We are really just putting this out there as a starting point in hope that readers will add to the list. Of course it is nowhere comprehensive and totally subjective. Let us know your choices. Oh, and don't nominate yourself, spread the kudos around.
Web Innovators Group
WebInno was founded and is currently led by David Beisel of Venrock. It is the stalwart networking event for mobile and web technology startups in the Boston area.
Started informally in the fall of 2005 it has grown to the present day where up to 800 people gather to schmooze and review the latest crop of services from bootstrapped or seed funded companies.
Open Coffee Wednesdays, 8:30 am - 10:30 am: Andala Coffee House
286 Franklin Street
This is the Cambridge version of the concept that originated in London by Saul Klein of Index Ventures. The idea was to organise real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow. The Cambridge group was started by Nabeel Hyatt of Conduit Labs and Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital, and meets every wednesday morning. It is well worth attending to meet the next generation of entrepreneurs and have lively discussions about what everyone is doing.
BetaHouse Jon and Brian have created a workplace that caters to pre funded startups as well as individuals looking for office space. If you are looking for a great environment to crank some code, go check it out. They host a good party too.
VC Funded 2008:
If you want to watch a startup and learn how to market in the online world, you could have no better example that Hubspot. They are building a business teaching companies how to attract potential customers without using the less effective traditional means of interruption and expensive advertising. Follow along as they ride the wave of marketing based upon permission, organic search traffic and the use of social media, that is inbound marketing.
Angel Funded 2008:
Tipjoy Y Combinator launched and Angel funded, Tipjoy has been generating a lot of interest with it's new Auto Twitter integration, see an example of how it is being used by @Pistachio for the WellWishes campaign. They also deserve kudos for returning to the Boston area rather than base the company in Silicon Valley.
Flipkey After building a useful initial site and ramping user acquisition, they landed a strong group of angel investors including Nick Beim of Matrix Partners. Then soon afterward, TripAdvisor took a majority ownership position in the company, validating the team and concept.
MyPunchbowl is a prime example of building a business through executing on the fundementals. Incremental and steady improvement of the product and continually acquiring users lead to a recent follow on investment.
One of our readers turned us on to Editme. Nice product and business, no VC and a healthy dose of excellent customer service, makes Editme a winner.
JobVent This simple concept continues to gain momentum and users by providing a platform for users to get off their chest feelings about their work environment.
North Bridge Venture Partners deserves recognition for diversifying a portfolio that has been very successful in the traditional domains of Boston VC's, namely communications and enterprise software. Recent investments in a variety of categories of web offerings from a career site, virtual goods market, social media infrastructure, financial communities and mobile photo blogging have set them apart in 2008 as a growing participant in the Boston Web scene.
YCombinator the seminal Advisor/Investor firm that has spawned many copycat endeavors. While some may have the advisory chops, fewer still have the connections and none have Paul Graham. Hats off to the idol of hackers around the world and the gadfly to Boston VC's.
Bantam Group We first heard about this angel investor only a few months ago. After some research, it was clear that Bantam Group may be the best Boston Angel investor you've never heard off. One look at their investments will tell you that they are supporting new Web companies more than any other local angel.
Furquan Nazeeri started blogging about his experience as an EIR at Softbank in 2007. Always insightful and even more interesting now that he has started his own company Virid.us. Bringing perspectives from both sides of the table, Altgate is a must read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and investing in startups.
Most Influential Blogger:
Scott has been promoting two big issues that are important for Boston area starups. The elimination of non-compete agreements and pushing for an organized effort to keep our best graduating students in the Boston area and engaged with the Emerging Technology community.
Don't even try to keep up with this guy. There is a lot of fluff in the S M crowd, but Chris puts the hype into action.