Once a year, we task ourselves with the job of highlighting the most impactful group of individuals and companies in Boston tech and innovation. Not an easy task, given the fact that Boston is stacked with talent. We have an abundance of thinkers, drinkers, dreamers, students, entrepreneurs, yo-pros, doctors, engineers and more. Thankfully, our editorial team, a committee of judges and your nominations makes it much easier to determine who has been on “fire” in 2017. For our sixth year of 50 on Fire, we have received, far and beyond the most nominations ever.
Take note: This isn’t your typical rankings list where companies and individuals have to be under a certain age, in a very specific role or even a well-defined box. We’re purely going off of impact in 2017 for each company and individual’s given industry. We carefully considered every nomination, from two-person design shops to behemoths that just moved to Boston (hi, Reebok). 50 on Fire is a reflection of Boston’s innovation community, a collection of people and organizations in different roles, stages and categories who are making an impact on this city. Setting it on fire, if you will.
Below are your city’s 150 finalists for this year’s event, broken up into 11 categories: civic/social impact, design, food and drink, education, retail/ecommerce, health and medicine, marketing and advertising, professional services, sports and fitness, investment, and technology.
Our judges have until the end of October to pick the winners, which we’ll reveal via a video announcement (not via self-indulgent speeches). We’ll also be honoring one company or individual each category of winners with the new Inno Blazer award. See you all at 50 on Fire at the Revere Hotel, Liberty Hall, on November 9th. Tickets are on sale now. Buy tickets here.
Civic/Social Impact Finalists: We looked for the game changers in our community who are making a lasting local and global impact with their work. These are the catalysts for change, socially, economically and environmentally, that are on fire this year.
- Artists for Humanity
- Canopy City
- Julie Kelly and Andrew Myerson: Haymakers for Hope
- Michelle Wu: City of Boston
- Mohamad Ali: Carbonite
- Nigel Jacob and Kris Carter: Office of New Urban Mechanics
- Pledge 1% Boston
- Roxbury Innovation Center
Design Finalists: From awe-inspiring architecture and innovative public gathering spaces to 3D printing and digital design, these individuals and organizations are creating a better future for our city and its residents.
- CBT Architects
- Disruptor Beam
- Harmonix Music Systems
- Intrepid Pursuits
- Ric Fulop: Desktop Metal
Retail/ecommerce Finalists: Boston is home to some of the most innovative brands in the industry. They are shaping the way we buy and sell goods within our community through new consumer concepts.
- Ben Fischman: M. Gemi
- Mark Bollman: Ball and Buck
- Ministry of Supply
- Rob Gonzalez, Jason Purcell and Jeremy Redburn: Salsify
- Stephan Schambach: NewStore
- True Fit
- Wiser Solutions (Mobee)
- YORK Athletics
Food & Drink Finalists: Food and restaurant technologies are burgeoning in Boston. They’re on their way to establishing new ways that we shop, consume, pay and think about food.
- Evy Tea
- Freight Farms
- Indigo Agriculture
- Purple Carrot
- Smart Lunches
Education Finalists: You told us who made their mark on the university and edtech scene this year and we did our best to listen. Nominations included professors, university accelerators and education technologies.
- Ellevation Education
- Jenni Dinger: Suffolk University
- David Chang & Babson College Summer Venture Program
- EF Education First
- IDEA, Northeastern University Accelerator
- Modo Labs
- Panos Panay: Berklee College of Music
- Rich Ditieri: Startup Institute
- Trish Cotter and Bill Aulet: Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Health & Medicine Finalists: This year, we decided to focus on digital health companies, individuals and initiatives that are tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.
- 2020 On-site
- American Well
- Hitesh Tolani: Virtudent
- Iora Health
- Nick Dougherty: PULSE at MassChallenge
- Ovia Health
Marketing & Advertising Finalists: With the extreme growth in adtech, marketing technologies and agency work in Boston, it will be difficult to determine who deserves honors in this category.
- Bob Sherwin: Wayfair
- Bobbie Carlton: Mass Innovation Nights
- Devin Cleary: PTC
- Grant Deken: Grapevine Logic
- Her Campus Media
- Kim Darling: INBOUND
Investment Finalists: Boston is now a major hub for investors—from individual angels to heavily backed venture firms— there is no shortage of deal flow in Boston.
- Atlas Venture
- Flybridge Capital Partners
- General Catalyst
- Highland Capital Partners
- Hyperplane Venture Capital
- Jody Rose: New England Venture Capital Association
- Katie Rae: The Engine Built by MIT
- Larry Cheng: Volition Capital
- Sheryl Marshall: Capital W
Sport & Fitness Finalists: Boston is the hub for all things sports and fitness related – not to mention, the sneaker capital of the world. From health and wellness technologies to household fitness brands – we are looking for new trends in the industry.
- Gamer Sensei
- Kraft Analytics Group
- Lose It!
- MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
- Sports Innovation Lab
Professional Services Finalists: Offering customized knowledge-based services and technology products to clients is essential to building the local businesses around Boston. This includes law firms, tech services, real estate agencies and more. These companies are helping lead the pack.
- Catalant Technologies
- Gesmer Updegrove
- Janeiro Digital
- Mick Bain: WilmerHale
Technology: New startups and public tech anchors have made Boston a spot on the tech map that cannot be missed. Here are the Boston-based tech companies that have a chance to become part of this year’s 50 on Fire.
- 128 Technology
- 6 River Systems
- Circle Internet Financial
- CloudHealth Technologies
- CyberArk Software
- CyPhy Works
- Evolv Technologies
- Fam (Smack, Inc.)
- Perfecto Mobile
- Sea Machines Robotics
- Vecna Technologies
- Vesper Technologies
Want to be in the room for the big 50 on Fire reveal? Snag your tickets to the main event on Nov. 9th to catch the premiere of the high-octane video announcing the winners, and celebrate with some of Boston’s top influencers.
Thank you to our 50 on Fire Sponsors. If you are interested in being a 50 on Fire Sponsor contact us.