Boston Crunch
This year's TechCrunch Boston Meetup and Pitchoff features a roster of cool startups
(image via Mike Schneider -@schneidermike)
On Thursday evening, 10 local startups will take the stage at the Boston TechCrunch Meetup + Pitchoff to compete for a spot at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. TechCrunch's East Coast editor John Biggs and reporter Jordan Crook will be in town for the event, which is co-hosted by VentureFizz, NextView Ventures, and General Assembly, and will be held at The Estate. Read More
Crystal ball commute? 'DELAID' app hopes to predict delays on the MBTA
Commuters wait for the Red Line. (Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe)
When it comes to creating technology for cities and citizens, open-sourced data and hackathons and great, but there’s nothing like a real weather emergency to get the creative juices flowing. The recent spate of storm-related delays and shutdowns on the MBTA have sent local designers into a creative frenzy; the latest proposal to ease the daily commute for Bostonians is an app that can predict the chance for delays and train trouble on the way to work. Read More
Bridj over the Potomac
Bridj planning to expand its data-driven bus service to Washington, D.C.
Photo via Bridj
This morning, Boston-based Bridj, a transportation startup that aims to bring better, user-informed bus services to metropolitan areas, announced that it plans to expand its operations to Washington, D.C., this spring. Bridj initially started testing potential bus routes in Boston last June, and released its long-awaited mobile application in January. This most recent step is helping the company to get closer to its original vision of a data-driven transit service that meets the demands of citizens in neighborhoods lacking reliable public transportation. The service saw an influx in popularity in the wake of the recent snowstorms, particularly during some of the worst MBTA and traffic woes. Read More
Lunchtime fun
CyPhy's drones capture company snowboarding breaks in Danvers
Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.31.02 PM
What would you do if a couple feet of fresh snow fell... and right outside your office door was a small hill? Oh, and your CEO was an avid snowboarder? And your company made small drones with built-in cameras? The answer at Danvers-based CyPhy Works was clear: institute snowboarding lunch breaks, filmed from the skies. The runs aren't very long, but CyPhy CEO Helen Greiner says the walk back up the hill is good exercise. While many of CyPhy's employees are mechanical engineers, Greiner says "they haven't built me a lift yet." (That's Greiner, who was previously a co-founder of iRobot Corp., going off a jump in the image above.) Read More
Dept. of Good Clean Fun
Swedish import Boda Borg will bring 'questing' to Boston area
Boda Borg is a chain of indoor "questing" facilities. (Photo courtesy of the company.)
Ready to go questing? Brookline entrepreneur Chad Ellis is planning to open an indoor “questing” center this summer, importing a concept from Sweden called Boda Borg, which blends obstacle courses with puzzle-solving. Some of the quests are so challenging, says Ellis, that only one percent of visitors can complete them — and that’s usually after a few attempts. Read More
Cambridge students study science with a CSI-inspired crime lab
Cambridge eighth graders Nellisha Leonce  and Patrina Eugene examined their fingerprints on a brushed plastic cup during a week-long forensics workshop at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge. (Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe)
A little after noon on Wednesday last week, two technicians from the Cambridge Police Department crime lab arrived at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, kits in tow. But the famed center was not the scene of a crime. Rather, it was hosting a four-day vacation science camp for middle-schoolers, and the two crime-lab techs were participating in a session called “Get A Clue” to introduce 22 adolescents to scientific skills such as microscopy and dissections. And to make the session all the more engaging for the kids, the Whitehead and its partner in the program, the educational group Science from Scientists, had cooked up a whodunit: the theft of a candy recipe they would solve using technical sleuthing taught by real-life CSI types. Read More