, Norway and Finland take place during GEW and lead into the grand finale in early December.

Follow these and other highlights throughout the week and beyond at www.unleashingideas.org.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is sponsored by Dell and supported by Startup Weekend, Endeavor, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Youth Business International, Junior Achievement, Center for International Private Enterprise, MIT Enterprise Forum, DECA, Youth Employment Network, Kairos Society, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, International Labour Organization and YEC Global.

ABOUT

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.
During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

The initiative kicked off in 2008, launched by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Since then, it has grown to 115 countries—with nearly 24,000 partner organizations planning more than 37,000 activities that directly engage more than 7 million people.

With so many new jobs in entrepreneurial economies coming from firms less than five years old, it is not surprising that leaders around the world are looking to reinvigorate their economies by focusing on ways to stimulate new firm formation. Global Entrepreneurship Week helps map the entrepreneurial ecosystem in those countries and enjoys the participation and support of presidents and prime ministers on every continent, including: President Barack Obama (US); Prime Minister David Cameron (UK); Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel); President Anibal Cavaco Silva (Portugal); Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canada); President John Atta Mills (Ghana); and, numerous ministers focused on advancing economic growth.

But GEW is more than just an awareness campaign supported by world leaders and celebrity entrepreneurs. It is about unleashing ideas and doing what it takes to bring them to life—spotting opportunities, taking risks, solving problems, being creative, building connections and learning from both failure and success. It is about thinking big and making your mark on the world—doing good while doing well at the same time.

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About Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors.

Now in its fifth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 130 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 125,000 activities over that time.

Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations.

For more information, visit www.unleashingideas.org and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare.

Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students.

Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets.

For more information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation onwww.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

Boston Startup School Moves to Atlantic Wharf

Boston Startup School is the best place for young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.

Boston Startup School moving to Communispace HQ on Boston waterfront

Article Courtesy of:  Boston Business Journal

Boston Startup School is the best place for young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.

Boston Startup School is the best place for young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.

The Boston Startup School is moving this week to a new location, at Atlantic Wharf in Boston.

 VC Editor- Boston Business Journal Email

Seeking to be closer to startup hubs in Boston’s Innovation District and Leather District, the Boston Startup School is moving this week from the Harvard Innovation Lab in Allston into the headquarters of Communispace at Atlantic Wharf in Boston, program co-founder Shaun Johnson said.

The Startup School offers a free six-week program to prepare workers for employment at tech startups, and is launching its second class of about 60 students on Nov. 5, Johnson said. Funding comes from partners including a number of local tech companies.

The Startup School’s inaugural class ran in June and July at the Innovation Lab, and more than 80 percent of its students had jobs within the first month of the program’s completion, he said.

The program trains workers on four startup job tracks: Software development, marketing, product design and sales and business development.

The new location for the Startup School, at 290 Congress St., is ideally situated near a large number of fast-growing tech firms, Johnson said.

“Where we’re going to be is part of the innovation happening (in Boston), with all the energy nearby in the Leather District and Boston Innovation District. We’re going to straddle right in the middle of that,” Johnson said.

The Startup School will lease roughly 3,000 square feet from Communispace, about the same amount of space the program had at the Innovation Lab, Johnson said.

Communispace previously said it would occupy 80,000 square feet in the Atlantic Wharf building.

Communispace, which was acquired by Omnicom in 2011, is a good match for the Startup School due to its work around bringing people together in online communities, Johnson said.

“Looking at who we are, and what we do for the community in bringing skills and people together, we could help (Communispace) traverse this whole space,” Johnson said. “I think our missions tie really neatly together.”

For the second class, the Startup School is also expanding its base of partners, which support the program financially and often get involved with teaching or speaking at the program’s classes.

New partners for the second class include Boston area startups Yesware, Backupify, The Tap Lab, Zagster, UberSense and Daily Grommet, along with Tapjoy (based in San Francisco but with a Cambridge office via the Viximo acquisition) and San Francisco-based startup Traackr.

Traackr blogged last week that it will be partnering with Boston Startup School as instructors in the Web development track, and is “excited to potentially meet the next Traackr team member” at the program.

Looking ahead, the Startup School is planning to hold a summer class again in 2013, but may hold another class before then, in the spring, if there is enough support in the Boston startup community, Johnson said.

