Monday, December 22, 2008

Who Do You Think Should be on this List? Best of Boston Web 2008

We are really just putting this  out there as a starting point in hope that readers will add to the list. Of course it is nowhere comprehensive and totally subjective. Let us know your choices. Oh, and don't nominate yourself, spread the kudos around.

Networking Event:

Web Innovators Group

WebInno was founded and is currently led by David Beisel of Venrock. It is the stalwart networking event for mobile and web technology startups in the Boston area.

Started informally in the fall of 2005 it has grown to the present day where up to 800 people gather to schmooze and review the latest crop of services from bootstrapped or seed funded companies.

Open Coffee   Wednesdays,  8:30 am - 10:30 am: Andala Coffee House‎
286 Franklin Street

This is the Cambridge version of the concept that originated in London by Saul Klein of  Index Ventures. The idea was to organise real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow. The Cambridge group was  started by Nabeel Hyatt of Conduit Labs and Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital, and meets every wednesday morning. It is well worth attending to meet the next generation of entrepreneurs and have lively discussions about what everyone is doing.


BetaHouse Jon and Brian have created a workplace  that caters to pre funded startups as well as individuals looking for office space.  If you are looking for a great environment to crank some code, go check it out.  They host a good party too.

VC Funded 2008:

If you want to watch  a startup and learn how to market in the online world, you could have no better example that Hubspot. They are building a business teaching companies how to attract potential customers without using the less effective traditional means of interruption and expensive advertising.  Follow along as they ride the wave of marketing based upon permission, organic search traffic and the use of social media, that is inbound marketing.

Angel Funded 2008:

Tipjoy Y Combinator launched and Angel funded, Tipjoy has been generating a lot of interest with it's new Auto Twitter integration, see an example of how it is being used by @Pistachio for the WellWishes campaign. They also deserve kudos for returning to the Boston area rather than base the company in Silicon Valley.

Flipkey After building a useful initial site and ramping user acquisition, they landed a strong group of angel investors including Nick Beim of Matrix Partners. Then soon afterward, TripAdvisor took a majority ownership position in the company, validating the team and concept.

MyPunchbowl is a prime example of building a business through executing on the fundementals. Incremental and steady improvement of the product and continually acquiring users lead to a recent follow on investment.


One of our readers turned us on to Editme. Nice product and business, no VC and a healthy dose of excellent customer service, makes Editme a winner.

JobVent This simple concept continues to gain momentum and users by providing a platform for users to get off their chest feelings about their work environment.


North Bridge Venture Partners deserves recognition for diversifying a portfolio that has been very successful in the traditional domains of Boston VC's, namely communications and enterprise software.  Recent investments in a variety of categories of web offerings from a career site, virtual goods market, social media infrastructure, financial communities and mobile photo blogging have set them apart in 2008 as a growing participant in the Boston Web scene.

Angel Investor:

YCombinator the seminal Advisor/Investor firm that has spawned many copycat endeavors. While some may have the advisory chops, fewer still have the connections and none have Paul Graham.  Hats off to the idol of hackers around the world and the gadfly to Boston VC's.

Bantam Group We first heard about this angel investor only a few months ago. After some research, it was clear that Bantam Group may be the best Boston Angel investor you've never heard off. One look at their investments will tell you that they are supporting new Web companies more than any other local angel.

Entrepreneur Blogger:

Furquan Nazeeri started blogging about his experience as an EIR at Softbank in 2007. Always insightful and even more interesting now that he has started his own company Bringing perspectives from both sides of the  table, Altgate is a must read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and investing in startups.

Most Influential Blogger:

Scott Kirsner

Scott has been promoting two big issues that are important for Boston area starups.  The elimination of non-compete agreements and pushing for an organized effort to keep our best graduating students in the Boston area and engaged with the Emerging Technology community.

Social Mediaologist:

Chris Brogan

Don't even try to keep up with this guy. There is a lot of  fluff in the S M crowd, but Chris puts the hype into action.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Company URL:

Formation Date: 5/10/08

Funding Status: Bootstrapped

Investors: Founder

Founders or Execs past companies:

Industry: Consumer Web, Internet services

Offering Description: Labortopia is a destination allowing small business owners and freelancers alike to showcase their services and capture new customers. The goal is to build a community of people that will be able to provide diverse services to those seeking anyone from a plumber to a babysitter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Genotrope Record:  ImpactOven

Funding Status:  Seed Round

Investors: Founder ?

