Tuesday, May 20, 2008

From the Globe 100 Breakfast

I'm off coffee these days, so it was especially challenging to get over to the Westin Waterfront hotel early this morning for the annual Globe 100 Breakfast, honoring the best-performing public companies in Massachusetts. On the way in, ran into Emily Green from Yankee Group, Michael Gilman from Stromedix, John Lacey from Sirtris, and Scott Griffith from Zipcar. I sat next to William Leighton, CEO of Soapstone Networks (formerly Avici), whose company was #3 on this year's list.

Some notes from the proceedings:

- Five companies have been on the list each year for two decades: Eaton Vance, Raytheon, State Street, TJX, and UniFirst.

- The original list, in 1989, included no biotech companies.

- The morning's keynote speaker was Christoph Westphal, CEO of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. This was something of a victory lap for Christoph ( as he's universally known in biotech circles ), and he was in fine promotional form. The three major events of the past year in biotech, he said, were the annual BIO trade show coming to Boston last May.... Takeda's purchase of Millennium...and Glaxo's recent purchase of Sirtris for $720 million. He mentioned the companies he'd previously helped found -- Alnylam and Momenta...and also noted that his two biggest investors at Sirtris were John Henry (of the Red Sox) and Peter Lynch. He told a charming story about asking John Henry for $50 million, and Henry offering $20 million. Henry's version of the story is that he showed up wanting to invest $100 million, but after he met Christoph, he decided on $20 mil. Both Henry and Lynch did pretty well after the Glaxo purchase...

- Globe business editor Shirley Leung showed a great video of a visit to the marshmallow Fluff factory in Lynn.

- You can find all of the other videos, stories, and interactive charts relatd to today's Globe 100 section here. I contributed two pieces .... a roundtable conversation with CEOs Henri Termeer (Genzyme), Paul Sagan (Akamai) and Emily Nagle Green (Yankee Group), and a look at five emerging sectors that could drive the Massachuetts economy over the next two decades.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Raytheon Introduces New Flash Gordon-style Ben-Gay Ray Gun

It's called the Active Denial System, and I'd like one for my next trip to the concession stand at Fenway; just watch all those people in front of you flee from the line.

From the press release:

    The Active Denial System emits a focused beam of millimeter wave energy that penetrates the skin to 1/64th of an inch, producing an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program has conducted extensive human effects safety testing and extended user evaluations in field conditions.

It also bakes potatoes in 30 seconds or less.

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