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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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Dylan:Lucy is out today, so KG is stepping in to help me out with today’s Beat, which, like Monday’s, is GIGANTIC. Here we go.

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: In a partnership with AngelList, Cambridge-based venture capital firm Accomplice is taking a new approach to building the next generation of angel investors: by giving young, cash-strapped startup founders enough money to start making their own investments.

The new initiative, called Spearhead, was announced today and is backed by a $35M fund, Accomplice founding partner Jeff Fagnan told me. Accomplice is the largest investor in the fund, which is also backed by some of the firm’s existing limited partners. AngelList is providing the technology and back office services for the program.

Through Spearhead, Accomplice and AngelList aim to have a broad impact. Fagnan said over the next three years, the program will turn 80 founders into angel investors, which he estimates will invest in a total of 400 companies. The whole idea is to take the expertise and networks of founders who may not have enough of their own cash to invest in startups they’re already working with, and turn them into a new investment vehicle.

The program will start soon with a cohort of 20 founders across Boston, New York, Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles (the geographic coverage will expand over time). To start off, each founder will each receive an initial $200K fund, for which they will receive 15 percent carried interest, the percentage of the fund’s profits. If the founders make promising investments, they will receive up to $1M each to invest over the next two years.

“Our goal is to teach the craft of angel investing,” Fagnan said. Read more: How AngelList and Accomplice Plan to Turn Founders into Angel Investors

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Dylan: The New England Venture Capital Association has begun publishing a new batch of profiles of immigrant entrepreneurs. There are new profiles on Lior Div of Cybereason, Bettina Hein of Pixability, and Polina Raygorodskaya of Wanderu.

KG: Two quick acquisitions to note: 1. Agero, a software provider for auto manufacturers and insurers, has acquired San Francisco-based SwoopThey are best known for their end-to-end dispatch management platform for roadside assistance. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 2. AOTMP, a global research firm for telecom management best practices and industry standards, is acquiring Boston-based Blue Hill Research, tech research firm focused on organizational tech investments that was founded by Ralph Rodriguez, who is CTO and co-founder of Confirm.

Dylan: Hack.Diversity, a program by NEVCA to promote black and Latino tech talent, announced that 37 fellows will participate in the program’s second year, which is 130% larger than the inaugural cohort. These fellows will be matched with 10 participating companies, which includes returning participants like HubSpot and Wayfair and newcomers like athenahealth, DraftKings and WordStream.

KG: Managed by Q, a platform for office management backed by Google Ventures and Staples, announced that it has launched in the greater Boston area, giving local companies access to hundreds of office management services.

Dylan: Everbridge announced today that the New York City Emergency Management Department has selected the company’s mass notification system for the city’s Notify NYC Program. Everbridge’s stock is up 4.09% this afternoon.

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Skyword, a provider of content marketing software, has raised a $25M growth equity round from Rho Acceleration, a division of private equity firm Rho Capital Partners that focuses on profitable or near-breakeven ventures. Other current investors include Cox Media Group, Allen & Company, Progress Ventures and American Public Media Group. Read more: Skyword Raises $25M in Growth Equity for Content Marketing Tech

On the Form D front, there were quite a few filings yesterday. Here are two that I got a little more info on:

CoachUp raised a $1.49M round led by founder Jordan Fliegel, with participation from new and existing investors, according to CEO John Kelley. He told me in an email that the company has continued to grow while improving profitability and that this round is meant to get the company to “sustained” profitability this year.

Talla, a service desk bot startup, raised a $2M round, which CEO and co-founder Rob May said is part of the company’s first tranche of SAFTs (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) for its upcoming BotCoin cryptocurrency sale.

Now for a lightning round of the remaining Form Ds: new startups Grape Payments and Jassby raised $100K and $1.5M, respectively; and Ellevation Education, a startup backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Laurene Powell Jobs, raised a $13.9M round.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Three personnel items to share:

ThriveHive has hired Steve Gottlieb as senior director of demand generation. He was most recently VP of marketing at SOCi and director of marketing at Main Street Hub in Austin, Texas.

Cengage Learning announced expanded leadership roles for two of its executives: Fernando Bleichmar and Todd Markson have been appointed chief product officer and chief strategy officer, respectively.

Kitewheel, a marketing tech company, announced in a press release detailing its 2017 momentum that it expanded its management team with several key executive hires: Neil Skilling as CTO, Timothy Claytor as SVP of partner development, Rick Fuller as VP of direct sales, Joshua Berkowitz as VP of product development, Roy Todd as VP of engineering, and James Allum as managing director, EMEA.

In The Community

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

Dylan: Want to check out a bunch of new startups? Boston New Technology hosts its startup showcase tonight at the Waltham office of Dassault Systèmes. Girl Develop It is also hosting an event tonight on app building with SalesforceRead more: BostInno Approved: January’s Top Tech & Startup Events in Boston


When something doesn’t fit in a particular category.

Dylan: Have you ever rented from Anthony in the North End on Airbnb? You know, that “Anthony.” Well, if you have, we regret to inform you that “Anthony” is fake and actually a stock photo model serving as a front for a company that manages short-term rentals, as CommonWealth magazine found out. May we meet again, “Anthony,” wherever your vague, photogenic qualities are needed.

Featured Jobs

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

From Our Partners

Are you currently working at a startup, or thinking about a job transition in the new year? If so, an MBA could be a smart next move for you!

Join us in Boston at the QS World MBA Tour on January 18th for the opportunity to meet with top business schools from Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Bentley, Suffolk, Fordham and many more. By attending, you’ll also be eligible to apply for a pool of scholarships, worth $7M.

We’ve also added a free resume Clinic with CareerEngage Boston’s founder Jayne Mattson and James Dunford. Jayne is a Senior Career Management Consultant for a New England based career management firm whilst James is the President of CareerEngage Boston and currently the HR Recruitment Programs Administrator for Harvard University. Register Now.

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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