50 Boston Startups You Should Get To Know
50 Boston Startups You Should Get To Know
If you couldn’t tell already from all the coffee shops, co-working spaces, and VC offices, Boston’s infrastructure screams ‘Startup Scene’. Add in top incubator programs such as TechStars and MassChallenge and it seems Boston could compete for one of the best startup hubs in the world (Facebook and Dropbox were both born there).
Global giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Paypal, and IBM all have offices located in Boston. And with innovating machines such as Harvard and MIT centered in the city, one thing the area is definitely not lacking is top talent.
A special thanks to our friends at Coalition Space in Boston for sponsoring this list!
CustomMade is trying to switch the retail space from big box retailers back to local ‘Makers’. This online marketplace differs from the similarly, popular platform Etsy in that customers can custom order their furniture, jewelry etc. to their own specifications.
From bed frames to engagement rings, CustomMade has found a rather niche market in the online marketplace with personal, made-to-order craft goods that has helped the company obtain more than $18M in their latest Series C.
Wish it was as easy to share your latest videos, pictures, and other content on your website, as pasting a link in your Facebook status? if so, that’s what Embedly’s working on. They help keep your site full of rich content from sources all over the web.
Using Embedly’s API you can easily display the newest articles, videos, or tweets on your website along with getting advanced analytics to see what users are actually clicking on.
Robotics have had great success throughout the 20th century providing Fortune 500 companies with immensely scalable solutions in product development. The people at Rethink Robotics are trying to get smaller business to do just that; Rethink the way we view Robotics in everyday manufacturing processes.
Some people may think the companies goals are a bit too ambitious… but then again, that’s what they said when Jeff Bezos was starting Amazon, and is why Bezos joined in their latest round of funding.
Healthcare is undoubtedly one of the largest emerging markets for tech innovation, especially in the US. It may seem like a daunting issue to tackle but the team at Care.com saw an even bigger market – caregiving in every way.
With over 13 million users, Care.com now helps connect caregivers and all types of living things that need care… yes you can even help find care for your furry friends too!
It was only a matter of time before the Jetsons flying car became a reality…and unfortunately that reality still isn’t here. But the guys at FlightCar are at least trying to make your life easier without having to pay for airport parking. The peer-to-peer car sharing service has been called the Airbnb of car rentals at airports.
Shouldn’t everything be as simple as a tweet. At least organizing your daily tasks should. Fetchnotes is a web, iOS and Android app that is as beautiful as it is simple. Using the same Twitter handles such as #’s and @’s, Fetchnotes sleekly organizes your notes.
It reminds us of Slack, so simple and intuitive it kind of makes you wonder what in the hell you did before hashtags became a thing.
What do you do after you leave college and don’t have access to the million dollar 3D printer only available in class? Make a cheaper one yourself.. duh.
Well, at least that’s what these guys from MIT chose to do after seeing a need for 3D printing in so many engineering applications if only it were cost effective.
Some of the biggest issues in the US today include not getting enough exercise, costly gas prices, and human impact on climate change. The team behind x created a simple solution to tackle these issues by creating bike sharing ecosystems.
They offer a full, one-stop shop solution including design, build, and bikes to make your University, Hotel, or Business as bike friendly as possible.
Email is dying. So they say. At least PowerInbox would agree ‘static’ email is dying. The small software team uses email applications to stream dynamic content to your email, which helps bring revenue streams into companies looking for some extra cash flow.
Data, data, data. The web relies on it now, so why shouldn’t your apps. Apptopia provides analytics and data mining to apps on nearly every platform.
As the app stores continue to become cluttered, look for companies like Apptopia to become even more important for app discovery.
Kayak, Expedia, Hipmunk, Hopper… the list of great travel sites goes on and on. Travel websites all pitching to get you the best flight prices on the market. But what if you don’t want to fly.
As budget travel grows, maybe so will bus and train travel. Wanderu is banking on it. And it seems Millennials are more than OK to take a cheaper bus fare to enjoy an alternative way to travel.
All the fresh groceries you picked up this week, they probably came from different places around the country (if not the world). GroveLabs believes our current system of food and agricultural production is unsustainable and downright unhealthy.
These MIT grads hacked together a vibrant ecosystem in their college dorm room and figured why not empower people to grow and eat their own healthy food, hence GroveLabs was born to help people do just that.
13. Fashion Project
Fashion Project takes old designer products and sells them at a small discount giving a large percentage to charity.
Trying to understand how to get this supply chain management to work may cause the average human being to have an aneurysm, but leave it up to 2 Harvard Law grads to make it run as smooth as the leather bags they sell.
