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Boston is home to a thriving web and mobile startup ecosystem.

The intellectual power here is staggering, with Harvard, MIT, and dozens of other schools making this the academic capital of the world.

For years, Boston has been at or near the top of the list in venture capital invested per capita in the US. Meanwhile, large groups of tech startups, once only found out on Route 128 during Web 1.0 days, are now launching in centralized areas like Kendall Square, Downtown Crossing, and Seaport, infusing the city with the highest level of entrepreneurial energy in recent memory.

But Boston can feel like an insular town, and with something happening every day in the tech community, it’s only getting tougher to navigate the startup scene.

So whether you’re taking classes, building a business, raising capital, or just trying to get plugged in, let this be your jumping-off point, your front door to the community.

YOUR HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO BOSTON TECH. WELCOME!

Read a letter from the creators, or scroll down to keep exploring.

CREATED BY

Rob Go Rob Go
NextView
@ROBGO
Jay Acunzo Jay Acunzo
NextView
@JAYACUNZO
Keith Frankel Keith Frankel
Site UX
@thekeithf
Ariel Simon Ariel Simon
Site Design
@arielsimonsays

This guide was created by NextView: high conviction, hands-on seed investors.

Get+Inping

Concentrated groups of tech startups call these neighborhoods home, making them ideal places to launch new ventures, attend events, or post up at bars and coffee shops.

boston+startup+map

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This 1,000 acre area of the South Boston waterfront has recently been transformed into a go-to entrepreneurial neighborhood.

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A small group of startups inhabit this neighborhood, which contains Boston’s Little Italy and, on the outskirts, the TD Garden.

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Home to City Hall, Faneuil Hall, and plenty of events in the plaza. A small but growing cluster of startups work here, including local tech media BostInno.

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Its central location has turned the Financial District into a major hotspot for both entrepreneurs and VCs in recent years.

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With similar benefits to the Financial District, this area is home to two dozen tech startups, plus TechStars Boston, Startup Institute, Uber’s local office, and NextView Ventures.

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Offices here may go for a premium, but more tech companies are starting to move to this upscale neighborhood (much to the chagrin of their CFOs).

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If there’s a Boston Tech Ground Zero, this is it. Kendall boasts MIT, the CIC, dozens of startups, and tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Twitter.

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It seems like every year, both Harvard Business School and Harvard College produce a crop of successful young companies. The area’s coffee shops are also frequented by VCs and founders alike.

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Just two stops from Harvard on the Red Line is Davis Square, a growing focal point of entrepreneurship. Overall, Somerville startups are becoming more common.

pillar+boston+startups

These independent companies have established themselves locally, nationally, and even globally through a combination of revenue growth, valuation, and brand awareness. More are joining this list every year.

Burlington

Waltham

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Framingham

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Financial District, Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

East Cambridge

Leather District, Boston

Back Bay, Boston

Waltham

Waltham

Needham

Innovation District, South Boston

Burlington

Seaport, Boston

Downtown Crossing, Boston

East Cambridge

Back Bay, Boston

Somerville

Davis Square, Somerville

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Downtown Crossing, Boston

East Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Bedford

Downtown Crossing, Boston

Financial District, Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Seaport, Boston

Seaport, Boston

Watertown

Financial District, Boston

Alewife, Cambridge

Somerville

Innovation District, South Boston

Newton

Cambridge

Westborough

Newton

Providence, RI + Boston

Burlington

Leather District, Boston

Back Bay, Boston

Central Square, Cambridge

Back Bay, Boston

tech+giants

The Boston area’s globally recognized collection of young talent, combined with its resurgent entrepreneurial drive, has attracted top-tier tech companies such as the following:

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

(Multiple Locations)

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Seaport, Boston

Kendall Square, Cambridge

East Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

(Multiple Locations)

Financial District, Boston

Kendall Square, Cambridge

North Station, Boston

boston+tech+media

As a city, Boston is influenced by its rich history and its modern innovation. This extends to the local media, where both established publications and new, digital-first outlets cover the tech startup world.

