An entrepreneur’s guide to Boston’s tech ecosystem
To get a glimpse of some builder communities, check out Bostinno, Code for Boston, and Built in Boston, all of which offer regular startup news, as well as listing events and meetups of all sizes around the city. Startup Digest also pulls together interesting tech and developer listings from Eventbrite and Meetup.com too.
For newcomers who want to get the lay of the land, Boston New Technology is one of the longest-running groups, with upwards of 25,000 members. The group lists general networking events plus more industry-specific events run by partners in the fintech, IoT and Biotech spaces, among others.
Tech in Motion Boston has more of a general networking focus, and aims to bring entrepreneurs from different verticals together to build and cooperate together. For startups creating tools related to education, the Boston EdTech Meetup brings together experts, institutions, and investors, all with the shared aim of improving technology in academia, K-12 education, higher education, and corporate training.
For life sciences, check out Boston Biotech, BostonBiotechnology or Agile Biotech. It is worth noting that founders often post job vacancies and partnership requests on these event forums too. The MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science also works closely with hospitals that often have research spin-out startup opportunities. Female entrepreneurs looking for support should check out We BOS, and also keep an eye on events at The Wing.
A study by The App Association analyzed government and private sector data to map where software developers were based in the USA and identified as many as 40,000 active software developers who call Boston home. There are a number of developer meetups across the city, from Learn to Code Thinkful Boston – for more entry-level developers hoping to learn about development and machine learning – to Code for Boston, a ‘Civic tech’ meetup that brings together coders, designers and data scientists around the challenge of solving real-world issues. There’s also Girl Develop It (GDI), a meetup focused on improving diversity in the tech world by offering mentorship and support for female coders.
Additionally, there’s a number of niche meetups such as BosOps, Boston’s dev-ops community, Docker Boston, Greater Boston UseR Group , Boston Red Hat User Group, and Boston Virtual Reality, to name a few.
And it’s not only the Boston Marathon, St Patrick’s Day celebrations or Red Sox games that draw large international crowds to the city. September features Startup Boston Week, with more than 70 events held throughout the city over 5 days, all aiming to showcase startups and innovation within the city to outside investors and talent.
Every year 20,000 plus marketers, salespeople, and customer success professionals flock to the INBOUND conference. This year, the event featured high profile speakers like Michelle Obama and Gary Vaynerchuk. In October, the Digital Transformation Conference returns to the city for the third time, bringing together leaders spearheading digital initiatives in their organizations to offer insights into their digital transformations.
In March, the CIO Forum and the Boston Tech Summit bring together thousands of C-suite leaders from the IT industry. For startups interested in cyber-security, the Boston Conference on Cyber Security is hosted by Boston College and the FBI. Innovation Outreach: Boston takes place in October and bring together experts to discuss the challenges and real business value of big data, analytics and artificial intelligence. Innovation Outreach is a member group consisting of innovators from Fortune 500 companies such as Delta, 3M, BMW, Starbucks, Microsoft and Pfizer.