Boston Tech Watch: Techstars, DraftKings, Kaspersky, PTC

This week in Boston tech, we’re tracking a new Techstars program to support early-stage companies, the latest development in DraftKings’ regulatory battles, a new home for PTC, and more problems for Kaspersky Lab. Read on for details.

—Techstars is launching a second startup accelerator program in Boston, this one focused on autonomous technologies, such as sensors and digital image processing. The accelerator is being run in partnership with the U.S. Air Force. The head of the new program is Warren Katz, the former CEO of MAK Technologies. Katz has recently been temporarily serving as president of local artificial intelligence software firm Neurala, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The new Techstars program’s first session will kick off in January. It’s the second Techstars program focused on defense; the other is in Australia.

—Daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to pay $1.3 million each to settle allegations of unfair and deceptive practices, claims brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. The alleged conduct occurred before Healey’s office implemented industry regulations in July 2016, according to a press release.

DraftKings is based in Boston, while FanDuel is based in New York. The two companies planned to merge, but they abandoned the deal after the Federal Trade Commission challenged it over monopoly concerns.

—Multiple media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ordered federal agencies to stop using software from Kaspersky Lab, due to concerns that the Russia-based cybersecurity firm may have ties to the Russian government that could pose U.S. security risks. Kaspersky, which has its Americas headquarters in Woburn, MA, has denied the allegations.

—Manufacturing software firm PTC plans to relocate its headquarters from Needham to Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, bringing 1,000 workers to the area, the Boston Globe reported. PTC’s decision follows a trend of tech companies moving from the suburbs to the city. Other recent examples include GE and Nasuni.

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

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