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October 16, 2017

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Lucy: Our new market – the third one this year – launched today. Say hello to Cincy Inno, which will cover all things innovation in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can sign up for its newsletter here.

Also, Dylan’s off today, but here I am to walk you through today’s news.

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: Framingham developer Disruptor Beam has made layoffs to narrow its strategic focus, according to Gamasutra. Roughly 30-40 people were laid off, amounting to as much as 30% of the video game studio’s headcount, according to a source who spoke to the industry news site.

The latest news is another blow to the Boston-area video game industry, where most of the large video game studios have suffered layoffs in recent years. Back in March, “Rock Band” developer Harmonix laid off 17 workers, and “Lord of the Rings Online” developer Turbine let go of “a significant number of people” in summer 2016. Most notably, “BioShock” developer Irrational Games laid off all but 15 people in 2014.

Disruptor Beam released “The Walking Dead: March to War” as its third mobile, free-to-play title at the end of August, following the 2016 release of “Star Trek Timelines” and the 2013 release of “Game of Thrones Ascent.” The company has been backed by venture capital, most recently raising a $8.5M Series B round.

Disruptor Beam declined to say how many employees were impacted. In a statement to Gamasutra, CEO Jon Radoff said the layoffs were the result of an “increased focus” on two game types it’s had success with — character-collection and war games— while other project areas didn’t show as much as much potential.

Dylan has the full story. Read more: Layoffs Hit Disruptor Beam After Launching ‘Walking Dead’ Mobile Game



In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.


Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves in Boston.

Lucy: I did it again: I made a new video! This time, I went to check out Woobo, an educational toy robot for children age four to nine. Developed by a Cambridge-based startup, Woobo is a talkative, furry round animal with a high-pitched voice, a variety of gender-neutral activities, a short USB port-shaped tail and a planned retail price of $199. According to the company’s co-founder and CEO Feng Tan, Woobo (which is the name of both the company and the product, pronounced as “U-bo”) combines different educational values in different games. The robot is equipped with around 50 games and functionalities. Read more: Woobo, the Cambridge-Born Talking Robot for Children, Is Here

But that’s not the only story I have for today. You know already that our new website Cincy Inno is live and it’s doing great. We’ve kicked off our coverage with a guide of Cincinnati’s coworking space, a list of accelerators and incubators, a roundup of local VCs and angels and a few profiles of local companies driving the economy forward. There’s also a profile I wrote about Cladwell, a fashion startup that helps you build your look without spending money on new clothes. Read more: This Local Fashion App Wants to Make the Most of Your Wardrobe

And if you want to check out all the stories on Cincy Inno, you’ll find them here.


New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Lucy: *Psst,* listen to this. Renew Energy Partners, a Boston firm that provides turnkey financing and execution of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, has just raised $40M (including from Newton-based Proficio Capital) to put into action retrofitting buildings. The company has $11M earmarked for construction-ready projects in MA and NY.

Also, SiteSpect raised $5.3M in an equity and options offering, according to a new Form D.


Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Lucy: Several moves to report today, so here’s a nice list:

— Rafael Santana, president and CEO of GE Latin America, will be CEO of GE Transportation effective November 1, according to Seeking Alpha. He will succeed Jamie Miller, who will become CFO of GE on the same date.

— Crimson Hexagon is appointing three new C-level executive roles: Lou Jordano, CMO and SVP; Bud McGann, chief revenue officer and SVP of global sales; Dana Miller, chief customer officer, in addition to her current role of SVP of client services.

Julie Hogan is the new VP of customer success and services at Drift. Most recently, Hogan was VP of customer success management and international services at HubSpot.

— Head of community at Workbar Devin Cole is moving into another position and he’s looking for a replacement.


In The Community

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

Lucy: In the next Lean Startup Circle Boston event, Julie Gulick (Innovation Lead, Philips HealthWorks) and Sasha Hoffman (COO, Piaggio Fast Forward) will share practical innovation insights. The event is scheduled for October 24 at Pivotal (6th floor) in Cambridge. Interested? More info here and here’s the link to RSVP.


Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Lucy: In a profile for The Boston GlobeScott Kirsner tells the story of what a new venture called Edmit wants to do: reveal the ‘dirty little secret of higher education.’ “With Edmit, Ducoff and Manville say they hope to create a comparison-shopping experience similar to what sites like TrueCar or Zillow offer for vehicles and homes. Through those sites, shoppers have access to information about what others have paid for a similar used SUV or condo in Somerville; with Edmit, they’ll get all the details about financing a college education.”



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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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