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
Game Quest
UPDATE: Sega buys local game maker Demiurge Studios, but doesn't get rights to popular 'Marvel Puzzle Quest'
An image from “Shoot Many Robots” by Demiurge.
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
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
No Hibernating
Sqrrl raises $7.1 million for its NSA-rooted security risk detection software
Left to right: Adam Fuchs, co-founder and CTO; Mark Terenzoni, CEO; Ely Kahn, co-founder and Director of Business Development.(Photo via Liz Linder Photography)
There are numerous potential threats to Internet security: lone-wolf hackers, state-sponsored cyber attacks, or identity and data theft, for example. But one of the most difficult cybersecurity challenges to identify and prevent are the Edward Snowdens — the players already inside an organization who are looking to steal or share sensitive information. Today, Cambridge-based Sqrrl, which uses data analytics to fight Internet security threats, including from those known as 'determined insiders' like Snowden, announced that it has raised $7.1 million in new funding. Read More
Added advertising value
With BrandFeed, Hill Holliday makes a push into products
John Running, director of Hill Holiday's Project Beacon team, meets with the team at their office in Boston. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
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
Museum, meet Cuseum
Art tech startup Cuseum, formerly Spotzer, raises $1.2 million in seed funding
Photo provided by Cuseum
Cuseum, a museum technology startup, announced this morning that it has raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Cuseum focuses on mobile technology for the art and cultural sector, allowing museumgoers to have more personalized experiences interacting with art in exhibits and galleries. The startup has also debuted a name change; it was formerly known as Spotzer. Read More
Change for Good
Changing Environments raises $1 million to connect municipalities, citizens, and the Internet
(From left to right) Nan Zhao, Jutta Friedrichs, FKA's Chris Lynch, and Sandra Richter.
Changing Environments, a Cambridge-based Internet of Things startup, is trying to improve the way communities and its citizens interact. The company has created a network for civic-minded app developers and organizations to connect with mobile phone users through sensor-connected "urban appliances." Read More
Party people
Jobble wants to create a marketplace for event staffers
From left: Jobble founders Corey Bober, Zack Smith, and Matthew Osofisan.
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
to track a killer
Dimagi gets USAID funding to bring Ebola tracking apps to West Africa
Health workers in Guinea are trained to use Dimagi's CommCare tool. (Photo: Dimagi)
A Cambridge firm is one of 12 groups that will receive a portion of $6 million from the US Agency for International Development for creating a tech-based aid to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dimagi’s strength is mobile health communication and its core product is called CommCare. The platform supplies health workers who aren’t app developers a set of simple building blocks that they can tailor to their needs, helping them to manage patient records, set up databases and data-entry systems, or communicate with their co-workers in the field, for example.  Read More