2016 START Program Winners

 

MassVentures Awards 2016 START Program Winners

$3,000,000 to be awarded to 17 cutting edge Massachusetts companies

MassVentures today announced the 2016 START (SBIR Targeted Technologies) program
winners with $3,000,000 in grant funding to be awarded to 17 cutting edge Massachusetts companies. The grants will allow the companies, which had previously received SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants from federal agencies and departments including the Army, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, NASA and the Navy, to grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

Now in its fifth year, the START program has awarded $12 million to 50 Massachusetts SBIR Phase II companies. The 2016 START winners include companies in Andover, Barnstable, Boston, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Medford, Newburyport, Newton, Somerville, Wakefield, West Boylston and Woburn. Two additional Stage I winners remain to be announced.

“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 inMassachusetts,” 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.”

2016 START Program Stage I Winners ($100,000)

  • Cambrian Innovation
  • Levant Power CorporationDSC09936
  • Modular Genetics, Inc.
  • MTPV Power Corporation
  • NewGrid, Inc.
  • Pendar Technologies
  • Physical Sciences, Inc.
  • SimulConsult, Inc.

2016 START Program Stage II Winners ($200,000)

  • DSC09945Barrett Technology
  • Coventry Associates, LLC
  • Primaira, LLC
  • Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc.
  • Visible Good

 

2016 START Program Stage III Winners ($500,000)DSC09953

  • Persimmon Technologies Corp.
  • Triton Systems, Inc.

ANDOVER

Stage I – Physical Sciences Inc. – Andover

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) of Andover, MA has been awarded a Stage I START grant to further its work on the IDtector Radiation Portal Monitor (iRPM) for homeland security applications. According to William J. Marinelli, PSI’s Executive Vice President for Defense Systems, “START funding allows PSI to leverage our government technology development funding to produce the commercial first-article for customer acceptance testing.”

BARNSTABLE

Stage II -Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc. – Barnstable

Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc. (RSS) of Barnstable, MA has been named a START Stage II winner for their radar digital subsystems work. Dr. James Carswell, President of RSS, said, “START is providing us with essential funding and guidance to commercialize our ARENA technology – a game changing solution for radar digital subsystems. Through this program, not only will RSS bring its ARENA product to market which we believe will benefit our customers, but RSS will achieve significant growth allowing us to create high value jobs to our local communities here on Cape Cod and to Massachusetts.”

BOSTON

Stage I – Cambrian Innovation -Boston, MA

Stage I START winner Cambrian Innovation is developing simple distributed installations to extract resources like clean energy and clean water from wastewater. According to Matt Silver, Founder & CEO of Cambrian Innovation, “The START program allows us to take our flagship product, the EcoVolt® Reactor, through the next stage of development and accelerate progress on optimization and cost reduction for the second generation of EcoVolt.”

 

CAMBRIDGE

 

Stage I -Pendar Technologies – Cambridge

Pendar Technologies of Cambridge, MA has been awarded funding through the START Stage I competition for continuation of their work in Quantum Technologies for Aircraft Protection (Q-TAP). “For Pendar Technologies, the START program allows us to manufacture and deliver more than the one or two prototypes and grow our business.  Thanks to START, Pendar can now push to capture and grow a market that is sizable by leveraging these resources into real integrated products,” said CFO Seamus Fogarty.

CHELMSFORD

Stage III Triton Systems, Inc. – Chelmsford

Triton Systems, Inc. of Chelmsford, MA has been selected for the highly coveted START Stage III grant funding for their Traceptor technology that enables chemical sensors for threat and contraband detection. Said CEO Ross Haghighat, “the START program has been essential in helping Triton Systems Inc. progress a newly developed technology to a promising product platform. START Stages I and II enabled Triton to pursue trials leading to its adoption by a cornerstone customer, as well as allowing identification of key markets for our product. Stage III funding will provide the means to implement manufacturing infrastructure and quality systems critical for commercial success. START was a true partner in this journey, a unique supportive funding source that understands the development cycle for novel technology and allowed this Massachusetts company to shorten it’s product development cycle by at least 2 years in order to meet an immediate market need. “