Johnson, formerly a TechStars Boston associate, co-founded the program with Aaron O’Hearn, who is head of special projects at TechStars Boston.

The Startup School’s head of content, Kelly McDonald, is an associate at TechStars Boston.

Article Courtesy of:  Boston Business Journal

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About Boston Startup School

An experience to master critical job skills

Boston Startup School is the best place for young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.
It’s an immersive program that educates participants on the startup culture, team dynamics and one of four in-demand skill sets.
You will have an opportunity to work with an incredible set of fellow students and meet Boston startup companies that are looking for top talent to grow their businesses.

History

It all started at TechStars in Boston.

Each Session, the team would continuously ask around the ecosystem “how can we be more helpful?” and they found the answer wasn’t always about financing, but instead about people. Human capital. People who were hungry for a startup and didn’t require training; yet could operate without heavy guidance, make high-impact decisions and deliver immediate value. The team at TechStars began thinking how they could equip the best and brightest minds with in-demand skills they needed to make immediate impact in startups. With an idea, guts and tons of support, Katie Rae got on stage at Ruby Riot and told the community what was about to hit them – the Boston Startup School was launching.

Since that point, they’ve built a team who has been hard at work building an experience complete with action-based curriculum and relevant startup practitioners as instructors.

The applicant response for the inaugural class was astonishing, rivaling that of an Ivy League institution.

You can apply for future sessions of the program here.

Boston Startup School

Experiential Learning

Boston Startup School

Action. Doing. Delivery.

Boston Startup School offers a unique opportunity for students to experience the workflow and culture of a startup workspace.

Our students learn to do, create and deliver with the help of experienced industry leaders in one of four areas of expertise: Product & Design, Software Development, Marketing or Sales & Business Development.

Our classrooms and structure inspire intimate Q&A sessions with lead to collaborative, real-world projects that test and reinforce your new skills. We force you to build and deliver real things that have impact beyond your work.

Adding that real-world pressure requires you to up the ante and put 110% in to what your building.

Meet our Network

Being a part of Boston Startup School simplifies the networking process.

Students of Boston Startup School, will be catapulted to the pinnacle of a collaborative, supportive, and awesome network in the Boston community and elsewhere. They will leave behind the awkward conversations, faceless name badges, and general uncertainty that is common when networking. Instead, students will attend regular events designed to optimize their experience at the program, while working with the staff and instructors to seek out the best opportunities for personal and professional growth. Partnerships with local and national organizations give students priority access to events and seminars at heavily discounted rates.

An extremely important part of the program is the relationships students form with each other. The BSS staff embodies a “pay it forward” mentality, which helps encourage a truly unique environment of support and collaboration both within the program and the greater community. From weekly skill shares to barbeques, sailing on the Boston Harbor, ultimate frisbee, adventurous dinners, and our highly competitive kickball league, students will form invaluable and life-long bonds with each other.

Students build relationships with Boston Startup School’s alumni, partners, sponsors, and extended network. Gain access to the full spectrum of the startup ecosystem including small teams looking to rapidly expand, large companies supporting the startup community, and everything in between. Interact with these companies through morning coffee sessions, field trips to offices, and exclusive speaking events.

Our graduates believe in giving back to the community and are excited to see you succeed, just as they have.

Investor Capitalists in Boston

Venture Capital Boston Massachusetts

Start-up Axio, IDEO put heads together

By Scott Kirsner |  GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

david skok

MATRIX PARTNERS - David Skok – A top go-to investor

Highlights from Scott Kirsner’s Innovation Economy blog.

One of the cooler start-ups in Cambridge right now is Axio, which is developing a headband that could improve your ability to focus on work, studying, or an athletic endeavor.

I wrote about the company back in February, and since then, Axio has participated in two “accelerator” programs: Haxlr8r, which involved spending 15 weeks in Shenzhen, China, and Highland Capital Partners’ Summer@Highland program for collegiate entrepreneurs, based in Kendall Square.

Now Axio will be the first “start-up in residence” at the Central Square offices of IDEO, the renowned design firm.

“Axio is doing really cool stuff with sensors and playing across the hardware and software boundary,” says Colin Raney, IDEO’s location director in Cambridge.

“We think there’s a great opportunity to learn from each other.”

