In the ongoing biotech IPO stampede, it’s easy to lose track of some of the most important ideas. Take Cambridge-based Foundation Medicine. The cancer diagnostics company has begun trading on the Nasdaq this week after a $100 million IPO, and its market value has shot up to half a billion dollars. But Foundation, which was backed by Bill Gates, Third Rock, and other venture firms, has a bigger purpose in life. The company runs a test on a patient’s tumor sample, looking for abnormalities in over 200 cancer-related genes. The goal is to suggest targeted therapies that might not otherwise be tried. There’s still a long way to go, but if it succeeds, it could help transform cancer treatment.

In other innovation news:

---DunnhumbyVentures is getting started in Boston. The new fund, part of U.K. giant Tesco, is looking to make seed-stage investments in retail tech startups. It’s being led by former BzzAgent CEO Dave Balter.

---Our startup of the week is Waltham-based X-Chem. The drug discovery company is working with AstraZeneca on new treatments for cancer and respiratory diseases.

---And lastly, what ever happened to “big data”? The short answer is, it’s morphed from visionary hype to economic reality. Now Xconomy is convening business and tech leaders at a new conference called D2: The Future of Data and Devices. It’s all happening at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology in Boston on November 21.