MEDFORD

Stage I – MTPV Power Corp. – Medford

MTPV Power Corporation of Medford, MA is awarded funding for its project to produce electric power from industrial waste heat. “MTPV Power Corporation is excited and honored to be named a MassVentures 2016 START Program Stage I winner.   The START Program is an invaluable resource for high growth companies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts looking to commercialize innovative technologies,” said MTPV’s President & CEO David Mather. “The funding and support provided by the START Program is integral to the successful development and commercialization of our groundbreaking waste heat to electricity conversion technology. With the support of the START program we will help meet the world’s energy demands more effectively and efficiently while having a positive impact on our environment to stimulate economic growth and innovation across the Commonwealth.”

NEWBURYPORT

Stage II – Visible Good – Newburyport

Visible Good of Newburyport, MA has been awarded START Stage II funding for their Rapidly Deployable Lightweight Shelter. “The MA Ventures START program has afforded Visible Good multiple advantages that would not have been realized without this valuable opportunity.  The program has supported us financially while also creating valued relationships, ongoing mentoring opportunities and a real “think-tank” environment.  Visible Good will be demonstrating its Shelter System among the Best in Class at Quantico, VA this September due to the added resources the START program is providing.  In 2016, Visible Good expects to complete certification as a Women Owned company and achieve full commercialization,” said Founding Partner, Tina Newman.

NEWTON

 Stage II – Barrett Technology -Newton, MA

Barrett Technology of Newton, MA wins START Stage II Funding for its Puck® Ultraminiature Brushless-Motor Controller. “We won the START grant at an absolutely pivotal moment in which a multinational company was considering investing in Barrett,” said William Townsend, President & CEO. “The investment for several million dollars went through in no small part because MassVentures had essentially confirmed the due diligence for this investor.”

Stage I – SimulConsult, Inc. – Chestnut Hill

SimulConsult, Inc. of Chestnut Hill, MA has been awarded START Stage I funding for their work on the SimulConsult® Diagnose program. Lynn Feldman, CEO of SimulConsult, Inc. said “the START program fills a critical gap between the SBIR research program and achieving a revenue-producing product – investment in commercialization activities.  The START program will allow us to rework some of our programs which means we can price our product more competitively, improving our financial prospects and rate of growth.”

SOMERVILLE

Stage I – NewGrid, Inc. – Somerville

NewGrid, Inc. of Somerville, MA is winner of START Stage I funding for their transmission optimization tool for regional electric grids. “NewGrid develops decision support software for electric power transmission system operators to minimize congestion, resulting in reductions in the cost of electricity to consumers, improved reliability, and greater renewables integration,” said Pablo A. Ruiz, CEO & CTO. “The support of the MassVentures START program is critical to ensure that our technology, developed with federal and state support, transforms from a research project to a practical tool.”

WAKEFIELD

Stage III-Persimmon Technologies Corp. – Wakefield

Persimmon Technologies Corp. of Wakefield, MA has been named one of only two Massachusetts companies to receive the highly competitive START Stage III award.

“START funding enabled Persimmon on take the development of our Hybrid-Field Electric Motor technology form the proof of concept phase, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, to the working product phase. Our Hybrid-Field motors represent a significant breakthrough in electric motor technology. Persimmon’s progress with this technology would not have been possible without START Stage I, II, and III funding,” said Michael Pippins, President & CEO.

WEST BOYLSTON

Stage II – Coventry Associates, LLC – West Boylston

Coventry Associates of West Boylston, MA has been awarded a Stage II START grant for their highly specialized robotics work. Their President Craig Gardner said, “SBIR funding allowed us to design, build and test our patented industrial robot. However, this funding does not support commercialization. START Stage II funding will enable us to meet the terms of our supply agreement with a Fortune 1000 manufacturer and close orders totaling $6.5 million.”

WOBURN

Stage I – Modular Genetics, Inc. – Woburn, MA

Woburn based Modular Genetics has been awarded funding through the START Stage I program. Modular uses its proprietary automated gene engineering system to create new products. According to CEO Kevin Jarrell, “START funding will enable Modular to scale up our work on using synthetic biology to create surfactants for cleaning products without using oil as a raw material and without creating toxic by-products. After searching extensively for support for this critical phase of the project, Modular was thrilled to learn that the START program will provide the funding needed to launch the scale-up effort, which is the next step on the path to commercialization of these renewable chemicals.”

