3Com Left at the Altar, EMC’s Head in the Cloud, Let There Be LEDs, and Other News

2/25/08Follow @wroush

Bob and Rebecca both went on vacation last week, but local newsmakers didn’t. I did my best to keep on top of the business-and-technology headlines, with some help from a terrific freelancer, Neil Savage; here’s a look back at the bounty.

—Pogo Jet, a Chicopee, MA-based regional airline planning to fly very light jets like the Eclipse 500 between destinations in the Northeast and Canada, set the terms for its planned IPO at 7 million shares to be offered at $12.50 to $16.50 per share. The move came a year ahead of Pogo’s first planned flight.

—Bain Capital of Boston pulled the plug on its proposed $2.2 billion buyout of Marlborough, MA-based 3Com. Federal regulators opposed the deal because 3Com has a division that makes security software for the U.S. government and Bain’s partner in the buyout, Huawei Technology, is Chinese.

—A DowJones VentureSource report showed that two New England firms, Matrix Partners and Canaan Partners, were among the top 10 venture firms putting money into startups in India in 2007. Altogether, Indian entrepreneurs collected $928 million in 2007, up from $349 million the year before.

—In a Series E round, Waltham, MA-based Incipient, which makes software for managing enterprise data on storage-area networks, raised $15.6 million.

—Our stock description of Hopkinton, MA-based company EMC used to be something like “a maker of networked storage hardware.” Seems we’ll have to revise that description in light of EMC’s hiring this week of Paul Maritz, founder and CEO of Seattle-based software company Pi Corporation, to lead its new Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division, which will focus on various forms of utility computing and software-as-a-service. An company exec blogged that the move is a fundamental change of direction for EMC, which also acquired Pi for an undisclosed amount and will fold it into the new division.

—Luminus Devices, a Billerica, MA-based maker of very bright LEDs used in projection TVs, believes its Phlatlight diodes have the potential to light up indoor and outdoor spaces. It inked a deal with Phoenix, AZ-based Avnet Electronics Marketing to distribute its Phlatlight technology in the general illumination market.

—Digit Wireless, a Lexington, MA-based startup that licenses alternative designs for mobile-phone keyboards that allow faster text messaging, picked up $4 million from existing investors Qualcomm and Venrock and got a new CEO, former Telus Communications executive Robert Blumenthal.

—CMGI in Waltham, MA, paid $24.5 million to acquire Dedham, MA-based OCS, maker of a software system for administering software licenses.

—At the Game Developers Choice awards, the highlight of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, 2K Boston’s groundbreaking title Bioshock brought home the statuettes for Best Visual Art, Best Writing, and Best Audio.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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