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BostInno | Boston Startup, Tech, Education and News
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Galen: Chase & Greg summer vacation week 2. If the Beat looks a little hasty today it's because I was emailing with Tim Cook this morning. Let's get started. 

The Big One
Galen: Uber confirmed it's piloting a service called Smart Routes in San Francisco. Basically, Uber draws a line on the city map. If you're willing to walk to any point on that line for pick-up, Uber takes a dollar off your UberPool fare.

I say it's Uber firing a first shot at replacing public transit. Bridj CEO Matt George (pictured) says I'm wrong. Get at me. 

Matt: The introduction of smart routes is exactly what a company called Via first pioneered, and puts Uber now in direct competition with them. Lyft tried it in San Francisco and it has been an important adjunct to their LyftLine concept. in DC, a company called Split (owned by taxi cab conglomorate Transdev) was launched exclusively based on this concept, and is also now also in direct competition with Uber.

Galen:  If these routes are adopted by users it won't take an enterprising driver long to figure out he can fit more people in a van. So, the mass-transit component gets supplied by the market, in a smart way because the platform is intelligent. Am I missing something? 

Matt: Yes. It's exactly like the Via or Split model. It's still individual pickup and dropoff and more expensive. If you can afford $8-$12 twice per day it's probably a great option for you. What we do is fundamentally different because we intelligent​y cluster people together and can move 8+ people at once, and get them there in half the time it would take on traditional transit. For 1/4 to 1/3 of the price. 

If you think it's about scale, and not the fundamental model of how the trip works, you're still off point. The passengers per hour number has nothing to do with macro scale. 

Galen: In Boston the MBTA is already looking privatizing bus routes. How long until government figures this out?

Matt: We hope that cities adopt technology partners like Bridj. ... Over the next few weeks and months, I think we'll see cities start to focus on smart ways of deploying new transit technology (like Bridj) rather than on bloated infrastructure projects that provide a great opportunity for politicians to cut ribbons, but comparatively little value when judged by their cost. 

Galen: Sick Green Line burn. Thanks for coming out.  

Goss Train
Galen: I hear TVision Insights is out looking to raise $1M to $2M for their big-screen analytics tech that goes down to tracking living-room viewers' eyeballs. Check out the video on their AngelList page. It's hilarious, but also a little creepy. The founders built up the company at MassChallenge and have put together about $380,000 with Rough Draft Ventures and a BOSS syndicate.

Kyle: We hear the syndicate is led by Clypd founder Josh Summers

Galen: Goss Train? This is the BOSS Train.  
 
Making Moves
Galen: Runkeeper is making moves, toward revenue and away from growth. The fitness-tracking company, long one of Boston's top mobile startups, is cutting 30% of its staff as it aims for a leaner approach. >>>Details on Runkeeper and the rest of the day's stories in the Boston Download

Kyle: The wait is over, data storage technology super-fans: after more than a year in stealth mode, ClearSky Data is ready to talk about what it’s been up to. The startup has been on our radar for its heavy-hitting founders (Ellen Rubin and Laz Vekiarides, pictured) and investors—and it now looks to me like they’re delivering something pretty cool. Best described as bringing an Akamai-like approach to the unsexy-but-critical world of storage. >>>Read more: Now out of Stealth, ClearSky Data Wants to Be the Akamai of Storage.

Galen: Stop trying to be the "Uber of" or the "Tinder of." Be the Akamai of.

New Money
Kyle: A Boston startup that helps charities raise money has gotten some cash of its own: Causemo today announced a $4M round that includes Accomplice (more BOSS AngelList syndicate) and SessionM’s Lars Albright. The startup’s CEO is Dave Furneaux, whose name may or may not be familiar. Furneaux was the founder of Kodiak Venture Partners, which launched during the dotcom bubble and last announced a fund in 2004. Causemo says its software makes it easier for charities to run fundraising campaigns, and its users so far include the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and City Year. >>>More of this week's startup funding deals in New Money.
 
In The Community
Galen: You have two choices tonight: You can go hobnob with data scientists, or you can scream from the top of a building with a bunch of other overworked startup folks. You could probably do both. >>>All the tech events in BostInno Approved.
 
More News
Random
Galen: Harvard Business School has a TV studio at WGBH. It's for HBX, the school's distance-learning initiative. They use it to broadcast the much-vaunted classroom back-and-forth over case studies. 

Kyle: Meanwhile, MIT is 3D-printing glass
 
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Greg@streetwise-media.com, Chase@streetwise-media.com,
Galen@streetwise-media.com