Founders or Execs past companies: Thomson Financial

Industry: Consumer Web, Financial

Offering Description:  ImpactOven was built from the ground up with the idea of making life easier for an investor. Its better than other bookmarking services or using favorites because we include investment specific features that you won't find anywhere else.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Genotrope Record: RecipeKey

Formation Date: June 13, 2006

Funding Status: self-funded

Founders or Execs past companies: Ernst & Young

Industry: Online consumer recipe services

Offering Description: Recipe Key is an innovative recipe search site that allows users to search for recipes to make based on what they already have in their kitchens.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The VC Model is Broken, Several Perspectives

There has been a lot of chatter in the blogshpere about the VC model being broken.

Adeo Ressi of theFunded, kicked off the recent discussion with his presentation at HBS. The telling slide from the presentation is #13 showing more money going into the VC model than coming out.

Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures responded with his usual insight.

Furqan Nazeeri x EIR at Softbank Capital and now founder of presents some numbers to show the VC model is really broken, and the negative impact it will have on startups.

Paul Graham of Y Combinator fame talks about the VCs possibly becoming less relevant as a result of this downturn.

A good variety of perspectives on an important subject for us.

First of all, lets recognize that each of these commentators comes from the Web startup space, which you will agree does not have the same requirements as a BioTech startup.

With that in mind, which if any opinions do you agree with? How do you see this issue shaking out in the next couple of years?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Genotrope Record: Viridity

Funding Status: Series A

Investors: North Bridge , Battery Ventures

Founders or Execs past companies: Revivio

Industry: Data Center, Software

Offering Description: delivering a new way to dynamically manage and control these next generation data centers.

Monday, December 1, 2008

WebInno20 Dec 09, 2008 7 PM Royal Sonesta Cambridge

WebInno was founded and is currently led by David Beisel of Venrock. It is the stalwart networking event for mobile and web technology startups in the Boston area.  Register Here

Started informally in the fall of 2005 it has grown to the present day where up to 800 people gather to schmooze and review the latest crop of services from bootstrapped or seed funded companies.

I can't quite put my finger on why, but the upcoming crop of presenting companies seems to be especially top quality this time around.     Check out the list below.   See you there.

Main Dishes

TripChill - Alex Shore, Dave Miller, & Chris Holt
Local Motors - John B. Rogers, Jr.
Crimson Hexagon - Candace Fleming & Perry Hewitt

Side Dishes

Pixability - Bettina Hein, Dale Bertrand, & Randy Barth
Tipjoy - Abby Kirigin & Ivan Kirigin
HelpGuest - Mark Abrams & Jim Dowd
InfoMedMD - Thomas O'Keefe
Genotrope - Thomas Summit
Photrade - Andrew Paradies & Dan Preston

Jazd Markets

Genotrope Record: Jazd Markets

Funding Status: Series A

Investors: Pilot House, Commonwealth Capital

Founders or Execs past companies: True Advantage, Choicestream, ITA Software

Industry: B2B, Marketing as a Service-

Offering Description: Combining directory placement, advertising, lead generation and vertical search into an innovative Marketing as a Service (MaaS) platform where advertiser can optimize the value from their on-line marketing spend.

11th MIT Annual Venture Capital Conference and 2nd Annual Entrepreneur Showcase (Free, Open to Public) December 6th 2008

We received an email from Gitika Srivastava the Chair of the 11th MIT VC Conference regarding the event this Saturday night at the Charles Hotel, in Harvard Square.

The theme for the conference is Reinventing Venture Capital, and the Keynote speakers include venture capitalists from Sequoia, Matrix, Highland, General Catalyst, and Director of Tata Sons from India, and Eran Egozy of Harmonix (Guitar Hero and Rock Band).

It looks like a great event with an impressive list of speakers. Even if you only make the showcase in the evening, it should be well worth the trip. Check out the links for more information.