As Seedcamp’s trip to NYC came to a close, we headed off to the mother land (no kidding…the birthplace) of VC investing in the East Coast, Boston. Boston is the second largest area for VC funding after the Valley. With a rich history of investments, there is no shortage of top tier companies and investors whose offices reside within the bounds of the now famous Route 128. It is therefore fitting that one of Seedcamp’s first stops was to Atlas-backed, Sermo, situated in one of the emerging tech hubs in Boston near the Kendall Square area. Funny too is the fact that all the VCs moved to Route 128 10 years ago to be around startups and now with the urban renewal going around across NYC, SF, London, Berlin and of course Boston – they are now all relocating to Boston, the city.
Sermo, the largest online physician community in the US, is one of those companies where you automatically get a vibe that something meaningful is being developed as soon as you step in their offices. Daniel Palestrant, Sermo’s CEO, led a great discussion around the vision that CEOs need to develop and foster within their companies. Probably one of the best people managers we’ve ever seen, we were equally impressed by how he put himself on the line for feedback from his team publicly in front of us.
Following our discussion with Sermo, we were invited to visit Atlas’ iconic offices situated one floor above Hubspot. Whilst in Atlas‘ offices, we learned more about the history of Boston’s investment community over the years thanks to Dustin, as well as explaining why the VC community developed as it did, he also introduced our European companies to the importance of the Boston Red Sox. Go Yankees!!!
Shortly after our lunch, the Seedcamp teams headed downstairs to Hubspot where the bulk of Boston investment community (Atlas, Battery, Bessemer, Flybridge, Founder Collective, General Catalyst, Highland, Longworth, Matrix, Softbank, Spark, and others) came to provide the companies with extended tutoring. As a highlight to the mentoring session, Brian Halligan, CEO & Founder of Hubspot gave us a great overview of the challenges inherent in online marketing and some interesting tips on how to better interact, measure, and capture audiences online. After an exhaustive but productive day, we headed over to CIC Venture Cafe to meet the local entrepreneurs followed by some late night Chinese food in Boston’s Chinatown.
On Friday morning, and to conclude our visit in Boston, we headed off early in the morning to visit the incubator space of MassChallenge in Boston’s Marina. With a stunning view of greater Boston, the MassChallenge space house many startups from the local area that benefit from the funding and mentoring that MassChallenge provides. We ended our East Coast trip with a tour of the MIT Museum and got on a late evening flight to start an awesome weekend meeting and relaxing with some more of the US and London tech scene.