State Support Helps Realize the Goals of Health Care Reform

“We all know that Massachusetts is a world leader in healthcare. The State of Massachusetts through MassVentures, the Mass Tech Collaborative and the Massachusetts eHealth Institute has helped create an environment that will continue to position Massachusetts as a leader in both healthcare delivery and innovation.” – Hamid Tabatabaie, CEO and co-founder, lifeIMAGE. Read the Startup Success Story in full.

MassVentures Awards $2M to 2013 “START” Stage I and Stage II Program Winners

Funding to help Massachusetts companies commercialize technologies and help build sustainable businesses in the Commonwealth

MassVentures announced today the 2013 START Stage I and Stage II program winners. START is a $6 million initiative funded by the Patrick Administration and administered by MassVentures to help growing companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts. The program is intended to help high-growth companies grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

The companies are all Massachusetts-based and Phase II SBIR/STTR contract winners whose technology innovations have prospects for creating high-growth commercial products or services. The ten Stage I winners each receive a grant of $100,000. The winners are:

Boston Engineering A biomimetic, autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that employs the mechanics and dynamics of biological fish to address critical capability gaps in military and security applications. Waltham, MA
 Energid Technologies An ultra-lightweight robotic manipulator, trainable by anyone. With a humanoid structure and powerful control software, it provides large and small manufacturers with a turnkey cost-effective solution.  Cambridge, MA
 Fluidity Software State of the art education and scientific visualization systems aimed at revolutionizing the way people learn. Somerville, MA
 Ginkgo BioWorks Makes and sells engineered organisms to customers who seek to move to fermentation-based production of ingredients.  Our customers span the agriculture, pharmaceutical, energy and food sectors.  Boston, MA
 Intrinsix A service company that designs complex mixed-signal integrated circuits for world-class companies.  It is preparing to enter, with the help of the START program, the emerging market for multi-spectral imaging solutions. Marlborough, MA
 Metamagnetics Cost-effective, self-biased ferrite circulators which reduce electromagnetic interference in high energy environments. Canton, MA
 mZeal Communications Developing cyber-security tools for network infrastructure and industrial enterprises. mZeal PEARL Analytics product enables proactive cyber defense and real time anomaly detection with universal applications. Littleton, MA
 Radiation Monitoring Devices Spectroscopic radiation sensors with neutron detection for dosimetry and area monitoring. Watertown, MA
 Reactive Innovations Oxygen separation from air in a portable device for medical breathing. Westford, MA
 Triton Systems Lightweight, high strength internal combustion engine pistons for improved efficiency and performance. Chelmsford, MA


Additionally, five Stage II winners were selected from the 2012 Stage I winners. These companies have been judged to have made the most progress towards commercialization over the past year and receive a follow-on $200,000 START Stage II grant.  The five winners are:


Artaic  Custom artistic tile mosaics, using proprietary CAD software and advanced robotic manufacturing systems. Boston, MA






Muzzy Lane



Physical Sciences Inc.

Pioneering the science of consumer location analytics. Boston, MA


Advanced ferrite-based solutions to enhance the performance and effectiveness of mission-critical security, surveillance and communication systems. Canton, MA


Creator of innovative, award-winning educational games. Newburyport, MA


Developing micro-air vehicle systems for surveillance and security applications. Andover, MA


“Small businesses continue to spur the economic recovery in Massachusetts and the Patrick Administration is committed to supporting these businesses as part of the effort to create economic opportunity for everyone,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “The START winners continue to perform exceptionally well and are an example of why Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than the nation.”

Based on the success of the program, at the end of the third year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment based on their potential for growth and profitability. The program will be repeated annually with the application process opening again in early 2014.

“The success of the START program is dependent on the innovation and creativity of the people and the technologies that they develop.  We were pleased again this year at the high caliber of companies in Massachusetts applying for funding to help accelerate commercialization of their technologies,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “This year’s winners are a strong indicator of the depth and breadth of innovation being developed in the Commonwealth to support the economy and job growth.”

For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process, please visit

MassVentures and MassDevelopment Partner to Lead Funding for Content Raven

Company well positioned to help enterprises protect crucial
corporate content in the burgeoning BYOD market

MassVentures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on fueling the innovation economy in Massachusetts, in partnership with MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund, today announced it financed and led the Series A funding round of more than $2,000,000 for Content Raven. The finance round was oversubscribed and included funding from leading New England angel investors Angel Investor Forum, LaunchPad, Hub Angels, East Coast Angels, Beta Fund, and SideCar Angels. Content Raven, founded by a veteran management team, has developed a secure document and rich media-sharing application to enable companies to reduce the risk of data exposures and eliminate revenue loss due to unauthorized access to valuable corporate information.