The Boston Globe’s standalone tech blog covers local startups in web, mobile, biotech, robotics, healthcare, and other sectors. The site launched in early 2014.

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Operating under parent brand Streetwise Media (and owned by American City Business Journals since its 2012 acquisition), BostInno provides tech news and several pillar events. Their video update, The Beat, is must-watch material for its breaking news and sarcastic, entertaining coverage.

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The local arm of American City Business Journals provides regular tech coverage and is perhaps best known for its annual list of the best places to work in Boston.

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Like the BBJ, this is a local version of a national media outlet. Xconomy’s Boston property also organizes regular events for the tech community.

Visit>>

tech+resources

Anyone hoping to break into Boston tech or simply keep up with all the happenings around the ecosystem can rely on these resources.

Created by Jay Neely, this site offers a curated list of Boston startups, along with brief descriptions and job openings.

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Run by Joselin Mane, the site offers a comprehensive events calendar and other information about networking in Boston. Be sure to follow @BostonTweetup on Twitter.

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TCN brings together the area’s largest active community of investors and startup experts to provide founders with education and mentoring to navigate the fundraising process.

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ACF A longstanding resource for Boston entrepreneurs and students which was originally launched by entrepreneur Jason Evanish. The Capital Network recently took over daily operations and provides events, newsletters, and more.

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NextView Ventures owns a growing library of resources dedicated to challenges facing early-stage startup founders and teams, including guides, advice columns, startup stories, and a podcast.

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OpenView Venture Partners also runs Labs, where they share advice and resources for software startups and teams, primarily focused on B2B SaaS.

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Created by Dave Gerhardt as a podcast, Tech in Boston expanded in 2016 to include a curated list of articles written by Boston’s tech community on Medium.

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An interactive map showing the locations of Boston’s startups, as well as funding raised and jobs created.

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Run by Keith Cline, a top local recruiter, VentureFizz provides both original and syndicated content, as well as several other products like BizzPages, event listings, and a dedicated Boston tech job board. Their running log of local funding and acquisition announcements is a must-read.

Visit>>

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boston+podcasts (1)

In the past few years, multiple podcasts have emerged discussing Boston tech, as well as the broader startup, digital media, and business landscapes.

HubSpot executives interview others about how they grew their businesses.

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Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet and Nabeel Hyatt discuss trends in tech startups and VC in their periodic show, Hallway Chats.

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InsightSquared interviews software executives and thought leaders about how they’re using data and technology to accelerate their company growth.

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Drift CEO and serial entrepreneur David Cancel and Drift’s Dave Gerhardt tease out key lessons from Cancel’s experience as a founder and rabid learning approach.

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Hosted by Dave Gerhardt, who interviews Boston entrepreneurs about product, sales, marketing, and more.

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Hosted by Jay Acunzo, the show shares clever, creative, unusual, and scrappy ways that founders make early progress. The show is produced as a narrative story.

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Hosted by Founder Collective’s Micah Rosenbloom, the show interviews founders and investors about their companies and larger tech trends.

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Innovation Hub looks at how to reinvent our world – from medicine to education, relationships to time management and more.

Visit>>

get+educated

classes+for+startups

Education is a huge part of Boston’s DNA, so it’s no surprise that several organizations have launched here to teach entrepreneurs, developers, and other business leaders. Some have stayed local, others have expanded nationally or even globally, and several outside organizations have also moved to the area.

Now a global organization, its original location sits in the Leather District. Their 8-week program prepares you to change career paths and/or work for a startup by teaching both job skills and softer skills.

 Visit>>

Workshops and classes to train your company’s management or develop your own leadership skills.

 Visit>>

With 12 campuses around the world (including Boston’s Fort Point), General Assembly is a global educational institution that provides practical, hands-on learning in technology, business, and design through full-time and part-time training programs.

 Visit>>

This Boston-based program teaches students how to code to launch their careers as developers, and they offer local tech companies a pipeline of qualified tech talent through their career days.

