Boston Startup Community News & Content

Fourteen local startups that could make life better

Before graduation season rolls around, there’s another rite of passage that takes place in Boston and Cambridge this time of year. Instead of teary parents and well-compensated commencement speakers, there are ambitious founders and grizzled investors. In April and May, a succession of startup “demo days” are organized by entrepreneurship programs like Techstars Boston, the

Apr 27, The Boston Globe

Boston is the Centralized Community Blockchain Needs

While one of the core principles of blockchain is decentralization, we at Underscore VC think just the opposite is needed to further the technology — that centralization into a tight-knit community is key to accelerating development.
Why?…

Apr 27, BostInno

Harvard Business School’s annual contest for entrepreneurs is a case study unto itself

A dozen early-stage startups on Tuesday will make their case for why they should receive $75,000 and, perhaps more importantly, a whole lot of attention from the venture capital world. Those are the rewards of the annual Harvard Business School New Venture Competition, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, the

Apr 25, The Boston Globe

This HBS Startup is Changing the Way We Shop Online

Magpie delivers a single-click buy experience to any image, video, or app

While the majority of Americans are shopping online, 73% of shopping carts were abandoned by customers pre-checkout last year. That amounts to $4.6 trillion worth of merchandise.

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Consumers are discovering products online via apps, social media, and online magazines, but often abandon these purchases when they’re prompted to open a new window or create a shopping account. These steps simply add too much friction to the process.

The team at Magpie knows this problem all too well. Their solution? A system that allows online publishers to tag products from their content on the backend so readers can shop directly through any image, video, or app they come across.

A consumer browsing their favorite website or app can click on the products they see in media, add them to Magpie’s native cart interface, and checkout, all without leaving the page. Consumers can use one account to purchase from any retailer, on any website that partners with Magpie.

Magpie’s co-founder and CEO, Damjan Korac, first came up with the idea behind Magpie during college when he saw how people around him were shopping online — lots of open tabs and windows but few actual purchases. He thought about the problem more when he worked as a software engineer at AppNexus and saw how brands and retailers were trying to connect with consumer in a more meaningful way: “As a consumer, I saw what was wrong with the online shopping experience, and as an engineer, I saw what could be built to fix it.” Damjan came to business school wanting to solve this problem and brought together Gerrit Orem (CPO) and Andrea Fantacone (COO) during their first year. Gerrit worked at a Boston-based education technology company, first in a rotational management program and later as a product manager, and Andrea spent 5 years in the US Air Force as a program manager, leading the procurement of multi-million dollar software and hardware systems for various fleets of aircraft. The team’s mix of skills has allowed them to build the technology in-house and stay lean.

Born out of Harvard Business School, Magpie has leveraged several university resources to get off the ground. This includes Frank Cespedes, Professor of Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing and Jeff Bussgang, Professor of Launching Tech Ventures at HBS who have become close mentors to the team. Additionally, the team has received product mentorship from entrepreneurs-in-residence at the Harvard iLab.

We’re excited to welcome Magpie in the RDV family as they redesign e-commerce. Stay tuned for updates!

This post was co-authored by @ellenjdasilva. Gif credits: Giphy// Giphy


This HBS Startup is Changing the Way We Shop Online was originally published in Rough Draft Ventures on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Apr 24, Rough Draft Ventures

Nine New Startups Join LearnLaunch Accelerator

Finally, they are here! In a process that began last September, LearnLaunch has sorted through hundreds of edtech startups to chose the nine joining our accelerator program today. They are some of the hottest edtech startups from around the world, and have moved to Boston to take part in our Boost program. Without further adieu, here are […]

The post Nine New Startups Join LearnLaunch Accelerator appeared first on LearnLaunch.

Apr 24, LearnLaunch

Amid Automation Debate, A.I. Backers Tout Job Creation Potential

Rapid advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies over the past decade have stoked concern that machines could eventually take over most, if not virtually all, human jobs. But there is another, more optimistic view of how the advance of A.I. and automation will impact the economy—one articulated by people like Mark Gorenberg (pictured right). […]

Apr 24, Xconomy

Boston Firms Demo New Robots & Evolving Human-Machine Relationships

The breadth of New England’s robotics sector was on display Wednesday night at an event in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, where startups showed off technologies for human transportation, schlepping products around warehouses and factories, underwater exploration, sweeping floors, and more. The showcase was part of the monthly Mass Innovation Nights series, which aims to help local […]

Apr 13, Xconomy

Why Is This Wearable-Tech Company Helping College Teams Track How Often Athletes Sleep, Drink, And Have Sex?

Sometime between putting on his Halloween outfit—a cowboy ensemble, complete with the requisite hat, plaid shirt, cutoff jean shorts, and expensive leather boots borrowed from his Texan roommate—and this exact moment on the college-dorm dance floor, with the becostumed masses sweating to Fetty Wap, Ben Huffman misplaced his wristband. Not a terrifying prospect, normally, but

Apr 12, Deadspin (h/t @DBKeohane)

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?

Say ‘oil’ and Houston comes to mind. Software is Silicon Valley. Steel is Pittsburgh. But for the fledgling microgrid industry, a regional identity has yet to form. California and New York are strong contenders. But the title could go to Massachusetts. Consider the company Massachusetts keeps. GE and Schneider Electric, two energy infrastructure and technology

Apr 11, Microgrid Knowledge

A Boston fintech startup is powering Thomson Reuters’ new investment tool

A Boston-based financial tech startup that has raised less than $1 million in investments funding got a big boost Tuesday when Thomson Reuters unveiled a new data tool that’s based on its technology. Thomson Reuters Corp.’s (NYSE: TRI) QA Point, a software tool that lets investment analysts test their investing models against historical financial data,

Apr 12, Boston Business Journal