Massachusetts Innovation News & Events

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.

Boston Globe Wins Best Mobile Video Award

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe Named Best Mobile Video Winner for 2012 Brightcove Innovation Awards

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe recognized at Brightcove PLAY 2012 global customer conference.

The Boston Globe today announced it has been named the Best Mobile Video winner for the 2012 Brightcove Innovation Awards, presented today at the Brightcove PLAY 2012 global customer conference in Boston.

Each year, Brightcove recognizes some of the most innovative, cutting edge online video and mobile app initiatives and campaigns across a number of industries and use cases.

This year, awards were presented across nine categories — Best Agency Campaign, Best Customized Player, Best Live Video Event, Best Mobile App, Best Mobile Video, Best Monetization Strategy, Best Premium Video Initiative, Best Connected TV App, and Best Video Marketing Initiative.

“Throughout the past year, we have worked diligently to develop products, including our new website BostonGlobe.com, that allow our audience to view our award-winning multimedia journalism across multiple platforms,” said Jeff Moriarty, Boston Globe Vice President, Digital Products. “The Brightcove Innovation Best Mobile Video award is a testament to this development work, and inspires us as we continually push our innovation forward.”

The Boston Globe was recognized by Brightcove, a leading global provider of cloud content services, for the website BostonGlobe.com and its use of HTML5 and responsive design to enhance the viewer experience across all platforms. The functionality automatically adjusts the page layout for each platform to provide the best viewing experience, whether on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.

“We are very excited about the winners of the 2012 Brightcove Innovation Awards, as these organizations are leading the way in innovation throughout our industry,” said Jeff Whatcott, chief marketing officer at Brightcove. “We are proud to recognize and showcase some of our Video Cloud and App Cloud customers that are doing amazing things and achieving success with their video and mobile initiatives.”

The Brightcove Innovation Awards are presented each year at Brightcove PLAY, the company’s global customer conference. Brightcove PLAY brings together hundreds of Brightcove customers, partners and industry leaders at the forefront of the digital media revolution.

At the event, a wide range of media companies, marketers and developers from around the world convene for three days of in-depth strategy sessions, next generation product demos, all-star keynotes and networking.

About The Boston Globe:


The Boston Globe is wholly owned by the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading global, multimedia news and information company with 2011 revenues of $2.3 billion, that includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, About.com and related properties.

The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.