Here’s what happens when startups go wrong

July 24, 2018

When things start going south at a startup, no one wants to talk about it.

The stream of self-congratulatory press releases and social media messages dries up, and executives suddenly stop replying to interview requests. Laid-off employees have typically been asked to sign nondisparagement agreements, so they clam up, too.

Those reasons combine to make it tough to write about the most challenging stage of a startup’s existence: when it has burned through its bankroll, and will either die, get acquired by another company, or figure out some way to survive.

It’s happening right now at two Boston startups that together have raised more than $160 million in funding from local venture capital firms, and trace their roots to the MIT Media Lab: Jibo and Jana.

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