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38 startups either co-founded by Akamai alumni, or whose early executive hires included an Akamai alum. Others on the list include RSA (with 29 alumni startups), Genzyme (28), HubSpot (24), Endeca (10), TripAdvisor (10), and Wayfair (10).
To help spur more startup successes, Jegen thinks it’s important to foster more connections between the next generation of company builders and seasoned entrepreneurs, who have plenty of tribal knowledge to share—and money to invest. (To that end, F-Prime started Founders Diaries, a series of events in which successful entrepreneurs tell their stories.)
Another useful tactic, Jegen says, is forming support organizations and peer networks around specific sectors. One example is FinTech Sandbox, a Boston-based nonprofit that Jegen co-founded to help financial technology startups access data and other resources.
“If we want to help Boston build off of the sectors where we’re really good and the fact that we’re a big city, but small enough to create a lot of collegiality, I would focus a lot on those grassroots efforts,” Jegen says.
Jeff Bussgang, a general partner with Flybridge Capital Partners, has been tracking data about Boston’s venture-backed startup community for years. He says one of the area’s weak spots is it needs more “breakout companies”—firms that grow to more than $1 billion in annual revenue and a valuation of more than $2 billion, as he defines the term.
“We have a great pipeline of companies that are on their way, and we need them all to succeed amazingly well in the market to create more anchor companies in our community,” Bussgang says in an e-mail. “The fact that there are so many role models of companies that have gone from zero to $1 billion in revenue and are still run by the CEO and founder is encouraging.”