When Apple released HealthKit on iOS8, the world was officially ready to start getting healthy. That is, until developers started making health-related apps.
RunKeeper uses a simple map based activity tracker that is one of the best ways to game-ify your health.
Men’s fashion may not be the hottest startup environment, but the Ministry believes this industry needs a reinvention. Most men don’t wear what their 1950s counterparts wore to work. Neither did they have the apparel technology that exists today.
Business situations can be stressful and the Ministry of Supply believes business attire should have the same performance technology as sports clothing.
It seems counterproductive to take part in advanced financial services when it cost you more money than you’re probably going to gain. Blueleaf simplifies wealth management and puts out the data and information in a user-friendly workflow.
The system helps both keep services cost low and help financial advisors cut down task time and work with more clients.
Advertising is a space few startups have been able to enter and truly innovate on. ViralGains hasn’t done anything to necessarily reinvent the wheel, but instead use an extremely specific targeting to customers and brands to make sure people are only seeing the adverts they’re interested in.
Privy uses analytics on social media channels to make sense of any campaign a company may run. Mainly for multi-unit chains within the US, Privy boasts some pretty impressive stats for increasing email databases, ticket price increases, campaign redemption rates.
99% of customers will need to hit the lottery before using Bison, but for that lucky 1% the private equity software is one of a kind. For the hands on wealthy individual, having Bison will give you the visual analysis of understanding whether you wealth is tanking or booming.
The software also comes with calculations and benchmarks for making potential investment decisions.
With near-global access to the internet, online education is booming with innovation. Most players are simply adding new schools with video lessons on new content, while standouts like Memrise are innovating on the science of education.
Using memory science and crowdsourced content, Memrise makes learning fun, fast, and memorable.
While most airline websites fight to give you the best price for when you want to fly, Hopper has taken the opposite approach.
They uses data-driven research to let customers know when’s the best time to fly and which airports have the cheapest flights during any specific time of year.
The popularity of competitive sports is at an all time high and there seems to be no signs of slowing it down. The days when natural talent could make someone the star player are over.
CoachUp provides athletes the forum to find experts in their sport as well as read reviews of past students. Past athletes can apply to coach willing students and bookings go through directly on the site.
Circle is a consumer finance company focused on transforming the world’s economy with secure, simple, and less costly technology for storing and using money. Users can send money instantly and free, whether sending to a friend or business. The only catch is it is currently only in digital currency.
Codeship helps to release software quickly and test your deployment code. Have finished code in Github? Simply push the completed code up to your deployment target and Codeship will act as a safety net in case anything is wrong.
The promise of having this safety net save tons of time while teammates push code up to corresponding projects at different times.
Always want to get table service at a local night club but didn’t want to deal with the sketchy promoter? Tablelist allows you to book directly online to avoid lines, the promoter, and paying for expensive single drinks at the bar.
With a $25B global market, look for many more players to begin to join in on the nightlife tech scene.
Wymsee is working on digitizing the physical production of TV & film. Optimizing production times and crews on a digital platform could help save studios loads of money, not to mention keep a messy business a bit more organized.
What producer wouldn’t love sending their A-list actor/actress push notifications about being 20 minutes late to set!
Crowd-sourced quantitative hedge fund. That’s what Quantopian offers those brave enough to play the game. The platform allows users to build, test, and execute trading algorithms on a web browser system.
Quantopian gives people the opportunity to get a bit closer on the playing field with Wall Street’s finest.
Leaf is a platform for connecting customers and businesses. The POS system includes a powerful Android tablet that helps the business owner and customer have more interaction.
Some of the special features include sending push notification receipts, offering coupons to specific customers, and allowing customers to leave reviews. Not to mention it’s a POS that takes credit cards and has a powerful analytics software to go along with it.
Sometimes that high school teacher or college professor just isn’t up to par with your educational plans. BetterLesson offers students the opportunity to follow core-aligned lessons from teachers with Masters degrees.
Dubbed Facebook for Teachers, there are currently over 10,000 curated lessons hosted on the site.
With the growing popularity of online marketplaces it’s never been easier to get your hotel rented out online. But with so many different platforms having booking conflicts is a weekly occurrence.
Dashbell uses API’s from the top rental marketplaces to manage your bookings all in one location.
EverTrue is a mobile & tablet education fundraising platform that connects traditional donor databases to the social graph. Picking up the phone and cold calling seems old, dated, and well not so smart.
What EverTrue does is evaluate potential donors so you’re not wasting time on dead leads.
Every college kids dream has finally come true. Fast on-demand delivery of alcohol. Simply order online and pay with a credit card and a Drizly driver will be on their way to bring you your favorite beer, wine or liquor. But don’t get too excited underage drinkers, Drizly has a proprietary ID verification system.
