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October 10, 2013
News That You May Have Missed This Week in Boston Tech Scene

It was another awesome week in the Boston Tech Scene, highlighted by yesterday's TUGG/Tech Gives Back, and which will be capped off by Jason Calacanis's This Week in Startups tonight at Microsoft NERD. 

The TUGG After Party at Empire was ridiculous, with human statues, hula-hoop artists, et al., but the best news from the week may be that a great non-profit, YouthHarbors, won $20,000 from the audience vote at the event.

Here is some other news that you may have missed:

-Nifti, the great e-commerce price tracking site that launched this summer with $800K in funding, unveiled their mobile app this week. Nifti co-founder and CEO Nathan Sharp said that the response so far has been great, with more mobile users tracking products through the app than on the web version of Nifti.

The major difference is explained in a short release from the company, "Nifti's website encourages shoppers go away and track products from the sites where they normally shop online. The app has a different aim. Nifti's app is more of a shopping portal that standardizes the various mobile shopping experiences between apps into one beautiful, image-oriented experience."

The app makes shopping online a much better experience, especially when tracking deals. The website's best feature, the graph that shows a products price fluctuations over a period of time, is also included in the mobile version.

Along with the announcement of the app launch, Sharp told me that since launching, one their biggest competitors, Decide.com was taken off the market by eBay, creating a great opportunity for Nifti to make a huge impact in the e-commerce sector.

-Also yesterday, InsightSquared launched a new product for Salesforce.com analytics. The "Free Marketing Trajectory Report by InsightSquared" is a first-of-its-kind free app that, "tracks and accurately measures daily lead generation performance in real time, providing the optimal solution for meeting aggressive marketing goals." As the press release further explained, "Marketing VPs and managers can now visually compare monthly and quarterly lead performance and identify which leads are contributing the most value to a firm's lead generation efforts."

Here is the full press release.

-Nuance made a big announcement yesterday as well, as it has acquired Varolli, a Seattle-based automated alert company.

Here is what the press release says, "Nuance Communications...announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Varolii, the leading provider of cloud-based outbound customer engagement solutions. The Varolii platform is used by many of the world’s largest companies to manage outbound customer service communications via automated phone, email and text messages, reaching an estimated one out of every five American adults each year. The combination of Varolii and Nuance will create a comprehensive cloud-based solution that brings together the best of inbound and outbound customer service, resulting in a complete, scalable, secure and cost-effective platform."

More on the deal at GeekWire.

- Boston-based cloud backup and recovery software provider, Intronis announced the formation of a new "Partner Success" organization and the appointment of Jasmine Lombardi as the company's new VP of Partner Success. 

As Intronis CEO Rick Faulk said, "This is a strategic move for Intronis and a significant gain for our channel partners. Hiring Lombardi and consolidating all our partner-facing operations within one team brings us closer to our partners’ businesses, provides greater accountability, and positions us to deliver an exceptional partner experience every step of the way – from on-boarding new partners to better supporting and scaling success with our existing partners.”

More from the press release can be found here.

- Privy was selected by Business Insider as one of "The Fifteen Best Startups To Work For." Which is pretty awesome.

-HitBliss is now offering Pandora|One subscriptions as part of its platform that allows users to earn free movies for watching advertising.

-Scott Kirsner announced a cool new project, Innovation Leader, "an independent voice for corporate innovation executives." 

- Of personal interest, an intriguing project that I've come across lately is Jodi-Tatiana Charles' The Embargo List. The Embargo List is a way for startup companies to connect with journalists and vice-versa. Charles' has a long, interesting career that stretches from her roots in Brockton, to producing "Matty in the Morning" and the "Balthazar and Pebbles" shows on local radio, to serving as Mitt Romney's Deputy Press Secretary when he was governor, to being the CEO, Founder, and "Brandographer" of the La Capoise Galerie marketing firm. 

Her latest venture, The Embargo List, is a different type of PR firm entrepreneurs and industry experts to press and media outlets. There is a fee for startups to get involved in The Embargo List, with the guarantee of a certain number of media articles per year arranged through the company. 

In my talk with Charles, I got the sense that she is trying to really make an impact in the Boston startup scene and help get more coverage for the "little guys" who don't seem to have a voice. 

It will be interesting to see how The Embargo List grows over the next few years.

Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.