Business Accelerators. Let Innovation Reign
As part of our research into business incubators and accelerators, we talked with Greenberg Traurig LLP Intellectual Property Attorney Chinh Pham, whose firm is one of many providing in-kind support services for participants in MassChallenge, a Boston-area accelerator, partnered with Startup America, that calls itself the largest accelerator competition in the world.
As one measure of the program’s value, MassChallenge notes that the 111 startups supported in the 2010 accelerator raised over $100M in outside funding and created about 500 new jobs in under 12 months.
We talked with Mr. Pham about the opportunity and challenge of developing an accelerator program in Boston.
How are the business accelerator’s participants, mentors and service firms working together?
We want to create an ecosystem for the technology sector in Boston. To a larger extent, we are able to help start-ups reach out to a number of investors. Large corporations are investing in this. Service providers like our law firm are offering our time – and as we put in our time and effort, we’re looking for clients that may be coming out of this program.
There’s an incentive for all parties. We work with them as mentors. The successful startups become our clients.
What makes Boston a good place for a business accelerator program?
There’s a lot of innovation that goes on in Boston. The folks in Boston recognize that. That said, the challenge Boston has faced over the years is how to retain people in the Boston area. Companies get created here and then migrate to Silicon Valley because the money is there. MassChallenge is trying to create an ecosystem so that the start-ups will stay here in the Boston area. We do have companies from the Triangle area and Silicon Valley moving here. Hopefully we’ll see this ecosystem become more robust.
Are you participating in a business accelerator in your city? Leave a comment and let us know how your region is promoting business startups.