Feb 15 2012

Boston’s Amazing Comeback

Five years ago the buzz about Boston was that it was a has-been in the innovation economy. As someone who lived in Boston from 1983 – 1995 and helped start and invest in many companies there over the years, I knew this was nonsense, but like any cycles (even if the cycle is part of a meme) it needed to bottom out before people really kicked into gear. And they have – Boston (which includes Cambridge) is once again an example of a hugely vibrant startup community.

Three posts in the last two days caught my attention on this. The first was from Fred Destin, a VC at Atlas Ventures who is also a transplant from Europe. He wrote a great, detailed post titled Built in Boston: Why Great Entrepreneurs Are Choosing MA to Build Their StartupsIt’s substantive and full of examples of companies and entrepreneurs who are building the Boston startup community.

The next post was from Jeff Bussgang, a VC at Flybridge Capital Partners, titled What Makes The Boston Start-Up Scene Special? Jeff recently updated a presentation he gives by the same name as the post and reflected on how much it had changed in the past few years. The presentation is worth going through it you are interested in the resources of Boston and what’s going on in the community – it follows.

Finally, Scott Kirsner is building on the theme I started in my post titled I’m In Cambridge, Not Boston by exploring the concept of neighborhoods in a startup community. The notion that a startup community is a “collection” of startup neighborhoods is an important one and Scott’s post titled The Innovation District’s Four Neighborhoods does a nice job of laying this out. I’m not sure if this is too fine grained – I used to live at 15 Sleeper Street and two of his four neighborhoods – Fort Point Channel and Fan Pier are easy walking distance (so they probably should be the same neighborhood) – but the premise and general analysis is correct.