June is Innovation Month in Massachusetts. A concerted effort among many of the participants in the extended entrepreneurial ecosystem (startup executives, VCs, angels, publications, and others), Innovation Month is a series of events designed to celebrate, gather and reinforce the vibrant startup community in the Bay State. (Here’s a recent Innovation Economy blog post on the effort, with a link to related event listings and blogs at the bottom.)
Massachusetts has a long history of being the ‘primordial soup’ that hatched many a company. From the early stalwarts — Prime, Teradyne and DEC — to the myriad software and networking companies that have grown and thrived here, the deep well of talent has made this an attractive region for all manner of businesses. In the last few years, a whole new generation of startups has have emerged. E Ink. A123. EnerNOC. All made possible by the thriving universities, inspired entrepreneurs and willing investors that have made the startup environment vibrant and viable, in spite of the harsh economic environment.
This innovation culture has taken an interesting turn in the last few years with the addition of clean tech to the mix. In addition to B2B and consumer software, the burgeoning robotics space and video games, Massachusetts has developed an impressive clean tech portfolio that spans alternative energy generation, energy efficiency, Smart Grid integration and metering, and more. Wednesday’s visit to Boston-based A123 by Representative Markey and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is clear testimony to the impact that clean tech is having on the broader agenda. And it cannot happen soon enough.
Clean tech – in all of its various forms – must succeed at a global level if we are to adopt sustainable practices and infrastructure that will enable the world’s population to grow and thrive without further depleting our natural resources. Massachusetts is a proud leader in this transformation, and Digital Lumens is immensely grateful to be part of this community.
Boston has always exerted a gravitational pull on entrepreneurs, and Digital Lumens is no exception. Our founders, while not from New England, came here as part of the innovation economy and subsequently decided to start their own company here. It just so happens that the confluence of talent in the region – LEDs, networking and software – made Massachusetts a natural location. What helped, too, was the local ecosystem that was willing to support a team with a vision around how to fundamentally change a very established product category. A revolutionary idea — almost 235 years after the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord, MA.
So, as Innovation Month gets under way, we acknowledge our debt of gratitude to all participants in this thriving innovation ecosystem, and look forward to contributing to the initiative, too.