Stage II – Primaira, LLC – Woburn

Primaira, LLC of Woburn, MA has been awarded START Stage II funding for their Bluezone® Air Cleaning Technology. “The Mass Ventures START program has enabled us to launch our Bluezone(R) residential air cleaning business, by funding the transition of the technology we developed for the US military into a best-in-class consumer product. The START program has allowed us to turn a well-established business model on its head: we will manufacture a world class product in Massachusetts and sell it to Chinese consumers who need better technology and a trustworthy brand to protect their health from their infamous air pollution,” said Managing Partner Karen Benedek. “Not only has the START program provided us funding, it has given us access to a community of businesses in Massachusetts that supports and inspires innovation. This critical program has provided us the funding and credibility we need to attract the further investment and financing to create a robust manufacturing business in Massachusetts.”

Stage I -Levant Power Corp. – Woburn

Levant Power Corp. of Woburn, MA awarded START Stage I funding for their work in expanding their unique automotive suspension systems sensors. “The START program grant is allowing Levant Power to make investments in building a pilot production line in Boston to produce our advanced automotive technology products for global customers. We are already aggressively hiring to staff the effort,” said Zackary Anderson, Chief Commercial Officer.

 

MassVentures is 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 received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Tibbetts Award recognized MassVenture’s critical role in research and development and for successfully driving innovation and creating new jobs through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The START program is a three year process designed to provide increasing financial rewards to SBIR Phase II companies that demonstrate progress on the path toward commercialization. At the outset of Stage 1, ten companies are selected to receive $100,000 in funding. Over the course of the next year, each company, with advice and coaching provided by MassVentures and the START ecosystem, strives to execute on its product commercialization strategy.  After that year, five of the original ten winners are selected by an expert panel to each receive $200,000 grants.  At the conclusion of the second year, the judges choose two companies to each receive $500,000.

 

MASSVENTURES PRESIDENT TESTIFIES AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING, URGES REAUTHORIZATION OF SBIR/STTR PROGRAMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2016

CONTACT: Jerry Bird, 617-723-4920, jbird@mass-ventures.com

LYNN- MassVentures President Jerry Bird today offered testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee. Appearing before the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce hearing on Commercializing on Innovation: Reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, Bird urged the reauthorization of the SBIR/STTR programs:

“The SBIR/STTR programs have played a vital role in harnessing the immense human capital of Massachusetts’ higher education, medical and research institutions. The SBIR and STTR programs provide opportunities to small firms to create great ideas but are unable to attract traditional venture capital funding or need seed funding to pursue those projects that the private sector has decided are too high-risk or not lucrative enough. However, it’s exactly these high-risk, high-reward projects that truly drive innovation in Massachusetts.”

Bird also offered Massachusetts’ START program as a national model for how states can best leverage federal investment through the SBIR/STTR programs.

“We believe the START program should serve as a national model for how states can best leverage the federal government’s investment through the SBIR/STTR program. The SBIR/STTR programs are essential in order to allow American scientists and researchers to innovate, invent and discover the technologies of tomorrow. But states must also do their part to build on progress made through SBIR/STTR funding and ensure those technologies of tomorrow are not always a day away.”

Bird’s full testimony as prepared for delivery follow below.

***AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY***

Testimony of Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures

March 8, 2016

U.S. House Small Business Committee

Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce

Field Hearing- Commercializing on Innovation: Reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Part II

I want to thank Chairman Chabot, Ranking Member Velazquez, Chairman Hanna and Congressman Moulton for inviting me to testify today on the critical need to reauthorize the SBIR/STTR program.

My name is Jerry Bird and I am the President of MassVentures. 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. We were honored to receive the prestigious Tibbetts Award in 2015 from the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognizing our significant role in driving innovation and creating new jobs through the SBIR and STTR programs.

As is often the case here in Massachusetts, when MassVentures was formed 38 years ago, we were the first program of our kind in the country. Our model and our mission to provide start-ups with early funding; guidance in operational, finance and sales, and; position them for additional rounds of funding from the traditional venture capital community has now been replicated throughout the country and across the world.

