TechStars Boston is Homeless, But Will Return in 2010—Director Finds Shelter in Dogpatch Labs

One of the worst things that happened in the Boston entrepreneurial community this year was that Y Combinator decamped to do all its incubating of new tech companies in Silicon Valley. One of the best things that happened was that a few months later, TechStars moved right in to fill the void. The incubator camp run out of Boulder, CO, announced it was coming to town in February, and fielded its first class of Boston entrepreneurs this summer. And if you’d been to its Investor Evening last month, when the first Boston grads made their pitches at Microsoft’s NERD (New England R&D Center), you’d have seen first-hand from the packed house and all the energy and excitement just how welcome TechStars has become.

But despite that spectacular debut, TechStars was out on the streets and unsure of whether it would return. The group had taken up a suite of former Kaplan test-prep classrooms in an office building in Cambridge’s Central Square. But, it turns out, that was only a short-term lease—and it has ended. At the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s unconference on October 1, the executive director of TechStars Boston, Shawn Broderick, told Wade that TechStars had not determined whether it would return to the area for a second year. It depended on how investors felt, and whether enough of the firms in its first class found funding.

Broderick told me yesterday that he has just gotten the green light. “We are definitely planning to do TechStars Boston 2010,” he confirmed in an e-mail. “The investors met on Friday in fact to sort that out. So we’re on!”

He’s not sure where TechStars will set up shop. “We’re homeless until the 2010 program starts up,” Broderick wrote. But the TechStars Boston leader is not. He has moved into Dogpatch Labs, the incubator and entrepreneurial workspace operated by Polaris Venture Partners.

Dogpatch just had its grand opening last Thursday. Broderick says he knows Polaris general partner Dave Barrett, who is one of the point people for Dogpatch in Cambridge. “I asked Dave for a desk and he said ‘sure!’”

As for TechStars, Broderick says the planning for 2010 is underway. “We’ll have the details sorted out in the next few weeks.”

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at [email protected] Follow @bbuderi

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