12 Boston Companies to Watch in Spring 2023

From massive funding rounds to open high-level leadership positions, here’s why we’re keeping a close eye on these companies.

Written by Michael Hines
Published on Mar. 30, 2023
12 Boston Companies to Watch in Spring 2023
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Boston companies to watch spring 2023


What are you looking for in a new job?

If it’s the chance to join a company with a billion-dollar valuation, Boston tech has you covered. Healthtech company IntelyCare, defense tech provider Anduril and big data firm Starburst all secured funding rounds within the last year valuing them at a billion dollars or more.

Maybe you want to join a company that takes accountability for how it treats its employees and the environment. Boston tech has you covered here, too. Fintech company Flywire recently released its first environmental, social and governance report, giving potential new hires an inside look into everything from its diversity, equity and inclusion policies to its emissions.

Perhaps you’re feeling stuck on the career ladder and are ready to move up a rung or two. You know the drill by now: Boston tech has you covered. Drug discovery company Reverie Labs has an opening for a VP of business development/chief business officer, and education and childcare company Bright Horizons is hiring a principal software engineer.

Whether you know what you’re looking for in your next job or are still trying to figure it out, you don’t have to look beyond Boston to find it. You do need to know where to look, though, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the Boston companies we’re watching this spring.

 

A military drone flying in the sky

What Anduril does: Anduril is a defense industry technology company that develops autonomous vehicles and the software that powers them.

 

In good company: Anduril was named to Fast Company’s list of the 10 most innovative companies in robotics in 2023. The business magazine cited its ability to “see the military potential of drones earlier than many” as the reason it snagged the No. 3 spot on the list.

 

Let’s raise a billion: In December of 2022, Anduril announced a massive $1.48 billion Series E funding round led by Valor Equity Partners that valued the company at a whopping $8.48 billion. Antonio Gracias, founder and CEO of Valor Equity Partners, praised the company on its rapid growth in a statement.

 “Anduril has made incredible progress delivering on its mission to transform U.S. and allied national security capabilities with advanced technology,” Gracias said. “Since its founding five years ago, Anduril has designed, built and fielded innovative capabilities at scale, at unprecedented speed.”

 

What Leader Bank does: Founded in 2002, Leader Bank is a Massachusetts-based bank offering personal, business and government accounts.

 

A Globe-certified workplace: In 2022, Leader Bank was named to The Boston Globe’s “Top Places to Work” list for the second year in a row. The list specifically focuses on Massachusetts companies, with Leader Bank placing 13th in the large companies category. Jay Tuli, the bank’s president, spoke about making the list in a press release.

“The culture at Leader Bank is what it is because of the dedication, commitment and camaraderie of our team members and being named one of the top places to work in Massachusetts is a recognition that we are determined to live up to,” Tuli said.

 

Bank on your growth: Leader Bank offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities to help team members grow in their careers. Sandra Armstrong, AVP of talent management, covered off on a few of the initiatives with Built In Boston. 

“Leader Bank provides different learning opportunities for all team members including online self-paced courses, live classes and interactive sessions with senior leaders,” Armstrong said. “In my experience, the leadership team is always looking for new, out-of-the-box ways of doing things and pushes you to take on stretch projects and learn all that you can.

 

What Linus Health does: Linus Health has developed technology designed to aid in the early detection of cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Hail to the chief: In February, Linus Health announced an addition to its C-suite, with Leah Ray joining the company as its first-ever chief customer officer. Ray brings more than 25 years of healthtech experience to the role and was most recently the chief customer officer at clinical healthcare and AI platform Jvion. Ray shared why she joined Linus Health in a press release announcing her hiring.

“Linus Health’s focus on early detection of dementia and its potential to have a major impact on millions of people throughout the world was what initially drew me to the company,” Ray said. “I became even more enthusiastic as I learned of its momentum and recognized the team’s genuine commitment to the mission.”

 

Let’s talk P&Bs: Highlights of Linus Health’s perks and benefits package include unlimited PTO, a 401(k) program with a 6 percent match and a monthly flex day to enable employees to prioritize their mental health. Other standouts include a one-time equipment stipend for remote employees, a peer-to-peer recognition program and a referral program.

