When I first began exploring the startup ecosystem in Boston, I found myself asking, “What makes Boston a unique hub for startups?” Unfortunately, most of the articles online didn’t dive deep enough or offer the insider perspective I was looking for.
Having immersed myself in the Boston startup scene for a considerable time now, I’ve decided to share my comprehensive insights. This article is designed to answer all your questions about startups in Boston, providing a thorough overview based on my firsthand experience.
What Are The Startups In Boston ? (I’ve Found The 11 Best!)
1. Marigold Health
Marigold Health stands out as a pioneer in leveraging technology to address mental health and substance use conditions. They’ve created an anonymous social network that provides individuals a safe space to connect, share experiences, and support each other on their recovery journey.
One of the most compelling aspects of Marigold Health is its focus on anonymity and accessibility, ensuring that help is available to those who need it, whenever they need it, without fear of stigma or judgment.
The platform’s approach to building recovery capital is innovative, recognizing the importance of a supportive community in achieving long-term recovery. This is not just an idea; it’s a proven concept, with studies showing high interest and retention rates among users, particularly notable in treatments for Opioid Use Disorder. The figures are impressive, with 89% of patients showing interest, 80% retention, and 64% daily usage rates.
Marigold Health’s impact extends beyond individual users. Their expansion plans in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware signal a broader reach, promising to bring their valuable services to more people in need.
The recent funding announcement and hiring initiatives across various departments are clear indicators of Marigold Health’s growth trajectory and its commitment to combating mental health and substance use challenges with innovative technology solutions.
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Vendr has revolutionized the SaaS buying experience, making it more efficient and cost-effective for companies of all sizes.
Their platform acts as a vital extension for teams managing software stacks, ensuring that businesses can secure the best deals on software without the usual hassle and negotiation complexities.
The key to Vendr’s success lies in its ability to leverage over $3 billion in SaaS purchases to negotiate fair prices for their clients, demonstrating a deep understanding of the market and the needs of their customers.
The company’s culture is another aspect that sets it apart. By fostering a high-growth environment rooted in kindness, Vendr not only prioritizes the well-being of its employees but also ensures a positive and supportive service experience for its clients.
This approach has clearly paid off, with Vendr serving over 500 organizations, directly impacting the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of SaaS procurement for thousands of stakeholders.
Vendr’s vision extends far beyond merely facilitating transactions. They aim to transform the way companies find, buy, and manage their software, a goal that is both ambitious and necessary in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.
The milestones they’ve achieved in just four years underscore the potential for further growth and the broader impact Vendr is poised to make on the SaaS industry.
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3. Fritz AI
Fritz AI has positioned itself as a key player in the integration of artificial intelligence within the mobile development space. Their platform provides mobile developers with an accessible suite of tools for deploying and managing machine learning models directly on devices.
This approach not only democratizes AI capabilities for developers across different skill levels but also enhances the functionality and intelligence of mobile applications.
The platform’s standout feature is its cross-platform SDK, which comes equipped with pre-trained models suitable for a wide range of applications.
Additionally, Fritz AI supports the entire lifecycle of AI model development, from synthetic data generation and data annotation to model version deployment and testing.
This comprehensive support system simplifies the complex process of integrating AI into mobile apps, making it more feasible for developers to create advanced and personalized user experiences.
Fritz AI’s recognition as a promising tech startup and being named a “Startup to Watch” in Boston are testaments to its innovative approach and the potential impact it has on the tech industry.
With $7 million in funding from various venture partners, Fritz AI is well-equipped to continue its growth trajectory, further establishing its presence in the tech community as a leader in mobile AI solutions.
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4. Paperless Parts
Paperless Parts, Inc. has emerged as a transformative force in the manufacturing sector, specifically through its estimating and quoting software designed to enhance operational efficiency and streamline processes.
The platform’s ability to simplify the estimation process and integrate seamlessly with existing tools supports a wide range of manufacturing processes, making it an invaluable asset for manufacturers looking to optimize their workflows.
The recognition of Paperless Parts as a Best Place to Work in 2023 is a clear indicator of the company’s commitment to creating a positive and productive work environment.
This accolade is not just a testament to the company culture but also reflects on the quality of the solutions Paperless Parts delivers to its clients.
The company’s significant growth, evidenced by its tripled footprint and relocation to new headquarters in Boston, speaks volumes about its success and the demand for its services.
The $30M Series B funding round led by OpenView Partners in September 2021, along with strategic partnerships, such as the one with Penn Engineering to streamline assemblies, further demonstrates Paperless Parts’ commitment to innovation and its role as a catalyst for efficiency in the manufacturing industry.
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5. BlinkAI Technologies
BlinkAI Technologies stands at the forefront of artificial intelligence and imaging technology, specializing in enhancing image reconstruction in challenging low-light conditions.
The company’s foundation on co-founder Shen’s groundbreaking postdoctoral work at Harvard underscores its strong academic roots and commitment to leveraging machine learning for practical, real-world applications.
BlinkAI’s technology, crucial for the clarity required in applications such as self-navigating vehicles, represents a significant advancement in the field of AI-enhanced imaging.
With a $2.5 million fundraising effort and recognition as an MIT STEX25 company, BlinkAI has not only secured the necessary resources for growth but also established valuable corporate partnerships.
The technology’s basis, AUTOMAP, published in Nature in 2018, highlights the innovative and scientifically validated approach behind BlinkAI’s solutions.
Operating out of Boston, Massachusetts, BlinkAI’s work in artificial intelligence, robotics, and industrial sensing illustrates the company’s pivotal role in advancing these critical technologies.
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6. Activ Surgical
Activ Surgical is at the cutting edge of medtech innovation, offering groundbreaking solutions that significantly enhance intraoperative decision-making and patient care.
The introduction of their ActivSight™ Intelligent Light system represents a monumental leap forward in surgical technology, providing surgeons with the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human eye.
This technology illuminates critical physiological structures and functions during surgery, which traditionally remain invisible, thereby aiming to drastically reduce preventable medical errors.
The successful completion of the first international procedure using ActivSight™ technology marks a significant milestone for Activ Surgical, showcasing the global potential and applicability of their innovations.
The integration of real-time AI through NVIDIA Clara Holoscan on the NVIDIA IGX platform further underscores the company’s commitment to pioneering the future of surgery with augmented reality and AI-driven solutions.
The achievement of conducting the world’s first autonomous robotic surgery on soft tissue in 2018 highlights Activ Surgical’s role as a trailblazer in the surgical field.
With $45 million in Series B funding and a diverse group of investors backing its vision, Activ Surgical is well-equipped to continue its mission of improving surgical outcomes and patient care through its ActivEdge™ platform, which is specifically designed to minimize unintended surgical complications.
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AirWorks, founded by David Morczinek and Adam Kersnowski, is revolutionizing the way geospatial intelligence is leveraged across various industries.
By employing AI and machine learning to analyze aerial imagery and create detailed maps and linework, AirWorks significantly enhances the efficiency and accuracy of engineers and surveyors’ work.
The software’s ability to deliver up to 2-pixel accuracies for most datasets demonstrates its precision and reliability, making it an invaluable tool for professionals in the built world.
With $5 million in funding dedicated to expanding its Customer Success team, AirWorks is poised to further support its growing client base, which includes top engineering firms.
The company’s patented algorithm and web application, which convert aerial datasets into CAD drawings, underscore AirWorks’ commitment to innovation and its impact on improving operational efficiencies across multiple sectors.
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8. Aliro Quantum Technologies
Aliro Quantum Technologies, emerging from Harvard’s NarangLab, is pioneering the field of quantum networking with its hardware-agnostic simulation and emulation tools.
Under the leadership of co-founder and CTO Prineha Narang, PhD, Aliro Quantum is making significant strides in enabling the development and deployment of quantum networks.
The introduction of AliroNet™, the world’s first multipurpose entanglement-based quantum network SDN software, marks a critical step forward in the quantum computing industry.
Supported by Series A funding from notable venture firms, including Accenture Ventures and Leaders Fund, Aliro Quantum is accelerating its R&D efforts and expanding its services.
The company’s strategic partnerships with industry leaders like IBM Q Network and Rigetti, along with its software’s use in the EPB Quantum Network Powered by Qubitekk in Chattanooga, Tennessee, highlight Aliro Quantum’s significant contributions to advancing quantum networking technologies.
Audiolex has carved out a niche for itself by targeting an essential skill development area for children: public speaking confidence.
Through its innovative software development kit, which includes speech transcription and recognition tools, Audiolex aids both parents and teachers in nurturing young confident speakers.
The participation in the 2019 MassChallenge Boston cohort not only validated its mission but also provided a platform for further growth.
