Crowdfunding and Common Sense

by Jon Follett

On Thursday, the US Senate passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act (73-26), which allows start-up companies for the first time to solicit early stage investments from the general public. The Senate version added some protections and requirements to the original bill previously passed by the House on March 8. For instance, in the Senate version, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will now have the authority to review and register Web sites that wish to act as start-up investment platforms. Start-ups can raise up to $1 million via this crowdfunding method, with individual investments limited to a range of $2,000 - $100,000, depending on annual income.

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Topics: investment, techstars, crowdfunding, kickstarter, MassChallenge, start ups, Ideas, Analysis, Blog, innovation

Risk Taking and Accelerating the Next Technology Revolution in Boston

by Jon Follett

Yesterday, the Mass Technology Leadership Council — which represents a wide range of Massachusetts industries, including energy, robotics, software, life sciences and healthcare — held its annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. The event featured a keynote on the Council's vision for 2012, a comparative research report from the Mass Technology Collaborative, a state of the US economy from The Parthenon Group's Chief Economist Roger Brinner, and a fireside chat, featuring a colorful and candid interview with Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell by Fast Company founder Bill Taylor.

One of the themes to come out of the MassTLC annual meeting was the idea that, in order to drive innovation in the Boston area, we should encourage risk taking in the funding of new companies. While not all new companies will survive infancy, the odds are in our favor that one of the wild business ideas of today will not only survive, but thrive in a spectacular fashion. After all, it's no secret that Facebook began here, but was unable to put down roots. Today, Facebook is a dominating worldwide presence, but at the beginning, it needed nurturing and support. Making seed funding available to early stage companies is paramount to the Boston region accelerating as a hub of innovation.

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Topics: Tech Stars, Dog Patch Labs, MassChallenge, business incubators, MassTLC, Innovation District, start ups, News, NextView Ventures, Analysis, Fast Company, Blog, innovation

The Internet of Things, Seeding Boston Start Ups, and One User Experience for All

by Jon Follett

Here’s what we’re reading online, this week at Involution, on design, tech, and the digital life, in our links round up.

The Internet of Things Will Rise in Boston
With the advent of the mobile revolution, we're now living connected lives, where our day-to-day activities are closely tied to the digital products and services that we carry with us everywhere on our smart phones. The future vision of smart devices networked via an Internet of Things takes this connectedness one step further, to a place where not only our phones, but our cars, our homes, the appliances within them, and any number of other objects can communicate with each other and us. This connected vision may be closer to reality than we realize.

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Topics: Design, apple, venture capital, freelance nation, start ups, boston, Ideas, windows, android, Analysis, Blog, google, the internet of things, UX, ui, user experience