Boston VC Files To Run For Governor

Jeff McCormick, Saturn Partners, Boston VC, Boston startups, Massachusetts Governor


Massachusetts has a new candidate for the Governor’s Mansion. The Sentinel Enterprise reported on Monday that Saturn Partners founding partner Jeffrey McCormick has filed papers to run for government as an independent candidate.

McCormick founded venture capital firm Saturn Partners in 1994 to support early stage growth companies. Their portfolio boasts 35 companies that are still active. Crunchbase reports that the firm’s latest startup investment was Oregon-based Chirpify, a company that facilitates financial transactions via Twitter. Saturn participated in Chirpify’s $6 million dollar series A raise back in July. 

McCormick’s firm has a reputation of being hands-on in a good way. According to many online sources, including some of the companies that they’ve supported, Saturn lends their expertise in developing companies in a strategic partnership tied to their investment.

As for the governor’s race, politics is no stranger to startups. Techstars co-founder Jared Polis is a congressman from Boulder who uses his background in startups and investment to help champion legislation that will spur the economy through startups and small businesses.

In fact, McCormick isn’t the only candidate with ties to venture capital. The only Republican candidate at the moment, Charlie Baker, is part of the venture capital firm General Catalyst.

On the Democratic side McCormick is facing off against Attorney General Martha Coakley, Treasurer Steven Grossman, former Obama administration Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald Berwick, biotechnology executive Joseph Avellone, former state and federal homeland security advisor Juliette Kayyem and Sen. Daniel Wolf.


After Building Up The Neighborhood MassChallenge Priced Out Of Boston’s Innovation District

MassChallenge, Boston startups, Innovation District, Accelerator
Although the news may not be good for MassChallenge, the fact that they have been priced out of their own neighborhood is actually a testament to the success the accelerator/incubator program has brought to Boston. Many in Boston’s Innovation District believe without MassChallenge there would be no district.

According to, one of the country’s biggest and most successful accelerators needs to be out of their 14th floor space at One Marina Park Drive on Fan Pier by next July.

masschallengelogoMassChallenge is currently housed in prime real estate in the heart of what’s now known as the Innovation District. The area got its name from the startups and young entrepreneurs it attracted to the area, many of which were part of the MassChallenge program. Since 2010 MassChallenge has consistently helped over 100 startups a year through their program. Many of them choosing to stay in the Innovation District to grow their companies

MassChallenge has about 25,000 square feet at their current location, which they were able to stay in rent free.

“We’re basically like a marketing amenity for the building,” MassChallenge founder John Harthorne told

Since they moved in three years ago Enernoc, Goodwin Proctor, and Battery Ventures have signed leases in the same flagship building. Countless smaller startups have taken up space in the surrounding neighborhood.

Now, with all of these startups and companies moving into the area because of the groundwork that MassChallenge has laid, the owner and developer feels like he can attract a paying tenant to the same space.

While Harthorne wants to remain in the Innovation District, he’s not worrying about the accelerator having a roof over its head. They are currently in negotiations for a possible spot at Landmark Center near Fenway Park and the Bronstein Center, also in Innovation District. Both landlords see the value in having MassChallenge as a tenant, so they are also offering free rent.

“We’re kind of torn,” Harthorne says. “We love the Innovation District, but Landmark is close to the medical center, which is a thriving area of the city. Our current lease is up in July of next year, and so we do need to do something ahead of next year’s program. We’re eager to make a decision really soon,” he says.

They expect to announce their decision at the October 30th awards ceremony for this year’s class.

Find out more about MassChallenge here.



MassChallenge Reveals Final 26 Startups Of 2012

MassChallenge,Accelerator,startup,startups,startup contest,Boston startupsMassChallenge, the world’s largest global startup accelerator competition announced the final 26 startups that will compete before the judges. The 26 startups will pick between 10 and 20 startups who will be announced at MassChallenge’s high profile awards ceremony event on October 23.

This year’s MassChallenge competition opened up on March 1st and attracted 1,237 applications from 35 countries and 26 U.S. states. From there 125 startups were chosen to participate in MassChallenge’s 3 month accelerator program. The accelerator program offered the startups free office space, access to resources and one of the best mentor networks in the world.