 Visit>>

Another original chapter of an organization that has since expanded, this program helps train and support startup CEOs.

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The Boston chapter of this group hosts regular meetups and various courses for women of all backgrounds to learn how to develop software.

 Visit>>

This popular organization and movement offers summer programs in Twitter’s Kendall Square office.

 Visit>>

Dedicated to teaching women how to program in Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

 Visit>>

Several of Boston’s companies offer apprenticeships, mainly in product development, design, and UX. Two popular programs include Fresh Tilled Soil’s Apprentice in UX Design and Thoughtbot’s Apprentice.io.

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univ+resources

Aside from student clubs (not shown), several more formal organizations, resources, events, and competitions exist to support student entrepreneurship both on campus and around Boston.

DISCLAIMER:

Boston is home to 70+ colleges and universities, so this section alone could be its very own Hitchhiker’s Guide. With that in mind, we’d ask you and others around the community to submit new resources and/or schools via the link below this section.

The New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) offers hiring managers a guide to recruit college students. The goal is to keep Massachusetts-based talent in the state.

 Visit>>

Rough Draft Ventures is a student partnership that invests in Boston area student entrepreneurs, created by VC firm General Catalyst.

 Visit>>

Boston is one of four regional branches of this student-run venture firm, which invests in other students and is backed by First Round Capital.

 Visit>>

StartLabs is a non-profit that helps support and grow student entrepreneurship.

 Visit>>

get+connected

twitter

Following people from Boston’s tech startup scene is an easy way to learn about the ecosystem from afar … or dive headfirst into the conversation. It can also be a friendly, human way to network and get offline meetings. The following group of founders, VCs, and community builders are both active and widely followed around Boston (though many more exist that you should get to know).

DISCLAIMER:

In case you were tempted to read into the list as a ranking — it’s not!

It’s just based on total Twitter followers, and we have a much longer, more complete Twitter list available to follow here. Everybody on the larger list is equally worthy of following and meeting, as they’re all crucial parts of our great ecosystem.

founders+and+entrep

boston-tech-investors


Follow the Official Hitchhiker’s Guide Twitter List

Includes everyone listed above and below, plus many others: entrepreneurs, executives, local media, notable business authors and academics, and community builders, all innovating here in Boston.

boston-tech-list


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get+out+there

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Boston tech is full of incredibly passionate, exceedingly smart, and fiercely supportive people. This ecosystem prides itself on its pay-it-forward mentality for those seeking advice and support. The events, community groups, and coffee shops below are great ways to join or navigate the local startup scene.

boston+tech+events

A sampling of Boston’s ever-growing list of events, starting with some of the larger, pillar conferences.

BostInno’s flagship annual event attracts over 1,000 business leaders, entrepreneurs, and students. The half-day event covers the state of innovation locally in marketing and advertising, mobile, retail/e-commerce, big data, transportation, venture capital, and more.

 Visit>>

TEDx conferences are hosted every year in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

The tech community has a big presence at this annual conference, which attracts not only entrepreneurs but pro sports commissioners, owners, management, coaches, and athletes. This event has helped catalyze the massive sports industry into adopting tech and analytics in new and innovative ways across the globe.

 Visit>>

Formerly known as WebInno, BIG is Boston’s biggest and longest-running tech event (over 10 years). This quarterly meetup showcases early-stage startups through various demos and presentations. It attracts over hundreds attendees each time.

 Visit>>

INBOUND is HubSpot’s annual conference, which began as a customer meetup and has since expanded to attract 10,000 attendees from the marketing, sales, and startup worlds.

 Visit>>

TUGG (Technology Underwriting the Greater Good) brings together the tech community to fund and support local nonprofits. Their annual Tech Gives Back day sees over 2,000 volunteers taking the day off to donate their time to 50+ sites and organizations.

 Visit>>

This invite-only weekend event attracts top entrepreneurs and investors from Boston and beyond.

 Visit>>

Run by the New England Venture Capital Association, the NEVYs brings over 700 VCs and entrepreneurs together for a night of recognition across multiple categories and sectors.

