Rob Go: 

In search of things new and useful.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Boston Tech Community 2011

Rob Go
November 9, 2010 · 4  min.

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.

It occurred to me however that Boston is a transient town.  Especially for the student population that refreshes a large population each year.  So I’ve decided to create an annual guidebook (more like a 1-pager) to the Boston Startup Community. A year ago, I wrote a “To-Do List for New Entrepreneurs Arriving in Boston”.  So I guess this makes this the second installment of what will now be the annual:


This is obviously released before 2011 in order to allow folks who are planning to arrive in Boston to get a head start.  If you have comments of suggestions, please include them below.  I’ll be handing out hard copies of this at various venues in Jan/Feb 2011.  So without further delay:

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. 

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. 
  • VentureFizz: Good newsletter with funding announcements, best local blog posts, and other local tech happenings.
  • 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. 
  • Founder Institute: Boston franchise of Adeo Ressi’s startup program
  • Compstudy: Kelly Blue Book of Startup Compensation

University Resources

Smaller and High Quality Meetups

  • PopSignal – My favorite regular tech gathering.  Invite only. 
  • Hackers and Founders – New, but promising meetup.  More hacker focused. 
  • 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.  

Coworking Spaces

  • Dog Patch Labs – Free workspace run by Polaris Ventures.  No cost, not formal strings attached. 
  • 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

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.  Home of Open Coffee Cambridge
  • Henrietta’s Table – In the Charles Hotel.  General Catalyst is right upstairs. 
  • Paramount – Favorite breakfast spot for the Beacon Hill crowd.
  • VentureCafe – Networking venue within the CIC
  • Voltage – New coffee shop in Kendall.  Jim Koch (Boston Beer Company) is an investor.  My new favorite.

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. Newsletter here.  @danprimack
  • Gregory Huang – Xconomy
  • Galen Moore – Mass High Tech

Scaling Companies To Watch (ie: probably hiring)

  • Gemvara – Online retailer for customized jewelry.  Founded by recent Babson Alum
  • CSN Stores – $350M + revenue, 300 employees, $0 venture funding.  Amazing company, and one of the biggest private online retailers. 
  • SCVNGR – Location based challenges.  Backed by Highland and Google.
  • HubSpot – Inbound marketing pioneer.  The current talent magnet of Boston tech companies. 
  • Dataxu – Demand Side Platform for Real Time Ad Buying.  Led by serial entrepreneur Mike Baker
  • Tech Stars – Ok, not a company, but an excellent, mentorship driven seed program that gives rise of multiple companies every year that go on to great things.  

20 To Follow (Being edited on the fly, so not exactly 20 anymore)


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 – Founder of 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)
  • Dharmesh Shah – Co-founder and CTO, HubSpot (blog@dharmesh)
  • Furqan Nazeeri – Seriel entrepreneur and blogger (blog@altgate)
  • Jennifer Lum – Apple, Quattro, MCube (@jenniferlum)
  • Katie Rae – TechStars, Microsoft, Eons (blog, @ktrae)
  • Laura Fitton – OneForty (@pistachio)
  • Nabeel Hyatt – Head of Zynga Boston studio (blog@nabeel)
  • Roy Rodenstien – Hacker Angels, (blog@royrod)
  • Sim Simeonov – FastIgnite, Polaris, Allaire (blog, @simeons)
  • Tom Eisenmann – HBS Professor (@teisenmann)

This is just a starting point.  Enjoy the journey!

Rob Go
Rob is a co-founder and Partner at NextView. He tries to spend as much time as possible working with entrepreneurs to develop products that solve important problems for everyday people.