Building a startup outside of Boston

“Building a startup outside of Boston - Tech life at the other end of the Redline”

Event hosted by OnSource, Braintree, Mass., November 10, 2015

 

A group of engaged and passionate innovators from the South Shore gathered at OnSource in Braintree for a facilitated discussion about the promise and challenges associated with building a robust tech-centric culture of innovation and business development south of Boston. Attendees included startup founders, execs from established businesses and services providers all of whom are connected to the South Shore.  Panelists included:

 

Moderator: Bobbie Carlton, Founder, Innovation Nights, Innovation Women, and Carlton PR & Marketing -http://mass.innovationnights.com/ & InnovationWomen.com

Travis Hunter, Executive Director, Quincy Center for Innovation - http://quincyinno.com/

Dennis Kelly, CEO, BoingNet - http://www.boingnet.com/

Tim Schneider, President, OnSource - http://www.onsourceonline.com

Drew Gaffney, Investor based on the South Shore

 

Bobbie Carleton navigated the group though a robust discussion that surfaced the many attractive qualities of building a business on the South Shore, especially for founders and staff who may be further along the career trail than the myriad of “fresh outs” who populate the Boston/Cambridge start up community.  The South Shore features many residents who have the experience and resources to support business-building work in the area, as well as a large population of millennials who may have “boomeranged” back home temporarily and can provide local programming, marketing and sales talent and energy that startups need to scale and thrive.  The South Shore is vastly more cost-effective, too, than Cambridge/Boston when it comes to real estate, parking and the services needed to run a business.  As for commuting, the Red Line, Commuter Rail and Commuter Ferry all easily connect the South Shore with every other population center and innovation hub in eastern Massachusetts.  And the colleges and universities south of Boston, from Curry to Bridgewater State to Stonehill to Quincy College to UMass/Dartmouth, are largely untapped resources that can be better connected to the innovation culture on the South Shore and provide much of the fuel.

 

Panelist and guest all agreed, however, that the South Shore suffers from a bit of a perception problem when it comes to recognition as an innovation hub.  Despite the success of companies like OnSource and BoingNet and facilities like the Quincy Center for Innovation, there is too little recognition of the region as a potential home base for innovation.  Additionally, the various organizations who can impact this perception have not yet begun to work together to “get loud and proud” about what’s attractive and available on the other end of the Red Line.  The evening’s meeting will likely serve as a catalyst to address some of these issues in a coordinated fashion. In doing so, the hope is that the South Shore can be successfully branded as a fantastic alternative to Boston and Cambridge as an attractive place to start, build and scale businesses of all sort.

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Written by: Chris Nahil of Message and Medium