MassVentures Invests in ClearGov – Leader in Gov’t Transparency/Efficiency Solutions


CONTACT: Kate Anderson, 617.773.4842,

 MassVentures Invests in ClearGov, Participates in $1.2 Million Seed Round

Boston, MA – MassVentures announced today that it has participated in the latest round of funding for ClearGov, a leading provider of local government transparency and benchmarking solutions. The seed round was led by Kepha Partners.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Chris Bullock and Bryan Burdick, ClearGov helps local governments operate more effectively by transforming large, complex public data sets into actionable fiscal insights. The company has built a network of over 20,000 financial infographic-style profiles of local governments across 20 states.  Their extensive benchmarking database contains detailed analytics on over $1.8 trillion of government expenditures.

Local governments use ClearGov’s enterprise SaaS solution to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions, and improve communication with citizens. Taxpayers use ClearGov to better understand how their local government operates, see how their tax dollars are put to work, and how their local government’s financial performance compares to other cities and towns.

The company’s premium InsightsTM service allows local governments across the country, from Brookline, MA to Decatur, GA, to enhance their basic ClearGov profiles with more granular financials and commentary on fiscal trends. Through InsightsTM, local governments can provide residents with a clear picture of the city/town’s financial health. The dashboard can include a full breakdown of revenues, expenses, debts, and reserve funds, as well as demographics and information on schools. All of the information is presented in easily understood graphics and is contextualized with comparison figures from similar towns.

“ClearGov has created an invaluable tool not only for citizens, but also for government officials to access and, more importantly, utilize public spending, taxation and budgeting information,” said Jennifer Jordan, vice president at MassVentures.

“This investment is an important step in our vision to make democracy work better.  ClearGov is much more than financial transparency; we are providing insights to taxpayers and officials that can help improve the effectiveness of their local government” said Chris Bullock, CEO and founder of ClearGov.  “Ultimately, we believe our platform has the potential to positively impact millions of people through more a more informed and efficient democracy.”

“ClearGov’s team has a proven entrepreneurial track record and the company’s traction with local governments in Massachusetts speaks for itself,” said Eric Hjerpe, partner at Kepha Partners.  “The company’s solution is incredibly topical as governments are increasing battling misinformation, making the need to improve transparency and build public trust ever more important,” he continued.


MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization.

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments and school districts use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions, and improve communication with citizens.





MassVentures & the MA Clean Energy Center Announce New Partnership


CONTACT: Kate Anderson, 617.773.4842,


MassVentures & the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Announce New Partnership

Will Increase Funding to Massachusetts Companies

Boston- MassVentures and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced a new partnership to increase the capacity of the MassVentures START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program. The START program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. Recognizing that innovation, invention, and disruption take time, the START program provides up to three years of additional funding for grantees.

MassCEC has committed up to $400,000 to START in 2017 to increase the scope and impact of the program. START will now award up to $1.2 million for twelve companies in Stage I and up to $1.2 million for six companies in Stage II. Stage III remains at $1 million, resulting in a total START funding stream of $3.4 million for 2017. 

The new MassVentures and MassCEC cooperative endeavor is the result of the success of the 2016 pilot program to expand START eligibility to recipients of US Department of Energy SBIR grants. After opening the funding process in 2016, with assistance from MassCEC, several clean energy companies applied to the START program. Cambrian Innovation (Boston), NewGrid, Inc. (Somerville), and MTPV Power Corporation (Medford) were awarded Stage I funding. 

“MassVentures and MassCEC are making strategic investments in an important, emerging tech sector here in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Clean energy production has immense potential, and programs like START ensure we are capturing the opportunities for job creation and growth here in the Commonwealth.” 

“Increasing the capacity of the START program will provide needed capital to Massachusetts entrepreneurs who are working hard to develop and produce new, innovative clean energy solutions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this partnership, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s growing innovation economy, which is driving technology breakthroughs that spur job creation and support Massachusetts’ energy goals.” 

