Why Boston is the City for Women in Startups
Last week, I took a trip to New York City - where I lived before making the move to the Bean - and couldn’t help but think how lucky I am to now live in Boston.
I certainly could not have started my company in NYC. For one thing, there are no basements to call your office as you get off the ground. But aside from the basement factor, there are a lot of reasons why Boston is such a great city for women to be involved in the startup community.
The most recent edition of the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking named Boston the second best city in the world for female founders. Twenty-nine percent of founders in the city are female — second only to Chicago, which has 30 percent female founders. I was excited to see such strong numbers and am encouraged that it also means female founded businesses are increasingly gaining access to funding.
I decided to dig a little bit deeper into why Boston is such a great place for women in startups and here is what I found:
A COMMUNITY FULL OF ROLE MODELS
Boston is a fabulous place for women to be involved in startups because there is an incredible ecosystem of support. The long list of women founders in the community alone is encouraging.
Additionally, there are countless events and meet-ups to get involved in — starting with General Assembly and We Work, and including Women In Tech and many more. This ecosystem is large and interested in connecting. It makes for a fantastic community of mentorship and consistent growth.
WOMEN & THE VC INDUSTRY
The percentage of top venture capital firms investing in women founded businesses is improving. BostInno took a deep dive and found that over 10 percent of companies invested in by some top venture capital firms are women founded in Boston. I know this doesn’t sound perfect, but it is certainly an improvement on the average of 3 percent that is thrown around.
I am even more encouraged by the number of women-run venture capital firms. Golden Seed has a strong foothold in Boston and is one of the leaders in backing women founders. Their strong commitment to improving the vc environment for women is admirable. Not only that, they back it up with investments.
I am also encouraged by companies like Boston Seed and .406 Ventures, which have female leadership. It is no secret that in order to even the playing field of funding, we must have women in decision-making roles.
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