Here Are BostInno’s 11 Coolest Companies Winners for 2018 - NBC10 Boston
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Here Are BostInno’s 11 Coolest Companies Winners for 2018

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you were at BostonFest, you know that we had a blast. If you weren’t there, now you know: we had a blast—Sorry, beer is long gone.

    Among the countless enjoyable things you may have missed at our summer pillar event, there’s the list of winners of our Coolest Companies Competition for 2018.

    For our seventh annual company culture competition, we let readers pick five “Reader’s Choice” winners; our esteemed judging committee had the privilege to select the winners in five special categories (Best Perks, Coolest Social Influencer, Pet Friendly, Most Philanthropic and Best Workspace). This year, the list includes 11 winners: Athenahealth and Freight Farms won “Best Perks” ex aequo.

    Below you’ll see the 11 winners of BostInno’s Coolest Companies 2018; they’re listed in alphabetical order, with a few bullets about their culture.

    So, which companies walked out The Lawn on D on Thursday night with a shining crown?

    Appcues (Pet Friendly)

    • The Boston-based developer of onboarding tools for software-as-a-service businesses welcomes dogs all the time in its West End office; several people often bring their furry friends in, sometimes together.
    • The company raised a $10 million Series A round led by Sierra Ventures earlier this month.
    • Fun fact: There’s a prevalence of Goldendoodles in the office. Apparently, if you work at Appcues and have a dog, it’s a Goldendoodle. Need proof? See below.

    AppNeta (Reader’s Choice)

    • In late 2011, AppNeta moved to the Seaport as the first tenant of the building at 285 Summer Street; today, its 8,900-square-feet office is home to just over 50 employees.
    • The performance monitoring provider secured an undisclosed growth investment from Rubicon Technology Partners, a private equity firm specializing in enterprise software companies, at the beginning of the year.
    • Recently, the company partnered with Fuze and was ranked No. 3148 on Inc. Magazine’s 37th annual Inc. 5000.
    • AppNeta’s culture is also deeply pet friendly. There’s a designated space for pets in the office, where cats and dogs find toys, food and a soft cushion. Check out our recent Office Envy rundown of AppNeta’s space.

    Athenahealth (Best Perks)

    • These are eventful times for the public healthcare service provider. Former CEO Jonathan Bush is out, as the company may consider a sale or a buyout or even the giant takeover offer for $160 a share from Elliott Management. Regardless of all this, our judging committee decided that athenahealth offers the best perks for its employees.
    • Ready for a few? The Women’s Leadership Forum, which supports the company in improving gender dynamics and business practices for all athenistas, recently launched an initiative called “LeanIn Circles,” a series of regular meetings where employees discuss development topics like “Age bias in the workplace” and “Finding your voice as an introvert.” Also, through athenaProud, the company connects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and allies to advocate for an LGBT-friendly company and advance athenahealth as a leader at the intersection of the LGBT community and healthcare.
    • Want more? Green campus with dogs, three months of paid maternity leave, bike-sharing galore and free shuttles from Harvard Square and Back Bay directly to its Watertown doors.
    • FYI: “athenistas” = a person who works at athenahealth.

    Botkeeper (Reader’s Choice)

    • Someone knows clickbait strategies, yeah? Automated bookkeeping service Botkeeper won “Reader’s Choice” at Coolest Companies AND BostInno’s Tech Madness 2018 (Private Bracket). Keep those clicks coming!
    • Not only virtual support: in January, the company raised $4.5 million in a seed investment led by Ignition Partners. Former Microsoft CFO John Connors is among the backers.
    • Enrico Palmerino, botkeeper founder and CEO, is a serial entrepreneur and winner of the 2017 Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action Challenge.

