Reuters

Boston is wooing venture capital away from its suburbs.

The past several years have seen something of a subtle shift from the traditional "nerdistan" industrial park model of high-tech development to a more urban cast. The growing number of startups and high-tech companies in downtown San Francisco and New  York, even London's so-called Silicon Roundabout, are examples of this shift.
 
The Route 128 area in Boston's suburbs has long been deemed the world's second leading center for high-tech companies and start-ups. Now the shift to "urban tech" appears to be happening there, too.
 
According to a report in the Boston Business Journal, the city of Boston has caught up with its surrounding suburbs in attracting venture capital. The story reports data from CB Insights, which finds that companies within the city limits raised almost $600 million in 59 venture capital deals, roughly the same as the Route 128 suburbs.

The decline of the suburban office park theme isn't new. The Wall Street Journal reported that the national vacancy rate in downtown cities remained steady between 2005 and 2010. Meanwhile, businesses in the suburbs "vacated a net 16 million square feet of occupied office space - nearly 280 football fields - while downtowns have stabilized, losing just 119,000 square feet."

But it's an interesting trend for the tech world in particular. What's behind the shift? The report notes the following:

A growing focus on Web and mobile start-ups in Boston, which tends to interest younger, urban-dwelling entrepreneurs, and the rise of neighborhoods such as the South Boston waterfront Innovation District, where a growing number of young companies are finding affordable office space.

Photo credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A row of tractor trailers lined up at a truck stop.
    Transportation

    The Truckers Who Are Taking on Human Trafficking

    In Arkansas, the “knights of the road” are being trained to combat truck-stop prostitution.

  3. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  4. An illustration of a front porch.
    Life

    America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

    In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.

  5. Life

    Is Minimalism for Black People?

    Black communities have long practiced core tenets of the lifestyle—yet are not well-represented amongst its most recognizable influencers.