Posts tagged ‘Spark Capital’

April 30, 2009

What’s Next in Tech in Boston

Sometimes it makes sense to change directions in your career to stay relevant or improve your market value.

The best time to do this is when a new tool or technology is just catching on. The simple reason that this is possible is that the technology has not been around long enough for anyone to have significant experience and therefore a company cannot expect to find candidates with a shipped product under their belt, let alone 5 years of experience.

For example, an embedded control software engineer could learn the android platform and transition into the growing field of mobile applications. Or, an enterprise software developer can learn Ruby on Rails and greatly increase the amount of opportunities available.

To successfully pull off this type of change, you need to be able to spot what trends and technology will be the next wave.

An upcoming event on June 25th will help you spot those trends. What’s Next in Tech, organized by Scot Kirsner will be held Thursday, June 25th at Boston University’s School of Management auditorium, from 6 PM to 8:30.

What’s Next in Tech will feature networking among people who really care about this question — perhaps they’re in the process of starting a new venture, or simply looking for their next career move. Plus, there will be speakers who’ve really helped spark the creation of new clusters here recently… people like Helen Greiner (a founder of iRobot, and now The Droid Works), Mike Dornbrook (COO of Harmonix Music Systems, the creators of Guitar Hero and Rock Band), Ellen Rubin (founder of cloud computing start-up CloudSwitch), and Brian Halligan (CEO of social media leaders HubSpot). We’re also including some forward-thinking investors like Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital and John Simon from General Catalyst.

Registration is limited. It is shaping up to be an interesting event.

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March 25, 2009

Spark Capital has Launched Start@Spark

This is most excellent news.  Another Seed Capital program;  Start@Spark has been introduced for Boston companies.

Spark Capital may be the most aggressive web oriented investor in the Boston area, evidenced by their recent investment in Twitter.

Sadly, to date, only one of their web investments 8D World are from the Boston area. This is probably not through lack of trying as they are more visible here than most VC’s, with Bijan Sabet hosting Open Coffee and participating in the TechStars Boston program.

A look at their portfolio will tell you that they are media oriented which might mean that most of the investments end up in NYC.

This is a great opportunity for early stage web companies here in theHub. I hope to see some great things come from this program and hopefully Boston can win a few slots against the more media oriented NYC market.

PostScript: It may turn out that Y Combinator vacating Boston will turn in to a net positive. First of all  YC companies were encouraged to re locate to Silicon Valley after their Cambridge stay had ended and the majority of them did so.  Only a few have stayed in the Boston area to contribute to the start-up community here, and we are glad they did.

Plus, Paul Graham continues to deliver kicks in the pants to the Boston start-up culture, particularly the VC’s by commenting on the huge difference between the 1 and number 2 start-up markets.

The fact will probably not be acknowledged, but the vacuum left by Y Combinator and some prodding by their founder and respected seed investor may have given Boston Web start-ups a boost after all.

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