Mapping Massachusetts’ smart building technology cluster

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When a number of companies focus on a similar goal, the coopetition helps everyone grow. That’s why clusters of companies tend to work, whether that’s a cluster of consumer startups, mobile apps companies or even restaurants. We knew that we were part of a large and growing clean energy cluster in Massachusetts, but it surprised us when we sat down to look at the companies working on smart building technologies and realized how many of us are located in and around Boston. Hop on the T, jump on a bike or even burn just one or two gallons of gas and you can find no fewer than 22 of us, all working toward a similar goal. That’s why we put the Massachusetts smart building technology cluster on an interactive map (see the bottom of this post). So how did this cluster come together, and why here? First and foremost, Massachusetts is fortunate to have the magical combination of:

  • Universities turning out bright students and exciting research
  • Access to capital, with a strong Venture community
  • Big companies that are potential strategic partners
  • Seasoned entrepreneurs with a strong track record of bringing technology companies to market
  • A business-friendly legislative climate
  • Organizations dedicated to supporting the growth of fledgling businesses and clusters

Second, some of the local building technology companies have been in business for decades, and some have experienced massive growth, even, in EnerNOC’s case, going public. That serves as a very positive backdrop for newer entrants, helping investors and others to envision our success. And it means that there are lots of folks around who’ve worked in this space and have valuable knowledge and connections to bring to startups. We’ve certainly benefited from being situated in the midst of a smart building technology cluster. We’ve partnered with some companies, been funded because of the success of others, and appreciate just knowing that all of us are out here working on the same crucial challenges, trying to make a difference in the world. So take a look at the map below, let us know what you think, and tell us about companies we missed! You can see some of the Twitter conversation about the map on Storify, and stories about the map on BostInno and Boston Business Journal. And, if you’re interested in working for a growing company in this important area…

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