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Fifty most innovative companies, from MIT's Technology Review

Posted by Scott Kirsner  March 8, 2010 09:12 AM

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Technology Review publishes its annual list of the world's most innovative companies in its March/April issue. Boston-area companies make a decent showing on the MIT mag's list, but what's interesting to me is that we make more of a dent in the energy, e-health, and life sciences arenas than tech.

The three local tech companies that show up on the list are StreamBase, a venture-backed start-up in Lexington that helps customers manage real-time data flows (and co-founded by an MIT prof); iRobot Corp., the publicly-traded robotics company (founded by two MIT alums and a prof); and Akamai, the Internet content delivery network (founded by an MIT prof and students, and a winner of the school's annual business plan competition.)

In e-health, there's Watertown-based Athenahealth (publicly-traded). In energy, there's A123 Systems (publicly-traded, and based on MIT science), 1366 Technologies (venture-backed, based on MIT science), and Joule Biotechnologies (venture-backed, co-founded by MIT alum David Berry.) In life sciences, there's BIND Biosciences, one of many companies spawned by the MIT lab of Bob Langer, and Fate Therapeutics, whose founders hail from the Whitehead Institute and Childrens Hospital Boston.

What do you think? Is this much Boston innovation driven by MIT, or is there a smidge of home team bias here?

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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