With plans to continue raising funds, Audiolex is poised to expand its reach and impact, helping more children across the globe to find their voices and become effective communicators.
10. Awayr A.I.
Awayr A.I. is at the forefront of enhancing human interaction with autonomous technologies in scenarios where safety and precision are paramount.
By developing technology that bridges the gap between humans and complex autonomous systems, Awayr A.I. aims to revolutionize the way we interact with robots and vehicles.
Their participation in the MD5 Startup Innovation Fellowship underscores their commitment to refining their business strategy and understanding market needs deeply.
Winning $5,000 in patent services from the RISE competition further acknowledges their innovative approach and potential to significantly impact high-stakes environments.
11. Bensen AI
Bensen AI, under the leadership of Adam Sandler, is making significant strides in the restaurant industry by focusing on improving online and phone ordering systems for takeout and delivery.
With a small but dedicated team based in Boston, MA, Bensen AI is leveraging software to enable restaurant brands to efficiently sell through voice platforms such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
Being featured as one of Boston’s 50 Startups to Watch, Bensen AI is at the heart of the evolving restaurant industry, driving trends towards robot-operated restaurants and the integration of AI to enhance safety, hygiene, and efficiency, especially in the post-pandemic world.
12. Blueday, Inc.
Blueday, Inc. has significantly impacted the retail management space with its scalable SaaS-based store revenue management system.
Their technology empowers store managers to directly connect corporate growth strategies with actionable, measurable steps to drive sales performance in each store.
With a team of 8 employees as of 2020, Blueday demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of lean operations in delivering cutting-edge solutions.
The acquisition by Tulip, a Toronto-based retail startup, marks a strategic move to broaden the scope of retail management software solutions, promising enhanced capabilities and integration for clients.
The funding of $6M from investors, including Tulip and Radian Capital, underscores the confidence in Blueday’s vision and technology, setting a solid foundation for further innovation in the retail sector.
Groma represents a bold step towards the democratization of real estate investment, blending traditional markets with cutting-edge web3 technologies.
Founded in 2020 and based in Boston, MA, Groma introduces a novel approach to real estate investment through the use of GromaCoins, ERC-20 tokens that represent fractional ownership in properties.
This innovative model aims to lower the barriers to real estate investment, making it accessible to a wider audience. However, navigating the complex regulatory landscape, particularly with a focus on offerings for accredited investors and exploring broader public offerings, poses a significant challenge.
The dual recording of properties and shares traditionally and on the blockchain ensures transparency and security, reflecting Groma’s commitment to trust and innovation in the real estate investment space.
14. Galatea Associates
Galatea Associates, with its inception in 1996, stands out as a veteran in delivering bespoke software solutions tailored to address the intricate challenges of Wall Street.
Situated in Somerville, United States, Galatea is renowned for its profound insight into the investment banking sector, offering a unique training program that not only hones technical skills but also deepens industry knowledge.
As a technologically agnostic company, Galatea prioritizes selecting the optimal technologies to meet client needs, fostering a startup culture that values collaboration, knowledge sharing, and continuous learning.
This blend of startup agility with over two decades of stability exemplifies Galatea’s unique position in the market, driving innovation while maintaining a solid foundation of expertise and trust.
PreVeil is revolutionizing the way we think about digital security with its end-to-end encrypted email and file-sharing services.
In a landscape where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated, PreVeil offers a solution that combines ease of use with the highest levels of security, suitable for businesses and individuals alike.
Their compliance with stringent regulations like CMMC, NIST, and ITAR makes PreVeil a go-to option for organizations that cannot compromise on security.
The platform’s design to thwart ransomware attacks and protect against password theft by employing military-grade encryption showcases PreVeil’s commitment to providing superior security without the complexity and high costs often associated with secure communication tools.
Unlearn.AI stands at the intersection of healthcare and artificial intelligence, offering a groundbreaking approach to clinical trials through the concept of digital twins.
Founded by a team of physicists, Unlearn.AI aims to transform the lengthy and often inefficient process of clinical drug development by leveraging AI to replicate patient characteristics.
This innovative approach allows for the design of faster, more ethical, and reliable clinical studies, speeding up the time it takes to bring new treatments to market.
With the ultimate goal of transforming medicine into a computational science, Unlearn.AI is paving the way for a future where trial and error in medical research is significantly reduced, benefiting both the healthcare industry and patients worldwide.
