SSTI Digest

Geography: Massachusetts

Recent Research: Does the Clustering of Venture Capital Centers Make Sense?

Three metropolitan areas dominate the U.S. venture capital landscape: San Francisco, Boston and New York. These cities are home to about half of all U.S. venture firms and about half of all U.S. venture-backed companies. Though venture firms have sprung up around the country over the past 25 years, the three cities have maintained, and even expanded, their share of national firms and investment. The continuing dominance of these cities may be frustrating to policymakers, industry leaders and entrepreneurs in other parts of the country, but a recent paper argues that there is a logic behind the clustering of firms in a few cities and that this distribution may be optimal for both the venture industry and the high-tech economy.

Statewide Consortium Announces $100 Million Green Computing Center in Western Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently announced plans to develop a $100 million high-performance computing center powered by clean and renewable energy in the small city of Holyoke. The center will be managed by a consortium of state agencies, universities and technology companies including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts, Cisco Systems and EMC Corp.. Universities and high-tech businesses will be able to access the center's resources, which local leaders hope could boost the local high-tech economy.

Venture Funds Competition Launched in Massachusetts

Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week a venture funds competition providing seed money and mentoring to support new business development, adding to a growing number of states seeking to boost entrepreneurial efforts during the economic downturn (see the March 5, 2009 issue of the Digest).

Recent Research: Venture Capital Proximity Means Larger Financing Rounds, But Not More Money

Despite the global growth of the industry over the past few decades, U.S. venture capital remains as concentrated as ever in the Silicon Valley region, and to a lesser extent, Massachusetts. Of the 87 venture capital firms included in the PricewaterhouseCoopers list of most active firms of 2008, 40 firms (46 percent) were located in Silicon Valley and San Francisco; only one California firm was located outside of that region (Santa Monica); another 18 of the most active firms were located in Massachusetts.

Breaking into the Market: End of the Green Pipeline

One of the biggest challenges for green technologies and products is breaking into the market. Achieving the critical mass that allows production volume to drive down prices is difficult, particularly when the commodity being sold is, at least initially, more expensive to make because more of the actual cost of production is captured in the green company's business model.

Massachusetts, Maine Innovation Indices Assess States' Readiness for the Economic Downturn

State governments are poised to play a vital role in the economic recovery through their use of federally-appropriated funds and through their internal policy responses to the global crisis. Several states are focusing on innovation as a means of recovery. Massachusetts and Maine both recently released the latest editions of their annual innovation indices. These annual publications have long helped to clarify trends in the innovation economy and provided assessment of their performance relative to other states. This year these indices take on new significance as state governments search for potential paths out of the economic crisis.

TBED People and Organizations

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Daniel O'Connell, resigned for personal reasons and was replaced by Greg Bialecki, an undersecretary who has been responsible for business development

Several Statewide TBED Issues Win Voter Approval

The outcome of Tuesday's election resulted in several wins and some defeats for TBED among the more than 150 ballot measures presented to voters across the nation. Outlined below are the unofficial election results of select ballot measures from each state's respective election office and local media reports as of Wednesday, Nov. 5. More detailed information on the measures is provided in last week's issue of the Digest, which is available at:

Election Preview: Voters to Decide on Statewide TBED Issues

While the Presidential election takes center stage on November 4, voters in several states also will cast their votes on statewide ballot issues affecting the TBED community. In addition to the 11 gubernatorial races and more than 5,800 state legislative seats up for grabs, voters across the nation will consider measures to provide funding for public education, expand investment in alternative and renewable energy, lift restrictions on stem-cell research, and eliminate income tax and state spending caps. Following is a summary of selected ballot issues from across the nation.

Incubator RoundUp: Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Supporting Tech Commercialization

Technology-focused incubators are an important component to fostering entrepreneurial development in a region by nurturing businesses in the earliest stages of development and helping them grow into larger companies that employ high-wage workers and bring new technologies to the market. The following select announcements provide an overview of new incubators from across the nation, illustrating the vital role of entrepreneurial development in growing high-tech regional economies.

10,000 New Life Sciences Jobs Expected in Massachusetts by 2014

The demand for highly qualified talent in Massachusetts' bioscience industry will add more than 10,000 life sciences workers to the state's workforce by 2014, according to a recent report prepared by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. As described in Growing Talent: Meeting the Evolving Needs of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry, 81 percent of these new life sciences jobs are expected to require at least a four-year degree. In preparation for this need, the report identifies the key challenges for increasing the quality and number of potential employees in the state, as well as policy recommendations for future growth.

Massachusetts Passes Pair of Environmentally-Conscious TBED Bills

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently signed two bills to improve the commonwealth's standing as a leader in environmental protection and to support the growth of the clean technology industry.  Supporters of the Global Warming Solutions Act and the Green Jobs Act believe that the legislation will position Massachusetts as a recognized center for cleantech policy and business.