Whose automatic stock-trading algorithm has the hottest hand?
Quantopian, a Boston startup, ran a contest in February to find out. The winner? A trading program created by Grant Kiehne, an optics engineer who works for Northrup Grumman in Connecticut. Kiehne will get a $100,000 account to manage — and he'll get to pocket any profits.
Quantopian aims to make it easier for non-techies to write software programs that buy and sell equities based on market changes like price and trading volume. The company says it is hunting for the best algorithm writers in the world; they'll be invited to join a hedge fund Quantopian is starting. (Today, people can manage their own real-money accounts using Quantopian's platform.)
Several hundred algorithms submitted for this first contest were ranked using the a two-year "backtest" with historical market data, and one month of paper trading with live data over the course of February, explains Quantopian founder and CEO John Fawcett. A parody Howard Cosell Twitter account, @Quant_Cosell, ran play-by-play of the competition. Kiehne's software code pulled ahead on the final day of trading in February.
According to a Quantopian press release, "The contents of Mr. Kiehne’s algorithm remain a secret, in accordance with Quantopian’s policy. Its results were excellent, with high returns and very low volatility."
While Kiehne will make money if his algorithm continues to do well over the next six months, Quantopian is being pretty conservative in limiting its downside. "We have set it up so that the algorithm will be terminated if the account value drops below $90,000," Fawcett says.
The company says it will run a similar contest every month. Last October, Quantopian raised $15 million in venture capital.
Kids these days Anything is possible: A look inside Kendall Square's newest makerspace
It's not "Shark Tank." Nor is it "Dragon's Den" or "American Inventor" or "The Profit." Instead, the newest investment reality show, called "The Startup Hour," comes with a major twist on the genre and is coming to Boston this month. Read More
When Micah Risk walked into a coffee shop to meet with Alexis Fox for the first time in 2013, she knew she was encountering a kindred spirit: The two women had already established themselves as up-and-comers in the worlds of both fitness and nutrition.
Risk is an endurance athlete, Runner's World cover girl, and a nutritionist who graduated from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Fox has fought for animal protection as an advocate and lawyer and recently served as the Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States. When they left the meeting, they had decided to be business partners, and had planted the seeds for a new kind of nutrition startup. And together they've launched Lighter, which delivers healthy, plant-based food along with a very organized, personalized weekly menu and recipes for each meal.
Read MoreFrom Westeros to the Alpha Quadrant: Disruptor Beam conquers new realms
The student center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tolerates a buzz of activity pretty much at any hour. But Saturday afternoon, the spacious two-level center was pulsing with life.
More than 200 of the keenest engineering students from around Boston jostled for space, balancing laptops decorated with loud stickers on tables littered with cutting tools, circuit boards, and half-empty candy boxes in a race against the clock to build their vision of a smart future. Read MoreProletariat rising: Cambridge game studio levels up
Seth Sivak, co-founder and CEO of venture-backed Proletariat Inc., a Cambridge-based game studio, has had a busy past month. Early in February his company closed a $6 million series A round led by Spark Capital along with FirstMark Capital and Atlas Venture — and two weeks ago Proletariat launched its much-anticipated mobile game, World Zombination, in Apple’s App Store. But in the fast-moving global game industry, with the annual Game Developers Conference, or GDC, this week in San Francisco, there's no rest for the weary. Read More
One of the biggest draws of websites such as Reddit and Hacker News is the way in which news stories are compiled and organized based on popularity. On Hacker News, for instance, a story about the latest release of a free version of a popular gaming development software might be the top-ranked article of the moment based on other users "upvoting" it. Reddit is similar in that the most popular stories are ranked in order of how important, timely, or interesting Redditors find them.
A group of entrepreneurs based out of the Harvard iLab -- Max Campion, Hari Ganesan, and Rachel Moranis -- have tried to bring the same type of feature to mobile devices with a service that organizes the top news of the moment based on its overall popularity on the web. Read MoreNaming of the CzarThe City of Boston's first 'Startup Czar' is...Rory Cuddyer
Twitter has tripled the number of staff members working on safety issues and rolled out new systems to track harassment and abusive behavior on the social network. Among the new features will be a method to verify the identity of users, as well as a mechanism for reporting accounts that "dox," or share, a target's personal information, such as a home address, online.
In 2011, dunnhumby, a global marketing and advertising company headquartered in London, acquired BzzAgent, Boston-based social marketing and brand advocacy company founded by Dave Balter in 2001. Since then, BzzAgent and its "word-of-mouth" brand of marketing has continued to thrive as a part of dunnhumby, which is itself a subsidiary of multinational grocery and merchandise retailer Tesco. Read More