Editor’s Picks: Xconomy Boston’s Top 20 Stories of the First Quarter

Xconomy Boston — 

Grass is growing. Birds are singing. IPOs are filing. And snow is coming tomorrow. In other words, it’s springtime in New England.

Every so often, we like to take a breath and look back at some of Xconomy’s top stories from the past few months. These are not necessarily the ones that generated the most traffic (though in some cases they are). They are stories that exemplify what we try to deliver to our readers day in and day out—real stories behind the companies, people, ideas, and trends that are shaping the future of innovation in our network of cities. What’s more, they help distinguish us from the media pack—especially the low-level din of incremental tech journalism (not to mention any schmo with a Twitter account).

For this quarter, our Boston editors’ picks range widely in topic from scrappy startups and unsung companies (Dyn, PoKos, Topera) to giants and public firms (IBM/Netezza, Alkermes, Vertex); from personal stories (Adriana Jenkins, Bliss) to broad, sweeping trends (big data, Boston vs. other innovation hubs); from historic developments (Genzyme) to quirky twists (Blank Label); and from the serious (fighting drug addiction) to the humorous (“hold on to your toupees”).

Without further ado, here are Xconomy Boston’s top 20 stories of the first quarter, sorted by sector:

Top 10 Tech Stories:

Yes, Now That Stranger Across the Bar Can Text You. No, It’s Not As Scary As It Sounds, Says Mobile App Developer PoKos

Netezza Chief Talks About “Formative” PTC Days, IBM Deal History, and the Future of Big Data

You Snooze, You Lose: 10 Boring Boston-Area Tech Companies That Are Actually Interesting

The Changing Face of Boston VC: A Chat With NextView Ventures’ David Beisel

Mass Customization, Mystery Developers, and Men’s Shirts: Blank Label Returns to Boston

EveryTrail Was “Unappreciated Gem,” Says TripAdvisor Exec: A Look Inside Today’s Acquisition

MassChallenge, With Lessons Learned, Gears Up for 2011 Startup Competition: A Definitive Debrief

Boston Vs. New York: Tech Startups and Investors Add New Spice to Classic Rivalry

2010 Startup Moves from Boston to San Francisco Offer Insights to the Perennial Coast vs. Coast Debate

Desh Deshpande on Starting Merrimack Valley Innovation Center—and Making a Global Impact from Massachusetts to India

Redstar, From ATG Founders, Reveals Funding Strategy, Sets Up Office Space, Looks to Hire Entrepreneurs


Top 10 Life Sciences and Energy Stories:

Former Boston Scientific Exec and UCSD Physician Team Up at Startup Topera Medical

Bill Gates Backs Nimbus, Betting on Computer-Based Drug Discovery

Agrivida, Developer of Cheap Biofuel Tech, Seeks Deals to Broaden Commercial Horizons

Vertex Nails Pivotal Study for Cystic Fibrosis, Racing Toward Market With Second Drug

Alkermes Sees Chance to Reinvent Vivitrol For Fighting Drug Addiction, Not Just Alcoholism

Genzyme, After Months of Holding Out, Agrees to be Sold to Sanofi-Aventis for $20.1B

Adriana Jenkins, Boston Biotech PR Maven, Dies from Breast Cancer at 41

Bliss Healthcare, Founded by MIT Sloan Grad, Starts New Web-Savvy Home Care Service

Amgen’s R&D Chief, Roger Perlmutter, on Why BioVex’s Cancer-Fighting Virus Is Worth $1B

Follica Co-Founder and Team Find New Clues About Male Baldness