Startups

155 stories
Fiksu lays off 10 percent of workforce, CFO departs as IPO plans hit a wall
(Shutterstock)
Fiksu, a mobile marketing technology company that last year said it had surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, has laid off about 10 percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization, chief executive Micah Adler said. Chief financial officer Ken Goldman has also left the company effective today, less than a year after coming on board to help Fiksu prepare for a possible initial public offering. Read More
Cybersecurity summer camp
MIT students, Highland Capital, partner to launch Cybersecurity Factory
Networking Switch
Over the past several months, two PhD candidates in MIT's CSAIL program have been busy attempting to solve a few tough questions: How do you make cybersecurity sexy? How can you create excitement about the field? And perhaps most importantly, how do you take the impressive work being done at academic institutions and find ways to bring it to market? Read More
Building Buzz
Nanigans gets $24M for social media ad-tech expansion
Nanigans
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels. One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users. Read More
Takeout rapid transit
Bite Kite aims to speed up fast food delivery
A customer receives his lunch from Bite Kite Kitchen. Staff/Photographer Jonathan  Wiggs
There are some nights when Andreas Goeldi just doesn’t have the time to make dinner. The chief technology officer at the YouTube marketing firm Pixability is the father of two young children, and like so many busy parents, he and his wife often found themselves ordering dinner out on days when their schedules were slammed. But he found Seamless and other restaurant delivery services were less seamless than promised, and he grew sick of waiting for his food to arrive to his home in Cambridge. Read More
Making brain waves
Thync shares science behind its brain-zapping wearable
Thync execs Sumon Pal and William “Jamie” Tyler. WEBB CHAPPELL
Boston device-maker Thync has been steadily gathering attention for its far-out claim that its next-gen gadget, a wireless wearable electrode for your brain, can tune your mood. It comes in two settings, “Calm” or “Energize,” and Thync claims their device can amp up your alertness like a shot of caffeine, or mellow you out like a good massage — all with a precisely designed pulse of current. By and large, according to reports from the tech media and various tech and health professionals who’ve tried the device, it seems the company is delivering on its promise (I tried it myself and felt significantly blissed-out afterward). But for the first time, Thync has published a study that explains some of the magic behind their mad idea. And while it's still pending peer review, it does provide an appetizer of experimental evidence that their device, so far trialed by an army of some 3,000 test subjects, actually works. 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
Innovation Economy
A star still waiting to be born in Kendall Square
Halls - Color
If you last visited Kendall Square 10 years ago and returned to the Cambridge neighborhood today, you’d think Jack had sprinkled around a bushel of magic beans. New buildings have sprouted, bars and restaurants have opened, and an East Coast Google campus has been completed. You can even ice skate in the winter or rent a kayak in the summer. But one thing that hasn’t changed is Glenn KnicKrehm’s empty gravel lot in the heart of the square. The precious acre of property is still surrounded by chain-link fence, and KnicKrehm is still spinning his vision of building a $300 million arts and culture complex called the Constellation Center. Read more in my latest Innovation Economy column in The Boston Globe.    
Innovation Economy
Reebok, others have technology to help prevent concussions, but few sports adopt it
Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 1.16.33 PM
Ben Harvatine couldn’t point to a single time that his head slammed hard against the wrestling mat. He just felt progressively worse over the course of a practice at MIT. “I’d had concussions before, but this one felt really different,” Harvatine says. “I couldn’t talk right, and was having trouble walking. But like every athlete, you find ways to rationalize it — maybe you’re just dehydrated.” Read More
Boston startups show off the future of 3-D printing at CES
Samples of objects printed by MarkForged at CES this week.
The floor space dedicated to 3-D printers at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is growing faster than waistlines at the nearby casino buffets. Just a year or two ago, a handful of players took up a few tiny booths at the back of the Las Vegas Convention Center; today the sector is booming, and printer manufacturers have a whole section of the South Hall to themselves. Read More
Who's better, who's best?
New social site WhoQuest aims to help find the best person for the job
whoquest-screen
How do you find the best person for the job, whether it's a gig playing your holiday party or designing a new logo for your company? A Boston startup called WhoQuest thinks it can supply the answer: just ask your social network, and let people vote the replies up or down. The recently unveiled site feels a bit like a people-focused version of Quora, the question-answering site that has raised about $160 million in funding. Read More