Boston's Startup Media Community is Buzzing
This week's launch of The Hive on Boston.com is further evidence of the thriving startup environment in Boston. As someone who has lived in the area and worked in technology for over 30 years, I've always felt that the media hasn't focused enough on emerging companies. By comparison, the media in Silicon Valley seem to take the opposite tack, always looking to put the spotlight on what's new, even if it isn't proved yet.
I'm not going to dredge up the Boston versus Silicon Valley as the place to launch and build companies argument, but I do think it's important to understand the role the media play in the startup ecosystem. The media is crucial in exposing interesting companies, individuals and trends. The more this information is shared, the more opportunities it creates for us to learn from each other, support these companies, and fuel more innovation.
That's why I am so excited about the state of the media covering startups and innovation in Boston right now. In the past it felt like we had two, maybe three outlets to go to: The Boston Globe, Mass High Tech and the Boston Business Journal. But with the growth of on-line content and social media, that list has grown substantially. For entrepreneurs, there have never been so many outlets as there are now for them to gain exposure, which can help with their recruiting, finding investors and winning customers.
Here is a list of sites and people covering the latest happenings in the Boston startup/entrepreneurial community:
- The Hive. As mentioned above, just launched this week. Mike Morisy is the go to guy here. He comes from TechTarget, so has a deep tech background. You can also follow him on Twitter at @morisy. Of course there is also Scott Kirsner and his Innovation Economy blog. Scott shared his tips on what he likes to cover here. Other contacts that are important are Hiawatha Bray for products and Mike Farrell for technology news and more established company developments.
- The Boston Business Journal. A longtime mainstay covering the Boston business community. For startup related news the main contact there is Kyle Alspach. You can follow him @kylealspach.
- Mass High Tech. While MHT and BBJ now share content and coordinate quite a bit now, it is still important to look at them as unique outlets. Associate editor Don Seiffert and managing editor Patricia Resende are the people you should follow. Patricia spent time with Boston Herald, MetroWest Daily News, Providence Business News and AOL's hyper local news site, Patch.com. You can follow Patricia @patriciaresende.
- Xconomy Boston. Originally led by their chief technology correspondent and tech industry veteran, Wade Roush, Xconomy does a great job of chronicling innovation in Boston across technology, health IT, life sciences, clean tech and startups. Greg Huang is a good person to know there. Erin Kutz is another person to talk to, especially with funding news.
- BostInno. This community site has emerged as an influential player in the startup community over the past couple of years. What's cool here is that a company can establish its own channel on the site to give its perspective on what's happening with its business and offer its observations on the market. BostInno Business Editor, Walt Frick is prolific and always looking for a tip through his twitter handle.
- Greenhorn Connect. Greenhorn Connect positions itself as a hub for entrepreneurs to connect and find resources for growing their businesses. This is a great place for finding out about events and jobs in the area. They publish a daily themed blog. The best for startups are probably their Guest Expert Tuesdays and Founder Fridays. Originally co-founded by Jason Evanish, who has recently reduced his involvement, the people to connect with there are Paul Hlatky and Will Cox
- GigaOM. While GigaOM doesn't have a local office, they do have one of the best technology reporters anywhere covering the Boston scene for them. Barb Darrow has been covering technology for about the same amount of time as I've been in the business. She knows just about everyone and has covered just about everything. Needless to say the bar is high when dealing with her, but if you do your job well, the resulting story will be top notch.
- CNET/CBS Interactive. Here's a little tip. Most people look at CNET as the place to learn about the hottest tech products. But they do occasionally cover startups under their news section. Executive editor, Jim Kerstetter, another long-time technology reporter, moved back to the Boston area a couple of years ago from Silicon Valley and is watching the Boston startup market. He did a great piece on it in June.
So there you have it. For a market that has historically seen the media as skeptical and even sometimes anti-business when it comes to covering new companies, things have certainly changed and for the better.
Are there any other outlets or individuals who you think do a good job covering the innovation and startup market?