Mind-reading bike helmets, social beer glasses, and more


Last fall, MIT announced a new fund to support startups springing from the Media Lab. But for the school didn’t divulge the initial set of investments for its new E14 Fund. That list of seven companies just showed up recently…

The companies receive mentorship, plus a monthly stipend of $2,400 for six months. The E14 Fund will also put money in when the companies successfully raise funding from other investors. The fund is managed by David Strand.

The first set of E14 startups are:

DuKode Studio: MindRider Helmet
Bike helmet that uses EEG sensors to show how relaxed or stressed the rider is, and an accompanying mobile app that lets you view a map of the most anxiety-producing parts of your ride.

Founders: Arlene Ducao (MIT) and Ilias Koen (School of Visual Arts) Brooklyn, NY

Six Questions
Website that lets visitors suggest and vote on questions for interviewees like celebrities, bloggers, or sports stars; interviewees then answer the top-rated questions in short videos.
Founders: Drew Harry (MIT) and Frances Yun (Harvard)
Cambridge, MA

Website that delivers personalized job recommendations to help visitors make better career decisions.
Founders: Dustin Smith and Cameron Levy (MIT)
Boston, MA

Creating invisible QR codes that can be read by ordinary digital cameras. (Project was called VRCodes at the Media Lab.)
Founders: Grace Woo and Eyal Toledano (MIT)
Cambridge, MA

Software for mapping and better understanding supply chain relationships
Founder: Leonardo Bonanni
Cambridge, MA

Buddy Cup
Drinking cups that enable people to become social network “friends” by clinking, and broadcast where they’re hanging out — perhaps with sponsor messages or logos attached. (See the video below.)
Founder: Marcelo Coelho (MIT)
Cambridge, MA

Circular2 is working on what you might think of as a whammy bar crossed with a theremin – a way of using hand gestures to control the sounds that come out of guitars and other electronic instruments.
Founder: Nan-Wei Gong (MIT)
Cambridge, MA

I tipped you off last March that Media Lab director Joi Ito, an early investor in companies like Twitter and Kickstarter, was considering creating a fund to support entrepreneurial alums.


Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column every Sunday in the Boston Globe, in which he tracks entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England.
Follow Scott on Twitter - Facebook - Google+