Recently there was an invitation only workshop at Boston University addressing the question, “Is Boston’s Venture Ecosystem Losing More Ground to Silicon Valley?“
At some point we might be privy to some of the discussions and conclusions reached during that confab, but for now, I would like to add an issue to the discussion.
Where are the active angel investors like Master of 500 Hats in the HUB? Silicon Valley is rife with successful entrepreneurs that have now turned to investing and advising the next generation of startups. Individuals such as Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman and the PayPal mafia, Paul Bucheit and several other xGooglers and the list goes on.
Maybe it is just a perception and there is a lot of activity in this area, just not publicly acknowledged. It might be attributed to adherence to that old Yankee adage that “your name should appear in the paper only three times: when you are born, when you marry, and when you die.” as mentioned on the eCoastAngels web site. Or, the reason may be the dearth of successful Web and SaaS companies in the area. But it seems that even in relative terms, the Boston area lacks this kind of angel/advisor/entrepreneur. Is our attitude here to keep our success to ourselves rather than pollinate our neighbors? Lets see if there are more of these individuals than we know about.
So, I am hoping to bring visibility to the angel/advisory activity here in theHub. Following are a few examples of the individuals we need more of. The list is only a start and not exhaustive, please send me your examples of these individual and I will add them to this post.
Who do we have here in Boston filling this much needed space in the investment ecosystem? Well, certainly the premier contributor would have to be Paul Graham of YCombinator. They have the seminal investor/advisor model, which is proving successful. Too bad most of their companies have to move to SV to find investors. A case could be made that based on YC’s track record, if someone started an angel fund, say Dart Angels, by throwing 5 darts into a Demo Day dartboard, and investing in those five companies, they could be successful. That is a shame that the YC companies can find no traction here in Boston.
One example of local individual angel/advisor here in Boston is Andrew Payne After successful stints founding Open Market and Revinio, he is actively investing in and creating new consumer Internet projects.
Dharmesh Shah is a driving force on the local startup scene, both as a founder and angel investor.
Now the call is out. Hey there VistaPrint, Bladelogic, Tripadvisor, Akamai, Upromise, Lycos, Open Market, Storage Networks, EMC, MQube …..etc. whats up?
Readers have nominated the following individuals for the list of Advisor/Angels
Don Dodge local Microsoft Exec and Angel/Advisor of local startups