In our 38 years, MassVentures’ portfolio companies have raised $1.1 billion in additional funding; directly created 7500 jobs in Massachusetts, and; 16 MassVentures backed companies have gone public. In many cases, the companies we’ve been able to invest in and help grow got their start through SBIR/STTR funding.

The SBIR/STTR programs have played a vital role in harnessing the immense human capital of Massachusetts’ higher education, medical and research institutions. The SBIR and STTR programs provide opportunities to small firms to create great ideas but are unable to attract traditional venture capital funding or need seed funding to pursue those projects that the private sector has decided are too high-risk or not lucrative enough. However, it’s exactly these high-risk, high-reward projects that truly drive innovation in Massachusetts.

There is no question SBIR/STTR has been effective in allowing concepts to begin the road to commercialization. But even after two years of funding, many companies weren’t ready. Research was still ongoing. Prototypes needed testing. Or often the company’s founders weren’t ready to juggle innovation with the everyday demands of operations, finance and sales. It’s hard to master your elevator pitch when you’re spending all your time in a lab trying to create something that’s never been created before, or attempting to solve a problem long thought un-solvable.

The federal government had played its role. SBIR/STTR had brought many companies to the verge of commercialization. But there were still too many instances where we were left asking “what could’ve been.”

A gap remained.

In 2012, we created the SBIR Targeted Technologies program- START- to bridge that gap and ensure growing Massachusetts-based companies would be able to commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. Recognizing that innovation, invention, disruption take time, the START program provides up to three additional years of funding for SBIR/STTR projects. Stage I companies are awarded $100,000 grants. Stage II companies receive $200,000 and Stage III companies receive up to an additional $500,000. The most successful START applicants can receive a total of up to $800,000.

In just four years, START has provided $9 million in grant funding to 40 deserving SBIR projects. START companies have raised additional capital of $138 million and seen a 30% employee growth. MassVentures has created an ecosystem of more than 200 companies, reviewers, service providers and advisors.

Energid started as a robotic software company serving almost exclusively NASA and the Department of Defense. However, it was clear there was a broader application for their software and expertise in robotics. The company took the risk of creating small arm-sized robots to demonstrate the power and potential of its software. In 2013, MassVentures awarded Energid a Phase I START grant.

Energid sold their robots to early adaptors and is now in discussion with major global corporations and poised to sell thousands of units. Technology which had been developed to control lunar excavation for NASA is now being used to drill for oil in the North Sea, conduct surgery and even pick oranges. A Massachusetts-based software company, supported through MassVentures and START, Energid has emerged as one of the world’s leading robotic technology companies.

START has also proven that innovation can happen anywhere. While we evaluate START applicants through our prism as investment professionals, there is nonetheless a remarkable geographic diversity among START companies. Companies outside Boston and Cambridge that might have otherwise lacked the time, resources, support or network necessary for success now have it.

There are START companies in Barnstable, Canton, Charlton, Chelmsford, Georgetown, Littleton, Newburyport, Wakefield and Wilbraham. These companies have the potential to be economic anchors in their communities, spurring much needed revitalization and attracting new businesses and residents. Without SBIR/STTR, these companies likely never would have begun; without START these companies likely never would have survived.

Just as MassVentures was, we believe the START program should serve as a national model for how states can best leverage the federal government’s investment through the SBIR/STTR program. The SBIR/STTR programs are essential in order to allow American scientists and researchers to innovate, invent and discover the technologies of tomorrow. But states must also do their part to build on progress made through SBIR/STTR funding and ensure those technologies of tomorrow are not always a day away.

###

 

MassVentures START Program RFP Opens Today, 3/1/16

March 1, 2016

Request for Proposals

For MassVentures START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program Stage I Grants

MassVentures hereby invites all Massachusetts companies that meet the new, expanded eligibility criteria set forth below to submit applications to its START program for Stage I grants.

What is START?

START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 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. The program was created to assist high growth companies that will expand employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

 Who is eligible?

Any Massachusetts company whose application to the program is not based on pharmaceutical, therapeutic or medical device technology and has received a Phase II SBIR.

