As you’ve probably heard, it’s never been easier (or more socially acceptable) to shun a normal career path in favor of founding a startup. That doesn’t mean it’s any easier to launch a good startup, though. And for people like myself there’s a good deal of work that needs to be done to distinguish the truly promising ones from the rest (you could also ask a VC how many “nos” they gave to startups this year). So as we head into 2016 I wanted to share my list of Boston startups I find most intriguing right now. Some of this is based on “signal”—traction, funding, hiring—while some picks are just based on my general sense that they are awesome. Clearly though, all could become a very big deal for the wider world, and many are already making their mark.
I should mention this post only features companies with fewer than 50 employees. I’ve got another post here with my picks for bigger Boston companies to watch.
Here are my top 16 Boston startups to watch in 2016:
Here’s a feel-good one to start. ArtLifting is an online art marketplace that provides homeless, disabled and other disadvantaged people an outlet for selling their artwork. The startup has deals to sell artwork to the likes of Staples and Harvard, and is selling in eight cities around the U.S. in total. After bootstrapping at first, founders/siblings Liz and Spencer Powers just raised a $1.1 million seed from investors including Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes) and Eric Ries (The Lean Startup). Read more: How ArtLifting's Focus on Big Co's Is Helping Homeless & Disabled Artists Find an Audience.