In The Know
The Inno stories you need to read today.
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves in Boston.
Lucy: Edtech startup AdmitHub won the grand prize at the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge in the Technology Access category at HUBweek. The company has designed an AI virtual assistant that lets students receive 24/7 personalized support.
Dylan: After news of Disruptor Beam’s layoffs last week, there’s more bad news for the local video game industry. Boston-based Harmonix, which makes games like Rock Band, laid off 14 employees on Thursday in a bid to “reduce our overhead and align our business with our business development slate,” Gamasutra reported. This appears to be the company’s second round of layoffs this year, with Harmonix having cut 17 jobs back in March.
Lucy: New startup alert. In a world where saving water is becoming increasingly important, a startup that just graduated from the MIT delta v program is trying to bring something to the table. Infinite Cooling is trying to save and recycle water that goes into power plants. Power plants, huge industrial facilities that generate electricity, are the biggest users of water in the U.S., Infinite Cooling co-founder Maher Damak told me. Power plants use water to cool down the facility. The price for using water to cool down extremely hot areas is that part of the water evaporates into the atmosphere and is typically wasted. Infinite Cooling is developing a device that uses electric fields to charge the water and control its course; the charged water can, therefore, be prevented from “escaping” and redirected to a collector. Read more: This MIT Startup Is Using Mechanical Engineering to Recycle Water in Power Plants
Dylan: There’s another new startup to check out. It’s called Minimum, and it’s being pitched as a “true virtual office.” You can check out this new workplace communication tool, which just went into beta, right here. Its CEO and co-founder is Anthony Longo, who previously founded and led CO Everywhere.
Lucy: If you already had to move, you know what a gigantic effort you have to make, especially if you don’t own a car. Well, now there’s a new player that just hit start on the moving game. The company is Dolly, an online moving and delivery service. By downloading the app on a phone or using the website, Dolly connects users to a network of local truck owners, who are at the ready to take care of the user’s moving and delivery needs. According to their website, Dolly aims to be “the Uber of moving” without the high cost or stress. The app is currently available to use in select areas in the Greater Boston location. Read more: This App Aims to Take the Stress Out of Moving in Boston
Your daily funding roundup.
Dylan: Notarize, the remote notary service led by Pat Kinsel, landed a strategic investment from Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors. Through Notarize, realtors can close faster deals with its completely online mortgage closing process.
Lucy: Via Science, which is developing a new blockchain and distributed learning technology for the energy sector, will receive up to $1M in funding following its acceptance into Elemental Excelerator’s 2018 cohort.
In The Community
The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.
Dylan: If you’re looking for free beer this evening, Localytics has you covered with its Free Beer Friday Oktoberfest celebration at its Government Center HQ starting at 4:30 p.m. As for events happening next week, there’s Unbox, a new event dedicated to product managers; an Ascent Venture Partners panel on the startup/corporate relationship; and a Tech in Motion event on remote work. Find more events in BostInno Approved.
Read This Right Now
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Dylan: In a guest post for BostInno, HubSpot Chief People Officer Katie Burke wrote about three ways we can increase the representation of women on boards. Currently, women make up just 19.7% of board seats and 14.5% of board seats in tech. To move the needle, Burke suggests that we need to give women insights on how to grow their personal networks, given that 92% of board seats are filled through networking: “Two men I admire, Chip Hazard of Flybridge Capital and XFactor Ventures, and Mike Volpe of Cybereason, have both taken hard looks at their calendars and made active attempts to improve the gender representation of those meetings. The result? They personally know more remarkable female founders, leaders, and entrepreneurs and are able to recommend those women for roles, openings, and leadership positions when asked.”