Highlights from boston.com/hive, Boston’s source for innovation news.
The latest venture capital firm to plant its investors in Boston’s Innovation District is Polaris Venture Partners, which bankrolls tech and life-sciences companies. The firm just leased the 10th floor of One Marina Park Drive, the waterfront tower next to Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ future headquarters. Its building mates will include Battery Ventures, the MassChallenge start-up accelerator, and EnerNOC, a publicly traded energy-
“We clearly want to have a stronger presence in the city, and we love what’s going on in the Seaport area,” Polaris cofounder Terry McGuire said. The firm will continue to maintain offices in Waltham.
Polaris was an investor in LogMeIn, the remote-access company that moved from the ’burbs to the Innovation District over the summer, and Spindle, a start-up snapped up by Twitter in June. Spindle cofounder Pat Kinsel is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Polaris.
Polaris also operates co-working space for entrepreneurs in Kendall Square called DogPatch Labs. It has not decided whether the DogPatch entrepreneurs will move to Marina Park Drive.
— SCOTT KIRSNER
Sports app rewards good guessers
Hanging out at your favorite sports bar could soon be more rewarding, thanks to a free new smartphone app from a Boston startup. Spogo rewards users with free appetizers and discounted drinks for correct answers to questions about sporting events.
Users get a list of upcoming baseball, basketball, hockey, or football games, and a supply of points to wager. The user can pick a game and start betting points on various aspects of the contest.
For instance, you could bet 100 points that Jon Lester will pitch more than five innings or that Tom Brady will not throw an interception. Each accurate guess adds to the player’s point total.
Spogo also works during games. Users can answer a stream of real-time questions about the contest, such as whether the Patriots will go for it on 4th-and-1.
“While fantasy sports engage fans between games, we look to engage them during the game,” said Spogo cofounder Andrew Vassallo.
The points can be redeemed at about 60 Boston-area venues. Vassallo said merchants love Spogo because users tend to buy more food and drink. Bars and restaurants pay Spogo to participate in the program; the company also plans to add on-screen ads.
— HIAWATHA BRAY
SolidWorks update makes 3-D easier
If you’re an engineer who works in three-dimensional design software, there’s reason to be excited: SolidWorks 2014, the latest version of the popular 3-D design program, has been released. If you’re not, there’s still reason to be excited: Engineers are going to use SolidWorks to make cool stuff for the rest of us.
“What it enables people to do is take what’s up here,” said SolidWorks vice president Aaron Kelly, pointing to his head, “and put it into a computer and ultimately make something that’s physically present.”
Take FormLabs of Somerville, for instance. Operations manager Sam Jacoby and his team used an earlier version of SolidWorks to design a small 3-D printer, the Form 1, that retails for just $3,299. The year-old start-up smashed a Kickstarter record for the tech sector by raising $2.9 million last year and is in the process of shipping its first 1,100 products.
SolidWorks also served as the design platform for Baxter, a manufacturing and research robot from Rethink Robotics of Boston. Baxter can perform simple tasks — mostly grasping and moving objects over and over on an assembly line or in a lab — but his real appeal is affordability and versatility.
SolidWorks’s chief executive, Bertrand Sicot, said it is rewarding for his company to provide a tool that helps start-ups design products. Founded in Concord, SolidWorks makes software used all over the world. It was acquired by Dassault four years later for $310 million.
— CALLUM BORCHERS
Becker, MassDiGI get grant
Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute, also known as MassDiGI, said the federal government will pay for half of a $2.8 million video game incubator and training center in Worcester.
Projected to create 430 jobs over 10 years, the MassDiGI New Ventures Center will be “a business-assistance center for interactive media, game development, and technology-centric business undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs,” Becker College said.
In 2011, Becker was designated by state officials as host of MassDiGI, a state-sanctioned video game industry group.
“The jobs created by the work of this center will be highly skilled and well-paid” said Robert E. Johnson, Becker president and chairman of the MassDiGI Advisory Board. “They will build the talent pool in Massachusetts by providing opportunity for graduates from Becker and other institutions of higher learning.”
— CHRIS REIDY