CriticalMass, a dedicated workspace for start-ups, has launched at the Cambridge Innovation Center. CriticalMass is supported by several New England venture firms, including Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.
CriticalMass, a Boston area co-working space powered by the New England Venture Capital Association, launched today at the Cambridge Innovation Center. CriticalMass is the only dedicated workspace designed exclusively for promising start-ups which has the full backing and support of the regional venture trade group and a syndicate of some of New England’s most well-respected venture capital firms, including Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners.
“While co-working spaces like this have become more commonplace in New England,” said James Nahirny, current chairman, New England Venture Capital Association, and managing director, Bain Capital Ventures, “none to date have had the active participation and support of the regional venture trade association, as well as from a group of sponsoring firms, that collectively have 88 investors based in Massachusetts, a network of more than 130 portfolio companies in New England, and nearly $10 billion in capital under management. Our shared goal is to make CriticalMass a premiere address of promising startups in the region, and the country.”
CriticalMass will provide early stage entrepreneurs with a place to work, learn, collaborate and start new companies. However, CriticalMass will go beyond a typical co-working space because it will bring together a broad cross-section of the Boston area start-up community – experienced technology leaders, first time entrepreneurs and investors– to drive new company creation without an expectation that all the related startup activity needs to be or will be venture-backed.
“CriticalMass is one of a series of new initiatives by the New England Venture Capital Association to more actively support and engage entrepreneurs in the region,” said Jamie Goldstein of North Bridge Venture Partners and the Association’s president. “The Association is a platform for more than 80 member firms to advance our collective interest in helping the region’s best ideas and brightest entrepreneurs thrive right here in the Northeast.”
New England Venture Capital Association members, staff and the venture firm sponsors will spend time at CriticalMass, providing regular programming, as well as informal interaction with and mentoring of entrepreneurs in the space. Each premier sponsoring firm will “own a huddle,” a conference room space branded by them, open to all, but serving as a location for that firm to regularly meet and interact with entrepreneurs. All Association member firms are encouraged to participate in CriticalMass and should contact Nancy Saucier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-595-8760 for more information about how to get involved.
“CriticalMass adds to an increasingly vibrant set of entrepreneur support efforts in New England,” said Nancy Saucier, executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association. “We look forward to doing our part to nurture and think creatively about building the region’s start-up success.”
Any entrepreneur is welcome to utilize CriticalMass facilities at the Cambridge Innovation Center for $250 per month. Venture sponsors will have the opportunity to defray CriticalMass fees for at least 48 entrepreneurs per year.
About New England Venture Capital Association
Established and run by venture capital investors in the area, New England Venture Capital Association is the region’s premier organization to promote venture capital investing and entrepreneurship in New England. With more than 700 venture capital professionals from more than 80 firms, our members collectively manage more than $50 billion in capital.
In addition to CriticalMass, NEVCA hosts a ‘VC Unplugged’ informational Q&A session and one-on-one Office Hours every other week at the Venture Café. The schedule and additional information is available at www.newenglandvc.org.
About Bain Capital Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures is the venture capital group within Bain Capital, which has approximately $65 billion of assets under management worldwide. The firm’s history of investing in early stage companies dates back to 1984, having made over 125 venture-stage investments since inception including such companies as Gartner Group, SunGard, mQube, Brontes Technologies, MinuteClinic, Experian, DoubleClick, Staples, ProfitLogic, Shopping.com, Taleo, SolarWinds, and LinkedIn. In 2001, Bain Capital Ventures was formed as a separate arm of Bain Capital to focus exclusively on early and growth investments and work in partnership with management teams to effectively leverage the Bain Capital Network to provide flexible resources, recruiting, customer and strategic introductions, and deep industry expertise. www.baincapitalventures.com.
About Charles River Ventures
Charles River Ventures is all about helping exceptional entrepreneurs turn their ideas into the next category leading companies in technology, media and hard science. Founded in 1970, CRV is one of the most successful early-stage venture capital firms with approximately $2.1 billion under management. Over the past 20 years, CRV funds have been ranked among the industry’s top performers. CRV has offices in Boston, MA and Menlo Park, CA. www.crv.com.
About Flybridge Capital Partners
Flybridge Capital Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm whose mission is to assist entrepreneurs in growing innovative, global companies. With $560 million under management, the firm is focused on investing in consumer, energy, healthcare and information technology markets and is led by a team with domain expertise and more than half a century of combined experience in venture capital. www.flybridge.com.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. For over twenty years, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional healthcare, internet & digital media and technology companies. With $3 billion of committed capital and offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Geneva, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, lululemon athletica, Lycos, MapQuest, Navic Networks, New York Times Digital, Ocular Networks, P.A. Semi, Quattro Wireless, Quigo, Staples.com, Starent Networks, Sybase, Telica and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland’s web site at www.hcp.com.
About North Bridge Venture Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, we manage over $3 billion. Our areas of focus include Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Digital Media, Healthcare Technology, and Materials. www.northbridge.com