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Monday, October 9, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: Big changes keep coming to General Electric.

Dylan: A little less than a week after Jeff Immelt retired from his chairman role earlier than expected, GE said Friday that three major executives will step down by the end of the year: CFO Jeffrey Bornstein and vice chairs Beth Comstock and John Rice. The departures are part of a major cost-saving initiative, BBJ reported.

Then, on Monday, the company announced that activist investor Trian Fund Management would gain a seat on GE’s board of directors. As BBJ also pointed out, Trian has pushed for the $2B in cuts that GE announced back in May.

The company’s stock is down today to around $23.52, which is about a quarter down from where it was at the beginning of the year.


Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

Dylan: It looks like CarGurus will become Massachusetts’ first tech IPO of 2017. Nasdaq has officially listed the Cambridge company’s initial public offering for Thursday, Oct. 12. The company is looking to raise up to $162M by issuing 9.4M shares. You can find my previous reporting on all the company’s financial details (revenue, profitability) right here.

Lucy: DraftKings keeps expanding in Europe. The daily fantasy sports platform announced the launch of its games in Ireland and Austria, pointing out that both countries have strong sports’ cultures and dedicated followers of professional teams and leagues. DraftKings’ European expansion is underpinned by its success in the UK and Germany, the company said in a statement.

Dylan: The U.S. government’s scrutiny has continued over Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cybersecurity company that has its U.S. headquarters in Woburn. After getting its products banned from Best Buy stores and U.S. government networks, the latest news is that Russians were able to compromise an NSA employee by allegedly using Kaspersky “to determine there were files of interest related to the intelligence agency’s cyber operations on the victim’s computer,” as reported by Forbes. This has raised the question of whether it’s over for Kaspersky stateside, but Forbes reporter Thomas Fox-Brewster says not so fast: There’s enough wiggle room left open by the reporting, largely and understandably based on anonymous sources, for the Russian security giant, led by billionaire CEO Eugene Kaspersky, to stay alive.” 

Lucy: Our phones need to be charged from time to time. Boat owners have another battery to worry about, and that’s the marine battery of their boats. Although there are no plugs or power cables in the middle of the sea, boat owners could solve their problem by accessing the marine equivalent of a gas station, which is exactly what Power Docks is providing them with. The company, which has offices and facilities in both Newport and Fall River, is developing floating islands called ‘Blue Islands’ where boats can get fully charged. This past summer, managing partner Anthony Baro said Power Docks partnered with the City of Newport to launch its first island. “All summer, we have been providing free electricity to boaters coming in the Newport harbor,” Baro told me. Read more: Power Docks Is Developing Floating Islands Where Boaters Can Access Solar Energy 



In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Harvard grad student honored at top tech event for women [BBJ]

How This Venture Capitalist’s Cancer Diagnosis Helped Inform His Digital Health Investments [Forbes]

Five things you should know about David Cancel [Globe]

HUBweek 2017 highlights innovation in Boston [Globe]


New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Spiro Technologies, a proactive CRM provider based in Boston, announced a $3M seed round led by Geekdom Fund with participation by MassVenturesHyperplane Venture Capital and New Harbour Partners. As part of the funding announcement, MassVentures VP Jennifer Jordan will join the Spiro board of directors. The company will use the new investment to expand its sales, marketing and product development teams.


Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Lucy: Ryan Walsh has left MassChallenge to become HUBweek’s director of special projects, according to his LinkedIn page. Walsh was most recently director of executive affairs at MassChallenge.


In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Dylan: HUBweek starts tomorrow, and the six-day festival just added two more big players to its speaker lineup on Thursday: former Secretary of State John Kerry and Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane. Other events of note this week include Black Tech Boston Meetup (Tuesday), the 5th Annual BUILD Entrepreneur Games (Wednesday) and the getgeeked Boston Consumer Showcase (Friday). Find more events in this week’s top Boston tech & startup events in BostInno Approved. 


Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Dylan: In a two-part post, Boston venture capital firm Underscore.VC spells out a compelling argument for the adoption of blockchain technologies: We cannot trust the current systems in place to protect our data, no matter how many cybersecurity solutions are in place. You can read the first part here, which explores the “erosion of trust,” and the second part here, which explores how blockchain can help solve that: “Let’s hope we don’t have to continue to endure more breaches of our trust before we consider this a rallying cry to develop a future where fallible as we are as humans, digital trust is as accessible to us all as any utility.”


From Our Partners

Seismic: In 2002, the lives of Braintree brothers Jack and Craig Shadduck would change forever. At age 13, Jack suddenly fell ill to transverse myelitis, a rare immune disorder. Jack was left paralyzed from the neck down.

This is the story of Craig’s devotion to his older brother in the years since, and how each community that he is a part of can’t help but become inspired to do their part to help –his friends and family, the town of Braintree and the company he now works for Seismic. Read more: Brother’s Bond Inspires Local Company, Community

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin
dmartin@americaninno.com

Lucia Maffei
lmaffei@americaninno.com

Kyle Gross
kgross@americaninno.com

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