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Law firm Foley Hoag plans to close Emerging Enterprise Center in Waltham

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 9, 2013 08:00 AM

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Over the past few years, many of the venture capital firms that once populated Boston's western 'burbs have relocated to the city to be closer to entrepreneurs.

Now, it seems like the professional services firms are also pulling up stakes.

Law firm Foley Hoag LLP, which opened an "Emerging Enterprise Center" in Waltham in 2006 to work with tech and life sciences companies, plans to close the office by the fall. The EEC is home base for about a dozen attorneys and a handful of entrepreneurs-in-residence. It is also a venue for networking events and workshops.

Jasmine Trillos-Decarie, Foley Hoag's director of marketing and business development, explains in an e-mail:

...We established the EEC in Waltham because thatís where the entrepreneurs were at the time. Now, entrepreneurs gravitate to urban areas like the Innovation District and Kendall Square. ...Many venture capital firms have also relocated back to these areas in the past couple of years. For us, the synergies are even more perfect, as we have called the Innovation District home for ten years, and have been actively involved in supporting its development. Now we can support industries that are moving here. In addition, we are also focusing on supporting entrepreneurs on the ground in Kendall Square through our office at the Cambridge Innovation Center.

At our Boston office, we will continue to host events like TEC@FoleyHoag targeted at educating entrepreneurs, providing them networking opportunities with venture capitalists, and generally supporting the culture of innovation that is so essential to the continued growth of technology in Massachusetts. In addition, we will continue to host select entrepreneurs-in-residence in our Boston office, and we will shortly be announcing that two of those whom we are hosting in Waltham will be joining us in Boston.

(The firm opened a small outpost earlier this year at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall, as Trillos-Decarie mentions above, though its primary office locally is on Seaport Boulevard near the World Trade Center.)

Trillos-Decarie says that the closure of the Waltham office won't have an impact on Foley Hoag's headcount locally; those employees will eventually be housed in the Boston office. Networking events and seminars will continue to be held at the Emerging Enterprise Center in Waltham through August.

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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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