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Maryland VC firm New Enterprise Associates sets up shop in Kendall Square

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 14, 2013 07:00 AM

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The gravitational pull of the Cambridge life sciences cluster has attracted another venture capital firm to the neighborhood: Maryland-based New Enterprise Associates, which has just opened an office at 700 Technology Square in Kendall.

But it sounds like this is a toe-in-the-water experiment for NEA — at least for now. Partner Dave Mott, right, who heads the firm's healthcare practice, will spend most of his time in Boston. But he isn't moving here. Partners Jim Barrett and Ed Mathers will also be using the new Cambridge office, but on an as-needed basis. All three partners focus on healthcare deals.

NEA has already been a pretty active player in Boston and Cambridge: about half of the firm's partners have put money into about two dozen companies locally, including Epizyme, Proteostasis Therapeutics, PatientKeeper, Philo, and Care.com. NEA has also been a supporter of the orphan drug accelerator Cydan, and was a founding partner in the Experiment Fund, which makes seed investments in student startups on the East Coast, and is based at Harvard. Last year, Dayna Grayson of North Bridge Venture Partners traded Waltham for Maryland to join the firm.

NEA is currently making investments out of a $2.6 billion fund raised last year. The firm invests in tech, healthcare, and energy companies.

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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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