I was a bit depressed reading Scott Kirsner’s article on the Start-Up Visa. It wasn’t because of the topic (I am a supporter of the idea). Rather, it was because Scott wrote about two innovative (and seriously accretive) people, Paul Graham and Brad Feld, who both were once in the Boston area and now they are not. My thought reading the article is that, while Boston is a great town with a lot of great people, we need more people like Brad and Paul in Boston to help build the start-up community…we had them at one point but we lost them.
My depression reading Scott’s piece was both professional and personal. From a professional perspective, our firm provides growth venture capital to expansion stage companies globally, but, if there is more Boston venture capital investing in earlier stage companies, then I would be able to spend more nights home and less time on airplanes. From a personal perspective, I like entrepreneurs, founders, and start-up people quite a lot and find them to be authentic and really interesting to be around. The more we can have in the greater Boston area, the better!
This morning I was re-energized when I picked up an e-mail from Eric Paley, one of the founders of Founder Collective, a relatively new Cambridge (MA) and New York based venture capital firm that is focused on the seed stage and is exactly what the east coast (particularly greater Boston) needs. (I first met David Frankel and Eric during the formation of their firm and have been very impressed with both their enthusiasm and the plan for their firm that has now materialized).
In his e-mail, Eric invited me, as well as everyone else in town (or out of town) to a new public event series, Founder Dialogues, that I am sure will be quite successful. The idea for the events is that the founder is the hero and that Eric interviewing successful founders will help to inspire and help the next generation of founders and increase the venture funding to seed stage companies around the world (hopefully with a particular focus on the Boston area!).