• Fri, Nov 21st 2014 1:40 PM

    Cambridge startup Celect named a 'Demo God' in Silicon Valley challenge

    Cambridge startup Celect named a 'Demo God' in Silicon Valley challenge

    Launching at the annual Demo fall conference in Silicon Valley is a big deal for the dozens of companies that get accepted, but they all want the added prestige of being chosen as best of show. None of the 10 Bay Area startups that pitched on their home turf on Wednesday and Thursday were selected as one of the five so-called "Demo Gods." The awards went to two companies from Austin, Texas, and one each from Carlsbad, Cambridge and New York City In the end, though, winning the award won't mean…

  • Fri, Nov 21st 2014 11:20 AM

    Business intelligence firm InsightSquared will use $13.5M Series C to expand customer base

    Business intelligence firm InsightSquared will use $13.5M Series C to expand customer base

    Cambridge-based business intelligence firm InsightSquared will use its latest $13.5 million in Series C funding to launch new products and expand its customer base beginning next year, said founder and CEO Fred Shilmover. Investors who contributed to the latest funding include Atlas Venture, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and NextView Ventures, along with Two Sigma Ventures, and it brings the company's total funding to date to $27 million. The company currently has 500 small-and-medium sized business…

  • Fri, Nov 21st 2014 10:20 AM

    After slashing workforce, Aereo is filing for bankruptcy

    After slashing workforce, Aereo is filing for bankruptcy

    Aereo, the New York-based TV-over-the-web service that was declared illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, said Friday that it filed for bankruptcy. According to a message posted on the Aereo website: Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts. We have traveled a long and challenging road. We stayed true to our mission and we believe that we have played…

  • Fri, Nov 21st 2014 10:20 AM

    BBJ Live: Boston's foodie startup community (Video)

    BBJ Live: Boston's foodie startup community (Video)

    Boston is known for its tech and life sciences startups, but food? The BBJ's Sara Castellanos breaks down the region's new and fast-growing startup community for food-related companies.

  • Fri, Nov 21st 2014 8:00 AM

    DirecTV CEO says plan to create Aereo-like service failed because it wasn't legal

    DirecTV CEO says plan to create Aereo-like service failed because it wasn't legal

    The CEO of DirecTV said Thursday the company had once investigated adding an Aereo-like service, but its legal department "just didn't think it was legal." "If I could find a way to cobble a way to offer fewer channels, the technology's not a challenge," said DirecTV CEO Michael White at the Boston College Chief Executives Club of Boston luncheon Thursday at the Boston Harbor Hotel's Wharf Room. "We know how to do the technology." Last year, Bloomberg reported that DirecTV was looking into implementing…

  • Thu, Nov 20th 2014 1:10 PM

    These six startups won the PitchBoston challenge, giving them free exposure at District Hall

    These six startups won the PitchBoston challenge, giving them free exposure at District Hall

    PitchBoston, a contest that the city of Boston held to give local startups free advertising at District Hall -- the Innovation District's social space -- announced the six winners of the competition. A panel of judges selected the pitches from startups that best embodied "Boston's spirit of innovation." Six local startups worked with a design consultant team from Orange Barrel Media to create a short spot highlighting their needs that's been airing on the giant screen at District Hall starting…

  • Thu, Nov 20th 2014 1:10 PM

    Facebook founding member named CEO of Internet TV startup Philo

    Facebook founding member named CEO of Internet TV startup Philo

    Andrew McCollum, who helped launch Facebook and was one of the company's earliest engineers, has been named CEO of Cambridge-based Philo, which offers cable TV over the Web for university students. Before joining Philo, McCollum was an entrepreneur in residence at New Enterprise Associates and Flybridge Partners -- firms that are both investors in Philo. "I am thrilled to join the Philo team at a time when student demand for TV solutions is growing and campuses need solutions to access live television…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 5:10 PM

    Harvard students stop working on virtual assistant cooking app for Google Glass

    Harvard students stop working on virtual assistant cooking app for Google Glass

    Harvard Business School students who were working on a virtual cooking assistant app specifically made for Google Glass have abandoned their startup idea following news that Glass will not be released to the public this year. Calley Means, who headed the group of students, had created a hands-free, voice-activated app called SousChef and hoped it would be the go-to cooking app on Google Glass when the wearable technology became commercialized. The app, created specifically for Google Glass, allows…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 5:10 PM

    Alfred's waitlist of people who want personal butlers is 10,000 and growing

    Alfred's waitlist of people who want personal butlers is 10,000 and growing

    Thousands of people nationwide are waiting to get access to Harvard-born startup Alfred, the maker of an app that lets a user hire a personal butler to do everyday chores, the startup's co-founder says. "Alfred's waitlist has over 10,000 people on it today and more people are signing up everyday," said co-founder Marcela Sapone in an email, though she didn't disclose current user numbers. Alfred recently announced it landed $2 million in seed funding led by the Boston office of Spark Capital, San…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 3:00 PM

    OpenTable competitor Ureserv processes 10 millionth restaurant reservation

    OpenTable competitor Ureserv processes 10 millionth restaurant reservation

    Ureserv Inc., the online reservation system quietly taking on OpenTable, said this week its system had processed its 10 millionth restaurant reservation and expanded into seven countries. The Belmont-based company -- co-founded by engineer and sales executive Van Garrett and Boston restaurateur Jeffrey Gates, partner and owner of The Aquitaine Group-- said that it has also expanded to seven countries. Garrett said there are now 450 restaurants using Ureserv's system. Notable clients include The…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 2:20 PM

