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Company gets $10m to help develop a novel technology

These stories and other coverage of Boston’s technology and biotech scene can be found at the globe’s new site, betaboston.com.

FloDesign Sonics, of Wilbraham, has announced a $10 million Series A funding round, led by Bright Capital. The new round also included investments by Ventry Industries, of Springfield, as well as James Waters, the founder of Waters Corp., and Jonathan Fleming of Oxford Biosciences.

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The company will use the funding “to further develop their core acoustic separation technology platform and fund commercialization efforts in the bioprocessing market application.”

That technology is the latest innovation for FloDesign, best know for developing a revolutionary wind turbine.

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As chief executive Stanley Kowalski explained, the Flodesign Sonics spinoff is based on the work of Bart Lipkens, a professor at Western New England University, that enables the use of acoustics in applications for filtration, separation, and purification.

“Anywhere you see somebody using a barrier filter, which requires pressure to separate debris or particles or something of value, we have applications,” he said. The first application is in biotech pharmaceuticals; Flodesign is using acoustic technology to separate cells from protein.

FloDesign’s acoustic technology, as Kowalski explained it, stops and separates out particles, allowing fluid to “go by” using an invisible acoustic field, “like a web.”

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“Every time we turn around, we are finding new applications for the technology,” Kowalski said.

Some examples include separating red blood cells, possibly separating oil from water, or even separating gold particles from water someday.

Dennis Keohane

Financial District heating up

Aside from PayPal, most of the technology companies that have landed in Boston’s Financial District over the past year have been on the small side — startups with up to a few dozen employees. The arrival of Rapid7 (above) may be a sign of things to come.

Last month, the cybersecurity firm moved its headquarters and 200 employees from the Back Bay into a larger office on Summer Street, making it among the biggest tech employers in the Financial District.

Chief executive Corey Thomas said the growing number of tech startups in this area was among the reasons for choosing the neighborhood, as was getting a large amount of contiguous space, which wasn’t available in the Innovation District in nearby South Boston.

“Being together as a team was immensely important for us,” Thomas said, as was proximity to public transportation.

Rapid7 already has an office in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, where it has 50 people on its engineering team.

The office at 100 Summer St. was less expensive than space that was available in the Seaport District and Cambridge, Thomas noted.

Rapid7 expects to add 50 employees this year, many of them at the new Boston headquarters, and end the year with more than 500 employees, he said.

The growth has come as Rapid7 sees greater use of its software for fighting cybersecurity attacks.

The firm has more than 2,800 customers for its software.

Kyle Alspach

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