Today is the last day to apply for the TechStars Boston 2010 program. If you want a flavor for where the program is held, Bill Warner (one of the founders of TechStars Boston) has a fun post up titled Lifestyles of The Future Rich and Future Famous: A Look Inside the TechStars Boston (Actually Cambridge) Penthouse.
I lived in Boston from 1983 to 1995 (actually Cambridge from 1983 – 1987 but I consider Boston and Cambridge to be inexorably linked.) During the time I was in Boston there was a thriving entrepreneurial community around software and – in the early to mid-1990’s – Internet. While there was plenty of activity around Route 128 and 495, I always felt like the heart of it was in Cambridge in Kendall Square (near MIT) and Central Square (between MIT and Harvard). At least that’s where I hung out – Main Street, Mass Ave, Rogers Street, Binney Street, First, and Third Street. So – when we started TechStars Boston, it was inevitable that it would be in the heart of Cambridge.
Recently, a number of the Boston-area VC firms started migrating to Cambridge. When I was in Boston, most were located in downtown Boston, near Rt. 128, or in Cambridge. Over the years many of these firms decamped to Mount Money in Waltham which was very disconnected from where all the “young people lived.” While downtown Boston wasn’t the heart of Cambridge, at least it was only a 15 minute ride by T. Waltham – well – that could have been Mars as far as a recent MIT grad starting a new company concerned.
Apparently a bunch of Boston-area VC firms agree. Bessemer Venture Partners is now hunting for space in Cambridge (relocating from Wellesley), Greylock recently announced they were moving to Harvard Square and will be near General Catalyst who moved there a while ago, and Polaris’ Dogpatch Labs opened in Cambridge last year just down the street from Venrock and Avalon. And there continue to be plenty of VC firms a short T ride away in Boston, such as Spark Capital and Flybridge.
There is an entrepreneurial renaissance happening in Boston (and Cambridge). If you are starting a software or Internet company, spend 15 minutes applying to the TechStars Boston program. In addition to being in the heart of Cambridge, you’ll be surrounded by some incredible mentors as you work to get your business off the ground.