If you are starting a company in the Boston area there are lots of resources available to you. Last week at the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s UnConference there were over 40 sessions on startup issues. It was the best opportunity to meet hundreds of people who can help you get your business going. If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry, there are other events happening nearly every week.
I am a big fan of conferences. It is the most efficient way to learn, meet people, and make deals. Everyone you need to know is there and available. Setting up the same meetings separately would take months…that is, if you could get on their calendars. Most of these people do 20 to 30 meetings a week and are scheduled months in advance. It can be tough to get on their calendar. But, when they are at conferences they are open to short impromptu discussions, questions, and can offer helpful advice and referrals. Here is a list of startup events, resources, and people you need to know.
Mobile Monday – Monthly meet-up of mobile and wireless startups, VCs, and tech execs.
Tech Tuesday - is a regular monthly meet-up organized by Dan Bricklin, of Visi-Calc spreadsheet fame. Tech Tuesday is for geeks, tech savvy professionals, DIY-ers, press, and other industry luminaries for an informal gathering. Usually meets at Microsoft office in Cambridge.
Open Coffee - Bijan Sabet & Nabeel Hyatt organize this open meeting for entrepreneurs every Thursday at Andala Coffee House in Cambridge.
WebInno – Boston Web Innovators – Organized by David Beisel of Venrock, a monthly meeting of 200 to 400 startup people, VCs, Angels and tech execs. Free, open to anyone. Startups present / demo their new stuff.
MIT Enterprise Forum - Builds connections to technology entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Forum produces a series of educational programs about entrepreneurship and technology.
BYTE – Boston Young Tech Entrepreneurs – Organized by Will Crawford and Jeremy MacDonald. BYTE Nights are designed to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and other startup-types in a casual networking environment. No web site. Contact Will Crawford.
DartBoston - a community of entrepreneurs, professionals and students under 30, helping one another start their businesses. A weekly podcast, Pokin' Holes which lets new start-ups solicit constructive feedback from our community. Each show is followed by a wrap cocktail party.
MTLC UnConference Twice a year conference focused on helping young entrepreneurs get started. Hundreds of tech exec mentors help startups with advice and introductions at this unstructured conference.
MITX - Mass Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) have lots of great events for technology based startups. Check their web site for upcoming events.
The Capital Network - TCN's network consists of entrepreneurs on their way, entrepreneurs who have lessons and talents to offer and investors who may have themselves drifted across the entrepreneurial line. TCN has 3 or 4 events a month.
The 128 Innovation Capital Group - The regular meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month at the Best Western Hotel on Totten Pond Road in Waltham. Every month an investor provides our formal program. After Q&A, our speaker generally remains to speak with audience members, one on one. After the meeting, a roster with the contact information of all attendees is made available to those who came to the meeting.
New England Angel Capital Conference - The Angel Investor groups of greater Boston meet once a quarter to review their best companies. Each group nominates companies to present. They are all looking for a round of funding that is bigger than any one Angel Group can handle. This meeting lets all the groups get a look at promising companies and pool their investment dollars.
Social Media Breakfast Boston - Features presentations by some of the country’s most advanced thinkers in community engagement programs - bringing a fresh and wide variety of first hand experiences and case studies.
Nantucket Conference – Small intimate conference in Nantucket that attracts creative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, and executives. Much of the value of the Nantucket Conference comes from impromptu hallway conversations, serendipitous seatings at lunch, and walks around town.
TechStars - A startup boot camp that provides $25K in funding with lots of mentorship, advice, introductions, and access to investors.
Mass Tech Leadership Council – Conducts educational programs and signature events, networking between industry executives and potential partners, investors, and customers.
Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange MITX brings together digital technology, marketing and media professionals, to engage in what is next for the web and how it impacts the marketing and business worlds. Monthly meetings, great speakers and networking.
Boston World Partnerships - helps business leaders worldwide understand and access Boston's competitive advantages. Members gather and share compelling information relevant to Boston's economy, and benefit by plugging into the global network of high-caliber business people.
TiE Boston – The Indus Entrepreneurs – Conferences, educational programs for entrepreneurs, even programs for high school entrepreneurs. Check their web site for upcoming events.
BetaHouse Boston – Co-working office space for entrepreneurs.
Cambridge Innovation Center - Flexible office facility for growing technology and life sciences companies. The Cambridge Innovation Center offers start-up and emerging companies facilities and state-of-the-art business and technical services in a package that is cost efficient and scales with the company's growth. Currently, over 175 companies are located at CIC.
DogPatch Labs - created by Polaris Venture Partners to connect entrepreneurs and help founders conceive and launch startups. Offers desk space, bandwidth, coffee and lunch to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Summer at Highland - an innovative program from Highland Capital designed to provide selected student/university-affiliated entrepreneurs with the environment and resources for advancing their startup initiative/company to the next level.
People who can help
There are about 100 people you need to know in the Boston startup world. Going to events and conferences is the best way to meet them. They all know each other and will be happy to introduce you to others you need to know. It can be overwhelming to college students and young entrepreneurs to try and identify all these people and establish relationships. They are all important, but start with this short list. A relationship with any one of them is incredibly valuable. Be very specific about what you are doing and the kind of help you need.
Scott Kirsner writer for the Boston Globe, blogger, conference organizer, and connector. Scott knows everyone and can connect you to the people you need to know.
Bill Warner founder of Avid Technology and Wildfire Communications, angel investor, and driver of TechStars Boston. Bill is truly an angel to startups. very helpful.
John Landry, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, conference organizer, and connector. The life of the party wherever he is. Fun guy.
Shawn Broderick director of TechStars Boston, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, board advisor.
Rich Miner managing partner, Google Ventures, co-founder Android, co-founder Wildfire Communications. Rich is at all the area startup events. Very approachable, helpful, and very connected.
Boston Angel Investors
- Bay Angels - Cape Cod, MA
- Beacon Angels - Boston, MA
- Boston Harbor Angels - Boston, MA
- Boynton Angels - Worcester, MA
- Cherrystone Angel Group - Providence, RI
- CommonAngels - Lexington, MA
- eCoast Angels - Portsmouth, NH
- Golden Seeds LLC - Boston, MA
- HubAngels - Brookline, MA
- Launchpad Venture Group - Wellesley, MA
- River Valley Investors - Springfield, MA
- Walnut Venture Associates - Wellesley Hills, MA
Boston Startup News
Xconomy - Bob Buderi, Rebecca Zacks, and Wade Roush cover Boston based startups, technology trends, and VC investments.
Mass High Tech – A weekly publication covering business news of the New England high tech industry. Doug Banks and Galen Moore do a great job covering technology companies. MHT also has a good calendar of events.
VentureFizz - website where you can find all the buzz around Boston's technology sectors; software, internet, mobile, hardware, cloud computing, security, etc.
There are many more events, organizations, resources, and people to know. This is just a starting point. Please add others in the comments section.
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