An Introduction to the Massachusetts Start-up Ecosystem

According to Bloomberg 2016 study, Massachusetts is the most innovative state in the USA. But how does the combination of entrepreneurs, established companies, universities and research labs, funding sources, and support programs interact to create this innovative region? And most importantly what are the resources and activities that assist the early stage entrepreneur and scale-up executive as they start and grow companies. In this overview, you will get an introduction to Massachusetts from its historic beginnings in agriculture and fisheries, through manufacturing to its current leadership position in several industries including life sciences, cleantech, IT, finance and defense. 


Abigail Barrow is the Managing Partner of Cambridge Innovation Partners – a consulting firm that helps start-ups find global and local resources for success. 

Previously she was with the University of Massachusetts President’s Office, joining in 2004 as the Founding Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) and from January, 2015 – September 2018 served as the Interim Executive Director, Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures (OTCV).  Financially supported by the state, the MTTC provides coordination and assistance to technology commercialization activities at all universities, research institutes and clinical research hospitals in Massachusetts. 

Dr. Barrow served as managing director of the von Liebig Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Created in 2001, the von Liebig Center supported the commercialization of research being performed in the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering.  Dr. Barrow worked in a variety of roles at UCSD CONNECT from 1990 to 2001. Dr. Barrow is on the board and is Chair of VentureWell.  Dr. Barrow has a Ph.D. and B.Sc. (Mech. Eng.) from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland).