A Switch to Boston Venture Capital – But I Still Think Waltham Matters…
After growing up in a small NH town, population – 4,000 – I realized shortly into my high school career that in order to be successful, relocation was inevitable. After much debate, I settled on the business-focused Bentley College, located just 5 miles outside of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Upon graduating from high school, with my 47 classmates, I spent the next 5 years experiencing Waltham, Massachusetts. I obtained my BS in Marketing and an MBA in International Business, spent nearly 3 years working for a successful technology company, and enjoyed the city and it’s close proximity to downtown Boston.
It wasn’t until a few years after college, when I started to think about giving the “downtown” thing a try. I began searching for marketing positions in Boston,
only to find my current employer – OpenView Venture Partners. To be honest, I had never given any thought to working for a venture capital firm; however, helping an entire portfolio of companies with their marketing efforts sounded quite compelling.
Recently, I was given the task of implementing Compendium’s blogging platform within our firm. I was immediately taken with this project, as I tend to be passionate about the more creative aspects of marketing. As an example to my colleagues, I thought it best that I create a blog that they can refer to while they create their own.
As I tried to determine what I would blog about, I came across the article: “Why Waltham Doesn’t Matter,” by Scott Kirsner. The author provides a view that while Waltham is home to several venture capital companies, “the new core of Boston Venture Capital has moved in closer to the city.”
He even goes so far as to say:
“There’s no denying that many Waltham venture capitalists have made a great deal of money for themselves, their limited partners, and local entrepreneurs over the decades. But as a group, they represent the worst of the old-school business culture…”
I am entertained by this article for two reasons, the first being that Waltham is home to several successful firms, private equity and others, and Scott’s comments are harsh but entertaining. The second, is that our most recent hire, Adam Marcus, came to us from Battery Ventures (located in Waltham) – and his passion and entrepreneurial spirit are what intrigued us most about him.
I’ll wrap up this post with my favorite quote from the article, “I won’t be surprised if the old-school VCs of Waltham follow the same path of the Shakers, the religious sect that was most active in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shakers were celibate — they didn’t, you might say, invest in the continuance of their community — and so a group that once had 6000 or so very devoted members eventually died out. Today, their communities exist only as museums and historic sites.”
B2B brand and product positioning will only continue to become more important with the rise of the End User Era.