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September 3, 2012


Another year, another guide.  Summer is always the time when large numbers of new participants in the tech ecosystem arrive and start to get their bearings.  This is why this guide exists, and why I try to refresh it every year with the most interesting meetups, companies, and folks to follow online.

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.

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. For example: Dropbox, Reddit, and Birch Box, to name a few.
  • 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: 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.
  • MITX: Non-profit trade association hosting many events focused on digital marketing and internet business
  • Mass TLC Unconference: Large annual conference put on by the MA Technology Leadership Council

Online Resources and Newsletters:

  • Bostinno: Great coverage of local startup happenings with a growing network of local writers.  Quickly becoming one of the best sources of information on the local tech scene.
  • 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.  They’ve been a bit quiet of late, but still a good resource.
  • 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.

University Resources

Smaller and High Quality Meetups

  • 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
  • WebInno Supper Club – Regular, small dinner series around very specific topics.  Topics have included “Leveraging Pinterest”, “Mobile Commerce”, and “Facebook Advertising”
  • Future Forward and Nantucket Conference – Two high quality, invite only conferences for tech leaders and executives, both increasingly open to bringing in young blood.
  • EdTechup – Well run meetup focused on the emerging edtech scene.
  • Intelligent.ly - Classes on startups and tech run by practitioners
  • General Assembly – Boston branch of tech classes and workshops started in NYC
  • Lean Startup Circle Boston

Coworking Spaces and Accelerators

Entrepreneurial Development Firms

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 - Coffee shop in Kendall.  Home of OpenCoffee Cambridge
  • Tatte Bakery – New Entrant accross the street from Voltage
  • Area 4 – New Coffee Shop and Eatery in Kendall
  • Thinking Cup – Popular coffee Shop for the Park Street / Downtown BOS crowd. My personal favorite, but no wifi
  • Barrington Coffee – Fort Point Channel

Journalists and News

Looking for Office Space?
  • T3 Advisors: Real estate brokers with deep VC relationships. Worked with HubSpot and Boundless.  Talk to Greg Hoffmeister
  • Cushman and Wakefield: Global commercial real estate services. Worked with Kyruus and Tripadvisor. Talk to Matt Malatesta
  • Jones Lang Lasalle: Global commercial real estate services. Worked withWordstream and Flipkey .  Talk to Bryan Sparkes.

Scaling Companies To Watch (ie: probably hiring)

  • Care.com – Just raised a monster round from IVP
  • 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. Recently raised money from Sequoia Capital
  • Dataxu - Demand Side Platform for Real Time Ad Buying.  Led by serial entrepreneur Mike Baker.
  • Nanigans – Facebook Advertising Platform. Just hired Yahoo’s VP Media Sales.
  • Most of our portfolio companies are hiring too, so I won’t single any particular one out:

30 To Follow (This isn’t a list of the “best” investors and entrepreneurs, but the folks who are consistently creating good social media content and are active in the community.  Being edited on the fly, so not exactly 30 anymore)

Investors:

Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders:

About Me

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Lee Hower




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  • robgo
     - 10 hours ago
    @bbalfour would love to see a post on how to organize growth, Marketing, and product teams. Maybe via sample org structure and KPIs for each
  • robgo
     - 10 hours ago
    RT @bbalfour: @kydoh which ones did you start?
  • robgo
     - 2 days ago
    @aaronwhite @nickducoff yes, just post. My best performing posts (bar one) were all written in 20 minutes or less with no editing
  • Lee Hower
     - 2 days ago
    dunno why but we VCs always seem to be suckers for logo wear - sporting my @insightsquared fleece today http://t.co/ZRcNmHT6O5
  • David Beisel
     - 3 days ago
    Terminator vision coming soon "Google Invents Micro Camera System for Future Contact Lenses" http://t.co/ex9QX56aCF http://t.co/vuF7FETF7Y

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