The Yankees are playing the Red Sox this week, but the New York/Boston rivalry extends well beyond baseball. For the first time since 2012, venture capital investment in Boston is on track to exceed New York City's, making Boston’s startup scene second only to Silicon Valley’s.
That’s according to a new report from Crunchbase, a tech industry source that's looked at where the dollars are invested.
Boston’s bio-tech heavy landscape has been gathering steam, according to Ari Glantz. He’s with the New England Venture Capital Association, a membership organization representing the region's VC industry.
“From our perspective, we’ve been building to this for a long time,” Glantz says. “The convergence of technology, deep technology, and biotechnology that is uniquely present in Massachusetts, is kind of starting to bear fruit when it comes to investor focus and investment.”
Glantz says Boston has, for years now, had a quieter pool of local investors who were helping startups get off the ground.
“Some of those companies are starting to pop, and garner the national attention that we feel they’ve deserved for a long time,” Glantz says. He adds that these companies are also starting to attract outside capital.
“There’s a lot going on in Boston,” agrees Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst partners. “Biotech is sort of on fire.”
Bohn admits Silicon Valley is on a larger scale, but notes that we also hear more about it because that’s where the really big consumer companies are: Facebook, Snapchat, Airbnb, Apple.
“There’s just more press attention,” Bohn explains. “The east coast tends to have certain sectors that are very strong, and others that are not as strong.” While Boston has some well-known consumer companies, the biggest business is in robotics, AI, software, biotech, and healthcare IT.
“This is the center of gravity of all the genomics, bioscience,” Bohn says, and that attracts AI and new ways of doing research.