All 26 startup teams will have one minute each to pitch their startup to over 1200 attendees at the awards ceremony. The stakes are high, with over $10,000,000 in prizes with no strings attached. There will be over $1,000,000 in grants awarded and $9,000,000 worth of in-kind benefits.

Unlike many other accelerators, the entire MassChallenge program is non-equity based, meaning that participating companies, and companies that receive monetary awards, give up no equity.

Here are the 26 startups:

Akrivis Technologies

Black Island Wind Turbines

Bounce Imaging


Capital Market Exchange (CMX)

Cellanyx Diagnostics


Dynamo Micropower

Global Research Innovation & Technology (GRIT)

Guided Surgery Solutions

HelmetHub Corporation



Lab Automate Technologies Inc


Lovin’ Spoonfuls Inc

Ministry of Supply Inc.

NBA Math Hoops


Nordic Technology Group (NTG)



Strong Arm Technologies, Inc.

Ubiqi Health

WindGap Medical Inc.

MassChallenge features top notch judges from the Boston tech community and from around the world. This years judges are:

Colin Angle

Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, iRobot

Sam Bastia

Global Strategy Executive, Verizon Communications

Josh Boger

Founder and former CEO/Chair, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Desh Deshpande

Serial entrepreneur and mentor, Chair A123 Systems

Paul English

Founder & CTO,

Corinne Grousbeck

Brand Strategist & Advisor at Gemvara

Wyc Grousbeck

CEO, governor, and co-owner of the Boston Celtics

Jamie Kiggen

President, Riverside Company

Jit Saxena

Founder and Former CEO, Netezza

Niraj Shah

CEO and Co-Founder, Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores)

Amy Stursberg

Executive Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation

Mike Wilens

Special Advisor, Senior Fidelity Management

“Over 400 entrepreneurs from across the globe came together in the Boston Innovation District to address some of the world’s most challenging problems together with the tremendous resources in the Boston startup community,” said MassChallenge Chief Mentorship Officer Karl Büttner. “MassChallenge 2012 represents another great example of the growth, energy and excitement that can only be produced through collaboration. It is truly inspiring to work closely with the hundreds of MassChallenge mentors and judges who volunteer their time, effort and advice to help the 125 MassChallenge startups grow.”


Find out more about MassChallenge here

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Boston TechStars Fall Session Kicks Off With 13 Startups


Fresh off the heels of a top 10 finish in the annual Kellogg accelerator rankings, TechStars Boston fall program is underway. TechStars Katie Rae made the official announcement via the TechStars blog yesterday.

This is the first time they’ve run a second class in the same year at their Boston location. Competition is tough in the north east for both the startups and the accelerators. Although they didn’t make it in the top 15 rankings startups in the north east also look to the MassChallenge program to hone their entrepreneurial skills.

We were actually very pleased that two startups we’ve covered here at made the TechStars cut. Boston based athlete to private coach connection platform, CoachUp has made it into the fall class. Michigan based FetchNotes , an incredibly easy to use, feature packed note taking app has also made it into this fall class.

TechStars is credited with just about writing the program for most of the cohort based startup accelerators across the country. Many of the other cohort based accelerators like Cincinnati’s Brandery , Greenville’s Iron Yard Labs , and even Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry are part of the Global Accelerator Network. The Global Accelerator Network is an offshoot of TechStars, that for a short period of time, was called the TechStars Network.

Here is the entire list of all 13 startups from

BetterFit Technologies provides personalized medicine for everyone.

BookingMarkets lets small and large web sites connect travelers with unique places to stay around the world.

CoachUp helps athletes achieve their full potential by connecting them with private coaches.

At Fashion Project you can shop daily designer deals and clean out your closet for your favorite cause.

Fetchnotes makes it easy to stay on top of what’s going on in your life and communicate with the people that matter to you.

ImpulseSave makes saving your money as easy and gratifying as spending it.

Med2Bed connects hospitals and post-acute care facilities to improve patient outcomes.

NBD uses unique surface chemistry to harvest water from humidity.

Ovuline helps couples conceive faster.

Saverr helps consumers save together. Connecting online and offline shopping.

Wymsee is operating in stealth.

Zepppelin helps small businesses see what’s happening in their company by connecting their cloud applications and team in one place.


Check out TechStars here


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