Earlier this week the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) announced the launch of CriticalMass, a novel shared workspace at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) which is sponsored by five local venture firms – one of which is my firm, Flybridge Capital Partners.
When I was Chairman of the NEVCA I developed an agenda which encouraged greater openness and transparency of the venture community. We launched “office hours” where a VC from many of the VC firms was made available, first come/first serve, on a rotating weekly basis at the CIC. We started that program nearly a year ago and it is still going strong. CriticalMass is the logical extension of this theme.
How does it work? The sponsoring firms will cover the costs of nearly 50 entrepreneurs to use the workspace rent-free for three months. Additionally each firm is able to offer selected entrepreneurs access to the “huddle” space. Flybridge is excited to sponsor Spiros Eliopoulos from Rhode Island-based Tracelytics as the first CriticalMass inhabitant (I can only hope many of you out there will start to use the space so Spiros is not alone). This is not an incubator, more like a super-charged Starbucks with VC’s as baristas.
Why did we do this? Coming out of the economic crisis the NEVCA felt it “critical” to engage with the entrepreneurial community on its terms – in Cambridge making critical resources readily available. There was an important realization that we collectively are responsible for the health of the local ecosystem.
Come and check out the space. We have a grand opening the evening on March 31. Hope to see you then.