How Boston's Startups Band Together For Marathon Victims

If there is one thing we learned this week, it is that when Boston faces adversity, it comes together as a community like nowhere else in the world. 

A group of Boston startups is holding an event this Sunday with all proceeds going to the One Fund, the charity to benefit victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombings. 

With this event, we're seeing the do-gooding side of a mindset peculiar to Boston, one also seen in the reaction to the event itself. Really, what other city, when faced with gun battles in the streets and bombings at sporting events, will shut down the entire metropolis and find the guys that did it?

Boston, strong.

When a problem is presented in front of Boston's citizens, they will band together and solve it. This is not New York where people always seem to be going in their own directions, or San Francisco with its individualistic dreamers and doers. This is Boston, a place where challenges are presented, solutions are proffered and things get done together with a determination that few places on earth can match.

These attributes extend to the startups of Boston. Like no other tech enclave in the United States, Boston startups share a profound sense of community and togetherness. We talk a lot about startup “communities" when comparing the likes of San Francisco, New York, Boulder, Austin or Seattle, but many times it feels like a hollow word. This shared sense of comradeship is something that startup enclaves are supposed to have—so they scream to the ether that they have it.

Boston startups actually live it.

Now, that is not to denigrate the charitable activities of places like New York and San Francisco. New York startups came together in a big way after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in December in Connecticut and after Hurricane Sandy. Silicon Valley Rocks and other charitable events bring together many startups in the Bay Area.

It is different in Boston, though. These are people who like each other, live alongside each other, pull for one another. The low-key but ubiquitous competitiveness of San Francisco, where startups throw parties to see which high-profile journalists and VCs attend, is not present.

Almost all the VCs in Boston attend almost all the parties and meetups. You know the biggest holiday party in the Boston startup ecosystem? It is the one that the startups throw together. This last year, there was several thousand dollars left over from the party. The Boston startups involved decided to donate it to the United Way of Western Connecticut to help the families affected by the tragic shootings in Newtown.

Boston. Strong.

Boston startup employees mingle at a recent event. Boston startup employees mingle at a recent event.

That sense of charity is alive and well after the drama that unfolded this week surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings. The event held this Sunday evening, dubbed “Techies Rock For Boston,” will feature musical performances by several talented performers who work in Boston startups. The list includes Andrew Nalband of Ubersense, Kelly Rice of Kinvey, Dave Bisceglia of The Tap Lab, Chris Howard of Libboo, Julian Weisser of Bundio and Ben Mirin of VentureFizz and Ryan Light of CoachUp.

A host of Boston startups will also be attending and helping to raise money. They include CoachUp, Ubersense, Localytics, The Tap Lab, BostInno, TechStars, Kinvey, WeLoveBeantown, MarketMeSuite, ViralGains, Directr, Fitgiver, Evertrue, Intellegent.ly, Yesware, Helpscout, StarStreet, Mass Challenge, Libboo, Crave LabsPromoboxx, Crowdly, Bundio and Boundless Learning.

Here are the details of the event:

  • Location: Hennessy’s, 25 Union Street, Boston, Mass.
  • Time: Sunday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.–2:00 a.m.
  • Suggested donation: $10 at the door.

The event will also feature raffles, music, and T-shirts for sale. A portion of the proceeds from the bar and tips go to the One Fund.

This has been a very trying week for the City of Boston. Join the Boston startup community at Hennessy’s on Sunday night to help the families of the victims, let loose a little and get to know what it really means to be …

BOSTON. STRONG.

Top image: "The sun will always rise in Boston" by Dan Rowinski