    Buildium (Most Philanthropic)

    • Man, where to start? The list of philanthropic initiatives at Buildium goes on and on.
    • The company was part of the pilot Guppy Tank program with Boston Public Schools, where a class of inner-city 6th graders came to the office for a day to learn how to conceptualize and build an app geared towards children’s health.
    • Also, Buildium supports STEM in higher education with two bi-annual, $2,500 scholarship programs for students; organizes a quarterly volunteer week where employees volunteer at local non-profits (Cradles to Crayons, Greater Boston Food Bank, Mass Audubon Society, and the Friends of Boston) during business hours; for the last seven years, it has sponsored a team of over 50 riders at the Bike MS Cape Cod Getaway, which supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

    DataXu (Reader’s Choice)

    • For the second time in a row, the cloud-based software provider for marketing professional won “Reader’s Choice.” Keep that coolness coming, DataXu, we like it.
    • You may remember that DataXu CEO Mike Baker is a founding member of the Hack Diversity program, which is focused on solving the diversity problem that tech companies in Boston and across the country face.
    • Two recent appointments in the C-suite: Tiffany Mosher as Chief People Officer and Benjamin Katz as CIO and SVP of engineering.

    Drift (Coolest Social Influencer)

    • Here’s one among the several, inevitable things that life throws at us: Every time you open your LinkedIn, somehow Drift is there.
    • Sure, close your LinkedIn feed and look for solace on Twitter: on a random day, Drift tweets and retweets around ten times. Also, around 14,200 people hit the ‘follow’ button on Instagram, voluntarily opting to get inspirational quotes about sales and Hypergrowth speaker alerts.
    • The fifth creature of serial entrepreneur David Cancel, Drift managed to raise $47 million in its first three years; in April, the company announced another $60 million led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors CRV and General Catalyst.

    Formlabs (Best Workplace)

    • Detailed models of aliens and fantasy monsters welcome visitors at the entrance; need to say more? Obviously, the countless objects decorating the space are all created using 3D printers by Formlabs.
    • The new Somerville office, located in the Twin Cities Plaza, is 18,000 square feet, or about half the size of their headquarters on Medford Street. 125 employees and 40 interns work in the office, which features entire walls covered in dry erase boards, pool and ping pong tables, beer on tap.
    • Check out our Office Envy rundown of the new Somerville space of Formlabs.

    Freight Farms (Best Perks)

    • Who wouldn’t like fresh produce as a workplace perk. Well, BostInno thinks that getting to work everyday in a freight container that’s also a farm itself is a great perk. If you ever happen to visit the company’s office in Southie, you can get some free seeds too.
    • The company manufactures vertical, hydroponic container farms that allow anyone to grow food anywhere.
    • In March, the company added former Tesla and current Nest executive Tom vonReichbauer as a new member of the Freight Farms Advisory Board. Plus, the company is collaborating with NASA to explore self-sustaining crop production.

    Mabl (Reader’s Choice)

    • Not to be confused with Boston Men’s Baseball League (same acronym: Mabl), the company uses machine learning to simplify functional testing for developers. It came out of stealth mode in February, when it announced a $10 million Series A round from CRV and Amplify Partners.
    • Based in Downtown Crossing, the company offers free breakfast every Monday, team gatherings every Thursday, Summer Fridays and corn-hole games.
    • Check out the “Meet the team” page on its website; in addition to traditional headshots, it contains short, Twitter-like bios of the team members, including fun facts like “donkey whisperer,” “ultimate frisbee player” and “dessert fanatic.”

    TripAdvisor (Reader’s Choice)

    • What’s often in the minds of TripAdvisor employees, for business and pleasure? Of course: travel!
    • Perks: dog-friendly HQ, a free gym, on site massages, free shuttle service from Boston and Cambridge.
    • This year’s public Tech Madness bracket runner-up has a recent acquisition to report: Iceland-based Bokun, a provider of business management technology for the tours, attractions and experiences industry.
    • Since 2010, the company’s employee-led philanthropy has resulted in donations of over $25 million from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation to global nonprofits tackling community development, public health and disaster relief challenges.

    Thank you to our BostonFest Sponsors!

    Here are last year’s winners if you’re curious.