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April 14, 2005
Boston v. the Valley
If you know any reporters, you've heard a lot of jokes and groans at the expense of PR professionals. I've found in venture capital circles there's an even wider divergence when it comes to great PR people who get what journalists do and those that don?t even get my name right when they pitch me. But one of the best in the business is Kate Castle, who is leaving Battery Ventures to go to IDG Ventures in May.
I don't know a lot about IDG's Boston Venture arm, which is an independent partnership from other IDG ventures. I'm sure I'll learn, because she's awfully good at her job. In the mean time she directed me to its blog, all about being a Boston VC.
At a previous publication, I covered Silicon Valley venture capital specifically, so I've always been interested in how Boston VCs contrast to the Sand Hill lot and I always ask firms on both sides of the country about it. I get a lot of smug, "Oh I don't know, we both have our strengths" from this coast and grousing comments like "Silicon Valley VCs are too fat, dumb, and happy to get on a plane and look at a deal" from the colder of the two tech hot beds.
Jeffrey Bussgang, general partner at IDG and author of the blog, offers a bit more insight into one difference: Boston hasn't proven the knack for building good consumer companies. It's interesting as both VC centers have proven they can do most categories of IT and lifesciences. Also interesting as consumer seems to be the flavor of the year for VCs. Might this fuel more valley bragging rights?
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