21 May Battle of the Tech Towns: Boston
This is the second post in our “Battle of the Tech Towns” series where LaunchSquad employees from each of our offices battle it out for the title of “top tech city”. Last time, we heard from New York. Now, it’s Boston’s turn.
Let’s make one thing clear: Boston is not San Francisco’s little, annoying kid sister when it comes to tech and innovation. Here in Boston, we are the original gangsters of the technology industry. Brilliant minds roaming the halls of MIT and driving along the Route 128 loop turned Boston into the epicenter of the minicomputer revolution before the term “Silicon Valley” was even a thing (don’t even get me started on “Silicon Alley”).
While we may have gotten a bad rep in the 90s as the PC revolution took off (I’ll give you that one, San Francisco), Boston has more than made up for lost time. We’ve had some amazingly successful IPOs and exits in the past few years, including Wayfair, Demandware, Endeca and Kiva Systems, which sold to Amazon.com for $775 million, and the industry is still on fire.
Below, some of my favorite reasons Boston is the best tech town in the country:
We’re “Wicked Smaht”
The combined academic might of this city is simply unparalleled. Boston is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world, including Harvard and MIT. What’s more, both of those institutions are located within spitting distance from Cambridge’s startup hub in Kendall Square so students are flooded with resources to spin out innovative startups on campus, or build their business nearby. Bose, ZipCar, and iRobot are just a few of the many startups founded by MIT alums, and Harvard Business School is churning out startups by the dozen. The city is also home to some amazing incubator programs like MassChallenge and TechStars, and offers a range of specialized startup training programs like General Assembly and Startup Institute.
We Actually Run the Internet
I’m serious, we really do. New England is home to some of the most important web infrastructure companies in the world including Akamai, Dyn, Acquia, and more. These technology companies are doing work that’s changing the way the entire internet operates—making it possible for your SF and NYC tech companies like Uber and Hinge to run their silly little apps.
Massachusetts is home to over 100 robotics companies including huge names like the previously mentioned iRobot, which created the Roomba vacuum and is one of the biggest consumer robotics manufacturers in the world. There’s also Rethink Robotics, inventors of two assembly line robots Baxter and Sawyer (recently announced!) who can work alongside humans to complete manufacturing tasks more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. Another big name to mention: Boston Dynamics. Their customers include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Boston Dynamics is behind some of the most impressive rough-terrain robots that can run, jump and climb all while carrying heavy loads of cargo and supplies. How can you not be impressed?
The Future is Bright
The Boston office recently met with the Executive Director of the New England Venture Capital Association, C.A. Webb, and our biggest takeaway was simple: the future is extremely bright for Boston’s technology industry. From new professional development initiatives to connect more students with startups, to some kick ass women leading the charge to empower more female founders to get into the game (check out Peach and ZappRX), it’s an exciting time for the City of Boston. In fact, the City itself recently appointed its first Chief Digital Officer to help transform the way our government interacts with citizens, and improve the city’s all-around digital connectedness. There are definitely some exciting things to come, and we’re psyched to be part of this amazing city.
From the awesome brainiacs who study at our top universities, to the change-the-world companies who call Boston home, this city is without a doubt the top tech town. Bring it on, LS San Francisco.
Image c/o dribbble.com