The following is a guest post by Ariel Diaz, a Boston based entrepreneur and PopSignal member.
I have been a pretty active member in Boston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past 3 and a half years. Throughout this time there has been a slow but steady growth in the infrastructure and support network for early stage companies. But over the past 3-6 months, I have seen a very strong acceleration in those trends. I was chatting with Tim Rowe about this, who’s been closely involved in this community far longer than I, and he found that the amount of activity and events over the past few months has been “deafening”.
That got me thinking about what’s been changing, the key drivers and the key players bringing about that change, and how to keep this going to continue strengthening the ecosystem. This is the first of a 2-part series, and will focus on what’s changing. The second part will discuss the key drivers and reasons for these changes, and how to keep it going.
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POPSignal maintains a LinkedIn group, where recently a POPSignal member, Adam Marchick of Bain Capital Ventures, posted a very interesting, and thought provoking question of “Is Boston Short Angels, Or Good Companies?” The result was a flurry of insightful responses from some of the best Boston entrepreneurs, angels, and vc’s.
The thread contained great information that we felt would benefit the broader Boston startup community, so with permission from all contributors, we have formed the following blog post to summarize some common themes and conclusions and the full thread itself. Please continue to contribute to the thread in the comments.
The full thread is posted below, but is a little lengthy so here are the primary bullet points of the discussion. If you have the time I highly encourage you to read it in its entirety.
- This Problem Is Cyclical
- There seem to be two funding gaps in Boston.
The $25K – $50K range, and the $250K – $750K range.
- Volume Is A Critical Factor
- While Angel money is one problem, there are many other contributing issues.
a. A solid base of accessible modern mentors that understand new software startups
b. Involving the massive base of Boston’s university students earlier in their education.
c. Creating a culture of open entrepreneurship, where people don’t wall themselves into just their immediate network.
d. Connecting and finding great co-founders.
- Despite the issues, positive things are happening.
Over the past 1 – 2 years a lot of very positive grass root initiatives have been formed to help the startup scene in Boston. Betahouse, POPSignal, MassChallenge, DART Boston, Startup Leadership, TechStars, Dogpatch Labs, are just a few.
Some comments have been edited or deleted at the request of the contributor.
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PSMix Alumni events are aimed to bring together everyone who has previously attended a PSMix event. Keeping with the POPSignal spirit the setting will be informal with no agenda/speeches/presentations. And as always, there will be free flowing drinks, food, and high quality conversations!
A big thank you to Bain Capital Ventures and WilmerHale for making this event possible! They are sponsoring this event which means all those beers you drink and food you eat will be because of them:
The POPSignal Mix party report (Boston Globe)
As you know, POPSignal Mix events are invitation-only, however participation is based on merit & peer recommendations. You may request an invite for yourself or for someone else for a future event via this form.
As always, it’s going to be a small group, good drinks, good food, and good conversations.
A big thank you to our PSMIX5 event sponsor:
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A message & coupon from the folks that run Startup Weekend:
What: Startup Weekend Boston 2
When: December 4th – 6th
Where: Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD)
Why: Come network, learn, share ideas, hear some great speakers, and spend the weekend not just talking but building. Startup Weekend will have some amazing speakers, mentors, and tons of amazing support that will be a tremendous value to any aspiring or veteran entrepreneur.
How Much: Tickets are $75 for the entire weekend including 7 meals and drinks. Only 75 spots available, and selling out fast! Register Now with code “popsignal” for 20% off!
For more information: http://boston.startupweekend.org/