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Why did UK-based Avecto open an office in Cambridge? It’s ‘where the cool kids live’

Avecto co-founder Paul Kenyon surveyed his company’s new office in Cambridge, which it’s looking to fill with about 20 local hires.
Avecto co-founder Paul Kenyon surveyed his company’s new office in Cambridge, which it’s looking to fill with about 20 local hires.Credit: Callum Borchers

We all think our local innovation scene is pretty awesome but, for a reality check, it’s always good to get an outsider’s perspective. So I was eager to hear what Avecto co-founder Paul Kenyon had to say about the decision by his Manchester technology company — Manchester, England, that is — to open an office in Cambridge last week.

“We decided on Cambridge,” Kenyon told me, “because this is where the cool kids live.”

No argument here. But Avecto’s new digs at 125 Cambridge Park Drive, near the Alewife T station, are as far down the Red Line as you can get from the mecca of Kendall Square. Some might question whether Avecto really has moved in with the cool kids.

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Kenyon said he got the sense during the company’s office search that the cool neighborhood is expanding. He’s right, of course, especially along the Red Line. The emergence of Boston’s Innovation District is well documented by now (Avecto looked at space there, too), and promising startups are decamping to Porter, Davis and, yes, even Alewife. Avecto’s neighbors out there include Pfizer, Voxware, and Vertica Systems.

“I love Kendall Square. I would’ve liked to have been there,” Kenyon said. “But this seems like a reasonable compromise.”

A compromise that will save Avecto 25 percent on its rent, by the way.

Now, the company has to fill its new office. Avecto moved in with a team of about 10 and has room for 20 more. It’s seeking local hires to help market its customized computer privilege software to other businesses. Avecto helps companies set tailored computer access levels for every employee group, instead of relying on the basic division between system users and administrators.

“We really can step it up on recruitment now, with the new location.” Kenyon said. “We’re trying to recruit people who have fun with a purpose.”

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