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The Friday Five: Best Monthly Networking Events

Posted by Scott Kirsner  September 18, 2009 07:20 AM

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The Friday Five is a list of five things worth knowing about.

This week, it's the best on-going networking events in town. I invite you to add your faves in the comments. (Note: this isn't a list of the best networking associations in town, like MITX or the Massachusetts Medical Device Council, but rather regular gatherings of a particular group of people, or around a particular topic.)

In no particular order...

- Focused on Internet and mobile innovation, Web Innovators Group offers a chance to see demos from eight or ten fledgling start-ups; this month's event happens on September 29th. It's always held in the Grand Ballroom of Cambridge's Royal Sonesta, with lots of impromptu meetings happening before and after in the lobby bar downstairs. And the event registration page offers a nice long list of who's planning to attend.

- What could be more fun than hanging out with a couple hundred chemists, genomic experts, venture capitalists, and business development execs from the local bio-pharma cluster? Biotech Tuesday is a schmooze-fest pure and simple: no agenda or speakers, just a really interesting mix of life sciences smarties from academia, start-ups, and power players like Vertex, Novartis, and Pfizer. The next two Biotech Tuesdays take place on October 13th and November 17th.

- Boston Post Mortem usually features a talk by a luminary involved in game development (this past week was Duncan Watt discussing "music as an element of game design.") It happens at The Skellig in Waltham, and the well-lubricated crowd includes game designers and programmers who work in the trenches as well as a handful of more senior game industry executives and investors.

- Cloud computing is an especially hot topic right now, and Silver Lining runs one of the newer gatherings in town. Their October 23rd event will focus on healthcare-related applications of cloud computing.

- If you're interested on the impact of technologies like Twitter, Facebook, and Ning on marketing and communications, Social Media Breakfast Boston is a must-attend event. Speakers can include CEOs like Diane Hessan of Communispace, consultants like Justin Levy of New Marketing Labs, or executives responsible for social media at big companies like EMC. To make sure you get word of upcoming meetings, sign up for the group's e-mail list and follow organizer Bob Collins on Twitter.

What gatherings do you think are worth knowing about? Add 'em to the list by posting a comment below...

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10 comments so far...
  1. I would highly recommend Mobile Monday Boston ( Great topics and panel discussions. Usually packed, so excellent for networking purposes.

    Keith Cline
    VentureFizz (

    Posted by Keith Cline September 18, 09 08:24 AM
  1. I would recommend anything connected with Boston Tie including their special interest groups (SIGs) focus - motivating entrepreneurs through sharing knowledge, also 128 ICG (Innovative Capital Group) great topics on getting funded usually delivered by an Angel, VC or PE player

    Posted by Ian D Smith September 18, 09 09:41 AM
  1. I second Keith's recommendation of MoMo Boston. Matt Gross, Kate Imbach, and Alessandro Pace have done a terrific job of pulling together entrepreneurs in the mobile space. They manage to strike a good balance of startups, students, and VCs/angels at these events. It's exciting that Boston has emerged as a hub of mobile innovation, and MoMo Boston is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing by networking with others in the space.

    Posted by David Chang September 18, 09 09:41 AM
  1. MassInno ( in Waltham is a great place to meet folks.

    Posted by Michael Raybman September 18, 09 10:04 AM
  1. I second Michael about MassInno. I've met and spent time with interesting new people every time I've attended, and it's great to check out 10 local companies, up close, every month. Casual but professional crowd; good venue. In fact, I liked the first MassInno so much, I sponsored the next one.

    Posted by TechPRGuy September 18, 09 11:28 AM
  1. MassInno, WebInno, MoMo are definitely well-attended events. There are some smaller invite only happenings that are great for networking too (BYTE, Incunation, etc.). I wanted to like Enterprise Forum events, but it is pretty much good 'ol boy network of MITers not open to outsiders (oh, and every second person is a lawyer at those events), not worth my $40.

    Posted by Apolinaras "Apollo" Sinkevicius | September 18, 09 01:43 PM
  1. MassInno, WebInno, MoMo are certainly the best ones out there in Boston right now. Haven't attended the Social Media Breakfast yet but will on the next one...sounds like fun.

    Posted by CMHill (Twitter: CheapToday_CEO) September 21, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Big fan of Social Media Club, Boston chapter events. Great forum for sharing ideas on social media best practices. Check out Todd Van Hoosear @vanhoosear on Twitter and Greg Peverill-Conti @gregpc are always interested in new programming ideas.

    Posted by Adam Zand @NoOneYouKnow September 21, 09 09:37 AM
  1. I recommend a new business networking group called Boston Irish Business Association, BIBA ( Sept 9 2009 was the first event, with over 140 attendes to hear speakers from Siemens Venture Capital and InVivo Therapeutics. Check the web for upcoming events.

    Posted by Paul Jennings September 21, 09 10:08 AM
  1. I recommend checking out They have 3 or more events a month, primarily in Boston, but also starting up in the 'burbs. Some are free, some charge a small fee. It's not unusual for them to draw over 200 professonals from various industries, and it's a friendlier crowd that your typical chamber event.

    Posted by Sophwell September 21, 09 09:09 PM


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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched 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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More from Scott


March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.

April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.