    Harvard student stops working on virtual assistant cooking app for Google Glass

    Harvard student stops working on virtual assistant cooking app for Google Glass

    A Harvard Business School student who was working on a virtual cooking assistant app specifically made for Google Glass has abandoned his startup idea following news that Glass will not be released to the public this year. Calley Means had created a hands-free, voice-activated app called SousChef and hoped it would be the go-to cooking app on Google Glass when the wearable technology became commercialized. The app, created specifically for Google Glass, allows beginner cooks to view step-by-step…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 2:20 PM

    E-commerce site The Grommet debuts products in brick-and-mortar store

    E-commerce site The Grommet debuts products in brick-and-mortar store

    Somerville-based e-commerce website The Grommet will be selling a wide range of products in a brick-and-mortar store in Boston beginning Thursday. About 60 different products from The Grommet's website will be featured and available for purchase at Boston retailer Michelle Willey, at 8 Union Park St., through Dec. 25. "It's one of our first offline initiatives, so we're really hoping customers are going to be interested in seeing the 'grommets' in person, touching them, and discovering them in…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 10:50 AM

    Skills test software startup Smarterer acquired for $75M

    Skills test software startup Smarterer acquired for $75M

    Smarterer, a Boston-based Google Ventures-backed startup that offers skills test software for companies, said Wednesday it has been acquired by a Utah-based online tech company Pluralsight for $75 million. Smarterer, founded in 2010, had raised about $4.6 million from investors such as Google Ventures, New York-based venture firm Rethink Education, Silicon Valley-based True Ventures and Boston Seed Capital. Smarterer, which has 18 employees, offers an enterprise skills assessment software called…

  • Wed, Nov 19th 2014 7:10 AM

    Tech industry veterans form VS2 to put hackers in 'Twilight Zone'

    Tech industry veterans form VS2 to put hackers in 'Twilight Zone'

    A group of veteran techies has come together to form a new cybersecurity venture focused on neutralizing hackers and other attackers by focusing on the architecture of the network. Waltham-based VS2 -- which is self-funded and stands for Virtual Software Systems-- has been in stealth mode for the past 18 months as it worked out of Deloitte's Tech Venture Center. VS2 CEO John Conway, a founding partner at Gemini Consulting and a former principal at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, said that…

  • Tue, Nov 18th 2014 5:20 PM

    How Formlabs went from a 3-D printer Kickstarter campaign to an 80-person company (slide show)

    How Formlabs went from a 3-D printer Kickstarter campaign to an 80-person company (slide show)

    In 2012, Formlabs, a Somerville-based startup that makes high-resolution 3-D printers, launched a crowdfunding campaign for its first product on Kickstarter. That campaign was a resounding success, raising nearly $3 million and allowing Formlabs to quickly distribute over 1,000 of its printers to customers. The company, a spinoff from the MIT Media Lab, raised $19 million in funding last year from investors including DFJ Growth, and Pitango Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors (whose founding…

  • Tue, Nov 18th 2014 2:40 PM

    Endorfyn uses big data to recommend things you'll actually want to buy

    Endorfyn uses big data to recommend things you'll actually want to buy

    The machine-learning technology that websites like Amazon.com use to recommend books, movies, TV shows and other items based on users' past purchases is downright flawed, startup founder Andreas Randow says. A few years ago, he started to realize that the idea of "personalized recommendations" was anything but personal. He wasn't interested in any of the items recommended to him by websites, and his friends seemed to agree. Virtually none of them had ever bought an item from the "Customers Who Bought…

  • Tue, Nov 18th 2014 9:10 AM

    Harvard spinout Alfred lands $2M in funding to expand in Boston, NYC

    Harvard spinout Alfred lands $2M in funding to expand in Boston, NYC

    Alfred, the Harvard-born maker of an app that lets users hire a personal butler to do everyday chores like laundry and grocery shopping, has landed $2 million in seed funding and will expand both locally and in New York City. The financing was led by the Boston office of Spark Capital and San Francisco-based angel firm SV Angel and San Francisco-based CrunchFund. "We're happy and proud to have Boston and West Coast investors and we want to build a household brand," Sapone said in an interview. The…

  • Mon, Nov 17th 2014 5:10 PM

    This Boston startup isn't worried about the worldwide chocolate shortage — yet

    This Boston startup isn't worried about the worldwide chocolate shortage — yet

    Chocolate lovers worldwide woke up to some alarming news this morning. Two giant chocolatiers -- Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut -- recently reported that the world is eating more chocolate than farmers can produce, which is leading to a chocolate deficit, according to the Washington Post. Last year, for example, people ate 70,000 metric tons more chocolate than cocoa farmers produced, and by 2030, that deficit could reach 2 million metric tons, according to the Post. For compulsive chocolate…

  • Mon, Nov 17th 2014 2:50 PM

    VoltDB taps former HP exec to help expand into Asia-Pacific region

    VoltDB taps former HP exec to help expand into Asia-Pacific region

    VoltDB, the Bedford-based maker of the self-described "world's fastest operational database," announced Monday it tapped a former Hewlett-Packard executive to help the company expand into the Asia-Pacific region. Shyam Sundar will be the lead sales person in the Asia-Pacific region, expanding into sectors there including telecommunications, financial services, media and advertising, retail and e-commerce and smart energy, according to a release. Sundar formerly held executive sales and business…

  • Mon, Nov 17th 2014 2:50 PM

    Crane & Lion is the latest fashion startup to debut in Boston

    Crane & Lion is the latest fashion startup to debut in Boston

    High-end athletic wear might be a crowded sector right now, with big names like Lululemon (Nasdaq: LULU) and Athleta -- but that doesn't intimidate John Udelson, founder of the latest fashion company to hit the Boston startup scene, fashion and fitness-wear brand Crane & Lion. The e-commerce fashion startup, which officially launches this week, offers multi-functional shirts and pants that act as both workout wear and casual wear. "We're focused on wanting to provide women with clothing that's…