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The Boston Globe


opinion | melissa massello

Hot start-ups that defy hype? Here’s the scoop

WHEN PEOPLE today talk about innovation, they’re generally talking about Web and mobile start-ups. Yet as Boston’s entrepreneurship scene grows, innovation can be found everywhere, including the less prestigious small-business community. Local consumer-product companies like Batch and Cuppow may not be Facebook or Twitter, but would-be Mark Zuckerbergs should look to them, especially when it comes to getting to market quickly without sacrificing quality. No, they aren’t based in the Innovation District, Kendall Square, or the Route 128 corridor. Batch makes ice cream. Cuppow sells lids.

Start-up purists might cry apples and oranges. But both Batch and Cuppow sprang forth from local incubator spaces dedicated to innovation in consumer products: Crop Circle Kitchen in Jamaica Plain and Fringe Union in Somerville, respectively. Both companies launched with very limited products, used small subsets of their customer bases for market research, and made a steady stream of improvements. Both companies have generated high growth.

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