Content Raven is the first investment made through Commonwealth Fund III, a partnership with MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund and MassVentures. “The partnership between MassVentures and MassDevelopment has allowed us to meet our goal to support cutting-edge companies to grow and create jobs in Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to a continued partnership with MassVentures and the broader investment community to support innovation in the Commonwealth.”

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the vibrant tech economy here in Massachusetts. MassVentures committed to us early and with its help and support we orchestrated a successful fund-raising round with regional angel groups,” said Content Raven CEO Ron Matros. “We can now focus on growing our product offerings and broadening our position in the market.”

“The Content Raven solution provides the right balance among security, flexibility, and ease-of-use without disrupting normal business routine. It is well-positioned with its data-centric model to support the security needs of enterprises across industries,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “Ron and his team have the entrepreneurial experience and the business know-how to prove out their value proposition and grow their business in the Commonwealth.”

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are two of the hallmarks of our growing economy, and investing in those areas will help us maintain our position as a world leader in those areas and help create economic opportunity for everyone,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “This partnership between MassVentures and MassDevelopment is an example of how two state organizations can combine their strengths to help fuel economic development and job creation in Massachusetts.”

Libboo’s Chris Howard discusses benefits of working with MassVentures

“The MassVentures team is experienced, talented and passionate about its investments.  They have been instrumental in shaping our vision and helping us execute on the best product possible,”  Chris Howard, Founder, Libboo.  Read more..

Take our 5 minute survey! – Understanding the Gaps

MassVentures is conducting a survey to understand the gaps – from capital, to talent, to sectors – in the Massachusetts entrepreneurial ecosystem and where MassVentures, the State’s VC arm, can help.

Can you help us by taking the survey and sharing with your networks?

Take the Survey 

Clicktotweet: Join @massventures #gapsurvey to help understand the gaps in funding, talent, sectors & more.  5 min!

Thank you are we look forward to sharing the results with you within the next few months!

National SBIR Conference – learn how to participate and receive funding

SBIR/STTR programs are the nation’s largest source of early stage / high risk R&D funding for small business. At this conference you’ll learn how to participate and compete for funding in these two programs that encourage small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) and to commercialize your technological innovations.

Opportunities include Roundtable discussions, 1-on-1 meetings (expected to sell out by 4/26), and Conference sessions. SBIR Conference attendees receive online access to 1-1 SBIR Meeting Site. Learn more and register!

SBIR START application deadline extended to Sunday, April 7th

Due to the Passover/Easter holidays, we are extending the deadline for applications to the SBIR START Stage I Program to this Sunday, April 7th.

START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist Massachusetts companies that have received SBIR Phase II funding to commercialize their technologies. The program was created to assist high-growth companies that will grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. Up to ten winners will each receive a $100,000 grant.  For more details and eligibility requirements please click here.

For those who have already submitted an application, you should have received an acknowledgement.  If you have not, please email Gail Cormier or call her at 617-226-2828.

SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Workshop at UMASS Boston VDC

There are five slots left for a premium SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Workshop on Wednesday, April 3rd, 9am-5:00 pm, at UMASS Boston’s Venture Development Center. The workshop will feature Sharon C. Ballard, President and CEO of Enable Ventures, Inc., former President and CEO of Reticular Systems and winner of over 30 SBIR Program awards.

To learn more and register for the workshop, please send the following information to :

1) name
2) title
3) company name or department
4) if you have applied for an SBIR/STTR in the past
5) the agencies with which you are interested in working

EVENT: Growing Your Business in the New Economy : Financing Growth

One of the major hurdles that new and existing businesses face is insufficient funding to carry out business plans, whether in the nature of product development and marketing or expansion of existing facilities and technology.

Join Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures at the Merrimack Valley Venture Forum on Tuesday, March 19th to discuss ways to obtain capital for business growth. The first portion of the program will discuss debt-based methods for raising capital. The second part of the presentation will address investment methods for obtaining capital.

Details and registration are here.

RFP for MassVentures START Stage 1 Grants

MassVentures hereby invites all Massachusetts companies that meet the 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 SBIR Phase II funding to commercialize their technologies. 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 or the National Science Foundation, to name two.

Who is eligible?
Any Massachusetts company whose application to the program is not based on a life sciences or energy/clean/green-tech technology and has received a Phase II SBIR within the last four years. It is expected that the qualifying Phase II SBIR would have been awarded by the Department of Defense or a federal agency other than the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Energy. 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 here.

When is the Deadline for Applications?
The deadline for submitting applications is Monday, April 1, 2013, at 12:00 pm EST.

How Do I Get More Information?
Many of your questions will be answered on our website, including specifically our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have further questions after reviewing these pages, please contact the START Program Manager, John Fitzpatrick.