Axio’s headband uses three sensors that touch the wearer’s forehead to measure brain activity, and transmit the data via Bluetooth to a PC or mobile device. Software on the device helps guide the wearer to a state of intense focus. Cofounder Arye Barnehama has said the company is aiming for a price of about $100.

As for whether IDEO will open its Cambridge office to other fledgling businesses in the future, Raney says, “We’re definitely interested . . . but fit is critical.

For us, this is about learning, finding inspiration, and playing in new spaces.”

Boston’s go-to investors

Venture Capital Boston Massachusetts

When an entrepreneur in Boston has a new idea, which investors see it first?

I surveyed 91 entrepreneurs this month to create a list of the “go to” venture capitalists in Boston in five different categories. It was easy to determine the top dogs in software and the Web but harder in life sciences or semiconductors. My question was simple: “Who is the first VC in Boston/New England you’d pitch?”

I asked people to weigh in only on fields where they’d had experience: social, mobile, consumer Web, and games; enterprise-oriented software, services, software-as-a-service; life sciences, health care, and medical device; cleantech, energy, sustainability, LEDs, and batteries; semiconductors, telecom, materials, robotics, and other “hard” technologies that don’t fit into the cleantech category.

Top vote-getters in the first two categories each received more than a dozen votes, while the other winners rarely received more than three; I received fewer responses from entrepreneurs in life sciences and cleantech, and there were a greater number of investors receiving votes in these categories, especially in life sciences, where 45 respondents gave votes to 23 different VCs.

■ Social media, consumer Web, mobile and games (62 responses):

Go-to investor: Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital

Runner-up: Eric Paley, Founder Collective

Go-to firm: Spark Capital

■ Enterprise-oriented software, services, and SaaS (57 responses):

Go-to investor: David Skok, Matrix Partners

Runner-up: Izhar Armony, Charles River Ventures

Go-to firm: Matrix Partners

■ Life sciences, health care, and medical devices (45 responses):

Go-to investor: Michael Greeley, Flybridge Capital Partners

Runner-up: Bruce Booth, Atlas Venture

Go-to firm: Polaris Venture Partners

■ Cleantech, energy, and sustainability (32 responses):

Go-to investor: Matt Nordan, Venrock

Runner-up: Bilal Zuberi, General Catalyst

Go-to firm: North Bridge Venture Partners

■ Semiconductors, telecom, materials, and robotics (32 responses):

Go-to investor: David Aronoff, Flybridge Capital Partners

Runner-up: No clear runner-up

Go-to firm: Matrix Partners

Note: Antonio Rodriguez of Matrix Partners joined the firm in 2010, and his lack of a long track record may be why he received votes in three different categories: social, enterprise, and semiconductors.

His voted totaled 7.25, making him the third-highest after Skok and Sabet.

And Aronoff at Flybridge moved to New York over the summer to help expand the firm’s office there, so he may not really be accurately defined as a Boston VC going forward.

For the full Innovation Economy blog, updated daily, visit www.boston.com/innovation.

Rapid7 & Aereo – Cambridge & Boston Continue to Dominate Innovation

Aereo Boston MA

7 Ways that Security Firm Rapid7 Is Bucking IT-Business Trends

Gregory T. Huang - Follow @gthuang

Article Courtesy of:  Xconomy Boston

RAPID7 - MIKE TUCHEN

RAPID7 CEO – MIKE TUCHEN

RAPID7 - CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS

In case you’ve forgotten, cybersecurity is still one of the biggest issues in the tech world—and one that is being fiercely contested by many companies in New England and beyond.

One company that stands out from the fray is Boston-based Rapid7.

We’ve previously written about the firm’s approach to developing software to protect against cyber-espionage and test businesses’ IT networks for security flaws.

Rapid7 also made our recent list of biggest technology bets in the area; it has raised $59 million in venture funding to date. Plus, you’ve got to like a company whose new innovation center is on the 14th floor of a building whose elevator only goes to 13. (More on that in a minute.)

I recently caught up with Mike Tuchen, Rapid7’s CEO, at the company’s newest office, in Kendall Square (see photo above). We covered a range of security topics—among them, the recent Java software attacks; the Apple-FBI unique-device-identifier data leak; and this summer’s failed U.S. cybersecurity bill. Sadly, there’s no sign of any slowdown in attacks, Tuchen says. “The root cause boils down to economics.