When you’re sick you don’t want to deal with anything. Hell, you probably can’t even think and it hurts to look down and read the label on the subscription your doctor just gave you.
Pillpack is here to solve all your painful thinking needs. Organized pills, labeled by date and time, delivered to your door.
Localytics combines marketing and analytics data on a powerful and just as simple software for mobile and web apps. Specifically for e-commerce apps, Localytics allows customizable user engagement to convert more sales effectively.
In a time when it’s hard to get your web content seen, content discovery and customer engagement are of paramount importance.
Shareaholic works with both website owners and advertisers to bring a proprietary engagement from analyzing user interests and other social analytics.
Libboo’s mission is to solve the timeless problem of talent getting lost in crowded spaces and aims to help all talented authors – published traditionally or independently – be discovered by the audiences they deserve.
As more and more content is pushed out into the world the average attention span is decreasing. Software to help artists produce more content, and get paid, will be important in the future for continued quality content.
Crowd-sourcing hasn’t just stayed in the realm on entrepreneurial ventures and raising capital. This company has brought the crowd-sourcing, peer-to-peer marketplace of content to education.
Flashnotes is an online marketplace full of study guides, notes, flashcards and video help created by students, for students.
The idea behind Promoboxx’s service is that local retailers are the best marketing opportunity a company as. As advertising costs rise, and in their traditional forms seem less effective, companies are looking for new ways for getting their brand out.
Promoboxx acts as a brand-to-retailer online marketing platform to co-promote each other online.
WEFT packs highly powerful logistics information into a sleek simple app. Using both sensors and supply chain analytics, WEFT helps businesses make decisions to improve their operational plans.
Big data from this application can save billions in disrupted supply chains and cargo shrink.
A first in location services, ByteLight makes LEDs “talk” to any smartphone and tablet with a camera and/or Bluetooth Smart technology that opts-in to “listen.”
While currently marketed towards indoor retail outlets, ByteLight’s application could stretch far into public venues, parks, concerts etc.
As simple as the name sounds, ezCater brings food delivery on a mass scale. Office meeting, sales event, friends birthday? ezCater is the best startup to offer other startups a great catered meal.
Currently in over 22,000 cities, the marketplace for catering services is becoming stronger as more local caters jump with the service.
The multi-billion dollar fantasy sports world is new to the startup scene. DraftKings emerged as one of the first single-day fantasy sports gambling contests.
They offer free as well as paid versions of the contests for users to test out first and then partake in live betting on a wide range of sports.
Have you gotten a location based notification recently? Skyhook probably had some sort of hand in the matter.
The company realized using WiFi towers for using location based services would be the future because of precision and battery life usage. They work with services in Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Mapquest.
Boundless is tackling another major issue in the US: education cost. They plan to make education more accessible and affordable by curated material onto their platform.
Under the notion that quality education is a right, the Boundless team intends to keep quality materials online for anyone to obtain the same level of basic education as any other college student.
Kinvey’s goal is to transform how businesses interact with people, data, and devices in the age of mobility. They want to take the pain away of using different backend services on every platform an app is launched on.
With Kinvey, a single backend as a service(BaaS) can be applied to all the platforms the company plans for the app to be released on.
Another Boston startup looking to disrupt the education scene, SimpleTuition’s goal is to make higher education affordable for all. They offer resources on loans and other forms of financial aid, as well as financing and the cost of college in different states.
They also offer advice for budgeting and costs of student life as that can often be overlooked when planning for the cost of a college education.
Ubersense uses video analysis to help people improve at sports through video coaching. Whether it be basketball, surfing, or baseball, video analysis offers a unique ability to compare and improve on past performances.
Gives students an easy outlet to transfer money in the international location where they are studying. Students make payments in their home countries currency into the system and then peerTransfer offers a fair exchange rate to pay the school in the national currency.
As email becomes more and more a form of constant communication, using apps with email becomes equally as important. Yesware offers sales analytics and tracking software to see when clients are opening emails. Other email offers include Email Templates, option to send later, and reminders.
Careport Health is taking on another issue of the startup healthcare revolution: post-care. Seeing as 8 out of 10 acute hospital patients need post-care treatment, Careport works to connect the hospitals who first gave treatment the correct information to the following facility.
Doctors working at different facilities should still be in contact to understand a patient’s illness right? That’s Careport’s view.
Written by Smash.vc
We invest in profit-focused lifestyle businesses. Also memes, lots of memes.
We take minority ownership positions in "lifestyle businesses".
We're not VC's, but partners for the longterm.