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How do we make Boston a more awesome place for young entrepreneurs with big ideas?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 1, 2011 01:54 PM

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My New Year's resolution for 2011, which didn't last long, was to spend the year avoiding comparisons between Boston and other centers of innovation, especially Silicon Valley.

But this week, my wonderful editor at the Globe asked me to put together a few pieces on "the road to awesome," focusing on ways that Boston could do a better job of holding onto young, post-collegiate entrepreneurs. And it's hard to do that without comparing the Hub to two places with pretty powerful tractor beams right now: New York and the Bay area.

The Globe also asked a few young entrepreneurs to offer up their takes on what Boston could do better:

- MIT Sloan alum Amanda Peyton: "Offer more 'awesome' cash"

- Shahbano Imran and David Tolioupov, Boston College alums: "Open up and share resources"

- Greenhorn Connect founder Jason Evanish: "Be louder and prouder"

- Olin College student Evan Morikawa: "Run the T past 12:30 a.m."

- Boston College MBA student Courtney Scrib: "Boston needs a startup culture"

- Boston College MBA student Andrew Boni: "City needs a new reputation"

I compiled two lists to run alongside the main story: 12 cool Boston companies, and seven high-energy events and hang-outs.

I also e-mailed with three entrepreneurs who've left Boston behind: TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque (San Francisco)... WePay co-founder Rich Aberman (Palo Alto)... and Pixable co-founder Inaki Berenguer (Manhattan).

Finally, BC prof John Gallaugher, one of the true champions of tech entrepreneurship in Boston, posted his perspective on "Making Boston More Awesome," and Jason Evanish posted "a few added thoughts." Rob Go, a venture capitalist I quoted in the piece, put up a post headlined, "Act II: Golazo." PR and social media consultant Chuck Tanowitz asks, "Can we please stop comparing Boston to San Francisco and New York?" Entrepreneur Derek Skaletsky of Traackr (a start-up moving from Cambridge to San Francisco) wrote an excellent post titled, "Boston vs. San Fran: Find the Rock Stars."

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About Scott Kirsner

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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