The French Connection
Backed by Gov. Patrick, Mass. tech organizations announce a flurry of strategic links in France
Image of View on Eiffel Tower, Paris, France via Shutterstock
In a series of partnerships that echoes the days when the Siemens brothers helped stretch transatlantic cables from Cape Cod to the French coast, organizations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are connecting with counterparts in the French Republic to push technology and innovation forward in both Boston and Paris. Last week ended with a flurry of announcements and news involving the strategic tech partnerships being formed between the Boston tech community and the burgeoning Paris innovation ecosystem. Read More
Material world
Solar-powered charger, cooler buildings, better indoor gardens emerge from MIT science competition
SolarStruct created a foldable solar-powered phone charger that can fit inside a backpack.
School kids at soccer practice could use solar panels lying out in the field to charge their smartphones. A mix-in for concrete could keep buildings cooler longer, cutting the cost of air conditioning. A gel that dries to a crisp could soak up water and swell, transforming into a single-layer, mess-free base on which you can grow a garden indoors. These are the visions of a better world from emerging engineers tackled at MADMEC, the annual design competition hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Read More
Rethinking online shopping, in the old Sears building
First look: Launch, new Boston incubator for e-commerce ventures
Ben Fischman, founder of the Launch incubator for e-commerce startups.
What better place to cook up new e-commerce companies than the tower of an old Sears & Roebuck distribution center? That's where Ben Fischman, the founder of Lids and Rue La La, has found space for his new e-commerce incubator, dubbed Launch. There's no website yet, and the team is still small, but I dropped in last week for a visit. Read More
A tale of two crowdfunding ventures
A Weston startup ran a “crowdfunding” campaign this summer to raise money to begin production of a tabletop robot, Jibo, that interacts with people, helping to manage schedules or initiate videoconferences.
In the middle of July, two local entrepreneurs launched “crowdfunding” campaigns two days apart. They were seeking enough preorders from customers to help them start making new products. One was a sleek aluminum iPad stand called the SlingAmp, priced at about $35. The other was Jibo, a $600 robot that will be able to do things like coordinate family schedules and read bedtime stories. Read More
Mining for Future Talent
Big week for Big Data in Boston
"Finger touching glow line" via Shutterstock
Earlier this week, hack/reduce announced a Big Data-focused college ambassador program, a joint effort with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. It was part of a bigger initiative this week that puts organizations working in the Big Data space, like hack/reduce, Microsoft, and Thomson Reuters, among others, in the spotlight. Read More
The Big Wait
The Apple iPhone 6 line is full of mysterious characters and cloak-and-dagger secrecy
Apple Store
Masses lined up outside of the Apple store Thursday night ahead of Friday's release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ and created quite the scene on Boylston Street last night, attracting the interest of passersby, posing for photos, and even accepting the generosity of strangers, including a duo who showed up to hand out cold pizza to the crowd. Read More
Big Oracle Moves
New Oracle chief exec is Brookline's Safra Catz, could another Bostonian rise in the ranks?
Image courtesy of Hartmann Studios via Flickr (the size of this image was changed)
The big news in the tech world today is that Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison is moving from his role at the head of the company and will now be Oracle's chief technology officer and executive chairman. Ellison's replacements—yes, two chief executives—have already been appointed. One is Mark Hurd, who had been co-president of the company. The other co-CEO is his fellow co-president, Safra Catz. Read More