Boston Pulse: MTDC Looks for Its Promised State Funds

Boston Scientific Expands…In China: Boston Scientific will spend $150 million in China over five years to expand its operations and staff there. The company says the investment will include a new manufacturing plant to serve the Chinese market and a training center. Head count in China will grow from 200 to 1,200 over the five years. Boston.com

Boston Places Fourth in Download Speed Test: A Pando Networks study has discovered the cities and states with the fastest average Internet connections and has also revealed striking disparities in the quality of Web access across America. The study, which tracked downloads by four million users from January through June, found that Boston averages 862 kilobytes/sec, placing it seventh among major metropolitan areas. The fastest average download speed is in nearby Andover, Massachusetts, with speeds at 2.8 megabytes/sec. Pando Networks

MTDC Looking for Its Promised State Funds: The Massachusetts Technology Development Corp, the quasi-public company which makes investments in startups, says that its current portfolio companies employ 7,500 people with a payroll of $612 million. It boasts a 16.5 percent internal rate of return, yet its future always seems to be in doubt. The state legislature approved $5 million for the MTDC 18 months ago, but the money has yet to arrive. If it doesn’t come through, the MTDC might be able to do only one new deal this year and may have to do some exits from its current portfolio companies make some money. The Boston Globe

AT&T Brings Better Mobile Broadband to Fenway: AT&T announced that it has expanded its mobile broadband coverage in Fenway Park by connecting to a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to serve the Fenway area. A DAS has the ability to provide enhanced wireless coverage in places were buildings or crowd density might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless signal. The additional capacity should help improve call reliability and network access at the ball park. PR Newswire

Modest Growth Predicted for State Economy: The Massachusetts economy will grow by 2.9 percent this year, and by 2.8 percent in 2012, with 150,000 new jobs by the end of 2012, according to the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. The “moderate pace,” as the Institute calls it, is in line with what is expected elsewhere in the nation. Salaries should rise an average of 3.2 percent in 2011 and 3.6 percent in 2012. Massachusetts High Tech

New VC Deals Hit the Hub: Local companies raised $201.4 million in venture capital across 22 deals in July. It’s a steady pace of new financings for startups that the area has experienced throughout the year. The second quarter saw the Bay State raise $1.3 billion in venture capital across 94 deals, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. That’s the strongest quarter since 2007. The five companies to score the biggest investments are Zafgen, Verastem, Second Rotation, Acquia, and Interactions Corp. Boston Business Journal

A Third Birthday for Microsoft Research New England: Microsoft Research New England, located near Kendall Square, has just turned three. It’s a small facility, with just 12 staff researchers, 12 postdocs, six software development engineers, and support staff, but  it’s been doing important work in computer science (including algorithms, cryptography, machine learning and vision, and security), computational biology, economics, mathematics, networks, and social media. Xconomy

 

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