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Though all eyes focus on established tech havens like San Francisco and New York, Boston has been fostering and nurturing a tech ecosystem well worth its long winters. Here are 11 reasons why you should keep an eye out for Boston as an emerging tech hub.
The city and its surrounding areas contain 57 colleges and universities, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which bring students from around the country and the world to innovate the arts, science, and technology industries.
With world-class universities comes world-class resources and connections. Student clubs, organizations, events, and competitions take place to support student entrepreneurship both on campus and around Boston.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh continually supports the startup community because he recognizes their ongoing contribution to Boston’s innovative economy, so he’s kept an ear to the ground for how they can work together to make Boston the tech capital of the world. His commitment to bolstering this sector is evident in the increase number of business spaces, startup portals, and entrepreneur and small business events around the city.
Immense support from the city means programs and initiatives are implemented every year to get startups off the ground. One notably puts women in the spotlight: Walsh’s Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS) provides Boston’s female entrepreneurs with resources that include technical assistance, panels, and networking events.
Education is the backbone of the city, so it comes to no surprise that many organizations actually offer workshops and courses for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Organizations like Startup Institute Boston, Girls who Code, General Assembly, and many others are here to help turn ideas into reality.
With low-cost living options for startup entrepreneurs while they get off the ground and more affordable real estate and labor prices, Boston provides an all around cheaper alternative to Silicon Valley and the Big Apple, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on their company and grow it effectively and efficiently.
Boston has a supportive early-stage investing community. While there are old-time players in the area, new crops of venture funds like underscore.vc have emerged to back each new wave of tech startups. With less competition than in Silicon Valley, companies with good plans have a better chance of getting funded.
Co-working spaces are perfect environments for entrepreneurs to collaborate, network, and thrive, and they are all around Boston. These allow a range of freelancers, remote workers, and staff employees of a variety of businesses and projects work in a shared, organic space.
Unsure of where to begin? Check local community centers for events, community groups, and coffee shop meetups to attend to navigate the local startup scene. So for those hoping for some advice and support, seek and ye shall find.
A number of conferences held in Boston focus on kindling the entrepreneurial spirit. Some notable names include TEDx, TUGG (Technology Underwriting the Greater Good), and BIG (Boston Innovators Group). BIG, formerly WebInno, is the city’s biggest and longest running tech event and invites early-stage startups to showcase their demos and presentations. But perhaps the can’t-miss summer event is the Boston TechJam, a block party and innovation meetup of the city’s tech minds. It’s filled with live music, local food trucks, and interactive challenges.
With so much young talent in the tech field exploring different options post grad, it’s no surprise that tech giants like Google, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber are drawn to Beantown. These giants joining the local companies setting up in Boston slowly sets the tone for an upcoming tech haven.