“We know that innovation will drive our energy future, and it is clear from last year’s applicant pool that capital is needed to help promising clean energy ideas become real-world solutions,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “With the generous support of MassCEC, the START program will be able to help more Massachusetts start-ups with the funding, experience, mentoring and networks they need to potentially transition to high-growth companies.” 

“Massachusetts is a national and international innovation destination and our partnership with MassVentures supports the entrepreneurs fueling high-tech economic growth across the state,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “This program will help startup companies bridge persistent funding gaps and lead to increased business opportunities in the future.” 

MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The MassVentures START program, founded in in 2012, has provided $12 million in funding to 50 SBIR/STTR projects and helped winning companies raise additional capital of $278 million. The MassVentures’ START program received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since it began operating in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.

START Information Session for Prospective Applicants

Thursday March 9, 2017
10 – 11:30 am at Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824

Speakers include:
START winners & START Judges/Reviewers:
Ted Acworth, Founder & CEO, ARTAIC
Mark W. Smithers, CTO, Boston Engineering Corporation
Elaine Trudell
Moderated by Dr. Ken Mahmud, Executive Vice President, Triton Systems

Space is limited.
Please RSVP to:

MassVentures Announces $3 Million Available in START Funding


CONTACT: Kate Anderson, (617) 773-4842,


MassVentures Announces $3 Million Available in START Funding

Program Supports Companies Ready to Commercialize Technology

Boston- MassVentures today announced a Request for Proposals for START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program Stage I Grants. MassVentures will award $1 million in Stage I funding to assist Massachusetts companies that have received at least the equivalent of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) or Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) grant to commercialize their technologies. Five new Stage II grants of $200,000 each will be awarded to the most promising Stage I winners from last year and up to $500,000 of seed capital will be awarded to two Stage III winners selected from the most successful Stage II companies from last year. The START program was created to assist high growth companies that will expand employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

“The MassVentures START program ensures growing Massachusetts-based companies are able to commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts.   $250 million of research and development funds are funneled into Massachusetts through the SBIR / STTR programs each year.   We recognize that innovation, invention, and disruption take time, so the START program provides up to three additional years of funding,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures.  “START arms these companies with the funding, experience, mentoring and networks they need to potentially transition to high-growth companies.”

Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth and Chairman of the Board for MassVentures commented, “The START program provides a diverse group of high-tech companies with the resources and guidance they need to reach their potential and enjoy sustained growth. START is a catalyst for our innovation economy and sends a resounding message to high-tech businesses around the world that we are creating a supportive and productive environment in which these companies can thrive.” 

Previous START winners include: AddiLat, Inc. (Woburn); Agiltron (Woburn); Artaic (Boston); Barrett Technology (Newton); BioMimetic Systems (Cambridge); Boston Engineering (Waltham); Cambrian Innovation (Boston); Cambridge Electronics (Cambridge); CapeSym (Natick); CeraNova (Marlborough); ClearMotion (Woburn); Dynamo Micropower (Somerville); Energid (Cambridge); Eutropics (Cambridge); FloDesign (Wilbraham); Fluidity Software (Somerville); Ginkgo Bioworks (Boston); GVD (Cambridge); Hstar Technologies (Somerville); Incom (Charlton); Intrinsix (Marlborough); Locately (Boston); MetaMagnetics (Canton); Modular Genetics, Inc. (Woburn); MTPV Power Corporation (Medford); Muzzy Lane (Newburyport); mZeal (Littleton); NetBio (Waltham); NewGrid, Inc. (Somerville); Pendar Technologies (Cambridge); Persimmon Technologies (Wakefield); Pharyx (Woburn); Physical Sciences, Inc. (Andover); Primaira (Woburn); Radial Analytics (Cambridge); Reactive Innovation (Westford); Remote Sensing Solutions (Barnstable); RMD (Watertown); SimulConsult, Inc. (Chestnut Hill); Triton (Chelmsford); Visible Good (Newburyport); Xtalic (Marlborough)