We are pleased to announce that, for the first time, proposals based on clean energy, alternative energy and other energy technologies are eligible to apply for START.

There is no strict requirement about when the qualifying Phase II SBIR was received. However, if it was received prior to March 1, 2012, you should explain in your application why it remains commercially relevant today.

A “Massachusetts company” is one that conducts its research, development, manufacturing and commercialization primarily in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and for the purposes of this program commits to continuing to do so. It is expected that START funds will be spent primarily in Massachusetts.

How do I apply?

A detailed description of the application process is located at https://www.mass-ventures.com/start-program/#tab-id-5

When is the Deadline for Applications?

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, April 4, 2016, at 12:00 pm EST.

How Do I Get More Information?

Many of your questions will be answered on our website, https://www.mass-ventures.com/start-program/. Please make sure to review the full START section, including our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have further questions after reviewing these pages, please contact the START Program Manager, John Fitzpatrick, at jfitzpatrick@mass-ventures.com.   In addition, MassVentures will be conducting a conference call on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm at which potential applicants can ask us questions about the START Program and the Stage I application and selection process. The dial in information for that call is below:

When:             Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Call-in Info:    Dial in #862-902-0240; Pin #7551599

PDF Version of RFP

START Funding Eligibility Expands to Include Energy Technologies

MassVentures is pleased to announce that, for the first time, proposals based on clean energy, alternative energy and other energy technologies are eligible to apply for START! The 2016 START RFP will be available on March 1, 2016 at https://www.mass-ventures.com/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.

START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist Massachusetts companies that have previously secured SBIR Phase II funding in turning their technologies into promising commercialized solutions. The program was created to assist high-growth companies that will grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

The primary objective of the program is to provide funding to commercialization-ready technology companies that have received at least the equivalent of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) or Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) grant from federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, or the National Science Foundation, to name three.

Please see https://www.mass-ventures.com/start-program/ for more information.

MassVentures Backs Growth at Content Raven with Follow-on Investment

New Funding will Enable Content Raven to Meet Market Demands for Sales, Training and Entertainment & Media Solutions

MassVentures today announced a repeat investment in Content Raven, the leader in global secure content engagement.  Content Raven announced a 3x increase in revenue year-over-year, from 2014 to 2015. The growth is fueled by a strong increase in new enterprise customers of its secure content engagement solutions for sales, training and media and intellectual property creation. MassVentures, along with Nauta Capital responded to this increased market interest in Content Raven with new investments in the company. Content Raven will use the funding to rapidly scale its sales and marketing efforts.

“Every enterprise struggles to securely deliver up-to-date content and video around the globe, to any device. Content Raven’s Cloud-based solution solves that challenge universally,” said Joe Moriarty, CEO of Content Raven.  “Sales, training and entertainment & media departments in particular create large amounts of high-value content and have a specific need to share it easily and securely. MassVentures has been with us from the beginning and has recognized our successes. We are thrilled that they are continuing to support us with capital to more aggressively target these markets.”

“Our new investment in Content Raven is a result of the confidence we have in the leadership team and the company’s content engagement platform,” said Nick Pappas, vice president at MassVentures. “No other company has a solution this well-equipped to meet enterprise needs for secure, simple and effective sharing of content and video across multiple devices. We believe the company is well-positioned with its solution-focused strategy to continue its aggressive growth rates in the coming year.”

About Content Raven

Content Raven’s global, secure content engagement solution empowers enterprise sales, marketing, media production and corporate training organizations to safely deliver video, documents, and other content to any device, anywhere. The company’s cloud-based solution helps organizations manage, track, and analyze user engagement with content. Content Raven’s customers are some of the largest companies in the world, including EMC, Mondelez International and VMware. The company is recognized as a SBANE Innovation Award – Rising Star – 2014, and is on the Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Startups List. The company is headquartered in Hopkinton, MA. Learn more at www.contentraven.com.

First-time Founders Fuel Growing Boston Marketing-Tech Space with Funding from MassVentures

MassVentures, The State of Massachusetts’ VC arm, announced today that it has participated in the latest round of funding for Jebbit. The Boston-based company works with clients such as Dell, EMC and Reebok to more efficiently engage and convert potential consumers with interactive quizzes, content and more.

