What do people think of when they hear Boston? Chowdah, Hahvahd, wicked smaht, right? How about Boston startups?
Boston is a city of tradition. Of history. It’s melting pot of culture, art, and music. Startup mecca, however, isn’t always at the front of the list when you compare it to the likes of Austin, Washington DC or Silicon Valley. But with so much technology, medicine and higher education in and around the city, Boston is quickly becoming one of the premier growth hubs of startup activity.
Boston is now a buzzing ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and venture capital firms. And it’s no wonder entrepreneurs are flocking in droves to become the next Wayfair or Hubspot.
A sleek, easy-to-use consumer flight aggregator that saves travelers time and money. The slogan says it all. Predict, watch, buy, fly. Cambridge-based Hopper wants you to book flights intelligently. A great mix of AI automation and human customer support. Owner Frederic Lalonde is not afraid to tackle big challenges. In an interview with Techcrunch, Lalonde realized the Hopper team needed to take on big data in a whole new way: “You need to know pretty much everything on Earth about travel. You need to know where everything is,” says Lalonde. “It’s akin to building maybe 10 to 20% of what Google has in Google Maps, and we had four engineers working on this problem.” It definitely doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the top Boston startups to receive $16M in Growth Funding. This is one of the most innovative companies on our list. We will be watching with a close eye.
14. 6River Systems
Architecture of robust automation processes is priority #1 for almost every company that is looking to scale. 6River wants to bring that concept to the world of e-commerce and logistics. Labor cost savings. Fulfillment automation. Former executives of Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics) Jerome Dubois and Rylan Hamilton teamed up with MIT engineer Christopher Cacioppo to provide just that. With global e-commerce growing at an astounding rate, 6RS is poised to make a huge splash with their product and offering. Certainly one of the Boston startups that’s poised to make big moves.
Boston is well known around the globe as a hub for international students. Most of its major universities are within stone throws away from one another and are next to impossible to miss. So what better place to launch a startup that caters to foreign students than right in the thick of it. CampusSIMS is hoping to solve an incredibly undeserved challenge and need for international students — how to stay in touch with loved ones back home. We know it won’t be an easy task with the multitude of telecommunications options available (Skype, calling cards, etc). But the idea is extremely innovative with the focus being on keeping the students genuinely mobile and on-the-go with seamless connections to nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. So congratulations to them on Series A funding. Check them out. We’re excited.
12. Disruptor Beam
We love nerdy — and Disruptor Beam takes top honors on our list. With CEO Jon Radoff at the conn, mobile gaming has finally reached the hands of Trekkies and Game of Thrones fans alike. The free-to-play and in-game purchase model for both Star Trek: Timelines and Game of Thrones: Ascent has drawn over 12 million downloads of both titles. With more than 50 dedicated employees working on creating a top-quality gaming experience — targeted to a very identifiable audience — we see huge potential and growth for this fun game developer.
Home improvement made simple. Renoviso offers quality products, full price transparency and first class customer service. It’s a recipe for success in any industry — and especially in one where a homeowner’s most valuable possession is on the line. Renoviso has been working with Intelli Bookkeeping since October 2015 and it’s been extremely exciting to see the growth and progress of the venture along the way. With $1.4m in seed funding to help drive growth, Renoviso will certainly be making waves in the online home improvement marketplace. We’re thrilled to be a part of the team of one of the most innovative Boston startups!
When you hear artificial intelligence and robotics in the same sentence, the stories of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick come to mind. Maybe the films of James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. But Neurala is attempting to bridge that gap between science fiction and reality. Massimiliano Versace, founder and CEO, has patented a “bio-inspired approach” to the way robots learn and operate. With over $1.1m in new 2016 funding, the company is looking to bring even more to their line of already innovative consumer electronics, office/commercial, drone and autonomous vehicle offerings.
In computing, innovation and technology growth have been the centerpieces of the industry for decades. Strangely, cooling fan technology has not kept up. As computer processors become more powerful, so does heat output. And in order to maintain the integrity and performance of the chips, adequate cooling is needed. In comes CoolChip Technologies with an extremely unique and efficient cooling system that is sure to rock the world of computing. As a fellow Somerville business, we’ll be watching very closely on the progress from MIT Ph.D and co-founder of CoolChip, William Sanchez. A cool $3.3m in funding certainly doesn’t hurt the cause.