Cyber attacks are a huge, multibillion-dollar, illegal business,” he says. “As long as there’s things to be stolen on the Internet, there will be people doing it.”

And there also will be companies making a living by protecting others. It struck me that Tuchen’s firm does a lot of things differently from the conventional wisdom in tech-business.

Whether it will all pay off in the end, it’s too early to say—but it should be instructive for the rest of the industry to watch. Here are seven ways that Rapid7 is going against the grain:

1. Setting up shop in Cambridge (from Boston).

The company opened its new innovation center on the aforementioned 14th floor at One Main Street in Kendall, in June. This happened as a lot of tech startups have been moving out of Cambridge or choosing to set up their offices in Boston. Rapid7’s presence in Kendall is still relatively small—20-some employees out of around 150 in the Boston area, most of them in the Prudential building (and north of 275 total)—but the office space itself is something to behold. It’s full of hand-carved wood, furniture built out of the floor (see above), intricate ceiling décor, and stunning views of the river and skyline.

2. Inside sales, not enterprise sales.

The traditional industry practice is to hire a big sales team, buy expensive ads, and build relationships with high-paying customers over years. But the trend has shifted to Internet sales platforms, try before you buy, faster sales cycles, and lower costs. As part of that, Rapid7 is not targeting Fortune 100 companies, but everyone else is fair game. “I believe it’s the way of the future,” says Tuchen.

3. Emphasis on customer service and experience.

A lot of companies say they focus on this, of course, but it’s a key tenet of Rapid7′s culture. Tuchen tells the story of his first iPhone: The on/off button stopped working, so he booked an appointment at an Apple store. The store worker got him a new phone and replaced the plastic case, all for free, in five minutes. “What was brilliant about that was, Apple had empowered the guy in the front to solve the problem,” Tuchen says. “Think about it—how many companies really get it?” (Not T-Mobile, DirecTV, or New York Times delivery, in my recent experience.)

4. All support and development in North America, none overseas.

This one is interesting because it seems like a given these days that some of a company’s developers or support staff will be in lower-wage countries. Not so for Rapid7. Tuchen says he tried hiring workers in India and Argentina in 2010-2011, but it didn’t work out. “There’s not the same talent as in Cambridge,” he says. “It’s absolutely critical to have great support.”

5. Gender balance in executive staff.

A quick look at the company’s leadershippage shows that five of the 14 top-ranking execs at Rapid7 are women: Christina Luconi (chief people officer), Carol Meyers (chief marketing officer), Kara Gilbert (VP of sales), Jennifer Benson (VP of customer experience), and Patty Wright (VP of professional services). It’s not 50-50, but it’s more balanced than most tech companies.

Rapid7

6. Investing in the downturn.

This one can be claimed by a few more companies—at least ones that are still thriving. Tuchen joined as CEO in 2008, just as the recession was hitting. In 2009, Rapid7 made a key acquisition in Metasploit and started putting venture dollars to work. Now its revenues are about 10 times what they were in the year before he arrived, Tuchen told me earlier this year, and the firm has added lots of new staff. “We’ve tripled the company in the last few years,” he says. (Rapid7 says it has had 13 straight quarters of record revenues, including 58 percent growth in the past quarter compared to the same period last year.)

7. Looking to IPO instead of getting acquired.

Most companies will say this, of course, but the track record of security software companies in the area suggests the opposite (see NitroSecurity, bought by Intel/McAfee, Q1 Labs, bought by IBM, and so on). Tuchen says an IPO is a goal of the company. He could be blowing smoke, but I sense that it’s true. If Rapid7 continues on its growth trajectory, an IPO would be a viable option. But the company will have to stay ahead of the hackers in an ever expanding cat-and-mouse game—and if it does that, who knows if a better option might come along.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy’s National IT Editor and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323.

Follow @gthuang

Article Courtesy of:  Xconomy Boston

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Live Internet TV biz Aereo boosts headcount

Aereo Boston MA

By Don Seiffert

MASS HIGH TECH - Voice of Innovation

Article Courtesy of: MASS HIGH TECH

One fast-growing tech company, New York City-based Aereo, already has a sizeable presence in Boston, but many people haven’t heard of it yet because its service isn’t available here.

Aereo offers live television over the Internet, and CEO and founder Chet Kanojia told Mass High Tech he plans to more than double the size of its 45-employee engineering department in the next year.

