is now

Muninsight

Customer demand has made us focus on the US energy market. And due to customers arriving from other parts of Northern Europe, we no longer focus solely on Danish customers. For those reasons, the name Boston Denmark Partnerships no longer applies, and so we have a new website: Muninsight

- Understanding the IT and software industry in the greater Boston area

In many places around the world, and certainly in Denmark, when people think about entrepreneurship and software in the US, they think Silicon Valley. However, there is action to be found elsewhere too.

The greater Boston area has a large number of IT start-up companies, as does Austin, Texas, and to a lesser extent the Research Triangle in North Carolina. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (a copy may be found here: http://www.box.net/shared/jz7kp8ceuz), Austin's clout in this area is due to its SXSW, an annual marquee music, film and technology event drawing 210,000 attendees and 21,000 key industry reps.

The same report points out that innovation thrives where a critical mass is to found, and here the Boston area boasts the largest density of IT and biotech start-ups anywhere. Palo Alto, California, is the second densest in the world with 37 biotech and IT firms per square mile, but the Kendall Square area next to MIT packs a punch of over 160. At the very least, this gives an indication of the tremendous entrepreneurial energy in the greater Boston area.
 
In fact, in many areas of IT, Boston may be a better area than Silicon Valley. Staffan Ericsson, Venture Partner with Vestbridge, an investor in wireless/mobility, digital media, web services, and security/data centers, certainly argues so. In his opinion, only Web 2.0 is squarely dominated by Silicon Valley, and even there not everyone agrees.
 
At any rate, Boston offers the critical mass and the enthusiasm required for starting up successfully. At the recent WebInno25 more than 1,000 attendees poured in to discuss web and mobile innovation. The buzz was palpable, and such events are not at all rare in Boston. The entrepreneurial community is constantly being replenished by young graduates, especially from MIT, and there are 100s of serial entrepreneurs in Boston along with venture capitalists, angels, and other investors.
 
Two Danish software companies have come to Boston recently too. Zendesk falls squarely within the category of Web 2.0, and indeed they found a second round of funding in Silicon Valley. Zmags, run by Jens Karstoft, is funded by Boston-based OpenView, and they are expanding into the US market from their base in Boston. Not insignificantly, the time difference is only 6 hours between Denmark and Boston, and since Zmags have a development team back in Denmark, this matters.
 
To sum up, an IT company considering the US market will focus on Silicon Valley only at its peril. It pays to understand where to go in the US, and why. Boston has some clear advantages over other cities.
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