Boston Holiday Tech Watch: GiveHope, LovePop, Samsung, IBM & More

‘Tis the holiday season, and in this week’s roundup of Boston-area tech news, we’re covering funding for a pop-up greeting card startup and an initiative that encourages people to, instead of giving gifts, donate to nonprofits that support causes considered at risk after Donald Trump’s election.

Meanwhile, in non-holiday-themed news, we’ve got a local nanotech startup reportedly purchased by Samsung, digital health partnerships involving GE Healthcare and IBM Watson Health, and giant fighting robots. Read on for details.

—Samsung has acquired QD Vision, according to media reports. The Lexington, MA-based company produces “quantum dots,” which are tiny semiconductor crystals that can help deliver high-definition images on device screens, including TVs and tablets. Meanwhile, QD Vision remains involved in a patent dispute with competitor Nanosys, which we covered earlier this year.

—Lovepop, a Boston-based maker of 3D pop-up greeting cards, announced it raised a $6 million Series A funding round led by Accomplice’s Ryan Moore. The startup’s other backers include Niraj Shah, Wayne Chang, Bob White, and Kevin O’Leary, who previously invested in Lovepop on the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.”

—GE Healthcare and Boston Children’s Hospital announced a partnership to develop new software products that help diagnose and treat childhood diseases. The first project aims to help radiologists diagnose pediatric brain scans by serving up relevant information in real time, according to a press release.

—And in other digital health collaboration news, IBM Watson Health will aid Pfizer in its drug discovery efforts in immunotherapy, which aims to use the body’s immune system to battle cancer. Pfizer will tap Watson’s cloud computing system to sift through reams of data from various sources in order to more quickly identify new drug targets, potential combination therapies, and strategies for selecting patients for clinical trials, a press release said.

—In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, a group of Boston-area startup leaders formed GiveHope.us, an initiative that screens charities and encourages people to donate to those focused on causes considered at risk under Trump’s administration, such as women’s health, civil rights, political reform, climate change, support for refugees and immigrants, and LGBTQ rights, GiveHope said. Its leaders include Mike Troiano of Actifio, Sarah Hodges of Pillar, Dave Balter of Mylestoned, Paul English of Lola, Bob Hower of G20 Ventures, Brent Grinna of EverTrue, and Aaron White of Blissfully.

As the holidays approach, GiveHope is suggesting supporters donate in someone’s name as a gift, or choose to forgo gifts for themselves and instead ask others to donate to causes on their behalf.

—Let’s close out the week with “giant fighting robots.” The Boston Globe has the latest on MegaBots, the two-year-old startup born in Somerville, MA, that is trying to make big robot battles a popular sport.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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