Week before launch, hack/reduce executive director Abby Fichtner leaves

A hack/reduce hackathon held in preparation of the center’s opening.
A hack/reduce hackathon held in preparation of the center’s opening. –Courtesy of hack/reduce

Just a week before hack/reduce’s official launch, the non-profit big data hacker space is left without an executive director: Abby Fichtner, originally picked to lead that role, announced she and hack/reduce were parting ways.

She wrote that, despite being “incredibly proud’’ of what the organization had accomplished, she and the center’s other leadership “had different visions for what the space will become and how to bring in the community.’’

Globe columnist and blogger Scott Kirsner interviewed Fichtner about her vision in early August.

’’Big data is a real opportunity for Boston to excel,’’ she told him then. “We have so many smart people here. We can bring in all these domains like life sciences and finance and even musicians and artists, and connect them with developers to really foster innovation.’’


Christopher Lynch, board member at hack/reduce and an investor with Atlas Venture, told the Boston Business Journal that he “wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors.’’

As to the future of hack/reduce, Fichtner remained publicly upbeat.

’’The people who applied completely blew my mind. From biotech and life sciences experts who want to use data to improve our health, to an MIT robotics student with a passion around using real time data for autonomous cars, to a Media Lab researcher using data to study gender equality, to a weather geek who wants to use real time weather data to keep people safe while fighting wild fires!’’

I wrote about hack/reduce’s search for fellows earlier this month, and that first class is still scheduled to be introduced Nov. 8 at the space’s launch party — barring any more unannounced changes.

As for Fichtner, the former Microsoft evangelist wrote that she will see all her friends and fans around the community.