We love Boston: 3 immigrant founders share what makes the local tech scene great

June 15, 2017

boston

Home to world-class universities and research institutions, Boston has earned a global reputation for attracting aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world. We spoke with Boston-based founders from three countries about why they decided to move to Boston and what the city has done to keep them here.

pol

Prior to founding Wanderu, Polina Raygorodskaya was the founder and president of Polina Fashion, a boutique fashion, travel and luxury PR firm based in New York City. She moved to Boston from Russia at four years old.

Responses via Polina Raygorodskaya, CEO

Favorite Boston-centric activity

Lawn on D in South Boston. I love that the city of Boston has been consistent in organizing and hosting fun outdoors activities there, and I think Lawn on D has quickly become a must-visit spot in our city.

Favorite bar or restaurant

Rincon Limeno in East Boston — delicious Peruvian food and great sangrias!

When did you first move to Boston? What were the circumstances of the move?

I moved here from Russia with my family when I was four years old and I grew up in Newton.

What made Boston the right place to start a business?

Boston has developed quite a sizable travel ecosystem, so a bus and train travel company like Wanderu fits quite well here. Also, being in Boston made it possible for us to be a part of some great incubators such as BU, Start Tank (PayPal) and Mass Challenge. In the early days of Wanderu, those [incubators] provided us with much needed office space and access to an extraordinary network of like-minded individuals.

If you could pitch Boston to investors from another country, how would you do so?

Boston offers the unique opportunity to attract excellent talent from some of the top ranking universities in the world.

actifio

Actifio CEO Ash Ashutosh was born and raised in Hyderabad, India. He came to the U.S. to pursue a master’s and PhD in computer science. Two decades later, Ashutosh is known as a serial entrepreneur with experience in founding, building and advising companies at all stages.

Responses via Ash Ashutosh, CEO

Favorite Boston-centric activity

Museum of Fine Arts

Favorite bar or restaurant

There are way too many choices here. I prefer the small, family-owned authentic places from around the world.

When did you first move to Boston? What were the circumstances of the move?

I first moved in 2000, working for a company that was headquartered in Boston. I had lived in Colorado before that, but moved to Boston to support the IPO of the company I worked for.

What made Boston the right place to start a business?

It was a combination of things: the culture of building something sustainable, the incredible talent and the support ecosystem.

If you could pitch Boston to investors from another country, how would you do so?

I’m definitely new in ideas and technology but old-fashioned in business philosophy and culture.

cogito

Prior to founding Cogito, maker of behavioral analytics software, New Zealand native Josh Feast worked at tech companies like 8i, Microsoft and Accenture.

Responses via Josh Feast, CEO and co-founder

Favorite Boston-centric activity

Playing chase with my son at the Frog Pond playground.

Favorite bar or restaurant

Penang near Chinatown

When did you first move to Boston? What were the circumstances of the move?

2005, to attend graduate school at MIT

What made Boston the right place to start a business?

The science behind our technology was developed at MIT and we have deep roots at the institution. Plus, there is a great core of loyal world-class technical and commercial talent in Boston.

If you could pitch Boston to investors from another country, how would you do so?

If you want to be part of something world-changing, invest in Boston. It is America’s true engine of science and innovation.

 

Photos via companies

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