• Fri, Dec 19th 2014 12:30 PM

    Five tech and startup books we read in 2014

    Five tech and startup books we read in 2014

    While Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" topped my list of favorite novels this year, Boston Business Journal tech editor David Harris and I also read several books on topics related to startups and technology. If you haven't read these already, here's why we think they should be on your 2015 reading list. No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet by Molly Knight Raskin. In this book, we got a behind-the-scenes look at the foundation of Cambridge-based…

  • Fri, Dec 19th 2014 9:00 AM

    Creators of Wi-Fi speaker JookBox want to go head-to-head with Sonos

    Creators of Wi-Fi speaker JookBox want to go head-to-head with Sonos

    From an apartment near the University of Alabama, 22-year-old Milton native Thomas Condon has been working to make inexpensive portable speakers. His dad, Michael, has been lending a helping hand when needed. The company that they both built is called BSX Electronics and its first and only product, a speaker called the JookBox, has already raised $40,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The father-and-son team said the speaker is the only inexpensive, portable Wi-Fi speaker on the market and…

  • Thu, Dec 18th 2014 8:40 PM

    It's been a bad week for Uber in Boston

    It's been a bad week for Uber in Boston

    Uber, the controversial on-demand transportation startup based in San Francisco, has been accumulating vast amounts of venture capital, but the company is now battling PR disasters around the globe, including here in Boston. A 46-year-old Uber driver was arraigned Wednesday morning for the alleged rape and kidnapping on Dec. 6 of a Cambridge woman, according to Wicked Local Cambridge. The same suspect, Alejandro Done of Boston, is being investigated by police for three sexual assaults on women involving…

  • Thu, Dec 18th 2014 3:00 PM

    Aereo, Jibo, Google: Five top startup stories of 2014

    Aereo, Jibo, Google: Five top startup stories of 2014

    In the Boston-area startup scene, 2014 was a big year. Here are a handful of this year's top stories. The death of Aereo Aereo, the New York-based TV-over-the-Web service that was declared illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, filed for bankcruptcy in November. Most of the company's employees, including the CEO, were based in Boston. Dozens of Aereo employees were laid off in Boston because of the company's demise. Recent story: Aereo lawyer: 'Very substantial interest' in assets Jibo…

  • Thu, Dec 18th 2014 7:00 AM

    Four neighborhoods that could be the site of Boston's next innovation district

    Four neighborhoods that could be the site of Boston's next innovation district

    Since September, a task force created by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has been focusing on how to replicate the success of the Innovation District in other parts of the city. And this week, the group officially recommended the city focus those efforts on the following four neighborhoods: Dorchester's Fields Corner East Boston Dudley Square in Roxbury to Uphams Corner in Dorchester Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester With office rents soaring in the Innovation District and Cambridge's Kendall…

  • Wed, Dec 17th 2014 4:00 PM

    Boston fantasy sports site DraftKings, Houston Rockets sign deal

    Boston fantasy sports site DraftKings, Houston Rockets sign deal

    The Houston Rockets basketball team said Tuesday that it partnered with Boston-based daily fantasy sports startup DraftKings. FInancial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Rockets deal is the third NBA partnership DraftKings has made this month. The company has previously partnered with Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. The latest partnership includes branded team bench areas and court-side signage. DraftKings, which launched in 2012, has won high marks from users for its technology,…

  • Wed, Dec 17th 2014 4:00 PM

    Facebook's Andrew McCollum has big plans for Cambridge TV startup

    Facebook's Andrew McCollum has big plans for Cambridge TV startup

    Television networks and cable providers have come to a disheartening conclusion over the past few years, and it's that people between the ages of 18 and 24 don't watch television like they used to. Their media consumption habits are changing, and their unwillingness to pay for TV sets and cable has even precipitated a new tech buzzword: "cord-cutting." It's this problem that Cambridge-based TV startup Philo aims to solve, by partnering with channels like HBO and cable-distribution companies like…