“Offices should be as smart as the people who work in them”. We couldn’t agree more. Offices that spend too much time on internal processes and organizational headaches are doomed to be forever sluggish and inefficient. Robin offers robust, highly integrated solutions for meeting scheduling, conference room visual displays and other office intelligence. With an A-list client lineup of DraftKings, Netflix, Sonos and Blue Apron to name just a few, we are expecting big things from this leader in Boston startups. Add to that, investors agree as well. Early-stage VC powerhouse FirstMark Capital has provided $7m in Series A funding to drive even more growth and innovation from Robin. We are extremely excited to see their progress and growth.
We love online marketplaces. In fact, here’s a quick shoutout to one of our new clients: DesignLive. On-demand SquareSpace help. It’s a great marketplace for business owners who want to DIY their website. Especially if they need just need a little help to guide them in the right direction. A great service and great team behind it. Preply is also a great marketplace that connects language and school subject tutors to students. The site boasts a stable of over 25,000 teachers ready to serve locally or via Skype. According to VentureDeal, Preply landed $1.3m in seed funding to “develop products for teachers and students using its platform — and it will be expanding its dev team to build out core functionality.” Definitely watch this this leader in the Boston startups community with a close eye. Their global growth model seems nearly limitless.
We know, marketing management can be tricky. With all the different forms of communication, who can possibly keep track? With Mautic, entrepreneurs will never have to worry about falling behind in any marketing platform. The tech startup makes it easy for companies to manage their social media, contacts, emails, forms, campaigns and reports, all in one. From small startups to large corporations, this marketing automation software does it all. After acquiring over 50,000 clients in its first year alone, and receiving $600,000 in seed funding to improve its software, Mautic is on track to redefine marketing management as we know it.
In this increasingly high-tech world, its difficult to keep your information safe from lurking online predators. Without proper protection, your startup might become the next victim of cyber hacking. But don’t worry, Cybereason has your back. Whether it’s a minor threat or a large-scale breach, this savvy startup has the tools to identify and react to the attack. I know what you might be thinking: how is Cybereason different from the rest of the cybersecurity startups? For starters, this service was designed by members of the Israeli Defense Force’s 8200 Unit. These entrepreneurs are highly trained in cyber military intelligence. If that isn’t enough, their software is designed to redirect the threat toward the attacker, instead of you. Talk about karma. After reaching a 1,200% revenue growth and raising $84.4 million in funding last year alone, Cybereason is one of the key Boston startups and ready to expand overseas to continue fighting the cyber war.
4. Hospital IQ
Hospital efficiency. It’s a necessity. However, it’s not the standard. Tech startup, Hospital IQ, is working to change that. Its expertly designed predictive analytics software allows healthcare institutions to manage their operations in a convenient platform systematically. Bostonians are no strangers to strong healthcare institutions. Our city is home to some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country, and some are already making strides on improving their efficiency. Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center are leading examples of healthcare institutions working to improve the quality of their workplace management and patient treatment. With their recent $6.25 million in venture funding, Hospital IQ has promising future influencing hospital operations nationwide.
We can all agree that networking is a useful tool for growing your business and learning about your target market. But attending networking events and finding entrepreneurs with similar goals isn’t an easy task. Alignable is working to change networking as we know it. Founders, Eric Groves, and Venkat Krishnamurthy understand that fostering relationships between businesses powers growth and innovation, that’s why they created a platform strictly for B2B communication. Alignable makes it easy to personalize communities based on individual goals and consumer bases. With 1 million relationships formed already, and the latest $1.5 million venture funding acquired, Alignable is breaking barriers in the connection economy.
Who says eating healthy is hard? AVA makes it possible to eat and plan wholesome meals, without the need of an app. The program is a nutrition coach, meal planner, and motivator, all in one! Just snap a picture of your meal, text it to AVA, and receive the nutritional information of your food. So stop counting calories and start enjoying your meals! They boast a dedicated team trained in nutrition science and behavioral coaching. AVA is sure to inspire the “intelligent eating” that they promise. Among other climbing Boston startups, AVA has received $3 million in seed funding this month! We are eager to see how they continue to influence daily food choices.
Imagine controlling personal payments in the same format as a text message. Pretty convenient, right? The Boston-based startup, Circle, makes that possible through their new approach to online payments. Circle is working to transform the global economy. They are structuring online payments like an instant message, with personalized gifs, a variety of payment methods, and swift delivery. They’ve made it easier than ever to transfer money whenever and wherever you want. No questions asked. Business Insider reported that Circle was back by a $50 million investment from Goldman Sachs. Not to mention, a recent $60 million venture capital funding to expand their global influence. So say goodbye to ATMs, and welcome the new age of digital payment.