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Are Boston VCs Confused? February 7, 2007

Posted by John in Technology.

 I am sitting in the session at the MIT Enterprise Forum event where I will be giving the afternoon keynote and the VC panel is up there talking about where Boston stands in new web ventures.  It is clear that there is a culture shift that is being changed in Boston.  They are talking about how the environment is faster and Boston needs to hit some home runs. 

There is a ton of capital and talent but how come there are no big ventures??? This is the topic.  In my opinion I think it is because Boston VC are too slow to invest.  I’ve started companies on both coasts and the west coast is clearly a leader in investing web ventures. 

Boston are entrepreneurs are screwed if the VCs don’t step up.   Being from the area originally now living in Palo Alto I have a deep connection with and see great entrepreneurs here in Boston.  

 Some are blogging the event.  I’ve noticed that there are not many bloggers here.


1. Dave Winer - February 7, 2007

What about Jeremy Allaire’s company, aren’t they based in Cambridge and just raised $60 million.

2. Dave Winer - February 7, 2007

Tell them for the right price I’ll start something in Cambridge. I’ve always liked the intellectual climate there. But I’m keeping the house in Berkeley.🙂

3. John Furrier - February 7, 2007

Their is no shortage of ideas and enterpreneurs here in Boston. What I see is the VCs are now just getting up to speed on how ventures are build now on the Internet. No one talked about virtual teams. We’ll see how the Boston area VCs respond in this new world.

4. Scott Beatty - February 7, 2007

John – you are spot on…..Boston VCs don’t like virtual teams and are enterprise-centric, they are remiss to invest in consumer web plays.

5. Allen Stern - February 8, 2007

John – I was in the back blogging — I have the audio (plus my commentary) of your (great) keynote here:

I am working on a post about boston/nyc vs. calif. — I think there are some large differences – some of which were discussed today.

6. think jose » CNET coverage of MIT Forum - February 9, 2007

[…] had $5 billion worth of venture capital.  John Furrier CEO of Podtech.net and forum Boston guy said that Boston needs to get moving in order to keep up with the rest of the startup metros.  I personally think they had a ton of […]

7. Ronin Marketeer » All about The M Show - February 14, 2007

[…] getting robbed, going to California and last week’s insanity hanging out with Jose and Pink, John Furrier, and Rob from Podcast […]

8. Kenyatta D. Berry - February 15, 2007

Hi John,

As an entrepreneur in Boston, I would have to agree with your assessment. I find it very difficult for angels and VC’s to step outside the box as it relates to web ventures. My passion is genealogy and pitching a company focused on family history is not an easy sell. However, there are a few successful companies in this arena most notably The Generations Network (formerly MyFamily, Inc.) which owns Ancestry.com, MyFamily.com and Genealogy.com.

David Sacks and Alan Braverman recently launched Geni.com in mid-January and were able to secure $1.5M from the Founder’s Fund. Geni’s mission is to create a family tree of the entire world. To learn more about Geni.com check out an article in today’s (February 15th) Wall Street Journal, Personal Journal section entitled “The Next Generation of Genealogy Web Sites” by Emily Steel.

I am sure that their experience, previous successes and connections in the industry were factors in obtaining financing. For those of us who don’t have a similar background or connections in the industry, I have found investors in Boston not as willing to take risks.

So, what’s a Boston based entrepreneur with an idea for a web based venture to do? Personally, I am seriously considering packing my bags and heading to Silicon Valley.


Kenyatta D. Berry

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