The Next Boston-Area IPO, New Incubators, Unsung Heroes, and the Lost (& Found) Generation: 10 Tech Tidbits

6/3/11Follow @gthuang

As we enter the summer months, I wanted to give readers a quick look into my reporter’s notebook. I have been shifting into high gear with events and other things, but once the storm passes I’ll be writing more again. Meanwhile, I’m hearing tons of interesting stuff from the local startup and innovation community, some of which will wend its way into future stories.

But for now, here’s a sampling of what’s going on around town:

1. If you want to turn off early-stage investors, tell them your startup is “too far along” for TechStars or other incubator programs. That’s what I’m hearing from angels and micro-VCs. Xconomy will answer (or at least debate) the question, “Do you really need an incubator?” at our XSITE 2011 conference on June 16. And TechStars Boston Demo Day is the day before that.

2. The MassChallenge accelerator has come back strong in its sophomore year, with 125 startup finalists participating in mentorship programs and competing for cash prizes this fall. “We are much more effective and much better organized than last year. It will be a much more organized experience for the teams,” says MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne. “Last year, we were younger than half the teams.” (Here’s my debrief from last year’s program.)

3. Steve Case of AOL fame tweeted this week from the D9 conference: “Eric Schmidt: Gang of Four now driving consumer revolution: Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook (and they’re now worth half a trillion).” Sounds a lot like what Ted Morgan of Skyhook Wireless told me back in March: “There’s a huge platform war going on for the mobile platform. Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google are looking to carve up the world.” (Wonder if Morgan and Schmidt talked about that the last time they had dinner together—not.)

4. Speaking of AOL (and incubators), techie angel investor Roy Rodenstein, whose last startup was bought by AOL, was in Moscow this week to speak at a crash-course incubator program, called Founders Bootcamp, run by Igor Balk. It looks like Balk, a Boston-based tech entrepreneur/exec, is planning to unveil new incubators for startups in Boston and Silicon Valley soon.

5. The tech IPO market is heating up to bubblicious proportions—see Groupon, LinkedIn, and Zynga. But what about around Boston? We’ve had Zipcar go public (and SMTP in its own way), and Myriant and Kayak are in the pipeline with their S-1 paperwork filed. Who’s next—maybe HubSpot? In some cases, companies file for IPOs to drive up their acquisition price. I hear that Matrix Partners’ David Skok is the master of this tactic, among other things—and yes, he’s on HubSpot’s board.

6. Here’s a $100 million-plus-revenue, very profitable tech company in Waltham, MA, that … Next Page »

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. Follow @gthuang

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