With companies like KAYAK, ITA Software, Hopper, Carla and a dozen others innovating technologies to automate the calculation of travel schedules and ticket prices, share the best times to buy flights or find a rental car on demand, Boston is becoming the U.S. epicenter for travel technology. Companies are attracted to Boston for many reasons, including its talent pool, specifically due to Boston’s analytics and machine-learning-proficient workforce. According the Boston Globe, the sector is a crowded as it is little known, but there appears to be no slowing down in sight.
Here’s what else happened in the Boston startup community this week:
Biz Journals: MBTA in talks with Boston startup about late-night service Bridj, a Boston-based transportation startup, proposed a partnership with the MBTA to provide late-night transportation for commuters in Boston. Bridj would operate its own 14-passenger vans driven by employees who are already licensed with the Department of Public Utilities. To use the service, riders enter their pick-up and drop-off locations into the Bridj app and are picked up at a designated location within a seven-minute walk.
Fast Company: The Ride-Share Startup That's Competing With Uber And Lyft By Charging $1 Fasten wants to change the standard in the ride-sharing industry. The company charges drivers a $1 flat fee for every ride completed within their app. According to Fast Company, the company’s founders believe that the driver is providing the service, and the app is just a platform on which riders and drivers can find each other. "At the end of the day, we sell a piece of information to a driver who is the actual service provider," says Fasten cofounder and COO Vlad Christoff told Fast Company. "They move them in the physical world from point A to point B. We sell a piece of information to the driver that someone needs a ride."
BostInno: These 19 MassChallenge Startups Just Won $1.5M MassChallenge awarded 19 of its startups with a total of $1.5 million in cash this week at the accelerator’s awards ceremony. The top three winners — Adhesys Medical, EYL and TellusLabs — each walked away with $100,000. This year’s MassChallenge program was the most competitive group yet, receiving more than 1,700 applications and only selecting 128 startups to participate. The companies ranged from surgical glue to Internet of Things security software to gadgets that inspire young girls to get into STEM.
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