An Entrepreneurial Renaissance in Boston

Yes!  I’m saying it – we are in the early days of an entrepreneurial renaissance in Boston.  Even in the wake of TechCrunch Disrupt.  Even though every VC that talks about the greatness of New England is doing so from the Acela to NYC. 

Those of us who have been engaged in the Boston startup eco-system know that this is the most excitement we’ve seen in many years.  I was having lunch with a prominent local entrepreneur, and he remarked that there is more startup activity among young entrepreneurs in Boston than anytime in the past 10 years.  And as I’ve said before, more shots on goal will result in more big winners.

There are many reasons for this.  I’m going to talk about two.

1. We are seeing multi-generational involvement and mentorship in the Startup Community.  This is thanks both to successful entrepreneurs who are actively giving back, as well as motivated young entrepreneurs who are creating buzz and density among their peers.  For the late 20’s – early 30’s crowd, there is the PopSignal group led by Brian Balfour and Jay Meattle.  It’s THE entrepreneur gathering for the up-and-coming founders, but you will almost always see some of the more successful local entrepreneurs attending to give back to the community (guys like David Cancel, Andy Payne, Rich Miner, Mike Baker, and others). And the early 20’s crowd is not being undone, with Dart Boston getting under-30 founders together to collaborate and get feedback from top VC’s in town.  

2. There is critical mass of great companies (and recent exits) where future founders and entrepreneurial executives are being trained. Not everyone will found a company right away.  For those that don’t, it’s important to have pockets of excellence where talented folks can work, learn a trade, and gain experience behind successful entrepreneurs.  It’s also nice to put a little money in one’s pockets too, to create flexibility to experiment.  Boston has several very important pockets of excellence and great companies that are talent magents.  Including:

I think what’s happening in NYC is great, and I definitely spend my fair share of time there and in Silicon Valley (and have angel investments in both locations).  But I’m thrilled to live in Boston, and I’m partially glad that other investors are spending time elsewhere.  Leaves more opportunity for me 🙂

Rob Go

Thanks for reading! Here’s a quick background on who I am: 1. My name is Rob, I live in Lexington, MA 2. I’m married and have two young daughters. My wife and I met in college at Duke University - Go Blue Devils! 3. We really love our church in Arlington, MA. It’s called Highrock and it’s a wonderful and vibrant community.  Email me if you want to visit! 4. I grew up in the Philippines (ages 0-9) and Hong Kong (ages 9-17). 5. I am a cofounder of NextView Ventures, a seed stage investment firm focused on internet enabled innovation. I try to spend as much time as possible working with entrepreneurs and investing in businesses that are trying to solve important problems for everyday people.   6. The best way to reach me is by email: rob at nextviewventures dot com