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Thursday, October 19, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: It’s not a good day for athenahealth, which laid off more than 400 people today. BBJ first reported the news, which I also heard from a source a little before noon (Do you have a news tip about athenahealth or another company? Email me at While BBJ wasn’t able to verify the extent to which the layoffs impacted the company’s Watertown HQ, a source told me that employees in Watertown took a big hit.

The healthcare IT company has not yet responded to a request for comment, but it’s possible that CEO Jonathan Bush will mention the layoffs to some extent in the company’s earnings call at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. The public company will release its Q3 earnings report at market close this evening.

As BBJ reported, the company has “been putting a sharper focus on increasing productivity and decreasing costs,” with Bush saying in August that the company plans to cut costs by $100M. The company has been the target of activist investor Elliot Management Corp. since last spring when it took a large stake in the company.

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Dylan: Today is deadline day for cities to send their bids to Amazon to become the home of the tech giant’s second HQ, which is expected to employ up to 50,000 people. Boston Globe has a big roundup of New England cities that have submitted bids, and it includes Boston, the Fall River area, Lynn, Taunton, New Haven in Connecticut, Brunswick and Scarborough in Maine, and Pawtucket in Rhode Island.

Lucy: Speaking of new offices, after The Boston Globe reported that Facebook is planning to hire more than 500 employees for its new office in Cambridge, we reached out to Ryan Mack, Facebook Boston site lead, to learn more about the move and the company’s hiring plans. “We’re always hiring,” Mack told me. “We’re actively recruiting and I’d be happy to talk with people.” In the Facebook Boston location, employees focus on machine learning and how to scale machine learning efficiently, among other things. The company is looking for software engineers focusing on infrastructure, mobile application development, networking, compilers, data warehouses, machine learning experts and data scientists. Read more: How Facebook Plans to Grow Its New Boston Office 

Dylan: And there’s even more new office news: HubSpot has opened its seventh office, in Berlin, Germany, where it plans to hire 75 people over the next three years. The company also plans to open a data center in the country.

Lucy: More expansion news for todayTriNetX, a health research network for healthcare organizations and biopharmaceutical companies, announced it has outgrown its existing Cambridge space following the growth of its team from 20 to 75 members. As a result, the company will be moving upstairs in the same building, passing from 8,200 square feet to a 20,000 square foot office space. 

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Intel Capital announced today that it has invested $60M into 15 data-focused startups, including Cambridge’s TileDB, which was created in collaboration between Intel Labs and MIT. The company has created a “novel system for managing massive, multidimensional array data that frequently arise from scientific applications.”

Lucy: Cambridge-based Gemini Therapeutics raised $42.5M in Series A funding from Atlas VentureLightstone Ventures and OrbiMed. The company focuses on age-related macular degeneration.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Cengage has hired Michael Pickrum as its EVP and CFO. Pickrum was most recently chief strategy officer at EverFi.

Lucy: Piaggio Fast Forward let us know they just hired Mitchell Weiss as CTO and Alexey Zaparovanny as a senior software engineer. Previously, Weiss was CTO at Seegrid Corp and Zaparovanny was at CyPhy Works.

In The Community

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

Dylan: Today was TUGG’s annual Tech Gives Back, where employees at tech companies give back to the community through volunteer work. I was happy to participate in this program for a third consecutive year with some other BostInno employees this morning (we helped clean up the Lenox and Kendall Community Garden in Roxbury). Elizabeth Dobrska, TUGG’s executive director, wrote a post today about the importance of the organization.

Mea Culpa

Because sometimes we make mistakes.

Dylan: In yesterday’s Beat, I mistakenly described SyncThink’s as diagnosing concussions; it’s actually diagnosing concussion symptoms, which is an important distinction. Also, I accidentally misspelled the last name of Dr. Leonid Kogan, the new chief investment officer of 55 Institutional Partners, on second reference. Apologies for the mistakes!

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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