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Zipcar, Turbine, and a surprising stat about M&A in Massachusetts

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 21, 2010 11:50 AM

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Two pieces of acquisition news popped late yesterday: Cambridge-based Zipcar is acquiring Streetcar, a car-sharing company in London, and Westwood-based Turbine Inc., a maker of online games, was bought by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment of Los Angeles.

And also yesterday, the Mass Technology Collaborative released its annual "Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy," a great big document that looks at how we're doing in relation to other innovation-oriented states, such as California, New York, Minnesota, and Virginia. 

It contains this interesting chart (LTS stands for the group of "leading technology states" to which Mass. is compared in the report):

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I'm astonished. With so many high-profile acquisitions by out-of-state buyers (like last week's Oracle purchase of PhaseForward), it seems like we couldn't possibly be doing this well. But the data indicates that (for 2008 at least), Massachusetts companies were more likely to be acquirers than acquisition targets.

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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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