The 8,000-square-foot site in Boston’s Innovation District is more than large enough to handle the expansion, he said.

Kanojia believes his technology promises to upend the television market in a way that similar offerings – like Hulu and Apple TV – haven’t been able to. Users don’t need a cable subscription or hardware installation, and the shows are not archived, but simply whatever is being broadcast at that moment. The service also offer DVR capabilities to rewind and record shows, and plans range from $1 per day to $80 per year.

“Our whole mission is to provide live broadcast TV access online,” he said. “The big idea is, (we) bring a level of simplicity to it.”

Kanojia intends to launch the service in other cities beyond New York City soon, but didn’t specify when Boston is scheduled.

The company has already prevailed in a lawsuit brought against it by 17 network broadcasters, including American Broadcasting Companies Inc., which argued that the company should only be allowed to broadcast shows after they have already aired. In July, Federal Judge Alison J. Nathan denied the request for a preliminary injunction, writing in her opinion that “although (the plaintiffs) have demonstrated that they face irreparable harm, they have not demonstrated that the balance of hardships decidedly tips in their favor.”

Kanojia himself is a Northeastern University graduate who still lives in the Boston area. His last company, a television advertising software company called Navic Networks, sold to Microsoft in 2008.

Article Courtesy of: MASS HIGH TECH

Future Boston Alliance Picks 25 Businesses for Accelerator Program

Massachusetts Innovation - Boston Start Ups

The Future Boston Alliance accelerator program starts August 11th, and runs once a week for six months.

Article Source:  Accelerator Gazette 

At the end of the program, one startup will receive a year of free office space at the headquarters of the clothing company Karmaloop in Back Bay, Boston.

They’ll also get $5,000 in cash.

 Massachusetts Innovation - Boston Start Ups

Create and Record:

Create & Record looks to become a premium multimedia production entity, creating and engaging in artistic and culturally innovative projects that stimulate the senses, demand attention, and bring a deeper meaning to the collective consciousness of humanity.

Kush Groove Clothing Company:

Kush Groove Clothing Company was established in 2011 as an expressions brand for city stoners.

City streets all over the world have seen the growth of the new age urban hippie: young, fresh, and dynamic.

The Kush Groove brand is a blend of style and culture, expressed through our fashion savvy.

At our core, we produce high-quality lifestyle products inspired by the four-twenty friendly movement.

So, Pick A Party:

So, Pick A Party offers a hyper-local nightlife guide for party goers.

We will be the first company to take advantage of affiliate ticket sales from Eventbrite and the growing small event industry.

For fans, we will provide a more personalized and social way to find events.

For event organizers, promoters, and venues, So, Pick A Party will offer a marketing platform that allows event organizers to promote their events and sell tickets, leveraging Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Little e Communications, LLC:

Little e Communications, LLC assists businesses and individuals in creative communities through organization, to maximize productivity and reach their goals.

Little e embraces the challenge of connecting left brain organizational structures and thinking with right brain creative energy and vision.

In partnership with clients, Little e creates strategies and structures plans to execute any idea, project, event or potential start-up.

Seven Halos LLC:

Founded in 2010 by Jennifer Smith, Seven Halos is the online destination for today’s fashion, art, and cultural trend-setters.

Seven Halos highlights those that continue to be creatively progressive, cutting edge, and looking to add to the cultural zeitgeist

art now! textiles:

At art now! textiles, we believe in art.

We believe in the transformative promise of art in communities, from murals on city walls to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to a handkerchief in your pocket.

We believe that art plants seeds of growth & change, which is why 5% of each piece sold goes to the local, independent artist who designed the graphic & another 5% goes to a local org doing good work.

Our first piece is a bike-themed handkerchief; Bikes Not Bombs will receive the 5% from sales.

Wealthy And Xcelling a.k.a WAX Clothing:

My business is a clothing line started by myself.

Everything is done by me, including the designs, the printing, and buying the shirts.

This idea has been brewing in my head for the past 2 years.

About 3 months ago I finally started to print my first shirts.

So far, I’ve printed 3 designs and sold 50 shirts total.

Wicked Peacock, LLC:

At Wicked Peacock, we seek to connect emerging and independent designers with people who value distinctive, hand-made, high-quality accessories.

