IBM Venture Exec from Silicon Valley: Boston Startups Very Active in Mobile, Cloud Computing, Healthcare

2/3/11Follow @gthuang

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companies in biotech, sure, but also in mobile technologies and cloud computing. As particular strengths, Magid points to mobile services, such as payments, ad serving, video, and location-based services, as well as cloud infrastructure—technologies that enable companies essentially to outsource their IT needs for things like data storage, streaming video, and telemedicine.

Here are a few Boston-area companies that Magid singled out as being particularly interesting to watch:

CloudBees, a recently-formed company focused on building a cloud-based platform for software development and production. (My colleague Erin reported on CloudBees’ venture financing and its acquisition of Stax Networks in the past couple of months.)

DataXu, a developer of online advertising software for Web, video, and mobile devices. (I spoke with CEO Mike Baker about the company’s growth strategy last fall.)

PatientKeeper, which makes healthcare software for doctors that automates tasks like viewing patient data and ordering lab tests. (My colleague Ryan has reported on the company’s mobile strategy and its venture financing history.)

Sproxil, which uses special labels and text messaging to fight counterfeit production of medicines in developing nations. (The company won top honors at IBM’s Boston-area SmartCamp program last June, as Erin reported.)

Lastly, Magid shed some light on the deeper relationship between venture capitalists and IBM. It sounds like it has come a long way in the past decade—and it’s on pretty solid footing in this day and age where investors desperately need exits that an IBM could provide for their portfolio. In the late ‘90s, she says, there was a sense of “why should a VC talk to IBM?” But “then there’s a crash,” she says. “And then they think, ‘Maybe we do need your technical expertise.’”

Of course, the relationship works both ways—IBM needs to keep its finger on the pulse of innovative startups and their investors. “Now they’ve gotten to know us, and we have a great network,” Magid says. “They trust us now.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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