Jebbit’s solution requires no code integration and powers marketing goals like brand awareness, user acquisition, eCommerce sales, and lead generation with an interactive experience that overlays landing pages, videos, and other content. The questions incentivize consumers to learn more about the brand with a reward, such as a discount, and allow brands to collect valuable information about their audience.

“One of our focuses at MassVentures’ is to support promising, first-time entrepreneurs. Both Tom Coburn and Jonathan Lacoste are a perfect fit for us. Jebbit has been very successful in filling a real void for companies that need to better engage their customers post-click,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President, MassVentures. “The simplicity and versatility of the Jebbit platform is very exciting and we look forward to helping these exceptional entrepreneurs scale the business.”

Jebbit is the second investment MassVentures has made in the growing Massachusetts’ marketing/advertising technology space, following a previous investment in OwnerIQ. For an overview of the innovation happening in the local ad-tech and marketing-tech space, see the infographic that Jebbit created below.

bostonlumascape2

 

“We are pleased with the progress we have made to date helping leading brands develop successful post-click marketing strategies. This added investment, along with the support and mentoring from Nick and the MassVentures’ team, will help drive momentum well into 2016,” adds Tom Coburn, Jebbit CEO and Founder.

MassVentures Invests in MachineMetrics to Support Advanced Manufacturing in Northampton, MA

We are pleased to announce that MassVentures has invested in MachineMetrics, a company that develops production monitoring software for the manufacturing industry. MachineMetrics, based in Northhampton, MA, addresses the need for manufacturing companies to have greater visibility into their production processes.

Long River Ventures, a firm managing more than $70 million in capital, led the round along with MassVentures. Since receiving the funding the team has doubled in size and plans are to remain in Northampton, MA. In addition, the funding will help MachineMetrics further accelerate its rapid development and growth trajectory.

“Massachusetts is committed to growing our statewide advanced manufacturing cluster,” said Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “Massachusetts manufacturing companies will continue to grow by having the capital available to invest in leading edge technology, equipment and their teams to ensure continued success.”

This is a testament to the MassVentures’ commitment to fueling innovative technology companies that are outside the perimeter of typical venture capital investments,” said Jennifer Jordan, Vice President of MassVentures. “By partnering with Long River Ventures and understanding the needs of entrepreneurs in the Pioneer Valley we are able to provide them the capital, connections and mentoring they need to prosper and excel here in Massachusetts.”

“Partnering with both local investors and the State of Massachusetts through MassVentures will provide us the capital and guidance to accelerate our momentum and help us support our growing customer base of small to mid-sized manufacturers,” concludes MachineMetrics CEO Bill Bither. “It is our goal to penetrate the local manufacturing community with MachineMetrics technology to provide them a competitive advantage and therefore help the entire Massachusetts manufacturing industry succeed.”

About MachineMetrics, Inc.
MachineMetrics, Inc. develops real-time production monitoring software for manufacturing companies. Headquartered in Northampton, Massachusetts, the company was founded by William Bither, Eric Fogg, and Jacob Lauzier in 2014. More information can be found on the company’s website, http://www.machinemetrics.com.

MassVentures-backed TerraTherm Acquired by Cascade Drilling

Successful exit to help spur new investments across the Commonwealth

We are pleased to announce that MassVentures-backed TerraTherm has been acquired by Cascade Drilling. With the acquisition, the Gardner MA-based company will deliver thermal remediation technologies more broadly and launch organizational and technological advancement to better serve its clients.

MassVentures has established a track record of successfully funding innovative technology companies in Massachusetts that are not adequately served by the venture community, including companies located statewide, “outside the box” industries and first time CEOs and/or founders. Gains realized from this investment will in part be used to further fuel the technology industry and economic development across the Commonwealth.

“The team at TerraTherm is a fantastic example of what Massachusetts-based entrepreneurs can accomplish when working hard and utilizing the resources available to them in the community,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President of MassVentures. “Congratulations to the entire team, their hard work and persistence delivered a great outcome!”