17. Mobi Systems
Mobi Systems, Inc. has been at the forefront of mobile productivity and business applications for over two decades, developing essential tools like OfficeSuite, PDF Extra, and MobiDrive.
Their commitment to enhancing productivity for over 500 million users worldwide underscores the impact and reach of their applications.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, with offices in San Diego, CA, and Stockholm, Sweden, Mobi Systems, Inc. collaborates with leading mobile device manufacturers to deliver top-tier productivity solutions, demonstrating their role as a pivotal player in the mobile applications market.
Modulate is changing the game for online voice chat environments, employing advanced AI and machine learning technologies to differentiate between harmless banter and harmful behavior.
Their flagship product, ToxMod, is specifically designed to maintain player privacy while ensuring a safe online space, reflecting Modulate’s prioritization of user safety.
By integrating their technology into AAA games and console platforms, Modulate addresses the growing need for safe digital spaces, reducing toxicity and helping game studios meet regulatory and compliance requirements.
Founded by CEO Mike Pappas, Modulate exemplifies the potential of AI to create more inclusive and respectful online communities.
SmarterTravel, a tech company fueled by data analytics, is poised to transform the travel and leisure industry, which is valued at $1 trillion.
Originally launched as Hopjump in January 2020, the company initially focused on offering discounted hotel bookings. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a strategic pivot towards marketing, culminating in the acquisition of the SmarterTravel site from TripAdvisor.
With a substantial subscriber base of 7 million for its email newsletter, SmarterTravel’s recent closure of a $9.5 million Series B funding round is earmarked for team expansion and accelerated growth.
Recognized as one of the “22 Boston Startups to Watch in 2022,” SmarterTravel is on a fast track to redefining travel experiences through innovative data-driven solutions.
20. Lose It!
Lose It! has been a game-changer in the weight loss industry since its inception in 2008, simplifying the journey for those seeking to shed pounds through an intuitive calorie-counting approach.
With more than 40 million members and over 100 million pounds lost, Lose It! has demonstrated the effectiveness of its platform.
Offering both a free version and a premium service that includes advanced features like macronutrient tracking and fitness device integration, Lose It! is committed to making weight management accessible and affordable.
As the company continues to grow its team beyond 40 employees, its recognition among the “50 Best Startups to Work For in Boston, MA 2023” underscores its commitment to both consumer health and employee satisfaction.
LineVision is at the forefront of the climate tech sector, offering revolutionary monitoring and analytics solutions that enhance the efficiency, resilience, and safety of the electrical grid.
By potentially increasing transmission line capacity by up to 40%, LineVision plays a critical role in modernizing infrastructure to meet growing energy demands while addressing climate change.
Since its founding in 2018, LineVision has consistently been acknowledged for its workplace culture, earning a spot on Built In’s Best Places To Work in Boston list for two consecutive years.
The company’s patented, non-contact sensor technology represents a significant advancement in maintaining and optimizing critical energy delivery systems.
Sense is dedicated to combating global carbon emissions by integrating smart technology into homes, enabling significant energy savings and efficiency improvements.
By providing detailed insights into home energy usage, Sense empowers users to make informed decisions that contribute to both financial savings and environmental sustainability. With an average savings of 8% on electric bills reported by users, Sense demonstrates the tangible benefits of its innovative technology.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and followed by over 17,000 individuals on LinkedIn, Sense is making strides towards a more sustainable future by transforming how energy is consumed in homes.
23. Linus Health
Linus Health is revolutionizing the approach to brain health with its digital cognitive assessment platform.
Designed for early detection of cognitive impairments, the platform features iPad-based assessments that are quick to administer, support multiple languages, and provide automated scoring and integrated clinical decision support.
Linus Health’s commitment to early detection of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is exemplified by its flagship solution, DCTclock, an AI-enhanced version of the traditional clock drawing test.
With over 20 studies validating its effectiveness, Linus Health’s technology is setting new standards in the early diagnosis and personalized care planning for cognitive health conditions.
24. Gradient AI
Gradient AI stands at the forefront of transforming the insurance industry through the power of artificial intelligence.
By offering sophisticated claims and underwriting software, Gradient AI empowers insurance companies to manage risk more efficiently, enhancing underwriting capabilities and minimizing claim costs.
Their utilization of a comprehensive health data lake, combined with deep AI and insurance expertise, allows for improved risk assessment, faster turnaround times, and increased profitability.
Notably, Gradient AI’s models offer the ability to retain and analyze every detail in policies and claims, presenting a more nuanced risk picture.
