Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Dylan: Paul English, co-founder of Kayak and Lola, is the driving force behind a new effort to build a monument in Boston that memorializes Martin Luther King Jr. In a speech at the Boston Chamber of Commerce this morning, Mayor Marty Walsh gave his support to the project. English told me he plans to donate $1M of his own money and raise up to $5M to get the monument built. English said he is putting together a committee that will determine the winning monument design in a public contest, and that former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will be involved; other members will largely be from Boston’s African-American community, he added. His goal is to build a large monument that reflects the importance of King’s teachings. He also hopes that it can facilitate more conversations about race and social justice in Boston. If you want to get involved, English encourages folks to visit this site.
Lucy: HubSpot announced it has agreed to acquire Motion AI, a Chicago startup that creates artificial intelligence chatbots for businesses. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This marks HubSpot’s third acquisition of an AI startup after buying Kemvi and Evolve earlier this year. The company has recently signaled that machine learning and artificial intelligence are a big part of its future. Read more: HubSpot Is Making Its Third Acquisition in Artificial Intelligence
Dylan: Progress Software, which acquired the Boston startup Kinvey earlier this year, is in the middle of a fight with an activist investor that thinks it has been underperforming under poor leadership and spending too much money on acquisitions. As BBJ reported, Praesidium Investment Management’s call for the resignation of Progress chairman Jack Egan and its criticisms were brought to light in a letter published Friday. The company defended itself earlier this week, noting that its stock price has been at an all-time high since Yogesh Gupta became CEO.
Lucy: Fans of selfies and photography, listen up. The first device, outside of the smartphone, to monetize our collective obsession with selfies was most likely the selfie stick. Now, on the heels of that modern marvel comes the MOON Selfie – a tiny light that selfie-takers can attach to their smartphones to improve the overall quality of their shots, especially when taken at nighttime. The company is an idea of Ed Madongorere, a Boston-based former cinematographer, and his co-founder Dixen Yang, who went through the high school accelerator Leangap. Read more: Inspired by a Failed Food Pic, This Boston Cinematographer Invented a Selfie Light
Dylan: One more quick move to mention: Snapchat has partnered with Boston-based Jebbit to give the social media app’s advertisers a new way to collect information about the preferences and motivations of users. Read more: Snapchat Partners with Jebbit to Give Brands Better Data About Users