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Dylan: A reminder: We have started accepting nominations for this year’s 50 on Fire, which celebrates companies and individuals lighting up Boston’s innovation scene. Learn more about our process for nominations here.

Lucy: Here’s something the Boston startup scene likes to agonize over: Can we ever become a big consumer tech player like Silicon Valley?

Dylan: Greater Boston has its share of big consumer tech companies, like iRobot, TripAdvisor, Wayfair and even CarGurus, which could eventually go public. But while these companies bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, their influence is nothing close to those of consumer giants on the West Coast: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter.

In a Boston Globe column earlier this year, Scott Kirsner wrote about how Boston tech companies seem to have a better knack for selling to corporations rather than consumers. “Consumer [tech] just seems dead — there’s not much happening here,” Krishna Gupta of Romulus Partners told Kirsner. Bijan Sabet, a local venture capitalist who has invested in Tumblr, Twitter and Wayfair, said that while “consumer tends to be less popular in this town,” he’s optimistic about what the future could bring.

With that, we looked at eight promising consumer tech startups in Greater Boston that have already started to show some potential. They are Drizly (the “Amazon for booze”), Fam (fast-growing group video chat app), Hopper (airfare prediction app), RadioPublic (podcast recommendation app), Starry (new wireless Internet service provider), Superpedestrian (provides an awesome motor for your bicycle), VirZoom (a virtual reality fitness game platform) and Waylens (a “GoPro for cars”).

Lucy: You can read more about each startup in Dylan’s post. Read more: 8 Boston Consumer Tech Startups to Watch

Dylan: LevelUp has scored a new partnership with LuvJo, an online ordering platform for local coffee shops, juice bars and food trucks. The move will allow LuvJo customers to provide LevelUp’s order-ahead feature.

Lucy: Speaking of partnerships, health technology company PatientPing announced it has launched in Wisconsin through its partnership with Bellin Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system. PatientPing connects providers to coordinate patient care.

Dylan: As Forbes reported, Boston ranked first in the chart of the top 21 U.S. ecosystems for social entrepreneurs. According to the story, Boston topped New York and San Francisco in part because it was more affordable.

Dylan: New celebrity speakers have been added for the Forbes Under 30 Summit, which runs Oct. 1-4 in Boston. They include “Westworld” star Evan Rachel Wood, civil rights activist DeRay McKessonHuman Longevity co-founder and Executive Chairman J. Craig Venter and New England Patriots Team Magician John Logan. Doesn’t look like anything to me…

Lucy: The Capital Network is accepting applications for the TCN Female Fellowship, which is meant to help women entrepreneurs building early-stage startups by providing them with a free six-month membership to The Capital Network. Deadline to apply is September 8th.

Dylan: AirFox, which aims to make the mobile Internet more accessible through its new cryptocurrency, said it has raised $6.5M as part of the pre-sale for its Initial Coin Offering, which is basically a crowdsale done through a cyrptocurrency (AirFox’s currency is the Ethereum-powered AirToken). The Techstars alum plans to hold its $21M ICO on Sept. 19.

Lucy: And Altiostar Networks, which provides mobile network operators with the equipment to deploy and expand their LTE networks, raised almost $2M in a new equity offering, according to a new form D.

Lucy: Stephen Laster, chief digital officer for McGraw-Hill Education, wrote a guest post about how machine learning can unleash educators and their students: “Online and on-the-ground education augmented with machine learning in pedagogically rich implementations, dramatically increases the positive impact that educational technology can have on teaching and learning.”

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Got anonymous tips for BostInno? Contact us.

GM: Kyle Gross (KG)
Staff Writer: Dylan Martin
Staff Writer: Lucia Maffei (Lucy)

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