There are a lot of great resources in the Boston area for entrepreneurs with emerging ventures. But these resources are not easy to access. Just ask Greenhorn Connect, which spent a year compiling them. And these resources come and go. For example, Highland Capital Partners just put on ice its summer incubator program. And we all know what Y Combinator did.
So we thought, what if we brought the best features of these resources together in an incubator in Boston that would be around for awhile? Imagine a mash up of Tech Stars, Dogpatch Labs, Cambridge Innovation Center and WorkBar, and QB3 Garage and The Start Project in San Francisco!
This incubator would have it all:
? Mentors by your side all of the time instead of only three months.
? State-of-the-art, full service workspace but spacious and affordable.
? Accessible intern talent without having to do the legwork to find them.
? Entrepreneurial community but not just for geeks, for biologists and chemists, too.
? Dose of cafe culture but for serious entrepreneurs taking a break from hitting milestones.
Surely founders and investors alike would love it. So would the economic development folks. But how would we make it affordable and accessible?
The incubator would have to be on the Red Line but outside the Square. The bet is that folks would ride a few more stops to save money. Also, we’d have to get grants to build it. And the incubator would have to be part of something that is here to stay, like our public university.
So, sensing that the time was right, three years ago, we decided to do this, build the Venture Development Center. We raised the money we needed, hired a world-class design firm, Sasaki, and opened it nine months ago. Then we brought on some outstanding people to operate it.
We have been fielding an inquiry a week from a tech founder during our nine months of operation. An interesting mix of life science, high tech and software as a service startups reside here. They are doing pretty well. Some big fish looking to invest or license are already circling around a few. And 345 UMass Boston students have signed-up for a chance at an internship with these companies.
Venture Development Center
The Venture Development Center is Boston’s startup incubator that gets you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to acquire customers and raise money on a larger scale.