The Boston Success Project

{Ed note: this post originally ran on November 6, 2011. Due to strong interest and a desire to make it readily accessible, we're preserving the post here}

Boston has a habit of being a cynical town. We love our hard data and empirical proof. We sometimes dwell more on what's not working than what does. This can often help improve your product, your environment or yourself, but as Rob May so accutely noted, it can be even more beneficial to push harder on what is working.

Looking around the Boston startup community, there's much to be positive about. It's just hiding under the surface and not being highlighted nearly as much as our deficiencies lately.

Here at Greenhorn Connect, we're all about empowering the community, so since no single person could hope to know all the good things happening in town,  I'm asking for your help in building a list of things to celebrate and be proud of in our ecosystem.

The Boston Success Project - 10+ Ways We're Winning

Below are categories of things that make Boston awesome and need highlighted and celebrated. I hope this inspires local journalists and bloggers to find stories within some of the companies, people and initiatives listed.

I'll make this list as long as it needs to be, but just tried to seed each section with a good start...please leave things missing in the comments or email me them at jason at greenhornconnect dot com.

1) First Time Entrepreneurs funded in the last 2 years

These are Boston's future leaders. The virtuous cycle of the entrepreneur (post coming soon) starts with your first at bat. 
 
Note: Flag (**) if the majority of your money came from outside Boston and you brought it back (#Loyalty).

2) Companies with more than 20 employees started in the last 3 years

A startup begins with 2 or 3 people and an idea. Getting to 20 employees makes you a significant contributor to the MA economy. Doing it in 3 years or less is stellar.

3) Successful Exits in the Last 5 Years

These exits (acquisition or IPO) have a meaningful impact on Founders (and possibly employees) changing their financial outlook and have built a significant employer in Massachusetts.

4) IPO Track

These are companies filing for or on track to IPO in the next few years.

5) Acquisitions

When Boston co's are the buyers! (** are Boston co's acquired)

6) New Angels in the last 3 years

These are the heroes of startups everywhere and deserve praise for taking the investment leap!

7) Serial Entrepreneurs

Anyone that worked on a startup for at least a year and is trying again with a new venture they've started in the last year. These people are the core of a sustainable ecosystem.

8) Local collaborations

When 2 companies in the Boston region form a strategic partnership.
 
 
>>>This is actually something I see as a missed opportunity; big companies working with small ones, small ones working together and big ones showing some home field advantage style collaboration. I'm sure there have been some, so let's hear about them!

9) Programs launched to help entrepreneurs

Who are the people and organizations working tirelessly to make things better?
 
The list is massive (and things like Rob Go's Hitchhiker's Guide covers many of them as does our Resource Section), but here's a few highlights...
  • MassChallenge - World's largest startup competition.
  • The Capital Network - educational organization focused on startup financing.
  • Founder Mentors - Solving the mentor problem with intelligent mentor-mentee matching.
  • Dart Dinners - Bringing young entrepreneurs and mentors/investors together over meals. The best event in Boston.
  • Dogpatch Labs - Housing over 30 different startups as they build out of the zero stage.
  • Microsoft NERD - Home to hundreds of events annually and the biggest supporter of our ecosystem.
  • TechStars Boston - Boston's flagship accelerator program for web/mobile startups.
  • BetaSpring - Our friends in Providence's awesome, multi-track accelerator program.
  • All 25 local coworking spaces - Because surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs has tremendous benefits.
  • Summer @ Highland - A great summer program for students working on startups.
  • All the university entrepreneurship programs - Aspiring to be an entrepreneur starts with great programs at our local universities. Fortunately, many of our schools have amazing programs.
  • Innovation Open Houses - An opportunity for students to see inside hot Boston tech companies.
  • Startup Bootcamp - One day event at MIT featuring successful founders sharing their advice to an audience of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • StayInMA - Local VC firm Flybridge seeds this program to cover costs for students to attend tech events.
  • Startup Weekend - Pitch an idea, form a team and start a company in one weekend. The best onramp to starting something.
  • Startup Leadership Program - Great program and network to help tech focused leaders learn business skills.
  • Venture Cafe - Home to many great ecosystem programs in the heart of the largest coworking space in the country, the Cambridge Innovation Center.

10) Veteran Shout outs

Who are the best Veterans who have been here long before our rennaissance today and are still contributing in BIG ways?
  • Bill Warner - Serial entreprenuer, creator of the MassTLC unconference, champion of Boston's startup scene
  • Dharmesh Shah - Serial Entreprenuer, mentor, speaker, super angel and creator of OnStartups
  • David Cancel - Serial Entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, angel
  • John Landry - Long time Angel and mentor
  • Joe Caruso - Long time Angel and mentor, creater of BREW Boston
  • Sean Lindsay - Serial CTO, creator of Founder Mentors

11) Companies that have proudly moved to Boston

Boston is not just attracting talent from outside the city, but attracting startups to move here to build. (Special thanks to Sravish Sridhar for the idea!)
 
 
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These are all good reasons to be optimistic about Boston and proud of all the hard work people are putting in to make this a great place to build a company. So show a little pride (maybe even a little swagger?) and let's all work to make it on a bunch of these lists and thank those already on it.
 
Photo Credit - ReneS on Flickr

 

Discussion

If you haven't noticed, TechCrunch has no love for Boston or our startups.

How about an Xconomy50 or some other local organization sponsoring a similar startup event.

I would much prefer that than TechCrunch.

 

Tom,

 

Great idea.  I've heard a lot of people suggest it, but much like the idea for a city-wide startup job fair, no one knows who should do it.

 

Hopefully the community gets more things going in 2010 and that can gain some momentum too.

 

Thanks,

-Jason 

Jason Evanish
CEO / Co-Founder
Greenhorn Connect
Twitter: @Evanish

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