 

What Bright Horizons does: Bright Horizons is a provider of on-site childcare services, off-site backup care and elder care services to more than 1,000 companies.

 

The perks a VP loves: Vish Chawla, group VP, told Built In Boston last summer that he joined Bright Horizons because of the company’s cause and culture. That said, good perks don’t hurt, and Chawla shared a few of his favorites, which are designed to boost employees professionally and personally.

“My favorite perk is the substantial subsidies the company offers for all employee care needs, such as child and elder care,” Chawla said. “I love the company’s tuition reimbursement policies, which allow employees to further their education either through professional certifications or degree programs.”

 

Grow your dev career: Bright Horizons is currently hiring a principal software engineer, a role requiring more than seven years of application development experience with large-scale business apps. The principal software engineer will develop, document and test software and, while the role isn’t a managerial one, will be expected to provide technical guidance to dev teams.

 

A concept image of a server room

What Starburst does: Starburst helps companies destroy data silos with its SQL query engine that can access data stored in Kafka, Redshift, Snowflake and more.

 

One of 2022’s biggest rounds: Starburst landed the sixth-largest funding round among Boston tech companies in 2022. Its $250 million Series D was announced in February and valued the company at $3.35 billion. With the funding, Starburst said it would expand operations into Asia and double its team to 700 employees.

 

The right stuff: Wondering what Starburst looks for in candidates? Javier Molina, CRO, spilled the tea to Built In Boston during an interview last summer.

“While experience is critical for senior roles, we’re really focused on potential,” Molina said. “Our ideal candidate is someone who fits our values of authenticity, inclusive meritocracy, grit, humility and ownership.”

 

What IntelyCare does: IntelyCare’s healthtech staffing platform connects nurses with open shifts at healthcare facilities. 

 

Everyone does data: At IntelyCare, even non-technical employees are given the chance to get their hands dirty with data. Ben Tengelsen, VP of data science, told Built In Boston this past October that the company shares a “chart of the day” to promote data literacy and that non-data scientists are empowered to run experiments.

“Years ago, we only had a small number of people with the necessary skills to run well-designed experiments,” Tengelsen said. “Today we’re running more than 50 experiments in a year and many people — including non-data scientists — are independently running campaigns with randomized control groups and coming to us with the results.”

 

The three commas club: In April of 2022, IntelyCare announced a $115 million Series C led by Janus Henderson Investors that valued the company at a cool $1.1 billion. The funding was earmarked for expansion into 10 additional states, adding a library of learning and development resources for users, and for doubling headcount to 400 employees.

 

What 3Play Media does: 3Play Media is a video accessibility company and provides closed captioning, transcription, translation and audio description services.

 

Engineering collaboration: 3Play is growing its dev team and is currently hiring for a staff software engineer and a senior software engineer. In addition to technical skills, engineers also need to be comfortable working closely with product managers, as Stephanie Titlebaum, senior product manager, explained to Built In Boston in October of 2022. 

“We have a dedicated product manager for each engineering team,” Titlebaum said. “Each engineering team then has a tech lead or manager as the point person for each product manager. This helps align priorities between each product and engineering team with common goals and allows teams to create and adapt the processes that work best. This partnership also provides a clear escalation path if sprint interruptions arise.”  

 

Movin’ on up: Promoting from within is important to 3Play, as evidenced by Lily Bond, SVP of marketing, who joined the company as a content manager in 2014. “My experience at 3Play has been a whirlwind,” Bond told Built In Boston. “I currently manage our marketing team, strategy and operations. My background is a testament to how the company feels about promoting internally, and I’m grateful I was given the chance to prove I could make an impact.”

 

What HqO does: HqO is a real estate tech company whose app is designed to give employees a single platform for accessing physical and digital amenities from their company and office.

 

Inc. Magazine approved: HqO landed on the Inc. 5000 list in 2022, checking in at No. 75. The business magazine’s annual list ranks the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States based on percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. HqO made the list after posting revenue growth of 5,291 percent from 2018 to 2021.

 

Growing confidence and careers: Ideally, a person’s first job out of college is one that helps them discover their professional path and build confidence. That’s exactly what happened to Janis Broder at HqO. Broder spoke with Built In Boston in June of 2022 about how the company helped her find her footing as a professional after graduation.

