Dennis Keohane

Dennis Keohane, Senior Staff Writer

Boston tech in the spotlight this week

This is quite a busy week in Boston. Not only do things seem to be getting back to normal (with no snow to report of — yet), but a couple of national tech/business media outlets are popping into town to bring the community together.

On Tuesday, Fortune's Term Sheet will be holding its Boston Liquidity event at the New England Aquarium. The event, co-run with FKA Atlas, DraftKings, .406 Ventures, and others,  is being hosted by Term Sheet's Dan Primack, who just happens to call Southborough, Mass., his home.

On Thursday night, TechCrunch will be in town for this year's TechCrunch Meetup + Pitchoff, co-run with VentureFizz. The event will feature 10 startups pitching for the chance to attend this year's TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City. Last year, TicketZen won the event; this year, some contenders to win a ticket to NYC's Disrupt include location-based communication app Glyb, an optical lactate meter for endurance athletes called Dynometrics, education-focused video game company Immersed, and Cybereason, which is another Boston-area cybersecurity company with Israeli roots.

The science room at the new Harvard Ed Portal, opening this weekend in Allston. (Photo via Harvard Ed Portal)

Community Building

Harvard’s new Ed Portal serves as a conduit to the community


The perks of having a world class university as your next door neighbor are getting even better for the residents of Allston. On Saturday, Harvard University will celebrate the opening of its new Ed Portal community center, a 12,000-square-foot space that will be a hub for tutoring programs, education efforts, and performances. Read More


Grand Theft (Electric) Autos

The A123 v. Apple lawsuit – Apple cars, failed battery makers, and noncompetes


A123 Systems, a Waltham-based maker of lithium ion batteries, has filed a lawsuit on the basis of broken noncompete agreements against Apple Inc. that claims the tech company poached some of its prominent electric car battery engineers, according to a recent report from Reuters. Read More

An image from “Shoot Many Robots” by Demiurge.

Game Quest

UPDATE: Sega buys local game maker Demiurge Studios, but doesn’t get rights to popular ‘Marvel Puzzle Quest’

Video Games

Video game company Sega has bought a Cambridge-based mobile game developer, marking the Japanese company’s first foray into the Boston video game scene. Tokyo-based Sega Networks Co. said this morning that it had bought three companies, including Demiurge Studios, a developer with 35 employees. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. Read More


Yelp for meds

Walgreens partners with PatientsLikeMe for online information on drug reactions

Patients Like Me

In a partnership that promises to be a kind of Yelp for meds, pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is collaborating with PatientsLikeMe of Cambridge to host information about side effects for more than 5,000 medications on its website. When customers log into, they will be able to see a list of most common reactions to medications and the severity with which they occur, aggregated from PatientsLikeMe’s database of information reported by patients who are taking those treatments. Read More

John Running, director of Hill Holiday's Project Beacon team, meets with the team at their office in Boston. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Added advertising value

With BrandFeed, Hill Holliday makes a push into products


It’s late afternoon, and several Hill Holliday staffers are sitting on a couch, sipping Pabst Blue Ribbons and staring at a large television screen covered in tiny dashboard gauges. Dials wave back and forth and the team — a mix of Web designers, app developers, and the ad agency’s other creatives — looks on, mesmerized. The dashboard, known as BrandFeed, allows companies to track their social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter in real time, helping them to determine how they can best allocate their advertising dollars, based on how well they’re being received online. Read More

(Image from

Mass Reach

MassChallenge partners with Startup Institute, Women’s iLab


Boston-based startup accelerator MassChallenge has revealed two partnerships that will promote female entrepreneurship and help assist midcareer job changes in the startup ecosystem. Read More

From left: Jobble founders Corey Bober, Zack Smith, and Matthew Osofisan.

Party people

Jobble wants to create a marketplace for event staffers

Innovation Economy

Your company is throwing a cocktail shindig and you need someone to staff the check-in table for two hours. How do you fill that kind of extremely short-term gig? A startup with roots on two local campuses, Jobble, has built a mobile app and website that will try to supply a solution. Jobble is a marketplace for event staffers available for such tasks as handing out flyers at a festival or helping assemble a trade show booth. The startup will handle payments to event staffers, taking a 20 percent fee off the top. Jobble says it has seven companies lined up to beta test the service. Read More

Andy Palmer (top), Alan Wagner, and Nidhi Aggarwal of Tamr.

Data Tamer

Tamr unleashes new products, announces new partnership


Cambridge-based Tamr is making a few announcements this week out in Silicon Valley at the Strata + Hadoop World conference. Tamr, a big data for business intelligence company, is sharing news that it is launching new solutions to help businesses sift through and organize enterprise data for easier analysis, that it is releasing a new platform for companies to access unified data in a faster and simpler way, and that it has added new large enterprise customers as well as a new a strategic partner in New Jersey-based Knowledgent. Read More

Raizlabs CEO Greg Raiz.

Supporting startups

Incubator and accelerator update: Mobile, financial services, healthcare


Three updates from the world of incubators and accelerators that offer a boost to fledgling businesses... Read More

running robot 1

Run robot run

Vecna to host robot, human races


Robots, on your mark. This spring, Vecna Technologies, a developer of electronic health record systems, will hold a 5K run for humans starting at its Cambridge office and winding around the city. But the company is extending an invitation to local robots that can cut a 100-meter dash. Read More