Wicked Peacock wants to help designers by providing them with a platform to attract new customers and to widen their scope of distribution.

Lincoln Arts Project:

Lincoln Arts Project was founded on Waltham’s Moody Street in 2011 by Pat Falco & Elliott Anderson as a vehicle to promote young and emerging artists from the Boston Area.

The LAP Gallery is located on 2 floors; currently in the process of shifting from large group shows on both floors to smaller, more focused shows on each floor.

There are long-term permanent plans, including a zine library, artist studio spaces, a residency space, and a live wall for artists to paint on.

Dorchester’s Daughter Publishing:

Dorchester’s Daughter Publishing is a vendor for urban literature.

Founded in 2009, the company seeks to produce and publish novels, essays, memoirs, and poetry compilations that reflect a more prolific, conscious message.

We provide production assistance to writers from editing through publication and marketing.

Whole Citizen (working title):

Consult individuals to be holistic, proactive citizens in their communities.

[background: My life changed when I met my first mentor - someone who encouraged me to start envisioning my life's purpose. Now with 15 years of work and volunteering experience, two Master's degrees, and 35 countries later... I believe I am equipped to assist young individuals sharpen their vision and skills, in a personalized, one-on-one way].

ummFood:

When you are meeting up with a friend for lunch or dinner, what is the first thing you say?

Typically it goes like, “Where do you want to go?” “Umm I don’t care, any ideas?” This usually ends up with the people going to the same place as always.

UmmFood randomizes a group of restaurants and selects one.

With this random selection, a percent discount is given.

This leads people to try new restaurants and break routines.

Beyond Measure Productions:

Beyond Measure is a team of experienced and innovative multi-media professionals.

As a company, we strive to help our clients achieve their visions, through creativity, professionalism and communication.

Our seasoned video professionals and designers, deliver content that resonates with the target market/demographic that our clients seek to reach.

We take tremendous pride in our work, as we understand that our clients’ success goes hand and hand with our own.

Soul on Fire:

SOUL on FIRE aims to explore and expose ART through 5 Senses (music, dance, painting/multimedia art/sculpture, fashion, cuisine/wine) while improving overall public health and quality of life.

It creates arts events to promote these various artists and allow the public to enjoy, often improving their mood and general well-being.

Events are often fundraisers for worthy local or global non-profit causes and organizations.

Born Ready:

In today’s economy and unstable job market, people need to learn how to be in business for themselves — monetizing what they’re good at! Born Ready seeks to provide students with real world experience in the ‘creative space,’ offering them freelance, internship and job opportunities. Born Ready will teach kids how to ‘brand themselves’ and also how to create careers and lifestyles around the passions that drive them.

Repat Inc:

Repat creates fair wage jobs in the USA by upcycling excess textiles into fashionable and more functional clothing accessories. We partner with brands to turn their unsold inventory into an upcycled product that they can re-introduce to customers and give colleges a unique way to turn their excess into totes that can be distributed at events and to donors. All of our production is done in the USA — including NuPath, which employs people with disabilities in Woburn, MA.

b Positive Project:

The b Positive Project is a lifestyle brand born out of an apparel company.

Our goal is to inspire people to stay positive in light of adversity and also do good for others.

A portion of our work is dedicated to helping non-profits and the local community, both in terms of money and our actual work.

We hope that when people see the “b,” it will inspire to have a positive mindset in any situation.

Gallery Basquiat:

Gallery Basquiat is a collective of Boston artists that seeks to foster local economic development with a focus on artists as entrepreneurs and/or small businesses.

To that end, Gallery Basquiat provides selected local artists opportunities to exhibit, perform, rehearse, design, etc.

Pinckney Links:

We are a start-up bar & restaurant.

Frat Labs Inc.:

Think of us as a mobile meetup.com for college students in realtime.

We want to provide a portal for student life and activity based on the interests of each individual student.

Our mobile app allows students to answer the 5 W’s (Who, What…) in a platform that is open for further student development using our open API.

With a focus on the student, campus events, academics and the greater campus community we’ll always help students find something to avoid their homework. Bring your campus to life.

Try Frat Labs.

Our Green Drive:

Our Green Drive is a startup organization that will place the first “All Green” food truck on Boston’s streets.

The truck will embody America’s dream of a green economy by utilizing alternative energy sources, creating green jobs for young people, and supporting local agriculture.

