Boston’s startup scene is thriving.
With talent constantly pouring out of universities like Harvard and MIT, and programs like TechStars Boston, Mass Challenge, and Startup Institute Boston mentoring entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder why Boston has produced big-name companies like Carbonite, Zipcar, and Trip Advisor.
We hit up VCs, and spoke with entrepreneurs to learn more about what’s hot in Boston tech right now.
Some of these startups are more established, while others are just getting their footing.
There are undoubtedly a number of innovative startups in Boston. So please let us know in the comments if you think we missed any.
Startup: Rethink Robotics
Founder: Rodney Brooks
Concept: Affordable, industrial robots that can perform a variety of simple tasks and work safely alongside human workers. Its first robot, Baxter, can handle materials, load and unload items on/off from conveyor belts, inspect and test parts, lightly operate machines, and pack and unpack boxes.
Why you should care: Rethink Robotics is aiming to make America more competitive by creating low cost manufacturing techniques and processes. If all goes according to plan, Baxter should be able to work alongside human coworkers and help America better compete against low-wage offshore labour.
The ultimate goal for Baxter is to accomplish more difficult tasks, like fitting together parts on an electronics assembly line. It's also working on software to let Baxter communicate with a conveyor belt, and other machines.
Funding: $62 million from Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Founded: 2010 (launched 2012)
Founders: Pat Kinsel, Simon Yun, Alex Lambert
Concept: Location discovery app that pulls in real-time information from businesses. That way, you can search for places only offering deals at the time, or ones with special events.
Why you should care: Spindle is looking to totally reinvent the way we search for things around us in real time. It recently updated the app with Google-Now like technology to push you notifications about places you might like as you walk by them.
Funding: $2.3 million from Polaris Partners, Greylock Partners, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Atlas Venture, and Project 11 Ventures.
Founded: 2007 (launched first box in 2011)
Founders: Jessica Kim, Christine Gutierrez
Concept: Monthly subscription box full of curated toys and acitivities for parents and their 3-to-6-year-old kids
Why you should care: It's aiming to be 'the Martha Stweart structure in the parenting space,' BabbaCo founder Jessica Kim told LAUNCH back in 2011. Already, the BabbaBox has made its way into the hands of celebrities like Ali Landry, Ashlee Simpson, Tori Spelling, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Garner.
Funding: $1.23 million from Sandbox Industries, Gary Vaynerchuk, Excelerate Labs, Lightbank, SV Angel, and NextView Ventures.
Startup: Recorded Future
Founders: Christopher Ahlberg
Concept: Recorded Future captures and compiles data from news articles, Twitter, SEC filings, and other sources, to give its clients a peek into the future.
Why you should care: The world is constantly reporting on itself, but that doesn't mean there's a quick and simple way to find that data and use it in a meaningful way.
With speculation about Foxconn phasing out its Chinese workforce, Recorded Future is tracking everything from rumoured reports of Foxconn opening factories in the U.S. to news of a hiring freeze in China.
Funding: $20.9 million from Google Ventures, IA Ventures, Balderton Capital, Atlas Venture, and In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the C.I.A.
Founders: Maxim Lobovsky, John David Cranor, Natan Linder
Concept: Formlabs' Form 1 printer is designed to make high-quality parts for professional use.
Why you should care: Formlabs grabbed a lot of attention. It's also one of the most-funded projects in Kickstarter history.
'Professional 3D printers at the high end run tens of thousands of dollars,' Formlabs co-founder Maxim Lobovsky told Business Insider in an interview last year. 'The low-end equipment is more affordable but less than professional. There was a huge hole in between to satisfy with architects, jewellers, and other professionals in that middle ground who can make use of 3D printing.'
Formlabs uses a process called stereolithography, which is one of the oldest forms of 3D printing technology, but also the golden standard in the 3D printing industry.
Funding: $2,945,885 on Kickstarter from 2,068 backers. Raised $500,000 seed round from Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, and Eric Schmidt's Innovation endeavours.
Startup: Bow & Drape
Founder: Aubrie Pagano
Concept: customised dresses fitted to a woman's exact measurements. Women can design the style, shape, and fit of dresses from start to finish.
Why you should care: Bow & Drape is revolutionizing the way we shop for clothes. It uses either an at-home Fit Kit or 'photorealistic dynamic configurator' to ensure you get the perfect fit. Eventually, it wants to let customers upload an image of themselves for virtual fitting.
