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Dylan: Alright, folks. We are revealing our 150 50 on Fire finalists today. To explain what it’s all about, we brought in Kyle for this one. 

KG: Once a year, we task ourselves with the job of highlighting the most impactful group of individuals and companies in Boston tech and innovation. Not an easy task, given the fact that Boston is stacked with talent. We have an abundance of thinkers, drinkers, dreamers, students, entrepreneurs, yo-pros, doctors, engineers and more. Thankfully, our editorial team, a committee of judges and your nominations makes it much easier to determine who has been on “fire” in 2017. For our sixth year of 50 on Fire, we have received, far and beyond the most nominations ever.

This year’s 150 finalists are broken up into 11 categories: civic/social impact, design, food and drink, education, retail/ecommerce, health and medicine, marketing and advertising, professional services, sports and fitness, investment, and technology.

Our judges have until the end of October to pick the winners, which we’ll reveal via a video announcement (not via self-indulgent speeches). See you all at 50 on Fire at the Revere Hotel, Liberty Hall, on November 9th. Tickets are on sale now. Buy tickets here.

Dylan: For the sake of not making this newsletter super long, we won’t list all 150 finalists here, but we will tease a few of them: Mohamad Ali of Carbonite, Stephan Schambach of NewStore, Bevi, Bobbie Carlton of Mass Innovation Nights, Jody Rose of New England Venture Capital Association and WHOOP. Read more: Meet the 150 Finalists for 2017’s 50 on Fire



Dylan: Techstars is launching a second startup accelerator in Boston, with some help from the U.S. Air Force. The new accelerator will focus on startups whose autonomous technologies could help the Department of Defense in the drone, robot and unmanned systems space. The program’s managing director is Warren Katz, president of AI startup Neurala and co-founder of military simulation software provider MÄK Technologies. Read more: Techstars Launches Second Accelerator in Boston with U.S. Air Force

Lucy: German pharmaceutics company Bayer and Boston’s Ginkgo Bioworks have teamed up to invest $100M in a new agriculture tech company (yet to be named) in South Boston. The goal of the venture will be “developing more efficient and sustainable crop fertilizers,” according to BBJ.

Dylan: The proposed Hyperloop route connecting Boston and Providence has lost out on a global competition that would have provided with it with key resources to study its viability. Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles-based transportation startup running the competition, announced the 10 winning proposals today, and the Boston-Providence route was not one of them.

Holly McNamara, the project leader for Hyperloop Massachusetts, told me in an email that the project “is definitely not over.” She said Hyperloop One told her team “to stand by for more information on next steps.” She added that her team will also be reaching out to Elon Musk to discuss whether The Boring Company — Musk’s company that plans to bore large underground tunnels for his own Hyperloop project — can support the proposal. Read more: Proposed Hyperloop Boston-Providence Route ‘Is Definitely Not Over’ After Losing Competition

Lucy: Freelance photographers, listen up. There’s a new startup born out of Boston College that hopes to be the middleman between photographers and customers. Darkroom.Tech, which was among the teams who completed this year’s Soaring Startup Circle Venture Partners program, is an online marketplace where photographers can upload and showcase their work through galleries, set the price for each printed piece and get in touch with potential customers. Launched in August, the company makes money by taking 5% of each transaction and said it’s already profitable. Read more: How This Local Online Marketplace Is Helping Photographers Sell Their Work 

Dylan: Perfecto Mobile, an under-the-radar IPO candidate based in Burlington, has hired former North Bridge VC Jim Moran as its executive chairman. Before he was managing director at North Bridge, Moran held executive roles at Boston-area companies that were either acquired (Convergence Networks, edocs) or went public (Virtusa, CheckFree Corporation). Read more: A Former Boston VC Just Joined This Under-the-Radar IPO Candidate

Lucy: Anitha Gopalan has been hired as the new CFO of Catalant Technologies (formerly known as HourlyNerd). Before joining the company, Gopalan was a VP of finance at Rapid7.

Dylan: Talla, the Boston AI startup led by Rob May, is getting into the cryptocurrency game. The company announced today that it will do a token sale for Botchain, its new blockchain-based platform that aims to provide a secure and immutable way to handle transactions between humans and bots and between different kinds of bots. “Each transaction requires an immutable digital certificate to record what happened and why. Bots in the enterprise will only grow when there are ways for them to establish trust with humans and with other bots,” May said in a statement, explaining the importance of the blockchain to Talla’s new platform.

Dylan: Product Hunt Boston is returning for its second demo night on Friday at HubSpot’s 2 Canal Park office in Cambridge. The presenting startups will include Humon, Pavlok, Quilt and Kroud. Find more info here.

Lucy: On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship will host a discussion about what West Coast accelerator Y Combinator looks for in founders and how to build a successful startup. The panelists will be YC partner Aaron Harris, YC CEO Michael Seibel and YC/MIT alum Matt LongSign up to attend here.

Lucy: Randall Lane, an editor at Forbes, wrote what’s new and better at this year’s Forbes Under 30 Summit, which will be in Boston October 1-4. If you want to know who’s coming and what you can do at the event, take a look at his guest post: “What makes Boston a great place to bring together the world’s top innovators? It’s a city known for its cutting-edge tech scene that rivals Silicon Valley and New York’s Silicon Alley. Further, elite institutions like MIT, Harvard and Boston College turn out some of the nation’s brightest young people and provide considerable financial and institutional support for aspiring entrepreneurs. Boston is a hub for startups, accelerators, and venture capital firms, making it the perfect venue to assemble the world’s top young talent for four days of mentorship, food, music and more.” 

CoreSite: While our cloud story is still being written, the benefits of implementing a multi-vendor, hybrid-cloud environment are apparent. Not only has our IT department lowered costs and increased performance, but we are able to enhance feature functionality for our employee end users. Read More: Hybrid Cloud and Business Continuity Planning

Got anonymous tips for BostInno? Contact us.

GM: Kyle Gross (KG) kgross@americaninno.com
Staff Writer: Dylan Martin dmartin@americaninno.com
Staff Writer: Lucia Maffei (Lucy) lmaffei@americaninno.com

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