Outside The Box Agency:

Our agency services in brand management & event design.

We are currently managing campaigns for World of Dance ASIA, James Massone (The Voice), and Knock Out Anti-Bullying campaign.

GHouse Ltd:

We digitally distribute music/video, and book tours for artists.

Our application will serve as a hub of reliable information and content from the artists and labels we distribute across all platforms, while providing real-time social analytics to guide marketing in the right direction.

Velvet Collective:

The aim of Velvet Collective is to influence our surrounding culture and economy through means of good design.

We realized (and are backed by Richard Florida’s book “Rise of the Creative Class”) that places and areas of the greatest cultural and economic progression are places where the “creatives” are setting up shop and are doing a damn good job at that.

Velvet Collective, therefore, is looking to create businesses and initiatives that will spur different areas into a places where culture and economy can flourish.

Press Pass TV:

Press Pass TV is a social enterpise that teaches youth media production focused on advocacy journalism to tell the stories of communities working for change.

We believe that storytelling empowers people to find solutions to community issues and envision a better world.

Press Pass TV

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Additional Reading:  Future Boston Accelerator Program

Internet Veteran Launches Venture Capital Fund

Scott Savitz, founder and CEO of Shoebuy.com (Photograph by Channing Johnson)

Shoebuy.com Founder Scott Savitz Assembles ‘All-Star’ Group of Investors and Advisors in Launching Data Point Capital

Article Courtesy of:  Market Watch

BOSTON, MA, Jul 17, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Scott Savitz, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Shoebuy.com, today announced the launch of Data Point Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund, which will be based in Boston but with nationally recognizable investors and advisors.

Scott Savitz, founder and CEO of Shoebuy.com (Photograph by Channing Johnson)

Scott Savitz, founder of Data Point Capital (Photograph by Channing Johnson)

The fund will support new and nascent companies that can be leveraged and scaled on the Internet with great potential for growth and profitability. Current categories of interest include mobile, gaming, social networking, online payment solutions, comparison shopping, and e-commerce.

Savitz, who sold Shoebuy.com to NY-based IAC — a leading media and Internet company comprised of more than 150 brands and products — noted that unlike many traditional venture funds, the Data Point Capital fund is “stage agnostic,” allowing for seed, and early to late stage funding, as well as controlling interest deals.

Successful entrepreneurs and business executives that make up what is an extremely impressive Special Advisory group to Data Point Capital that have committed as investors and to bringing wonderful expertise to the fund include the following:

Lars Albright: Co-Founder and CEO of SessionM, a venture funded mobile engagement and advertising platform. Prior to founding SessionM, Lars was at Apple, Inc., where he was a member of the senior executive team of iAd, Apple’s first advertising focused business unit. Before Apple, Lars was Co-founder of Quattro Wireless, a leading mobile advertising platform that was acquired by Apple in late 2009.

Fred Bertino: Founder and President of MMB. Prior to MMB, Fred was President and Chief Creative Officer at Hill, Holliday. Under Fred’s leadership, Hill, Holliday grew from $300 million to $1.2 billion winning international awards such as the Grand Clio, Cannes Lion, the Grand Effie, The One Show and the British Art and Designers Club.

Desh Deshpande: President of Sparta Group LLC, and Founder and Chairman of Sycamore Networks (SCMR). Prior to co-founding Sycamore Networks, Desh was Founder and Chairman of Cascade Communications Corp. As well as sitting on various boards, Desh is involved in several non-profit initiatives that include MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the Social Entrepreneurship Sandboxes in India, Massachusetts and Canada.

Diane Hessan: Founder, President and CEO of Communispace, a leading social networking company that is transforming the way that companies listen to and understand their consumers. Communispace was sold to Omnicom in 2011. The company has created nearly 600 private online customer communities for a premier list of over 120 global corporations, with a 90% client retention rate and a tripling of revenues over the last four years. Communispace has won over a dozen awards for impact, innovation and culture. Diane has also served on the boards of numerous organizations including The Advertising Research Foundation, the Alliance for Business Leadership, Horizons for Homeless Children, and The Boston Philharmonic.

