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Monday, November 6, 2017

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Dylan: The week has finally arrived. 50 on Fire is this Thursday! To help get you warmed up, we did a Q&A with some of our finalists, including PayPal Media vet David Chang, Wayfair exec Bob SherwinFollain CEO Tara Foley, and ISlide CEO Justin Kittredge.

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: 50 on Fire is this week! To spotlight our finalists heading into the big event, we’ll be running several profiles this week.

As a two-people team, Bill Aulet and Trish Cotter are nominated under the “education” category. They both work side by side at the Martin Trust Center for MIT EntrepreneurshipAulet as managing director and Cotter as director of “delta v,” MIT’s student venture accelerator and capstone program.
Announced in June, the latest edition of the summer program resulted in 21 student ventures. Many of them will sound familiar to our readers. There’s Sophia, an online database that helps you find the right therapist. And Klarity, which we dubbed “the Grammarly for legal contracts. As well as Infinite Cooling, which has created technology to help power plants leverage recycled water.

I asked Trish for some thoughtful feedback about the latest edition of the “delta v” program. We ended up discussing what they hope to improve for the next edition of the accelerator, which will take place next summer. Read more: How MIT Plans to Grow Its “delta v” Accelerator Program

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Lucy: Two moves to report today:

— National Geographical Learninga subsidiary of Boston-based Cengage, opened a resource center at the University of Bahrain to help students accelerate English language development. It’s the first National Geographic Learning resource center outside of North America and Europe.

— Massachusetts ranked first in the 2017 State New Economy Index, which uses 25 indicators to measure which state economies are “knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-oriented.” The authors of the report wrote: “Boasting a concentration of software, hardware, and biotech firms that are supported by world-class universities such as MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts survived the economic downturn of the early 2000s and later was less affected than the nation as a whole during the Great Recession in terms of its job growth and per-capita income growth.”

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Three funding items today.

— Marketing tech startup Privy raised a $2.1M round led by Accomplice. By around the time its round was closed, the Boston startup had managed to gain thousands of paying customers, with a total of more than 200,000 ecommerce websites using its marketing software. Ben Jabbawy, Privy’s CEO and founder, told me that up until a month ago, the company hadn’t been spending any money on marketing. The key to gaining customers, Jabbawy said, was largely through partners that had integrated its software, including Boston’s Klaviyo, MailChimp, and Shopify. Read more: How Privy Scored 1,000s of Customers Before Raising Its $2.1M Round

Armada Logistics, a startup founded by Weft founder Marc Held, has raised a $1.3M round, according to a new Form D. We first wrote about Armada and its focus on supply chain analytics last year.

— After raising $7M from Autodesk and other investors for its Series A round in July, has added little more than $2M to the round, with the new money coming from Borealis Ventures and Pritzker Group Venture Capital joining as a new investor, a spokesman told us. This brings the company’s Series A round to $9.4M now, and Travis Connors of Borealis has joined the company’s board as a result. provides photo and video management software for the construction sites and other industrial settings.

In The Community

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

Dylan: HubSpot is hosting a First-Gens in Tech event this Friday for anyone who is either the first in their family to get into the corporate world or attend college, or a first- or second-generation immigrant. Dharmesh Shah, the company’s CTO and co-founder, will be giving a keynote in the middle of the day-long event. Find more Boston tech & startup events in BostInno Approved.

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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