More information on the START program and the MassVentures 5 Year START Report can be found at


MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. Since the program’s founding in 2012, START has provided $12 million in grant funding to 50 deserving SBIR projects and helped winning companies raise additional capital of $278 million. The MassVentures’ START program received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Four MV START Winners Recognized With Tibbetts Awards from the SBA

MassVentures is pleased to announce that four out of the five Massachusetts companies who were presented with the prestigious Tibbetts Awards for 2016 from the United States Small Business Administration are MassVentures START program alumni.

The four companies are: Ginkgo Bioworks (Boston), GVD (Cambridge), Physical Sciences, Inc. (Andover), and Triton Systems Inc. (Chelmsford).

The Tibbetts Awards, according to the SBA, “are presented annually to those who are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and the extent to which that innovation served federal R&D needs, encouraged diverse participation, and increased the commercialization of federal research.”

The MassVentures’ START program received the Tibbetts Award in 2015.

2017 START Program Launches

The MassVentures START program is kicking off its 2017 program!

  • Up to $3 million in funding is available for Massachusetts SBIR Phase II companies.
  • Join the growing ranks of successful MA companies who are a part of the START program. Past winners include Clear Motion (Levant Power), Boston Engineering, and Artaic. Full list here.
  • The RFP will be posted March 1 on the MassVentures website and applications are due April 3.
  • The START Program Phase I application is streamlined and user-friendly.


New this year – information session for potential applicants – 3/9/17

MassVentures START program will be hosting an information session for potential applicants.

  • Hear from the START managers about the process
  • Learn from past winners about what makes a successful application.
  • Get insights from judges on what they look for in applicants.

Thursday March 9, 2017 from 10 – 11:30 am

Triton Systems, Inc., 200 Turnpike Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824

Please join us!



About the MassVentures START Program

The SBIR Targeted Technologies (START) program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. The START program plays an important role in powering Massachusetts’ Innovation Economy.


For more information, please see:

MassVentures Report Highlights START Success

MassVentures START Report

In 2012, MassVentures launched the SBIR Targeted Technologies program- START- to ensure growing Massachusetts-based companies would be able to commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. Recognizing that innovation, invention, and disruption take time, the START program provides up to three additional years of funding for SBIR/STTR projects.

In just five years, START has provided $12 million in grant funding to 50 deserving SBIR projects. START companies have leveraged that state investment and gone on to raise $278 million in additional capital, proof of these companies’ potential for future growth and success. START companies generate $82 million in annual revenue and employ more than 1000 people.

“The START program is a unique feeder system to MassVentures and the venture community that fosters growth of companies and readies them for venture funding,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “MassVentures helps companies like Ginkgo BioWorks capitalize on their SBIR funds and arm them with the capital, experience, mentoring and network they need to transition to high-growth companies.”

“The START Program help companies bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, supporting research, development, and manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Investments in revolutionary companies and products supports the continued growth of the Commonwealth’s creative and innovative sectors, and will help us maintain our position as a world leader in new technology.”

Click below to view the full report.  To download a PDF, please right click and choose “download file.”

Register for START 5 Year Celebration

Celebrating 5 Years of Success in SBIR “START”

MassVentures is celebrating 5 years of success of its nationally award-winning START program.  To celebrate, we are convening more than 250 members of the local innovation ecosystem who have played a vital role in awarding $12 million to 50 deserving SBIR projects resulting in $146 million in new capital.

Join us to learn more about the program, the funding options for SBIR-developed technologies, and to connect and learn from other innovators, funders and advisors involved in the program.

We anticipate a strong turnout from past winners of the START program as well as the judges, reviewers, venture capitalists and members of the State legislature who have been so critical to the program’s success.