Steve Papa: Founder and CEO of Endeca building it until it was Oracle’s 6th largest acquisition ever on announcement in 2011. Prior to its acquisition, Endeca had achieved $750M in cumulative worldwide revenue and pioneered Guided Navigation, one of the leading search innovations of the decade and now an industry standard. Before founding Endeca, Steve was part of the original team creating Akamai; a member of the early team at Inktomi in charge of creating the company’s infrastructure caching business; a product manager at Teradata; and a venture associate at Venrock.

Alan Phillips: Founder of Where.com, a mobile location-based media company, which sold to eBay in 2011. Prior to Where.com, Alan was at GrandBanks Capital, a Softbank affiliate, and before that, Alan served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of ZDNet, where he managed technology and infrastructure and was instrumental in the sale of ZDNet to CNet for $1.6 billion.

Jim Salzano: President of Clarks Americas. In his role, Jim is responsible for overseeing US, Canada, Central and South America and the Caribbean markets. Jim has been with the company for 17 years and during that time the company has grown from just over $200M in revenues to over an $800M share of the North American market including over 13,000 locations where Clarks products are sold, inclusive of almost 300 company-owned stores.

Also, serving as personal advisor to Scott Savitz is Gordon Hoffstein. Gordon founded and has served as Chief Executive Officer of five companies. These companies have included Be Free, PCs Compleat, and Microamerica. As CEO, Gordon has overseen the acquisition of 13 companies and negotiated the sale or merger of five companies. Gordon has raised more than $62 million from nine venture partners and over $250 million in public money during the successful IPO’s of Microamerica and Be Free. Gordon also orchestrated the sale of Be Free to ValueClick.

According to Diane Hessan, Founder and CEO of Communispace and Special Adviser to Data Point Capital, “The group Scott has put together is truly impressive. Clearly, he was looking to create a team that collectively brings tremendous experience with all aspects of the Internet: social marketing, traditional marketing, technology, search, brand building, finance, retail, and more. I am looking forward to working with people who have great networks and track records of success — and who are jazzed to leverage their skills, inspire entrepreneurs, and have a positive impact, while still having some fun.”

“I am very excited about being surrounded by such an amazing group of people involved in the fund,” notes Scott Savitz, General Partner of Data Point Capital. “I do think we are still in the infancy of the internet evolution. In working with such smart people who enjoy working with great entrepreneurs to build great businesses, it is the intent of the fund to play a positive role in the wonderful advancements and innovatively leading edge companies of tomorrow.”

Adds Mike Krupka, Founding partner of Bain Capital Ventures, “Our team has always enjoyed a strong relationship with Scott. In an industry that searches for innovation but at times lacks creativity, it does not surprise me to see someone like Scott take a new approach. He is a tremendous advocate of entrepreneurialism, and is applying a model that matches investment dollars with creative management support, to create as much value as possible.”

About Data Point Capital:

Data Point Capital focuses on companies that can be leveraged and scaled on the Internet and touch the consumer.

Categories of interest include mobile, gaming, social networks, payments, comparison shopping, e-commerce and emerging technologies.

The fund is stage agnostic, allowing for investments in seed, early stage, mid-stage, late stage or controlling interest deals and is made up of business executives and internet leaders who have created tremendous value through building a number of very successful companies.

About Scott Savitz:

Scott Savitz is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially where it aims to raise the bar on the consumer experience. Scott is the Founder of Data Point Capital, an investment fund focused on the internet.

Scott is also the founder and former CEO of Shoebuy.com. Scott founded Shoebuy in 1999, and served as its CEO through its sale to IAC. Under his guidance, Shoebuy grew on average over 55% a year becoming one of the largest online retailers in the country, with over 1 million products and $3.5 billion in inventory available for sale, serving over 8 million visitors a month.

Between the sale of Shoebuy in 2006 and Scott retiring from the company in 2011, Shoebuy tripled revenues and grew bottom line faster than top-line. Scott owns and is Chairman of Smart Lunches ( www.smartlunches.com ), a fast growing internet meal service for schools, daycare and camps. He also serves on the boards of Bluestem Brands, SimpleTuition, Two Ten, and MITX, and serves as an Advisor for Olejo Stores and On The Spot Systems, Inc.

He also serves on several committees focused on fostering growth and a more robust economy including the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Co-Chair of 12 X 12. Scott received a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and currently resides in Boston, MA. He is a frequent industry speaker and has received numerous awards and accolades including Ernst & Young’s New England Entrepreneur of the Year.