“We didn’t reach this milestone alone. From the beginning, as first-time entrepreneurs, MassVentures provided us with not only the financial backing but with the advice, connections and the guidance needed to succeed in the emerging market of thermal remediation technologies. They were an invaluable resource that remained patient as we scaled the organization.  We can’t thank them enough as we move to the next stage of growth,” concludes John Bierschenk, CEO and President of TerraTherm.

MassVentures Awards $1M to 2015 START Stage III Program Winners

START Program Spurs Growth for Winners 
Boston Engineering and Metamagnetics 
MassVentures announced today the 2015 START Stage III program winners. Each company has received $500,000 to help grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. The winners of the Stage III awards are:
Boston Engineering
Boston Engineering is a product development and engineering consulting company that is using its START funds to commercialize its underwater vehicle technology, including the BIOSwimmer™. Boston Engineering’s unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) systems replicate the dynamics of a biological fish to move rapidly and accurately in areas inaccessible by other vehicles for operations including port security, and underwater search and inspection. Waltham, MA.
Metamagnetics
Metamagnetics develops and markets leading-edge commercial and defense electronic products. It is using its START funds to deploy cost-effective, self-biased ferrite circulators, which reduce electromagnetic interference in dense communication and sensing environments. Canton, MA.
START is a $3 million annual State initiative administered by MassVentures to help growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts.
During the past three years, Boston Engineering has increased its revenues 52% and has expanded its workforce 22%. START funds contribute to Boston Engineering’s outside investment of $7 million to help commercialize its underwater technology. Over the past 4 years, Metamagnetics has grown revenues by 60%, increased employment by 140% and leverages their START funds into $2,470,000 in additional outside capital.
“Boston Engineering thrives on solving client challenges and making a difference in the way that people work and live. It’s through programs such as START that we can take our creative ideas and bring them through to commercialization,” said Mark Smithers, CTO of Boston Engineering. “We’re very thankful to MassVentures for this funding, recognition, and the expertise they have provided to help scale our technology during the past three years.”
“We are focused on enhancing the performance and driving down the cost of critical sensing, Earth science and communication systems. Remaining focused on our technology and scaling the company can only happen when you have the right mentoring and guidance surrounding you,” comments Anton Geiler, President of Metamagnetics. “In addition to the funding, MassVentures has provided just the right amount of support and guidance to help us scale and thrive.  We look forward to the continued partnership.”
“The START program is a significant recognition. For the past four years, Boston Engineering and Metamagnetics competed against some of the most promising companies in Massachusetts,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “This award is a testament to not only the technology they have created but the business opportunity ahead for each of them.”
For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process for 2016, please visit our website.

MassVentures Jumps in to Support BoardOnTrack

MassVentures announced it participated in a $1.7 million seed round in BoardOnTrack. The finance round included MassVentures, Launch Capital, Hub NY and Cherrystone Angel group. BoardOnTrack, founded by a strong management team with significant start-up and consulting expertise, has developed a web-based, cost-effective and convenient way to build and optimize charter school boards using a data-driven approach.

BoardOnTrack is from the inaugural class of Constant Contact’s new small businessInnoLoft, an accelerator focused on small business innovations. It was here that BoardOnTrack refined its business and prepared itself for scalable growth.  “It’s a great time to be part of the Boston tech ecosystem. We started in Constant Contact’s InnoLoft where we positioned ourselves for growth and have since formed a strong partnership with MassVentures,” said Marci Cornell-Feist, Chief Executive Officer at BoardOnTrack. “With both the financial and knowledge support we have received to date, we can now focus on growing our product offerings and broadening our position in the market. We’re thankful for the funding and expertise that the MassVentures’ team has provided.”

 BoardOnTrack enables volunteers to work strategically and efficiently to transform charter schools and non-profit organizations across the country. Utilizing BoardOnTrack’s web-based tools, boards are able to develop goals and track accountability, optimize board performance, monitor progress and assess accomplishments at year end.

“After a thorough market analysis, it was quite clear that BoardOnTrack’s comprehensive, data-driven solution was filling a real need in the market, and is a key component in optimizing board performance,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President at MassVentures.  “Marci and her team have demonstrated domain knowledge that is unparalleled in the industry and are poised to scale BoardOnTrack.  We look forward to supporting their continued success.”