  • Wed, Dec 17th 2014 10:20 AM

    Here are three Boston-area startups that got funded today

    Here are three Boston-area startups that got funded today

    Three Boston-area startups announced Wednesday they raised a combined $17.2 million in funding. Here's what you need to know about their announcements: Mavrck Company description: Boston-based Mavrck, formerly Splashscore, is a Techstars Boston startup participant that is focused on leveraging social influence for consumer brands like Sears, Unilever and New Balance. The company identifies and "activates" their most influential customers so they can act as brand ambassadors. Funding raised: $2.5…

  • Wed, Dec 17th 2014 8:30 AM

    How a former Boston Consulting Group exec is challenging Uber — and avoiding controversy in the process

    How a former Boston Consulting Group exec is challenging Uber — and avoiding controversy in the process

    Uber has been getting a lot of attention lately -- both for its massive fundraising efforts and the global crackdowns by governments on its ride-sharing service, including in Boston. But that might be OK for Jens Wohltorf, a former Boston Consulting Group executive who wrote his thesis in 2001 about Boston transportation patterns while at MIT. In 2011 -- after his tenure at BCG -- Wohltorf started Blacklane, which allows travelers to schedule transportation via a smartphone app or website. Unlike…

  • Tue, Dec 16th 2014 1:30 PM

    Cambridge smart light bulb startup BeOn Home surpasses $100K crowdfunding goal

    Cambridge smart light bulb startup BeOn Home surpasses $100K crowdfunding goal

    Cambridge-based BeON Home, which makes a smart light bulb that it claims can deter burglars, said this week that it raised $103,000 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter-- surpassing its initial fundraising goal. The company was looking to raise $100,000 and still has three days to go before the Kickstarter campaign ends. The funding will allow BeOn to manufacture and deliver its products to its customers in the late spring and early summer. Earlier this month, BeOn said it raised $1.5 million from…

  • Mon, Dec 15th 2014 6:00 PM

    Maxwell Health on a hiring spree following closing $26.4M in funding

    Maxwell Health on a hiring spree following closing $26.4M in funding

    Health IT firm Maxwell Health aims to use a majority of its recently-closed $26.4 million in venture funding to increase its headcount from about 70 to 100 by early next year. By 2016, the company, which is headquartered in both Boston and New York City, aims to have 200 employees, up from 14 in 2013. Many of those new employees will be sales hires, said Maxwell Health spokeswoman Meg Murphy. "We have so much demand right now, we need to continue to invest in our sales team so that we can fulfill…

  • Mon, Dec 15th 2014 11:50 AM

    Two Mass. digital health startups participating in Texas Medical Center program

    Two Mass. digital health startups participating in Texas Medical Center program

    Twelve startups from around the country have recently been chosen to participate in a four-day health IT program to support early-stage digital health companies, and two of them hail from Massachusetts. The Massachusetts startups are Boston-based VerbalCare, maker of a patient-engagement and care coordination software, and Cambridge-based Seratis, a secure patient-centric mobile app and communication analytics software that enables doctors and nurses to communicate with each other via text, images,…

  • Mon, Dec 15th 2014 10:50 AM

    Venture partner: Startup accelerators are like modeling schools, preying on desperate people

    Venture partner: Startup accelerators are like modeling schools, preying on desperate people

    Startup founders should avoid participating in startup accelerator programs if they want to be successful. That's according to Chris Lynch, partner at Cambridge-based venture firm Atlas Venture, who spoke to a crowd of investors and entrepreneurs at MIT's 17th annual Venture Capital and Innovation Conference at the Royale Boston Nightclub on Dec. 12. Lynch said at the event that accelerator programs are analogous to a modeling school that steals money from people who are "desperate and need hope."…

