Venture backed companies in Massachusetts continue to concentrate along the Boston urban area’s transit lines, upon which half or more of their workers depend. Our research shows that during the last ten years, over 1,158 venture-backed companies have located in neighborhoods served by the MBTA Red, Orange and Green Lines.
According to our analysis, using VentureDeal, publicly reported investments by angel groups, venture capitalists, corporations, etc., companies in the Boston area’s urban neighborhoods accounted for 36% of Massachusetts venture deals in 2009. In 2014 their share reached 58%. By the beginning of 2019, urban neighborhoods accounted for 77%.
Given the amount of venture capital invested ($10.6B in 2018), that’s a massive economic shift, rippling through every corner of the urban area. Here’s the urban (and suburban) list of neighborhoods with at least 1% of the venture deals as of the beginning of 2019:
The urban concentration of venture capital funded companies shows no sign of slowing down. Boston is still gaining population, and has a deep ever-refreshing pool of talent. Major tech oriented developments are underway in Watertown (Arsenal Yards) and Dorchester (The Beat), and planned in Allston (Harvard’s Enterprise Research Campus), South End (Exchange South End), Charlestown (Hood Park), and Dorchester (UMass’ Bayside). Also look for East Cambridge and Somerville to increase in startup activity with the Green Line extension project underway.
The suburbs might recapture some the economic benefit of the growing innovation economy when young tech workers who are making a delayed entrance into marriage and the housing market, find the urban area too expensive to live. But only if they have good commuter rail options.