 Visit>>

By design, this event has no agenda or planned format. The content is entirely crowdsourced based on what attendees want to discuss.

 Visit>>

MIT Technology Review’s Emerging Technologies conference attracts senior leaders seeking to understand the future of technology and how it will change the business world.

 Visit>>

Entering its third decade of operation, Cyberposium is the largest student-run technology event for MBAs in the world. The conference is held at Harvard Business School each year.

 Visit>>

Boston TechJam is a block party and innovation meetup of the city’s best and brightest tech minds. With live music, interactive challenges, and local food trucks and drinks, it’s one of the more celebratory tech events in town each year.

 Visit>>

HUBweek is a creative festival that celebrates innovation at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT and Mass General Hospital, HUBweek brings together the most creative and inventive minds in Boston and globally.

 Visit>>

events+contd

Even more great ways to network.

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community

Whether you join as a member or just drop by an event or meetup, these groups are the glue holding this community together and advancing their various specialty areas here in Boston.

coffee

venues

The following are listed based roughly on event frequency and perceived relevancy to the Boston startup community. (In many cases, these venues just “feel” top of mind to local entrepreneurs.)

District Hall (Innovation District, South Boston)

get+to+work

boston+startup+jobs

All those local startups launching regularly around town add up to one great thing for job seekers: opportunity. The following resources can help you find your next career stop:

boston+startup+jobs

incubatorsThese organizations have contributed to the growth of Boston’s tech startup ecosystem by providing office space, advice, introductions, support, and even budget to fledgling companies.

TechStars is one of the top accelerators in the world. Its Boston chapter is led by investor Semyon Dukach, who gained early recognition as a student leading the famous MIT blackjack team. TechStars Boston companies (71 as of April 2014) have gone on to raise more than $153 million in funding.

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The largest accelerator in the world, with over 128 startups per program, MassChallenge is a nonprofit that takes no equity in its companies. As of April 2014, MC alumni have raised $550 million, driven $350 million in revenue, and hired over 4,000 employees.

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Local VC firm Highland Capital Partners offers students this 10-week summer program, where they receive office space, mentorship, access to people and organizations, and a stipend of $18,000.

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The accelerator arm of LearnLaunch, which is focused on education technology.

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Existing startups focused on helping small businesses can apply to this program, created by Constant Contact. In addition to the usual benefits offered by accelerators, InnoLoft also grants its startups $10,000 in marketing budget.

Visit>>

Launch creates and incubates ecommerce companies. They focus on a low volume of companies by design, and provide each with access to talent, technology and partners.

Visit>>

Smarter in the City is the first high-tech accelerator in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. They are focused on fixing the lack of opportunities for computer science and digital media entrepreneurs in lower-income neighborhoods and minority communities.

Visit>>

Dat Ventures helps foreign startups break into the US market.

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FinTech Sandbox is a nonprofit that provides free, streamlined access to critical data and resources to FinTech entrepreneurs and startups.

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coworking

Coworking spaces have also emerged in seemingly every corner of Boston. Below is a sampling of some of the better-known options, but BostonStartupsGuide.com also created a comprehensive list in 2014.


CIC (Kendall Square, Cambridge)

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prod+dev+firms

Have an idea but not sure where to start or how to build it? Just need additional resources while launching? These firms specialize in designing and building apps and products, often working with early-stage startups. Many also go beyond simply building by helping you scope a product and test the market before you launch.

Thoughtbot
Fresh Tilled Soil
Rocket Insights
The Big Studio
Dragon Innovation
Extension Engine
Raizlabs
Janeiro Digital
Intrepid Pursuits
The Cream Creative
Occom Group
Firefield
Filament Group
Pivotal Labs
Greenfield

get+funded

boston+vcsIn 2013, the last full year before this site was created, Boston saw more venture capital invested than any region other than California, with over $3 billion. Some of the most active web and mobile tech VCs are listed below.

seed+vcs

boston+angels

early+stage

early+and+growth

growth+vcs

http://nextviewventures.com

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