  • Mon, Dec 15th 2014 9:40 AM

    New hires for the week of Dec. 8: Circle, OneCloud, AppNeta

    New hires for the week of Dec. 8: Circle, OneCloud, AppNeta

    A few Boston-area technology companies have made new hires during the past week. Here are some of the highlights: Boston-based bitcoin startup Circle Internet Financial has hired Josh Hawkins to lead global marketing for the company, based out of Boston and reporting to founder, chairman and CEO, Jeremy Allaire. Before joining Circle, Hawkins was vice president of marketing at SutherlandGold Group, a public relations firm based in San Francisco with clients including Wickr, Toms, Birchbox, and CloudFlare.…

  • Mon, Dec 15th 2014 7:00 AM

    IdeaPaint plans London office as demand grows from Facebook, Google and others

    IdeaPaint plans London office as demand grows from Facebook, Google and others

    If there's anything Boston-based IdeaPaint' s executives have learned over the past year, it's that people at large companies really like the ability to write on walls. Growing demand for IdeaPaint's whiteboard paint product has resulted in more than $10 million in annual revenue, and the company has plans to hire and open a new office in London next year. IdeaPaint's product, which turns almost any surface into a dry-erase canvas, has been installed at more than 100,000 locations around the world…

  • Fri, Dec 12th 2014 10:00 AM

    This smart wok can cook up stir fry meals while you're away (Video)

    This smart wok can cook up stir fry meals while you're away (Video)

    A recent graduate from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute has developed a computer-controlled wok that can whip up stir fry meals on its own. While the Smartwok is still in the very early stages of development, Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduate Hanlin Hong demonstrated how the connected device could work at the MIT China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum this fall. Customers could input ingredients and program a recipe remotely by using a mobile app, which would communicate to the wok,…

  • Fri, Dec 12th 2014 10:00 AM

    Who's hiring in tech for the week of Dec. 8

    Who's hiring in tech for the week of Dec. 8

    Here are a few companies that are hiring, based on my recent reporting, for the week of Dec. 8. Boston-based tech firm LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) plans to add 450 jobs during the next five years with the help of about $2.5 million in tax breaks from the city. Recent story: LogMeIn eyes new space on Summer Street for expansion project driven by Internet of Things Boston-based software firm Bullhorn, founded in 1999 and acquired in 2012 by Vista Equity Partners, aims to hire between 150 and 200 people…

  • Thu, Dec 11th 2014 12:50 PM

    Backup software firm Backupify acquired by Connecticut's Datto

    Backup software firm Backupify acquired by Connecticut's Datto

    Cambridge-based backup software firm Backupify has been acquired by Datto, a hybrid cloud-based backup and disaster recovery firm out of Connecticut. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Backupify in July had embarked on a hiring push following an announcement that the company had exceeded 1 million business users. At that time, the company had 70 employees in Cambridge and had plans to hire up to 20 more by the end of this year. The company, founded in 2008, had raised $19.5 million…

  • Thu, Dec 11th 2014 12:50 PM

    Techstars alum Threat Stack gets $5M in funding

    Techstars alum Threat Stack gets $5M in funding

    Threat Stack, a Cambridge-based startup offering security software aimed at the cloud, announced this week it has raised $5 million in funding led by Cambridge-based Atlas Venture and Boston-based .406 Ventures. The funding will be used to develop and commercialize the startup's cloud security monitoring service, which launched in November, according to a release. "To address privacy and security challenges in the cloud, there exists a shared responsibility between customers and their Cloud Service…

  • Wed, Dec 10th 2014 3:30 PM

    MIT-born Belleds Technologies sells smart lights that change to the beat of music (Video)

    MIT-born Belleds Technologies sells smart lights that change to the beat of music (Video)

    Michael Chen, co-founder of Cambridge-based Belleds Technologies, showcased the startup's smart LED lighting system at the MIT China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum last month. With $104,117 raised from Kickstarter in July, the team has been accepting pre-orders of their Q-package, which includes three light bulbs and a hub. Watch this BBJ video of Chen describing how the lighting system works.