Boston is a great place to start and build a company. There is a wealth of resources that are unique to this town and a vibrant community of hackers, business people, and investors at various stages in their career.
However, Boston is a transient town, especially for the student population that refreshes a large population each year. It’s also surprisingly difficult for students to get plugged-in to everything that is happening in the local tech ecosystem. This guide is designed to help you hit the ground running and is a starting point for your entrepreneurial journey in Boston. It can be found online at www.robgo.org (where the links actually work) and feedback is greatly appreciated!
Large Tech Meetups:
- Web Innovators Group: Quarterly Demo-Style meetup in Cambridge draws over 1000 members of the startup community each time. The Grand-daddy. Alumni have been funded by Sequoia, First Round Capital, Accel, Trinity Ventures, and others.
- Mobile Mondays: Boston chapter of the world’s largest Mobile professional community.
- Founder Dialogues: Eric Paley plays talk show host on this recurring fireside chat style event with Boston area founders.
- RubyRiot/TechProm/Playtime: Not recurring events, but seems like there is a few big parties every year organized by a small group of folks who are very active in the tech community. The next one is TechProm, organized by Dave Balter, the founder of BzzAgent.
Online Resources and Newsletters:
- Greenhorn Connect: Excellent hub of BOS tech events and resources. Currently, this seems to be the most popular and most comprehensive event calendar.
- DartBoston: A vibrant community of young entrepreneurs. Join their online community and attend their excellent events.
- Bostinnovation: Great coverage of local startup happenings with a growing network of local writers.
- OnStartups: One of the largest online startup communities founded by HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah.
- VentureFizz: Good newsletter with funding announcements, best local blog posts, and other local tech happenings.
- MIT 100K
- HBS Startup Tribe
- Babson Entrepreneur Resource Center
- Northeastern IDEA Venture Accelerator
- Olin College Foundry Program
Smaller and High Quality Meetups
- PopSignal - My favorite regular tech gathering. Invite only.
- Capitalize - Regular pitch events where early stage companies get direct feedback from local VC’s.
- Open Coffee - Weekly meetup started by Bijan Sabet and Nabeel Hyatt. No agenda, just come by and talk tech at Voltage
- http://foundermentors.com– Not a meetup, but a great mentorship program started by serial CTO Sean Lindsay
Coworking Spaces and Accelerators
- TechStars Boston – Boston chapter of TechStars. Applications due Nov 20th!
- Dog Patch Labs - Free workspace run by Polaris Ventures. No cost, not formal strings attached.
- Startup Leadership Program – International mentorship program with over 100 startups participating
- CIC - High quality, flexible office space. Higher cost, but great facility
- WorkBar Boston - Flexible co-working space near South Station.
- MassChallenge - Startup competition and accelerator. Beautiful space in the South Boston Innovation District.
Entrepreneurial Development Firms
- Thoughtbot - Web application development and design. Ruby specialists.
- Extension Engine - Software engineering and design
- FreshTilledSoil - User Interface Design
Places to Hang
- Crema Cafe - Great coffee in Harvard Square. Favorite spot for Eric Paley, Antonio Rodriguez, and Rich Miner
- Andala Cafe - Central Square hangout. Free wifi.
- Henrietta’s Table - In the Charles Hotel. General Catalyst is right upstairs.
- Paramount - Favorite breakfast spot for the Beacon Hill VC crowd.
- VentureCafe - Networking venue within the CIC
- Voltage - New coffee shop in Kendall. Home of OpenCoffee Cambridge
Journalists and News
- Scott Kirsner - Tech journalist of the Boston Globe. See his innovation economy blog and follow him on Twitter.
- Dan Primack - Formerly of PE Hub, recently poached by Fortune. Not Boston focused, but definitely follow his reports of PE and VC financings and the state of the venture market. @danprimack.
- Gregory Huang - Xconomy
- Galen Moore - Mass High Tech
- Chase Garbarino – BostonInno
Scaling Companies To Watch (ie: probably hiring)
- Gemvara - Online retailer for customized jewelry. Founded by recent Babson Alum
- Wayfair - $350M + revenue, 300 employees. Recently raised their very first VC round from Battery and Spark earlier this year. Amazing company, and one of the biggest private online retailers.
- HubSpot - Inbound marketing pioneer. The current talent magnet of Boston tech companies. Recently raised money from Sequoia Capital
- Dataxu - Demand Side Platform for Real Time Ad Buying. Led by serial entrepreneur Mike Baker.
20 To Follow (Being edited on the fly, so not exactly 20 anymore)
- Antonio Rodriguez – Matrix Partners, HP (blog, @antrod)
- Bijan Sabet – Spark Capital (blog, @bijan)
- David Beisel – NextView Ventures, Venrock (blog, @davidbeisel)
- David Skok – Matrix Partners (blog, @bostonvc)
- Eric Paley – Founder Collective, Brontes (blog, @epaley)
- Jeff Bussgang – Flybridge, UPromise (blog, @bussgang)
- Joe Medved – Softbank Capital (blog, @joevc)
- Lee Hower – NextView Ventures, LinkedIn (blog, @leehower)
- Rich Miner – Google Ventures, Android (@richminer)
- Fred Destin – Atlas (@fdestin)
Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders:
- Andrew Mcafee – MIT Professor (blog, @amcafee)
- Andy Payne – OpenMarket, Fansnap, angel investor (blog, @payne92)
- Bill Warner – Avid, Techstars, Angel investor (blog, @billwarner)
- Brian Balfour – Co-founder of Boundless Learning, Viximo (blog, @bbalfour)
- Brian Shin -Founder and CEO, Visible Measures (blog, @brianshin)
- David Cancel – Founder of Performable and Compete (blog , @Dcancel)
- David Hauser – Co-founder of Grasshopper (blog, @dh)
- John Gallaugher – BC Professor (blog, @gallaugher)
- Dharmesh Shah – Co-founder and CTO, HubSpot (blog, @dharmesh)
- Jennifer Lum – Apple, Quattro, MCube (@jenniferlum)
- Katie Rae – TechStars, Microsoft, Eons (blog, @ktrae)
- Nabeel Hyatt – Head of Zynga Boston studio (blog, @nabeel)
- Roy Rodenstien – Hacker Angels, Going.com (blog, @royrod)
- Sim Simeonov – FastIgnite, Polaris, Allaire (blog, @simeons)
- Tom Eisenmann – HBS Professor (@teisenmann)
- Wayne Chang – Crashlytics, Dropbox (blog, @wayne)