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Startups: The Northeast Scene Is Thriving

With the passing of Steve Jobs still fresh on my mind, I was listening to an interview with hip-hop pioneers Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons on NPR this week. While all three are primarily recognized for the innovation they brought to their particular arenas, the thing that stuck with me the most was the chances they took to make that innovation a reality.

This got me to thinking about the brave souls from the entrepreneurial and startup worlds I’ve found myself spending a fair amount of time with over the last several weeks. The Northeast is alive and thriving with innovation, all with an eye toward becoming the next great success story.

Dyn had the privilege of sponsoring the one-year anniversary event for DartBoston’s Dart Dinner at the House of Blues Foundation Room in Boston.  My good friend (and entrepreneur) Travis York and I were in attendance for this unbelievably spirited gathering of the very best entrepreneurs that Boston/Cambridge has to offer.

I was lucky enough to sit with Rentabilities co-founder Alex Cook and Sitting Around co-founder Erica Zidel during dinner that evening. Both Alex and Erica have expertly honed their “elevator pitch” and both are immensely dedicated to driving their passion projects towards ultimate success.

Mill33While I am not an entrepreneur, I’ve found myself riding shotgun on a couple of inspiring projects: Indikoi Sinks and Mill33.  Indikoi co-owners David and Brandi Pellerin are two of my oldest and closest friends, so I’ve gotten insight into their journey than most will never know.  I am continually blown away at the level of patience and fortitude they display on a daily basis.

Former colleagues and longtime collaborators Josh Lyford and Joe Vance recently left relatively comfortable positions at an established software company to put their heart and soul into a new email marketing venture known as Mill33.  As prepared as they were for this undertaking, both continue to be amazed at how there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

Thanks to an introduction from my favorite British subject Andy Piggott, my colleague Josh Delisle and I were introduced to the good folks at AppFirst. During a recent trip to NYC for Interop (the anti startup/entrepreneur scene), we met with CEO David Roth and CMO Pamela Roussos.  It was exhilarating to hear about their recent round of funding and how they were planning to put some of that money to work.  Listening to David’s “why AppFirst” pitch was one of the most inspiring things I’ve heard in awhile.

abi innovation hub - Manchester, NH

Innovation often gets its start in higher ed or business incubators of some kind.

I’ve been smack dab in the middle of the two while introducing my alma mater New England College to the abi Innovation Hub and TEDx Amoskeag Millyard.  When I made the introduction at the grand opening party for Dyn’s new office, I was hopeful that these three wonderful organizations would be able to find a way to work together. After spending the afternoon with representatives from each, I now know there are several different ways they can!

While Dyn has been in rapid growth mode of late, we still consider ourselves a bootstrapped startup.  It’s in our DNA and we LOVE working with other startup and early stage companies. Find out the various ways we can help your company.


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Whois: Matt Toy

Matt Toy is a Director, Customer Success Program Management at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.