At the end of 2017, ImpactLABS was acquired by Context Labs (CXL), Dan Harple’s innovation engine headquartered in Kendall Square, with satellite operations in Amsterdam and India.
You may have heard of Dan Harple. He is the mind behind Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP); was part of Netscape senior management when it was acquired by AOL; has built and licensed mission critical and broadly-deployed digital utilities used by hundreds of thousands of companies and billions of people through a number of companies he has created. (Context Labs and Dan’s bio are below.)
For the past decade, Harple (an MIT alum) and his teams have been building a new generation of tools and services aimed at restoring truth, trust and authentic progress to the forefront of digital systems as a way to accelerate their application in a number of grand challenge markets.
In short, the team at Context Labs was building many of the utilities that we, our Sponsors and Partners were looking for to complement their existing strengths and emerging efforts in Industry4.0, smart cities/ resilient communities, food security and climate resilience.
As soon as we saw the solutions that CXL had deployed – and some of our Sponsors and Partners were in the room with us – we knew we needed access to those tools and the teams that developed and deployed them.
CXL demonstrated national-security-grade data ingestion, Proofworks™ data veracity service, Immutably™ scalable distributed ledger technology (DLT), and open/ agile approaches to sourcing, testing, exploiting analytics and exploiting services for virtually any machine or human application client endpoint.
Thus, started a 6-month exploration to learn how we could collaborate.
That exploration concluded with the sale of ImpactLABS to Context Labs at the end of December.
Nearly four years ago, ImpactLABS was conceived in the basement of a centuries-old tradesmen’s guild hall in the city that is the birthplace of Cambridge Silicon Radio, BlueTooth and LPWAN and often referred to as the center of the wireless revolution – Cambridge, England.
That meeting place was fitting, for it reminded us starkly that the future is not digital only, but digital-enabled. It was then that we started to define what ImpactLABS might be and what we would do.
ImpactLABS would be a convener of physical world SMEs, innovative SMBs, the best early and growth stage IoT enablers in the world, F5000 industrials and the most authentic leaders in IoT with whom we could engage. Our goal when we got these people together, was to deploy commercially-viable solutions in line pilots and market funded commercial programs; and to document exactly how the people, tools and approaches were able to deliver technical, operational, financial, social and exponential impact.
During the past four years ImpactLABS, its Sponsors and Partners have been at or near the front lines of demonstrating how an intentional, as well as intelligent, approach to physical world instrumentation – IoT – can reduce risk, deliver operational and financial returns, and evidence social impact on one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
ImpactLABS Sponsors and Partners learned faster and better than their peers, accelerated new offerings, sourced investments and developed new markets and customers. Pilot hosts and commercial program customers reduced risk, lowered costs, enhanced their product/ service experience, drove new revenues and began their journeys with data as an asset.
Now, with ImpactLABS part of Context Labs, and our staff partnering with Dan Harple and his teams, we have more talent and tools with which to help more companies and communities on their journeys from risk management through their unique versions of transformation to resilience.
So, what remains, and what changes?
We continue to support current Sponsors and Partners. We are currently expanding Sponsor and Partner networks.
We continue to live-pilot in the field. We are developing new commercial solutions with Sponsors and Partners utilizing Context Labs tools and services.
We continue to focus on how IoT can deliver operational, financial and social gains for F5000 and SMB. We are developing new opportunities in reducing risk in a broad range of supply chains.
Our team will be splitting time between the New Bedford Field Station and Kendall Square Corporate HQ, as well as spending time in the Amsterdam, Netherlands offices.
We are more excited than ever with our ability to support you and your teams, customers and partners, as you deploy your next generation of secure, stable, scalable and agile solutions that enable your networks to achieve their operational, financial and social impact goals.
Resilience is the killer app.
ImpactLABS and Context Labs is the killer combination.
Read the full press release: Context Labs Acquires ImpactLABS
Read about ImpactLABS and Context Labs on the Context Labs blog.
About Context Labs
Context Labs (CXL) is deploying blockchain in the enterprise, currently, in three distinct market segments: traditional publishing, environmental big data, and the global music industry. The company has developed key competencies in deploying blockchain-enabled solutions in each of its three market segments. It is expert in highlighting and comparing market need, readiness, and the use of blockchain as a component in next gen enterprise platforms.
CXL also is the leader on cross-platform interoperability for blockchain-based systems, using the Open Music Initiative’s “MVI” (Minimum Viable Interoperability) model as a use case.
Media and Publishing:
Context Labs was the initiator and co-founder (with Berklee College of Music & IDEO) of the Open Music Initiative (open-music.org). OMI currently has over 160 global members including UMG, Sony Music, Warner Music, BMG, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, and many others. Context Labs has deployed was it calls the “OMI Method,” based on the work of its founders at MIT in researching innovation ecosystems. This Method is being used to drive toward an industry-wide MVI.
CXL also further deployed a blockchain/analytics platform enabling supply chain as a service for publishers. This deployment, with Lakeside Communications, the world’s largest printer of books and magazines, integrates with the printing and supply chain logistics of 800 million books per year. The platform enables supply chain track and trace, detection of piracy, and Know Your Customer (KYC) analytics.
Environmental Big Data:
CXL partners with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to ensure that we “Keep Data Real,” by deploying its enterprise blockchain and analytics platform. In an era of regulatory and policy disruption, CXL’s platform is being used to ensure authenticity, provenance, and security for the world’s environmental data.
CXL’s technology platform achieves this by delivering platform innovation integrating secure distributed and shared ledgers (Blockchain), network graph analytics and visualizations, data interoperability, trusted identity management, and micro-payment enablement.
About Dan Harple:
Dan Harple is the CEO of Context Labs, B.V., which is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has been a technology entrepreneur for more than 20 years, having founded and built technologies, companies, and products that have been used by billions of Internet users, merging companies with Netscape Communications, Oracle, and a joint venture with China’s Sina, providing core underlying technology for its Weibo platform, with current users over 550 million.
Harple has had a seminal influence on the commercial Internet thanks to his pioneering of voice over internet protocol (VoIP), streaming media (real time streaming protocol), and interactive screen sharing/shared whiteboards, in the early ‘90s. He has been behind innovations driving a range of patents that are some of the most cited for: collaborative computing, VoIP, streaming media, real-time web communications, big data integration, and location-based social media. Harple’s influence underlies technologies that power Skype, GoToMeeting, Webex, SmartBoards, Oracle Fusion, Sina Weibo, and YouTube, among others. Recent work centers on big data, blockchain, and supply chain analytics.
Harple was a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he founded the new Sloan program called REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab). He served as an entrepreneur in residence (EIR) at MIT as well. Dan founded Context Labs, which uses big data analytics to describe the growth of innovation ecosystems and clusters. These early efforts partnered with the MIT Media Lab’s work on City Science in the Changing Places Group. He’s collaborated on several Media Lab Courses: Beyond Smart Cities (2013) and Changing Cities: How to Prototype New Urban Systems (2014).
He has received numerous awards, including Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the NEA (New Enterprise Associates) President’s Award, and he has served as a director and/or advisor for a variety of nonprofits and educational institutions. The book by the Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Petzinger, “The New Pioneers: The Men and Women Who Are Transforming the Workplace and Marketplace,” Simon & Schuster, 1999, describes the pioneering work done by Dan and his team for Voice over IP (VoIP), real-time collaboration, and Internet video streaming. He holds degrees from MIT and the University of Rhode Island and he also attended Marlboro College. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the Berklee College of Music.