East Coast Meets West Coast…Again

Uncategorized Posted Mar 11, 2008 by chenpr

Late last week I attended the AlwaysOn Venture Summit East preview meeting, designed to generate discussion that will optimize the conference, to be held April 8 – April 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. A lively discussion was led by Tony Perkins, founder and editor of AlwaysOn.

The discussion was a very familiar one – why is the west coast the breeding ground for enormously successful businesses like Google, while the east coast appears to be somewhat stalled. Opinions from entrepreneurs and VC’s were diverse and ranged from a lack of seasoned executives on the east coast, an unwillingness by VC’s take a risk on an unknown innovator, to an agreement that the west coast strength is consumer-directed businesses while the east coast is showing traction in Life Sciences, Energy and Cleantech and Wireless.

This discussion seems to permeate every gathering of tech executives – and one wonders if it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy if we’re not careful. Hopefully, it is time to move beyond this “envy” to concentrate on opportunities and developments driven by the dynamic companies and entrepreneurs emerging and growing right here. And continue to play to east coast strengths and fuel new innovations. For example, two of the industry’s most heavily funded and successful energy storage companies are located in the Boston area – Boston-Power and A123.

Hopefully with exciting new venues – such as AlwaysOn and xconomy – to help facilitate the discussion on the innovation and leadership being fueled on the east coast, we can move past what is happening on the west coast and concentrate on the strengths and value right here at home.