After months of hype, we’re on the homestretch for BostInno’s 2016 50 on Fire awards. Along the way, we’ve been introducing you to the local companies and individuals who’ve been killing it in their respective fields this past year and could be going home victorious Wednesday night.

Without further ado, we give you the 13 50 on Fire finalists in the Marketing and Advertising category.

Allen Bonde: Placester

Bonde is the the SVP of Marketing at Placester, a marketing software service for real estate professionals. He’s been in the marketing field for more than 20 years. Prior to Placester, he was at OpenText and co-founded Offerpop, another SaaS marketing tech software solution. And according to his Linkedin profile, “Since 2005 each of my companies has had a successful exit or funding event within 2 years of my joining.”

Baba Shetty: Invisible Science

Baba Shetty. Image via Adweek.

Shetty is currently the CEO of Invisible Science, a programmatic marketing research and advisory firm. He was previously the global chief media officer at the Boston-based marketing tech firm Digitas, as well as the CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast.


Co-founded by two PayPal vets, clypd is a Somerville company that’s developed an audience-based sales platform for TV ads. In September, clypd brought on Henry Rivero, a former RTL consultant, as its general manager of Europe to support its operational expansion abroad. It also launched Optimize Private Marketplace (PMP), a suite of new ad sales tools, this summer.

Courtney Lawrie: Wayfair

Now the Director of Marketing at Wayfair, Lawrie has been working there since 2009. She joined the company back when it was still known as CSN Stores, starting as a category associate. Since that time, she’s climbed the ranks, helping with initiatives like having Wayfair develop its own in-house media buying team and partnering with bloggers to create videos featuring Wayfair products to reach a more expansive audience.

Crimson Hexagon

Founded in 2007, Crimson Hexagon started doing social media analytics before it was cool. Now, the Boston-based company is taking off. It raised a $20 million round in March, which was to go towards growing its headcount. At that time, Crimson Hexagon told us its repository of data included 850 billion social media posts, with the expectation that it would surpass 1 trillion by the end of this year.


In October, Curata announced the launch of its new Content Marketing Platform meant to help marketers plan, manage and track individual content initiatives and the revenue they ultimately generate for businesses. Curata’s product is already being used by, Zendesk, Symantec, the Detroit Pistons and Nuance. The company, which was founded by Google, Microsoft, MIT and Yale alumni, shared in the fall that it had 41 employees and hundreds of customers.

Dave Gerhardt: Drift

Dave Gerhardt. Image via LinkedIn.

Now the director of marketing at Drift, Gerhardt joined the Cambridge startup to “jumpstart [their] marketing efforts” in 2015. According to his LinkedIn, since that time, they’ve increased traffic to their website 300 percent, among other achievements. Before Drift, Gerhardt worked at other SaaS marketing companies, including HubSpot, Constant Contact and Privy.

Ellie Mirman: Toast

Mirman has been the VP of Marketing at Toast, a restaurant management software company in Boston, since 2014. Previously, she was the Director of Marketing for the Inbound Funnel at HubSpot. Toast, which raised $30 million in funding in January, has restaurant customers using its product in 43 states across the country, as of this winter.


InsightSquared, which was founded in 2010 is backed by $27 million in venture capital, offers a Salesforce analytics software solution. Last year, the company tripled the footprint of its headquarters, moving to a 45,000-square-foot space in Copley Square. In June, InsightSquared told us they’ve been doubling their revenue each of the past two years and they’re focused on “efficient growth.”

Jennifer Lum: Adelphic

Lum co-founded Adelphic Mobile, which offers a mobile advertising platform. In addition to her entrepreneurial efforts, Lum is also an angel investor and startup advisor. Before Adelphic, she held positions at Apple, Quattro Wireless and m-Qube. She’s landed on lists like AdAge’s “10 Digital Marketers You Should Know,” Business Insider’s “Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising,”’s “Women to Watch” and Boston Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.”

Matt Johnston: Mautic

In Septmeber, Mautic announced it was hiring Matt Johnston, chief marketing and strategy officer at Applause, as its new CEO by the end of the year. The hire was revealed at the same time the open source marketing automation company shared it had raised $5 million in Series A. Johnston has already been a part of Mautic’s board since this past summer.

Melina Engel: SimpliSafe

Melina Engel. Image via Twitter.

Engel was hired as the first employee at SimpliSafe in 2009. Her LinkedIn reads that, at that time, “We had no office (I worked from my couch).” Over the past seven years, she has built a marketing team and helped SimpliSafe’s home security technology make its way into the hands of more than a million people. She’s a Babson MBA who had her start at companies like Root Capital and Next Stage Solutions before joining SimpliSafe.

Tom O’Keefe: BostonTweet

O’Keefe is known by many folks in Boston by his Twitter handle, @BostonTweet. He created the account in 2008 as a means of spreading the word about local businesses during a then-down economy. Now, he has about 217,000 followers. O’Keefe is also an advocate at #DownloadBoston, increasing awareness about consumer startups in and around Boston. And he’s the founder/CEO of Flutter, a startup that raises funds for local organizations by raffling off experiences.