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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: Lyft is making headlines in Boston again this week. This time, it’s because the ride-hailing company’s self-driving pilot with nuTonomy in the Seaport has officially started. I walked down Summer Street a little while ago to investigate and try to hail a ride with Lyft’s app (the company says “select” Boston people will be matched with driverless vehicles). While I had no luck hailing a car powered by nuTonomy, the local autonomous vehicle startup that recently got acquired, I did see two of its cars on the road.

I’ve made it known to nuTonomy and Lyft multiple times that I would like a ridealong so I can share with readers what it’s like, but it sounds like they’re not quite ready to do rides for the press. That said, if you or anyone you know happens to get a ride in one of nuTonomy’s vehicles, I would love to hear about the experience. Here’s the screen you will see if you get matched with one of nuTonomy’s cars:

Future, here we come. Read more: Lyft Launches Self-Driving Pilot in Seaport with nuTonomy

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Dylan: With the value of Bitcoin skyrocketing to more than $12,000 today from $996 at the beginning of the year, it’s easy to understand why more people are looking into cryptocurrency investing. If you want to buy some Bitcoin, it’s relatively simple: go to Coinbase, select a payment method and transfer your money. But if you want to invest in the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies on the market, it’s very convoluted. Serial entrepreneur Dave Balter, founder of Mylestone and Smarterer, is looking to change that with his new crypto investing service, Flipside Crypto. The service runs cryptocurrency investment clubs for individuals who have quite a bit of money to spare (a minimum of $15,000 for the most recent club), and they use algorithms to determine which digital tokens have a high likelihood of a return over time. Read more: Flipside Crypto Aims to Make Cryptocurrency Investing Less Cryptic

Lucy: Cengage, an education and technology company based in Fort Point, announced a new type of unlimited subscription to all the company’s digital higher education materials. Thanks to Cengage Unlimited, subscribers can access more than 20,000 products across 70 disciplines and more than 675 courses for $119.99 a semester.

Dylan: Food for All, a startup designed to reduce food waste at restaurants we first wrote about last year, has announced a new partnership with Boloco and the Greater Boston Food Bank. In the partnership, people can use Food for All’s app to buy surplus food at a large discount from Boloco that the restaurant would otherwise throw away, and all of the proceeds go to the food bank. Food for All works with 60 restaurants in Boston and New York, Boston Metro reported.

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Anzu Partners, a VC and private equity firm that has an office in Billerica, announced it has invested in three Boston-area industrial tech companies: Amastan Technologies, which produces “high-value advanced materials using microwave-plasma production systems;” SLIPS Technologies, which uses advanced materials to make fully slippery coatings; and Axsun Technologies, which “develops optical coherence tomography (OCT) and near-infrared (NIR) MEMS-based optical engines for medical imaging, industrial analysis, and telecommunications .”

Lucy: Agricultural tech firm Indigo raised an additional $47M in Series D funding round after a $156M round that granted the company the official status of “unicorn” in late September. Investment Corporation of Dubai was the largest investor of the round’s second close.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Pwnie Express, a Boston-based provider of Internet of Things security solutions, announced the appointment of Matthew Williamson as its CTO. Williamson was previously chief threat defense scientist at vArmour and director of technology development at Rethink Robotics.

In The Community

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

Lucy: Interested in leveraging strategic partnerships to accelerate your startups growth? The Startup Coalition at WeWork is hosting a panel discussion tonight at 6 p.m. on how to manage partnerships as a startup. Tickets are free, but registration is required. Read more: BostInno Approved: December’s Top Tech & Startup Events in Boston

Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Lucy: In a guest post, Natalie Bartlett of Rough Draft Ventures put together a (monster) list of university initiatives providing the broader tech community with a scalable way to access diverse talent pools: “At Rough Draft Ventures, we work with hundreds of next-generation technology leaders who have the power to drive change through the frontier technologies they are building and address key challenges facing the technology industry, including diversity and inclusion. In an effort to both celebrate existing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the campuses we work with, as well as provide a blueprint for student leaders to bring similar initiatives to their campuses, we’ve aggregated a list of successful programs.”

Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on BostInno’s new Careers Directory.

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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