Forbes names uTest 8th most promising company in America

Nope, you read that headline correctly. Earlier this week, Forbes named uTest the 8th Most Promising Company in America. No sense burying the lede on a story this big.

Over the years, uTest has been fortunate to pick up several impressive honors; some for innovation, some for products and even some for workplace culture. But this award – which puts uTest in a class with the likes of Box, Evernote, SecondMarket, ShareThis, uSamp, Marketo and HubSpot- is truly remarkable. Read Doron’s complete post here.

And, check out the complete list on Forbes.com.

M2D2 2nd Annual New Venture Competition at UMass Lowell

M2D2 is hosting a medical device startup competition that will find Massachusetts’ best new medical device ventures – and award thousands of dollars worth of services for product development. Applications are due February 1st! Details can be found here.

Read about how MassVentures helped successfully launch uTest

“MassVentures not only participated in all of our financing rounds but was instrumental in creating access to additional funding. Our B round was lead by VCs both locally and outside the state, but at the end of the day, it was MassVentures that created the introductions.” -Doron Reuveni, CEO, uTest Read more..

EVENT: The Federal SBIR Program: What is it, When do I pursue it and How?

The Federal SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Program is a $2.4 billion federal R&D grant program established to help small businesses engage in R&D that have potential for commercialization. At this free seminar you we will provide an overview of the SBIR program, including information on the program’s purpose, eligibility and sources of funding. The seminar is designed to provide enough information for attendees to determine if they would like to seriously pursue proposal development, and to begin efforts to secure SBIR funding.

Join us to learn from experts:

  •  Program Overview
  • Program History and Award Statistics
  • Program Eligibility Requirements
  • Basic Tips and Hints
  • Resources Available to Assist

What You’ll Come Away With:

  • An introductory understanding of the nature and extent of the SBIR program
  • An understanding of the overall process involved in seeking SBIR grants
  • Federal agency sources of funding
  • Tools to help you prepare a strategic planning prior to proposal preparation

Our Presenters:

  • Peter D. Marton, Senior Business Advisor / Technology Specialist, MA Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC)
  • Dan Lilly, Government Sales Advisor, MA Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC)

When and Where?

  • Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Location: MassVentures, 40 Broad Street, Suite 230, Boston, MA

Register Now!

MassVentures-backed Harvest Automation swoops down on agricultural market

Harvest Automation, a Billerica-based robotics company backed by MassVentures, is working on new robots that could wipe out an entire category of agricultural labor.

Harvest sells small, battery-powered robots that move potted trees and shrubs around in a plant nursery. The idea is to create enough space between each of the pots so that the plants have room to grow. “It gets pretty grueling” says inventor Joe Jones.

Jones, who helped invent iRobot’s Roomba, a robot vacuum cleaner, says they traveled the country talking to farmers and nursery owners before they decided what kind of agricultural robot to create.When they saw workers straining to move heavy pots around in a nursery in Sudbury, Mass., the light bulb went on. “We watched a bunch of people doing this job and we thought, if we can’t build a robot that does this, we’re in the wrong business,” Jones says.Read the full article here.

MassVentures-backed Incentive Targeting Acquired by Google

Successful exit to help spur new investments in the local tech ecosystem

 November 30, 2012 – We are pleased to announce that MassVentures-backed Incentive Targeting has been acquired by Google. Google confirmed the deal Wednesday afternoon, but did not disclose any financial terms. The Cambridge-based startup builds software for retailers to offer customers targeted promotions.

MassVentures partnered successfully with local angel groups including Launchpad and Hub Angels and it’s a great testament to have Google step in and realize the quality of the Incentive Targeting team and what they built. MassVentures has established a track record of successfully funding innovative technology companies in the state to promote job growth and innovation across a broad range of industries. Gains realized from this investment will in part be used to further fuel the technology industry in the state.

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

“We didn’t reach this milestone alone. From day one, we have relied on the support and commitment of our retailers, brands, investors, partners, and advisors, as well as the hard work and dedication of our team. We could not have done this without them, and as we look ahead, we are thrilled to be part of Google!” concludes Ben Sprecher, Josh Herzig-Marx, Win Burke, and the entire Incentive Targeting team.

