It’s a well-known fact that Boston has been slowly improving in recent years in many areas, but what doesn’t seem to be as well-known is the fact that Boston is a city filled with entrepreneurship already. Young, intelligent adults are starting companies, creating new forms of technology, opening their own galleries, and taking innovative action to make the city they love a better place.
Boston’s actions to facilitate the rapid growth of new industries are opening up better economic opportunities for young talent, making Boston the city of innovation, despite its lagging in other areas. According to Australian consulting innovation analysts 2thinknow, Boston was the “top city of the global innovation economy” in 2010—beating out Paris, France and New York City. Perhaps this is true because Boston thrives off the entrepreneurial spirit; we like to see our city as a fertile place for young entrepreneurs with fresh and grand ideas.
According to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, “Twenty to 34 year-olds are such an integral part of our city’s social, cultural and economic livelihood.” Some of the people who are contributing to innovation and entrepreneurship in Boston include:
- Seith Priebatsch: A 22-year-old college dropout whose company was founded with the idea that mobile games could blur a line between, “digital interactivity and real-world interaction.” His company, Scvngr, is a Boston-based app-design company that employs 80 people. Scvngr landed $15 million in investment earlier this year.
- Stephanie Kaplan, Annie Wang and Windsor Hanger: Harvard undergrads, they created a website called HerCampus.com in September 2009. They added local and national articles on topics like health, relationships, and careers. They recruited a troupe of unpaid writers that now includes 2,000 people at colleges across the country. The website gets around 2 million page views a month and has worked with more than 80 advertisers, including Ann Taylor LOFT, Pinkberry, and others. HerCampus.com has booked $200,000 in revenue in the first half of 2011 and the trio expects business to reach close to $1 million in revenue this upcoming year as the site expands to new schools this fall.
- Ace Gershfield: Founder of 6one7 Productions, a promotional nightlife company. Gershfield began his promotional efforts on Lansdowne Street hosting parties for thousands of college students at popular Lyons Group establishments (Avalon, Karma). He created a Tuesday Night Party at Bill’s Bar that evolved over time, changing locations and is still in existence today at Rumor Nightclub. While working for other marketing companies, Gershfield’s demand in Boston rose, which made Gershfield realize it was his time to start his own entity. After a few years, fellow promoters and college friends Sal Boscarino and Frankie Stavrianopolous joined forces with Gershfield and created what is now 6one7 Productions.
- Miguel De Braganza: Young gallery owner who is known as the “Renaissance Dude.” Braganza’s gallery, Yes.Oui.Si., is an ode to the creative set that features an exhibit as well as one-time-only weekly shows that include dance, music and poetry performances that transform the gallery space into a multi-sensory stage. After a traveling stint, Braganza returned to Boston with a desire to create a space that celebrates youth culture, embraces older generations and advances the definition of art into a living, breathing mash-up.
- Abel Acuna: Harvard Alum that created Klassmating, a mobile application that allows students to chat anonymously with their peers in lectures. Acuna launched his creation this year and already 350 users have signed up.
Boston has a great entrepreneurial spirit and desire to innovative, we just need to continue to make it stay that way by keeping the established support network alive and well.
By: Jonelle Flood (Marketing and Social Media for FBA)
Nusca, Andrew. “Top 10 Innovative Cities: Boston Leads World in 2010; Paris, Amsterdam follow.” 10 Sept 2010.
Onein3 Boston Initiative Galvanizes 20-34 Year Olds. 29 March 2005.