With Paul Graham’s announcement that Y Combinator will no longer be incubating startups in Boston for one of its cycles (due to his wife’s pregnancy and their decision to live in San Francisco full time), the question on the mind of many a young entrepreneur is what now for them?
Boston has a great casual startup community, but few official programs for supporting entrepreneurs. The worry that Boston talent is leaving for areas where there’s more support is reflected in the few efforts out there, like Flybridge Capital’s Stay in MA scholarship program, for students wanting to attend pricy Boston events. When I see New York doing things like NYC Seed, my worry is that Boston will not only continue to lose talent to the west coast, but to competition closer to home as well.
Boston attracts so many students, which has a good economic impact by itself. But it’s nowhere near the amount that could be gained from helping them, and their businesses, succeed in Boston.
The good news is that I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for a Boston Y Combinator successor. The talent is here, after all. My friend Brian Balfour is a serial entrepreneur & founder of Viximo, a virtual goods startup that’s doing very well in Boston. He told me it’s “unfortunate that people perceive startups in Boston to have huge disadvantages […] SF’s startup scene is much bigger, but bigger doesn’t always mean better”.
Boston’s unique placement as a center of culture, travel, business, science, and education make it capable of creating companies far more varied than the endless iterations of trends within San Francisco’s echo chamber. We just need to give entrepreneurs the space and support needed to create.