The tangible outcomes of their technology include a decrease in combined loss ratio and expense ratio, alongside an increase in Direct Written Premium per Employee, marking a significant advancement in the insurance sector’s approach to risk management.
Seurat Technologies is pioneering the future of metal additive manufacturing with its innovative Area Printing process.
This process is aimed at revolutionizing the metal manufacturing industry by enhancing the speed and quality of production while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
Seurat’s commitment to fostering resilient, localized supply chains and leading the green manufacturing revolution is evident in their approach to high-volume, decarbonized industrial production.
With $99 million in financing secured, the company is set on accelerating the deployment of its pilot factory in the Boston area, showcasing a steadfast dedication to transforming manufacturing to benefit both people and the planet by offering a competitive alternative to traditional manufacturing methods.
25. Cambridge Semantics
Cambridge Semantics is known for its expertise in semantic technology, offering advanced solutions that enable comprehensive data management and analysis.
Their flagship Anzo platform exemplifies the power of graph-based data integration, allowing organizations to access, manage, and analyze vast amounts of information from diverse sources efficiently.
This technology is applied across various sectors, facilitating data discovery, integration, and analytics, and positioning Cambridge Semantics as a key player in the field of data management and semantic analysis.
Spyce, born from the innovation of MIT graduates, reimagined the culinary landscape with its robotic kitchen capable of preparing meals in under three minutes.
Following its acquisition by Sweetgreen in 2021, Spyce has focused on integrating its technology to enhance Sweetgreen’s operations, expanding menu offerings, and ensuring consistent meal preparation.
Before its acquisition, Spyce had garnered $25 million in funding and had made significant strides in food technology with its “Infinite Kitchen” robot, capable of preparing 350 meals per hour and supporting a diverse range of recipes, setting a new standard in the fusion of technology and gastronomy.
27. Embark Veterinary
Embark Veterinary, leveraging the expertise of scientists and veterinarians passionate about canine health, has established itself as a leader in dog DNA testing.
With a focus on breed identification, genetic health risks, and ancestry, Embark’s comprehensive genetic screening services aim to revolutionize canine care.
Following a successful $75 million Series B funding round, valuing the company at $700 million, Embark has tested over 1 million samples, contributing significantly to advancements in canine health and genetics.
Embark’s vision to become the “23andMe for dogs” reflects its commitment to enhancing the well-being of dogs through cutting-edge genetic insights.
SimpliSafe has redefined home security, making it accessible and user-friendly. Founded by Chad and Eleanor Laurans, this Boston-based company has carved a niche for itself with self-installed wireless security systems.
Amidst rapid growth, SimpliSafe’s expansion plans include a new headquarters that embodies the company’s innovative spirit, featuring unique spaces that encourage creativity and collaboration.
SimpliSafe’s mission revolves around putting customers first, striving for continuous improvement, and nurturing a collaborative, inclusive work culture, showcasing its holistic approach to business growth and employee welfare.
29. Toast, Inc.
Toast, Inc., resonates with the vibrancy of Boston’s tech scene, offering a comprehensive digital platform tailored for the restaurant industry.
Its decision to open a new office in the Seaport district by 2024 highlights Toast’s trajectory of expansion and innovation.
With services that streamline operations and elevate customer experiences, Toast stands at the intersection of fintech, food, and IT, driving the digital transformation of dining with its suite of integrated solutions, from point of sale to payment processing.
30. Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal is reshaping the landscape of manufacturing with its advanced 3D printing technologies.
Committed to making metal and carbon fiber printing widely available, the company supports mass production in Additive Manufacturing 2.0 with its Binder Jetting and Digital Light Processing technologies.
Desktop Metal’s diverse material portfolio and a strong patent foundation underscore its leadership in the field.
Despite recent cost reduction initiatives, including workforce adjustments, Desktop Metal’s strategy aims to streamline operations and fast-track profitability, reflecting a pragmatic approach to growth and innovation.
Salsify has emerged as a pivotal force in the digital commerce landscape, offering a comprehensive Product Experience Management (PXM) platform that empowers brands, retailers, and distributors to excel on the digital shelf.
The platform’s ability to manage and validate a wide range of data and automate processes in response to market volatility places Salsify at the forefront of the Product Information Management (PIM) space.
Recognized for its leadership and expertise, Salsify provides invaluable resources and insights that guide businesses towards optimizing their digital presence, driving efficiency, growth, and achieving market leadership.