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Most innovative companies and most-loved venture capitalists

Posted by Scott Kirsner  February 19, 2010 10:07 AM

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Two interesting lists released this week: Fast Company ranks the world's most innovative companies, and TheFunded ranks the venture capitalists entrepreneurs like working with best.

Facebook, Amazon, and Apple top the Fast Company list, but further down at #23 is Cambridge-based PatientsLikeMe, an information-sharing community for people suffering from various diseases and conditions. MITRE Corp., the government-funded R&D shop co-headquartered in Bedford and Virginia, checks in at #30, and Athenahealth shows up at #43. Watertown-based Athenahealth, the only publicly-traded firm of the trio, sells digital services to help docs manage their practices.

Several Boston-based investors show up on the best-liked venture capitalists list (and wouldn't you rather see the list of most-reviled VCs?) Terry McGuire of Polaris Venture Partners, who invests primarily in life sciences start-ups, is #1; McGuire, pictured above, is also currently chair of the National Venture Capital Association. Rich Levandov, a Boston-based partner at the San Diego firm Avalon Ventures, is #14 (Levandov is also still technically a partner at Masthead, a Cambridge firm that hasn't raised a new fund in a while). Also in the top 25 are Tom Bogan of Greylock Partners, Maria Cirino of .406 Ventures, and Michael Fitzgerald of Commonwealth Capital Ventures. Cirino is the only woman who appears on the list.

TheFunded is a site that invites entrepreneurs to rate venture capitalists and share their experiences working with them all anonymously.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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