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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 topped the list for most venture capital invested per capita across the US. And large groups of tech startups, formerly found during web 1.0 days out on Route 128, are now flocking to centralized areas like Kendall Square and the Innovation District, 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 NEXTVIEW VENTURES @ROBGO

ROB GO

NEXTVIEW VENTURES

@ROBGO

JAY ACUNZO  NEXTVIEW VENTURES @JAY_ZO

JAY ACUNZO 

NEXTVIEW VENTURES

@JAY_ZO

KEITH FRANKEL CREATIVEMORNINGS @THEKEITHF

KEITH FRANKEL

CREATIVEMORNINGS

@THEKEITHF

ARIEL SIMON SAPIENTNITRO @ARIELSIMONSAYS

ARIEL SIMON

SAPIENTNITRO

@ARIELSIMONSAYS


This guide is brought to you by NextView Ventures.

Get In
boston startup areas

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Burlington

Waltham

Waltham

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Framingham

Framingham

Waltham

Waltham

Financial District, Boston

Financial District, Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Back Bay, Boston

Back Bay, Boston

Waltham

Waltham

Waltham

Waltham

Innovation District, South Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Burlington

Burlington

(Multiple Locations)

(Multiple Locations)

East Cambridge

East Cambridge

Bedford

Bedford

Back Bay, Boston

Back Bay, Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

Watertown

Watertown

Innovation District, South Boston

Innovation District, South Boston

North End, Boston

North End, Boston

 
Cambridge

Cambridge

Westborough

Westborough

Newton

Newton

 
 
Burlington

Burlington

Back Bay, Boston

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

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

East Cambridge

East Cambridge

Financial District, Boston

Financial District, Boston

(Multiple Locations)

(Multiple Locations)

Kendall Square, Cambridge

Kendall Square, Cambridge

(Multiple Locations)

(Multiple Locations)

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.

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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>>

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.

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. Visit>>

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

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. Visit >>

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. Visit >>

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>>

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>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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

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

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

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

boston podcasts

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

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

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

Hosted by Kara Miller, Innovation Hub discusses the innovation economy more broadly and is broadcast by WGBH, Boston public radio. Visit>>

Hosted by Kara Miller, Innovation Hub discusses the innovation economy more broadly and is broadcast by WGBH, Boston public radio. Visit>>

Hosted by Jay Acunzo on behalf of TUGG.org, the show features stories from entrepreneurs in tech and nonprofit and combines interviews, narration, and music. Visit>>

Hosted by Jay Acunzo on behalf of TUGG.org, the show features stories from entrepreneurs in tech and nonprofit and combines interviews, narration, and music. Visit>>

Hosted by Peter Stringer, who leads digital for the Boston Celtics, this show features various business leaders sharing their marketing, social media, and content tips. Visit>>

Hosted by Peter Stringer, who leads digital for the Boston Celtics, this show features various business leaders sharing their marketing, social media, and content tips. 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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The local chapter of GA offers courses in technology, business, and design. Visit>>

The local chapter of GA offers courses in technology, business, and design. Visit>>

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

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

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.

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.

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

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>>

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 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.

 
 

 
 
get out there
BosTech_v14-3_05-compressor.png

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>>

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.  

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>>

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>>

One of Boston's biggest and longest-running events (over 9 years), this quarterly meetup showcases early-stage startups through various demos and presentations. It attracts over 1,000 attendees each time. Visit>>

One of Boston's biggest and longest-running events (over 9 years), this quarterly meetup showcases early-stage startups through various demos and presentations. It attracts over 1,000 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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

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>>

 
events contd

Even more great ways to network.

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.

wistia-office-compressor.jpg
coffee
voltage
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.)

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
incubators

These 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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

Co-founded in Boston by David Chang, Start Tank has since expanded to London and India. Startups can access PayPal’s network of talent and investors while working alongside PayPal teams. Visit>>

Co-founded in Boston by David Chang, Start Tank has since expanded to London and India. Startups can access PayPal’s network of talent and investors while working alongside PayPal teams. Visit>>

Focused entirely on hardware startups, this organization offers seed-stage capital, personnel, equipment, and expertise. They also give startups access to their high-end prototyping shop and assist with the manufacture and commercialization of hardware products. Visit>>

Focused entirely on hardware startups, this organization offers seed-stage capital, personnel, equipment, and expertise. They also give startups access to their high-end prototyping shop and assist with the manufacture and commercialization of hardware products. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

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. Visit>>

LearnLaunchX is the accelerator arm of LearnLaunch, which is focused on education technology.  Visit>>

LearnLaunchX is the accelerator arm of LearnLaunch, which is focused on education technology.  Visit>>

Created by Kayak co-founder Paul English, Blade helps launch several consumer-facing products per year in Boston. Visit>>

Created by Kayak co-founder Paul English, Blade helps launch several consumer-facing products per year in Boston. Visit>>

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>>

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>>

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.

WeWork Fort Point (Innovation District, South Boston)  

WeWork Fort Point (Innovation District, South Boston)

 

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

Thoughtbot

Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil

Terrible Labs

Terrible Labs

The Big Studio

The Big Studio

Dragon Innovation

Dragon Innovation

Extension Engine

Extension Engine

Raizlabs

Raizlabs

Janeiro Digital

Janeiro Digital

Intrepid Pursuits

Intrepid Pursuits

The Cream Creative

The Cream Creative

Occom Group

Occom Group

Firefield

Firefield

 
 
Filament Group

Filament Group

Pivotal Labs

Pivotal Labs

 
get funded
boston vcs

In 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