Lucy: Today and tomorrow we have a flash sale on tickets for our Smart Scaling for Startups event sponsored by CDW. Join us and our experienced panelists on October 17 to learn how to grow your new business. Use FLASHSALE5 at registration!
The Big One
A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.
Lucy: While funding for artificial intelligence startups is booming, many business executives outside of the tech sector are still far away from adopting AI as a core part of their business, according to a recent report published by McKinsey.
Dylan: To Tom Wilde, that’s both a challenge and an opportunity for indico, the Boston-based machine learning startup that recently hired him as its new CEO. Companies like indico may show promise with their transformative technologies, he told me in a recent interview, but what they ultimately need to do is turn that tech into easy-to-deploy, practical products that show a clear return on investment.
Wilde, a longtime executive and entrepreneur in Boston, was named as indico’s new CEO on Thursday, taking over the role from co-founder Slater Victoroff, who will now act as CTO and focus on further developing indico’s platform and product vision. Wilde was most recently chief product officer for Norwegian tech company Cxense, which closed its Boston office in August two years after acquiring the media business of Wilde’s previous startup Ramp.
Lucy: The new CEO said his main charge is to work on the go-to-market strategy and commercial side of indico, whose platform is aimed at large enterprises and uses machine learning algorithms to sort through large sets of unstructured data and clean emerging trends from them. To help Wilde in his new role, the company has raised a $1.5M convertible debt note led by Boston venture capital firm .406 Ventures to serve as bridge financing for the company’s next funding round. Total funding for the Techstars Boston alum is now $5.7M. Read more: Techstars Alum indico Names New CEO & Raises $1.5M to ‘Productize’ A.I.
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Dylan: It’s that time of year again. MassChallenge has named the top 26 startups of its Boston startup accelerator that will compete for a total of $1.5M in equity-free prizes. Per usual, the list includes some familiar faces for BostInno readers, including Athletes of Valor, which we first covered in 2016. Readers may also recognize OffGridBox and Voatz, which both went through the Techstars Boston accelerator earlier this year. Read more: Here Are MassChallenge’s Top 26 Startups for 2017
Lucy: There’s a new cohort of student entrepreneurs at the Harvard Innovation Labs, which shared with me the list of the 145 ventures that are part of the i-lab, Launch Lab and Life Lab for this fall. BostInno readers are already familiar with some of them, including Day Zero Diagnostics, which is working against antibiotic resistance, and Experfy, which connects employers with data scientists. What the new ventures are working on is a fascinating catalog of ideas, goals and ambitions across all industries, and you’ll find it right here. Read more: Meet the 145 Startups in the Harvard Innovation Labs Fall Cohort
Dylan: Superpedestrian, the creator of the Copenhagen Wheel electric bike, is expanding to the United Kingdom and across Europe. The company has a new production facility in the Netherlands, where bikes will be built to order and customizable. If you hadn’t seen it yet, I posted a video review earlier this year of the Copenhagen Wheel, which gives you an automatic boost depending on how fast you’re going and if you’re going up a hill. My takeaway: I completely adore it aside from the steep price.
Lucy: According to Pro Rata, there’s an SEC filing suggesting that Vista Equity Partners put around $372M of equity into its recent acquisition of Applause. The Framingham-based app quality testing company had raised around $110M from investors, including Goldman Sachs.
In The Know
The Inno stories you need to read today.
Liberty Mutual’s newest business? Selling software to Fortune 500 firms [BBJ]
First look: Draper shows off $60M atrium and newest tech [BBJ]
‘I’m alive’: Mass. company helping Puerto Ricans contact loved ones [Globe]
The Top Boston Tech Hires, Promotions (and Departures) in September [BostInno]
Kayak Co-Founder Ditches Consumer Ambitions to Chase Business Travelers [BostInno]
Your daily funding roundup.
Dylan: Spiro Technologies, a provider of CRM software for sales teams, has closed a $2.9M round, according to a new Form D. I first wrote about the company back in 2015.
Who’s moving where.
Dylan: London-based MOO, the digital print and design company that has a Boston office, named Ed Goldfinger as its new CFO. Goldfinger was most recently CFO at Veracode, which was acquired by CA Technologies this year. Interestingly, MOO also made a point to mention that Goldfinger helped take Zipcar public.
Lucy: Humatics, which is working on ways to improve human-robot collaboration, made four leadership hires: Stephen Toebes as chief product officer, Michael Barbehenn as VP and principal software architect, Peter Secor as VP of product marketing, and Ray O’Mara as director of strategic programs. Toebes was previously SVP of product development and operations at Rethink Robotics, Barbehenn was previously at Amazon Robotics (Kiva Systems), Secor was previously at Statasys, and O’Mara was at Aurora Flight Sciences.
In The Community
The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.
Dylan: HUBweek announced that Fidelity Investments CEO Abby Johnson will interview Michael Bloomberg about the state of innovation on Friday, October 13, at HUBweek’s Future Forum event. Learn more about the event here. In the meantime, there are plenty of other great events to check out this month. Find more Boston tech & startup events in BostInno Approved.
Read This Right Now
Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.
Lucy: In an opinion piece for The Boston Globe, Tom Leighton, CEO and co-founder of Akamai, shares a few points on how to lure Amazon to Boston: “As Amazon considers the best location to grow its business, it’s fair to say that Kendall Square has become the epicenter of the IT industry in the Northeast. A generation ago, it was out on Route 128 and then I-495. Today, our workers prefer our walkable, bike-friendly, transit-oriented environment, with its array of amenities and places to meet, kick back, and share ideas.”
Sometimes we make mistakes.
Lucy: In yesterday’s Beat, I incorrectly wrote that if your startup has raised less than $500K in equity-based funding, you may qualify for the 2018 edition of Pulse, MassChallenge’s digital health startup accelerator. It’s actually less than $5M in funding and revenue, not $500K. I apologize for the mistake.