The Hive

Crowdfunding site offers $100,000 boost

Highlights fron, Boston’s source for innovation news.

As if the thought of raising $1 million on a crowdfunding site isn’t alluring enough, now there’s this: Dragon Innovation said Monday that it will start giving an extra $100,000 to startups that raise seven-figure sums on its website.

The money could help a young company grow its team or pay its rent — expenses that crowdfunding dollars may not cover because they are dedicated to producing whatever the new gadget is, said Dragon founder Scott Miller.

Dragon launched a new crowdfunding platform in the fall, with a special focus on fledgling hardware companies. Previously, the Cambridge firm had served as a consultant to startups listing their products on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, helping them establish manufacturing and supply chains. Now, companies can make Dragon Innovation a one-stop shop for crowdfunding and logistical guidance.


No one has come close to raising $1 million in Dragon’s short history. The top-grossing project to date earned slightly less than $200,000 in pledges. But Miller, who honed his manufacturing expertise at iRobot as vice president of its Asia Pacific operations, is confident that his site will host some smash hits.

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The bonus money will come in the form of a convertible note, giving Dragon an equity stake if a recipient hits certain thresholds, like raising a funding round of at least $750,000.

Callum Borchers


Dudley Square pegged as startup host

Gilad Rosenzweig is an architect and urban planner working on an interesting experiment: Can a tech startup space sprout in Roxbury’s Dudley Square neighborhood? What kind of businesses, mentors, and investors would it attract?

Rosenzweig’s nonprofit, Smarter in the City, hopes to have an incubator up and running by June, with space for a half-dozen companies. He’s in the process of rounding up prospective corporate sponsors to support the idea and is applying for grants, too.


Smarter in the City would provide office space, mentoring, and educational programs and a small amount of seed money for selected entrepreneurs, along with a small amount of seed funding.

Rosenzweig is primarily focused on “programming-based startups that are creating Web and mobile applications or services,” he said, “not manufactured or fabricated goods.” The application process is now open.

Scott Kirsner


52 in 52 Challenge could get you $100

Remember those guys from Boston startup Achvr who sprinted all over the city to hit 72 local hotspots in 72 hours on Columbus Day weekend? They’re back with a new challenge, only this one is for you. It’s far less strenuous, and you can win cash.

To celebrate the launch of its goal-tracking app out of beta, Achvr kicked off the 52 in 52 Challenge on Saturday. As the name suggests, the idea is to hit one goal every week for a year. A weekly drawing will give somebody $100 to spend on accomplishing a goal.


The Achvr app is a handy way to set and, of course, achieve your goals — whether we’re talking about taking a trip to Australia or just trying that new restaurant around the corner. It helps you find cool things to do and connects you to people in your social networks who have the same ambitions.

A new feature now delivers discount offers, based on your to-do list. Hoping to take salsa lessons some day? When the local dance studio runs a promotion, you’ll know about it.

To get in on the $100 giveaways, download the app and opt in to the 52 in 52 contest.

Callum Borchers


GNS Healthcare closes $10m fund quest

Big data firm GNS Healthcare said Wednesday that it has closed a $10 million funding round that will help it double in size this year. The Cambridge company uses vast amounts of health care data to help identify the causes of diseases and to predict which treatments will be effective for patient groups and individuals. GNS models are used by physicians, insurers, and drug makers.

The new round included funding from series A investor Cambia Health Solutions, plus financing from new investors Mitsui Company and the Heritage Provider Network.

“Our work with leading pharmaceutical companies, health plans, and providers continues to demonstrate the enormous potential that big data has to create value in all areas of health care,” said Colin Hill, chief executive of GNS Healthcare. “With the help of Cambia, Heritage, and Mitsui USA, we will continue to provide health care stakeholders with models and products that will improve outcomes while decreasing health care costs.”

Callum Borchers