Monday November 21, 2016 from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Microsoft Burlington
5 Wayside Road
Burlington, MA

For more information and to register, please click HERE

MassVentures backed Applause Raises $35 Million

Applause Closes $35 Million F Round Led by Credit Suisse and Accenture

Funding expedites the company’s expansion of its Digital Experience (DX) testing, feedback and research solutions

September 14, 2016 08:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applause, the in-the-wild digital testing leader, announced it has raised $35 Million in a Series F financing round. The largest new investor in this financing round was Credit Suisse, and the round also included an investment by strategic partner, Accenture. The funding will increase the company’s investment in its strategy as the go-to source for improving customers’ digital experiences. This round brings Applause’s total funding-to-date to more than $115 Million.

As the company formally launches its expanded Digital Experience solutions in the coming months, this funding enables Applause to:

  • Further expand its in-the-wild digital testing services. The company will invest heavily in its real-world testing services that enable omni-channel testing – from web to mobile to IoT to brick & mortar – on a global scale. The ability to test brands’ entire customer experience from virtual to physical worlds is already a selling point for Applause with large enterprises.
  • Invest in growing its digital usability feedback services. Applause will expand its usability and design feedback offerings – which are the company’s second largest revenue-producer today – enabling brands to rapidly collect and analyze feedback from crowdsourced user panels that demographically match customer’s end users.
  • Formally launch its digital research services. In the past year, dozens of big brands have come to Applause seeking to conduct fast, effective, crowd-powered research to learn what their customers want – across the intersection of digital and physical experiences. And while Applause has successfully fulfilled those requests with its current capabilities, in order to scale to meet market demand anywhere around the globe, the company will invest heavily to expand technology development and extend access to multiple crowds and user panels.

“Digital experiences – from web to mobile to IoT to brick and mortar – are the epicenter of competition in many industries, including retail, restaurants, travel, banking, insurance and manufacturing. Late-stage funding from leaders like Credit Suisse and Accenture, enables us to double down on expanding our solutions,” said Applause CEO, Doron Reuveni. “Applause is uniquely positioned as the de facto leader in Digital Experience testing, usability feedback and research.”

The round had full participation from all of Applause’s previous investors, including Goldman Sachs’s Merchant Banking Division, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd and MassVentures. The company’s most recent funding was a $43 Million Series E round in January, 2014.

Today’s funding news comes as brands are recognizing how critical their digital experiences are to their commercial success. And as the experience economy matures, these digital experiences are now the front door to brands, to the companies behind them, and to their top-line results. The ability to research, test, and get user feedback about your digital experience from people who mirror your end user base – and to do it in a rapid, agile manner – is a major competitive advantage for Applause customers like Amazon, Ralph Lauren, HBO, USA Today, BMW and Concur.

“Our alliance with Applause and investment in the company is a powerful step forward in Accenture’s liquid workforce agenda,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “Combining our global testing capabilities with Applause’s ‘in-the-wild’ crowdtesting platform will provide clients with a better digital testing solution for websites, mobile apps and IoT products. Together, we bring a unique ability to scale to meet the demands of enterprise clients around the world. That is what led us to forge this alliance relationship and invest in Applause through Accenture Ventures.”

With global headquarters near Boston, MA, Applause launched in August of 2008. Company milestones include:

  • Growing its footprint to 300+ employees in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris and London
  • Testing more than 100,000 new builds for 3,000 companies of all sizes – including Google, Microsoft, FOX, Rolex, Shutterfly, The American Red Cross and Runkeeper
  • Growing its global community of professional testers to more than 250,000
  • The acquisition of mobile SDK, Apphance in 2012
  • The acquisition of EU crowdtesting leader, Testhub in 2014
  • Dozens of awards, including wins from the Stevie Awards, Forbes, Gartner and Inc.

