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The POPSignal Mix party report

Posted by Scott Kirsner  March 24, 2010 11:59 AM

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POPSignal is an occasional networking event that brings together people in the Boston tech community. Founded by Viximo's Brian Balfour and Jay Meattle of Shareaholic, they hold occasional giant come-one-come-all shindigs for hundreds of people (often at Landsdowne Street clubs), and also smaller gatherings of founders and investors that they call POPSignal Mix events. These you have to be invited to, or recommended by someone who is already involved with the group.

Last night was their first Mix event that brought together alumni of the five prior Mix gatherings, at the Enormous Room in Central Square. The room was too dark for decent iPhone photography (see the egregious example above, of Chris Keller from HubSpot and Matt Lauzon from Gemvara), but here's who was there...

BetterLesson founder Alex Grodd, happy to have landed a second round of funding from the New Schools Venture Fund... Sean Lindsay from Viximo... Marginize founder Ziad Sultan, who is working on the start-up full-time, and has moved from being an analyst at Longworth Venture Partners to an entrepreneur-in-residence.... Healy Jones from OfficeDrop (formerly Pixily), a former principal at Atlas Venture who helped William Sulinski of AccelGolf raise angel funding earlier this year (the mobile golf apps company has employees now in Massachusetts and Maine)... Anupendra Sharma from Siemens Venture Capital... Jon Pierce from Betahouse...and Rob Go from Spark Capital.

Ariel Diaz from Youcastr told me that we both once worked for the same management consulting firm, Lochridge & Company (though not at the same time), and we both hail from Miami... Dave Balter from BzzAgent was in the house, as was Flipkey founder TJ Mahony, now majority owned by Expedia & reporting in to their TripAdvisor subsidiary... Chris Sheehan of CommonAngels and Scott Friend from Bain Capital Ventures... Northeastern student and BostInnovation staffer Jennie White was scouting for stories, no doubt... but Google exec Rich Miner told me that a rumor posted to the site earlier in the day, that Facebook has a small development team working in Cambridge, possibly in Google's offices, was not true though Facebook setting up shop in town would certainly be a good thing.

The aforementioned Lauzon said his custom jewelry start-up, Gemvara (formerly Paragon Lake)  is close to closing a B round of funding, but that Deb Besemer, who'd joined as CEO last year, is no longer in that post; instead, she's serving as chairman and coaching Lauzon, who is once again running the company. Guess some hires don't work out. 

Keller apparently got a new nickname earlier this month on the trip down to South by Southwest, when friends were mocking him for being the only attendee at that conference to not own a smartphone. (He still uses a Motorola RAZR.) They set up a blog and Twitter account to harangue Keller, whom they've dubbed Razrdude.

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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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March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.

April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.

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