Funding: $600,000 from Daniel Wallace and Brian Kalma
Founders: Krishna Ramchandran, Amit Jardosh
Concept: Ubersense is an iPad app that provides sports video analysis to help athletes improve their game, and help coaches better train their athletes. It offers slow-motion analysis, and enables you to compare videos side-by-side, as well as overlaid on top of other videos. So you could, for example, compare your golf swing to Tiger Woods' and see how you stack up. It also provides video analysis for dance, musical instruments, and other types of activities analysing techniques could be helpful.
Why you should care: Already, UberSense has partnered with the U.S. Bobsled Skeleton Federation for its Olympic teams.
Funding: $1.1 million from Atlas Venture, Boston Seed Capital, and Google Ventures
Founders: Matthew Bellows, Cashman Andrus, and Rajat Bhargava
Concept: Email tool for salespeople that tracks emails, allows you to create and save templates for future use, and syncs with your customer relationship management system.
Why you should care: Salespeople need to keep close tabs on their customers, and Yesware facilitates just that. Activity-based reports allow you to see which templates are most effective and which ones get the most consistent responses. It also connects to pre-existing CRM tools from leading CRMs like Salesforce, Nimble, Highrise, and Capsule.
Yesware has more than 170,000 customers, including Groupon, HubSpot, and Brightcove.
Funding: $5 million from Google Ventures, Foundry Group, IDG Ventures, and Golden Venture Partners
Founded: 2009 (the founders bought custommade.com, which was previously only for woodworking products)
Founders: Michael Salguero, Seth Rosen
Concept: Connects makers with people who want custom-designed goods, such as dining room tables, wedding rings, or even motorcycles. To ensure the ultimate level of quality, CustomMade hand-picks its creators, unlike Etsy.
Why you should care: CustomMade is doing $1 million in transactions a month, with about 350,000 professional woodworkers and 50,000 professional jewelry makers throughout the country on the site. It's also gearing up to launch a mobile app so you can take a photo of a product, send it to CustomMade, and ask for one of the professionals to create something similar.
Funding: $7.65 million from Google Ventures, First Round Capital, Andrew McCollum, NextView Ventures, LaunchCapital, Founder Collective, David Tisch, and Schooner Capital.
Startup: Runkeeper by FitnessKeeper
Founder: Jason Jacobs
Concept: Mobile fitness app for tracking your running, walking, and other physical activities.
Why you should care: At TechCrunch Disrupt last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted Runkeeper as a very promising startup.
Meanwhile, Runkeeper is an awesome app for tracking your health and fitness levels. It's also one of the first apps to be integrated with the new Pebble smartwatch.
Funding: $11.5 million from LaunchCapital, Don McLagan, Will Herman, Dave Balter, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital, and Revolution.
Founders: Alex Schiff, Chase Lee (no longer with the company)
Concept: Mobile application for taking and organising notes.
Why you should care: Fetchnotes has a pretty unique approach to note-taking and organising those notes. It lets you organise them with hashtags so you can easily find them later. So if you want to remember to check out Sheryl Sandberg's new book, you could type, '#read Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In.' To find it later, along with other books you want to read, you would just search using the hashtag #read. you could, for example, writeYou can even #organise your #notes as you #type using hashtags.
It's also one of our favourite new note-taking apps, if that means anything to you. It has also integrated its offerings with
Funding: $100,000 from TechStars Boston
Founders: Matt Cutler, David Greenstein
Concept: Web and mobile collaboration platform for small and medium businesses
Why you should care: Kibits combines everything you need ing roup collaboration into one app. It features file-sharing, tasks, notes, photos, videos, links, maps, chat, and more. That way, everyone on your team can stay on the same page. It also seamlessly integrated with Dropbox, Evernoe, Google Drive, and Box.
Funding: $1 million from Google Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, SOSventures, LaunchCapital, and Common Angels
Startup: Dribbble (in salem)
Founders: Dan Cederholm, Rich Thornett
Concept: An invitation-only website that lets designers post their projects and receive feedback from like-minded individuals.
Why you should care: Designers tend to post their best work on Dribbble. It's also turned into a great source for companies to find talented designers available for hire.
Startup: Ministry of Supply
Founders: Gihan Amarasiriwardena and Kevin Rustagi
Concept: Dress shirts that regulate your temperature.
Why you should care: The shirts are fitted with some of the same technology NASA uses in its space suits. One of its line of dress shirts, dubbed 'Apollo,' adapt to your body and lifestyle. It even regulates your body temperature by storing and releasing heat.