About Applause

Applause empowers companies to deliver great digital experiences – from web and mobile to wearables, IoT and beyond. By combining in-the-wild testing services, test automation and a global community, Applause helps the world’s most recognized brands achieve the digital quality they need across every device, operating system, carrier, location and other criteria that their customers value. Thousands of companies – including Google, FOX, Amazon, Concur and Runkeeper – rely on Applause to ensure great digital experiences for their users. Learn more at and follow @applause on Twitter.



Nick Lorenzen, 617-688-0525

From the Cape Cod Times: Barnstable startup on investors’ radar

Barnstable startup on investors’ radar

Remote Sensing Solutions wins second grant to bring technology to market

By Lorelei Stevens, Cape Cod Times, 8/30/2016

BARNSTABLE VILLAGE — A local technology company has earned recognition and critical funding from MassVentures, a quasi-public venture capital firm that invests in Massachusetts startups with high growth potential to help them progress from the development stage into the market.

Remote Sensing Solutions will use its $200,000 grant to commercialize technology that company President James Carswell described as “a game-changing solution for radar digital subsystems.”

Illuminated by the natural light streaming through the rooftop windows of their Route 6A office and workshop building, CFO James Canniff and CEO Michel Fernandes later offered a nuts-and-bolts explanation of what the scientist-engineers at Remote Sensing Solutions do.

“We work with remote sensing, acquiring information without contact,” Fernandes said. “Everything our company does, all our products and services, is around that field.”

At the heart of it is a miniaturized radar sensing and data collection and analysis system capable of “seeing” through dust and clouds and darkness with such accuracy that it can pinpoint the barrel of a gun before a shot has been fired, Canniff said.

The technology obviously can be of use to the military, but its small size and light weight means it could potentially enable safe operation of drones in U.S. airspace, allow researchers to locate, track and count whales and monitor marine debris, help Coast Guard search-and-rescue personnel find mariners in distress and change the way autonomous cars avoid collisions, he said.

The two key products in the system are called PathIn, which stands for Phased Array Terrain Hazard Interferometer, and ARENA, which stands for Advanced Reconfigurable Embedded Network Appliance. Basically, Canniff explained, PathIn collects the data and ARENA processes it.

The ARENA is about the size of a cellphone and weighs less than 2 pounds. That compares with an older-model radar unit in the workshop that resembles a computer tower and weighs about 40 pounds.

Remote Sensing Solutions, which currently employs nine people, has done much of its development work with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey through the Small Business Innovation Research program.

While the small-business program provides seed money so entrepreneurs can fill out their concepts, it does not help with the next step, commercialization, meaning lots of funded product and service ideas end up on the shelf and never get to market.

Canniff said the phenomenon is well known in the tech startup world as the “SBIR valley of death.”

Now in its fifth year, MassVentures’ START program, which stands for SBIR Targeted Technologies, helps companies “bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said in the statement announcing this year’s awards.

The START program is a three-year, highly competitive process that funds a select few Massachusetts companies that have received the awards, according to MassVentures.

The 2016 START grant is Remote Sensing Solution’s second. It received a $100,000 Stage I grant last year for its PathIn technology. This year, it was one of only five companies in the state to win a $200,000 Stage II grant.

Remote Sensing Solutions will use the money to hire additional engineers and sales staff, file patents and attend trade shows and the company expects to open a new manufacturing site in the next year or two, Fernandes said.

While the sales staff can work from anywhere and the company also has an office in Monrovia, California, the plan is to keep the engineering and manufacturing jobs on the Cape.

“The goal is to have that here,” Canniff said.

David Wiley, research coordinator for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, is enthusiastic about early discussions he has had with Remote Sensing Solutions about partnering for testing.

Because PathIn-ARENA systems can be installed on vessels and aircraft and detect minute differences in the heights of objects, they could allow researchers to detect, count and track whales without putting sound in the water that can harm marine life.

“A lot of testing still has to be done, but the possibilities are really exciting. It’s a very different way to gather information,” Wiley said. “And the fact that the lab is on the Cape is pretty amazing, too.”