Why I had it all wrong about Boston's high-tech scene [June 15, 2012]
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- I'm at a crowded tech schmoozefest, and Tim Rowe, the pied piper of local startups, is giving me a serious talking-to about my blase attitude toward the local tech industry.
"I'd like you to think about what you're saying and look at the facts," Rowe says with growing intensity. "I think you're going to see your perception and the facts don't add up."
No startup culture? Look around here in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square, ground zero for New England startups, Rowe says. There are about seven floors filled with nearly 450 startups and offices for two major venture capital firms, Charles River Ventures and Highland Partners. And there's more academic research and development spending in Cambridge than any other part of the country, including the San Francisco Bay Area.
It's true. About $4 billion annually just in Cambridge versus $1.3 billion in the Bay Area, according to the National Science Foundation. And that stuff in the college labs, we all know, often leads to game-changing companies like Google.