“I immediately felt supported and encouraged by my peers who guided me in learning the product,” Broder said. “This support turned into increased confidence in myself. I started out as a customer success specialist and became a senior CSS before making a lateral move to be an implementation associate.”

 

A blurry image of a hotel check-in counter

What Flywire does: Flywire is a global payments company whose software is used by education, healthcare and travel companies.

 

A milestone report: Flywire recently released its first-ever environmental, social and governance report for 2022. The ESG report includes information on a wide range of topics, including the company’s internal diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, its greenhouse gas emissions and data governance policies.

 

Looking ahead: Built In Boston spoke with Eric Spear, senior vice president of engineering, in February about the tech he’s keeping an eye on. Spear said Flywire is closely following advancements in artificial intelligence, and here’s why.

“Specifically, the tech and learning models, like what we see in ChapGPT, could open up new opportunities in fintech to better support clients and address topics like security and risk,” Spear said. “AI has always had the stigma of replacing people, while, in fact, the latest tech makes people more valuable to the business by freeing them up from mundane tasks.”

 

What Bevi does: Apple, Netflix and Uber are a few of the companies that have Bevi’s IoT-enabled sparkling and flavored water machines in their offices.

 

Fill that director’s chair: Bevi has an opening for a director of customer support who will lead the company’s customer support call center team. The role requires at least 10 years of customer support or call center experience, with at least four of those spent in a leadership position. Benefits include a 401(k) with company match, flexible PTO and fully paid parental leave, with 14 weeks for birthing parents and five weeks for non-birthing parents.

 

On a mission: Bevi’s mission is to rid the world of single-use water bottles, and the company says its water machines have saved over 300 million bottles. Jill Rudnicki, office operations and employee engagement manager, told Built In Boston this past December that the company’s mission plays a direct role in the office vibe and how the team works.

“Our team genuinely cares about the mission and vision, and you feel that energy the moment you step into the office,” Rudnicki said. “Employees are inspired to do work that really shines. We are a group of people who are passionate about the product and working toward ridding the world of single-use plastic, one bottle at a time.”

 

What Reverie Labs does: Reverie Labs uses machine learning and big data to help accelerate the drug discovery process specifically for cancer-fighting medication.

 

Closing the gender gap: Reverie Labs is doing its part to close the gender gap in software engineering. CTO and Co-founder Ankit Gupta spoke with Built In Boston back in July about the company’s efforts, which include a recruiting process that purposefully seeks to bring more women and underrepresented groups into the recruiting pipeline and prioritizes culture adds over fits.

“We recognize that creating a safe and equitable work environment means understanding our team members’ needs outside of work,” Gupta said. “We offer 12 weeks of leave for new parents of any gender and a flexible return schedule afterward. We conduct regular salary reviews to ensure that all individuals at the same level have equal pay.” 

 

Software engineer wanted: Reverie Labs has an opening for a staff engineer/ senior software engineer, front-end. This person will help build a computational platform that generates life-saving treatments for patients. Front-end engineers at Reverie Labs work side-by-side with other software engineers, computational chemists and medicinal chemists to achieve drug discovery objectives.

 

What Forward Financing does: Forward Financing is a fintech company that specializes in providing financing to small businesses.

 

They have the power: Last fall, Forward Financing was named to Inc. Magazine’s inaugural “Power Partner” list. The list recognizes B2B companies that provide exceptional products and services to entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses. Co-founder and CEO Justin Bakes shared his thoughts on the award in a press release.

“Our mission is to help small businesses thrive,” Bakes said. “Forward was founded to serve a niche group of businesses who need financing, so to be recognized as a leading partner for entrepreneurs is truly an honor.”

 

How you’ll grow: Employees at Forward Financing have no shortage of opportunities to grow their careers and skill sets. Senior Technical Project Manager Brian Fuerst gave Built In Boston a window into the professional development initiatives at the company in a February interview.

“From day one, every employee has access to a yearly professional development allowance,” Fuerst said. “Many departments work cross-functionally, enabling team members to gain better insights and exercise communication skills, and providing opportunities to lead projects, gain leadership experience and develop confidence. Forward also provides space to develop leadership skills outside of your job description by coordinating volunteer opportunities with teammates.”

The quoted material has been edited for length and clarity. Photos via Shutterstock.

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