Google buys MassVentures-backed Incentive Targeting

Google Inc. has acquired Cambridge online marketing firm Incentive Targeting Inc., a five-year-old start-up that builds software for retailers to offer customers targeted promotions.

Google confirmed the deal Wednesday afternoon, but did not disclose any financial terms. Incentive Targeting had raised nearly $4 million in early-stage funding, largely from area angel investing groups such as Launchpad Venture Group and MassVentures.  For more details on the story, read here.

MassVentures Renews Commitment to MassChallenge Entrepreneurs

October 25, 2012MassVentures has renewed its partnership with MassChallenge on the MassVentures’ Fast Track program to further fuel the success of MassChallenge 2012 companies and make it easier for those companies to grow and remain in the Commonwealth.

During the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony, Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, announced its commitment to the finalists, “We are excited to be here again to support the companies that are part of MassChallenge. Following last year’s success, when we provided early funding to Libboo and Vsnap, we realized the value of helping these companies right out of the gate so that they can sustain positive momentum. We want these companies to focus on growth rather than fundraising and contribute to the vibrant innovation ecosystem we have here in the Commonwealth.”

MassVentures will select as many as five 2012 MassChallenge companies to participate in a review process, with MassVentures and MassChallenge announcing the company(s) that will receive a funding commitment from MassVentures in January.

MassVentures is focused on bridging the capital gap for Massachusetts entrepreneurs and driving more startup companies to headquarter within the Commonwealth. Providing early stage capital will ultimately stimulate the economy by catalyzing the creation of jobs.

“The early-stage funding MassVentures provides through the Fast Track Program is exactly what our companies need to launch their business and help vitalize the Massachusetts economy,” said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO, MassChallenge. “Working with MassVentures over the past two years has been a win-win situation for the MassChallenge community.”

OwnerIQ sees steep growth via ‘big data’ online ad targeting

OwnerIQ, a MassVentures-backed company, was featured today in the Boston Business Journal. A Boston-based firm which enables targeted online banner ads using data about what consumers already own, expects to reach $30 million in revenue this year and is “on a growth trajectory that puts us at a $100 million company in a couple years,” CEO and co-founder Jay Habegger said in an interview. For the full story read here.

MassVentures Leads $1.1 million Seed Round of Financing for Online Publishing Start-up Libboo

October 11, 2012 – MassVentures, focused on fueling the growth of innovative, technology-driven companies in Massachusetts, today announced its second investment in online publishing start-up Libboo. The $1.1 million seed round included investments from East Coast Angels, Hubspot CTO and founder Dharmesh Shah, Avid and Wildfire founder Bill Warner, and past President and CEO of Compete, Don McLagan.

Libboo, a TechStars Boston company and MassChallenge finalist, is an online platform that connects “buzzers” (passionate readers and advocates who love to raise awareness about the books and authors they enjoy) with books from talented authors, to more effectively get those authors discovered by new audiences. With its launch, Libboo introduced revolutionary ways to combine the power of reader and author to create award-winning bestsellers.

“It’s been a big win for Libboo to have partnered with MassVentures since our involvement with MassChallenge. They recognized our unique approach to helping talented authors, in an overly crowded space, gain visibility and promote their work, and have been a valuable partner in helping bring this to reality,” comments Libboo CEO, Chris Howard. “Libboo is committed to creating a place for talented authors to get discovered and rewarded for their talent. It is important that Libboo’s investors be passionate and visionary angels and VCs looking to be a part of an industry shift.”

The round will allow Libboo to continue to grow its all-star team, specifically in engineering, operations, and business development. Libboo sees its investors as just as much a part of the team as the full-time staff. Their combined strengths and drive to move the publishing industry into the future will be invaluable in Libboo’s goal to discover the next digital bestseller.

“We are excited to be increasing our investment in Libboo. We originally invested in Libboo back in January when the company was one of two winners of our MassChallenge Fast Track Program, an annual program focused on giving high-potential, Massachusetts startups the runway needed to prove out their value proposition,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President at MassVentures. “We continue to be impressed by Chris’ vision and the progress that he and the team have made over the past 10 months. We look forward to working with them in this next phase of the company’s development.”