Startups

170 stories
Rescue 911
911 replacement RapidSOS wins two Harvard prizes, hits Kickstarter goal
Emergency Call Box
Talk about having a good week. RapidSOS, a startup founded by Harvard and MIT students to help bring 911 technology into the smartphone age, won two startup competitions and successfully finished its crowdfunding campaign, all in the span of three days. Read More
Hey, Look Over Here
Twitter's second VC investment: Indoor beacon ad startup Swirl
Image courtesy Swirl Networks
Some of the biggest names in tech are pouring more money into digital ads that can follow shoppers around the store, ready to light up a smartphone screen when marketers think the time is right for a little nudge. Read More
May it Please the Court
Court win for taxi companies probably won't help Uber, Lyft
Image: Reuters
Massachusetts’ top court says it’s fine to treat taxi drivers as independent contractors, rather than actual employees of the cab companies. But the ruling probably won’t help the taxi industry’s nemesis, Uber, because the heavily regulated cab business is so complex. Read More
Hazmat Helper
908 Devices has a hand-held approach to thwarting chemical attacks
The M908 mass spectrometer device helps Hazmat teams detect chemical toxins (Photo via 908 Devices).
Massive public events like the Boston Marathon, which draw hundreds of thousands of spectators each year, also require elaborate security measures. But the police, fire, and emergency staff who were stationed along the route Monday had a new device helping them protect the public: the M908 mass spectrometer, a locally designed tool that allows Hazmat teams to quickly detect the presence of chemical weapons or other toxic chemicals. Read More
Sad Robot
Boston MakerBot store shuttered in parent company's cost-cutting
MakerBot 3D printer
Industrial designers and manufacturers have been using 3-D printers for years to make mockups, models, and prototypes. In the past few years, a gang of startups have tried to cash in on the idea that these physical-object makers were getting cheap enough to get regular consumers interested. That may not be going according to plan. MakerBot, a leading name in the consumer 3-D printing sector, has laid off staff and closed its three retail stores (including one on Newbury Street in Boston) as part of a strategy change by its parent company. Read More
Do the Robot
Rethink Robotics adds $13.4m as it pushes 'little brother' bot Sawyer
Photo via Rethink Robotics - Credit: Cassandra Zampini,
<a href="www.cmzphoto.com">www.cmzphoto.com</a>
Making robots sure isn't cheap. Consider Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based maker of bots meant to work alongside humans in manufacturing and similar industrial jobs: Since its founding in 2008, Rethink has raised a whopping $113.5 million in venture investment.  Read More
Smell Ya Later
Smell-o-phone creator expands scent ambitions to books, clothes, wearables
Goldilocks 2
David Edwards made a lot of money selling an inhalable-medicine startup to global pharmaceutical company Alkermes. Since then, the Harvard professor has turned his attention to fantastical experiments which fuse art and science, including a hard-to-define experimental workspace and gallery in Paris and a tabletop device that emits the scents of food and coffee when someone sends it a digital message. Read More
Play Ball!
Parking apps help Fenway fans get a leg up on Opening Day
Globe Staff/Lane Turner
Jason Heard got to Fenway Park at noon for Monday’s Red Sox home opener, but he wasn’t there to watch the game. Instead, Heard was working for a parking lot tucked behind the ballpark, waving cars into an alley with a bright orange flag. Fifty dollars per carload for the prime spots. If that seems steep, the market didn’t think so — an hour and a half before the first pitch, Heard was using his flag to tell people there were no more spots to be had. Read More
Capital W
Boston women's venture summit spotlights gender balance, bias in entrepreneurship
Former State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien made a pitch for her company during the Boston Women's Venture Summit in South Boston. (Globe Staff/Wendy Maeda)
The inaugural meeting of Capital W: The Boston Women's Venture Summit wasn't just another conference, it was a Silicon Seneca Falls. And if you don't get my reference, go read about Susan B. Anthony's conference in 1848 where women met to talk about their freedom (or lack thereof). Read More