Less than one year after launching, Ministry of Supply produced more than 12,000 shirts for its customers throughout 48 countries.
Funding: $429,276 from 2,798 backers on Kickstarter.
Founders: David Petruziello, Steven Maggs, and Michael Matousek
Concept: Crowdsourced platform for study notes and course materials.
Why you should care: It's widely known that college students share notes, so why not let them make money for it? Flashnotes essentially rewards students for taking good notes, while helping other students at the same time. Flashnotes says more than 65 per cent of the students who buy study notes have increased their grade point averages.
Funding: $1.8 million from Ryan Moore of Atlas Venture, Jordan Levy of SoftBank Capital, Michael Lazerow, Paul Sethi, Paul Tedeschi, Sachin Jade, and Abigail Coxsen.
Founders: Sravish Sridhar
Concept: Backend as a service for Web and mobile app developers.
Why you should care: Kinvey lets app developers plug into Facebook's Open Graph. Since mobile-only applications don't have metadata stored on the Web for Facebook to crawl, it wasn't previously possible for mobile app developers to connect their products to Facebook's Open Graph.
Kinvey solves this by taking the metadata from mobile apps and hosting it on its own servers.
Funding: $7.02 million from TechStars, Atlas Venture, SK Ventures, and Avalon Ventures.
Founders: Aaron White, Ariel Diaz, and Brian Balfour
Concept: Boundless replaces your textbook by curating high-quality content from the Web.
Why you should care: Traditional textbooks are overpriced. Even though most universities offer a buyback program, students rarely, if ever, come close to earning back the money they originally paid for the book. Boundless has the potential to save cash-strapped students tons of money by offering free textbooks online.
Even though textbook publishers Pearson, Cengage, and Macmillan Higher Education recently filed a lawsuit against Boundless, alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition, and false advertising, Boundless isn't giving up. The company is currently fighting the case in court.
Funding: $8 million
Founders: Nick Krasney, Ho Tuan
Concept: Online platform for watching live TV on your computer. It works by using a college's existing IP infrastructure to stream live TV to students' laptops, iPhones, iPads, and other Internet-connected devices. It carries the channels that a university already offers, and then adds on content from cable programmers like HBO.
Why you should care: Young people don't watch as much on TV as they used to. Instead, they're watching TV content on their computers and phones, according to Nielsen. Tivli has a very unique way of adopting to the way young people consume content, while still keeping the current cable model in tact.
Founders: Karan Singh, Anmol Madan
Concept: Ginger.io relies on the data from your smartphone to identify potential warning signs especially in people suffering from depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The mobile app collects passive data from your phone's sensor, and patients are able to submit information about their mood, symptoms, and overall quality of life.
Why you should care: People typically don't see their doctors regularly. Ginger.io helps doctors and hospitals track a patient's well-being in between visits.
Funding: $8.2 million from TechStars, Rock Health, James Joaquin, Walt Winshall, Bill Warner, Ty Curry, True Ventures, Kapor Capital, ENIAC Ventures, Romulus Capital, LaunchCapital, Richard Dale, and Khosla Ventures.
Founders: Paris Wallace and Alex Baron
Concept: Ovuline uses big data, wearable devices, and clinical guidelines to help women find the right time to procreate.
Why you should care: Ovuline says its users conceive three times faster than the average woman in the U.S., taking roughly 56 days instead of 150. Ovuline has also recently expanded its service (in beta) to provide pregnancy health monitoring.
Funding: $1.4 million from Lightbank, LionBird, Launch Capital, and David Cohen.
Startup: Careport Health
Founders: Lissy Hu, Gretchen Fuller
Concept: Online booking engine and platform to improve patient transitions from hospitals to post-acute care providers.
Why you should care: Finding aftercare can be a very confusing and frustrating process for patients and for their families. Careport informs you about what kind of care you may need, where to find that care, and what to expect during the recovery proocess.
Founded: 2006 (launched in 2008)
Founders: Israel Ganot
Concept: Trade in your electronics for cash.
Why you should care: Electronics can quickly pile up in your drawers. But there's no use in having them just idly sit there. Gazelle offers you a way to make money from your used electronics.
Funding: $46.4 million deom Venrock, Austin Ligon, Ashton Peery, RockPort Capital Partners, Physic Ventures, and Craton Equity Partners
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