Massachusetts Innovation News & Events

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.

awesome-boston_1

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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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

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.