HubSpot CEO offers insight for startups

According to HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan, location does matter for startup companies.

HubSpot, a Cambridge-based marketing software firm (right down the street from ABG’s commercial office) has seen its revenue skyrocket in the past year, bringing in $52 million in 2012, 82 percent up from the previous year’s totals. The company has raised $100 million in funding since its formation in 2006.

At a conference last Friday in Cambridge, Halligan imparted some useful advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in the Boston area. Launching a promising startup on the East Coast carries more weight and is more likely to attract media attention compared to the competitive Silicon Valley, where everyone is “a small fish in a huge pond,” says Halligan. “It’s hard to get written about and noticed. It’s hard to get love out there.”

The East Coast also offers advantages in terms of retaining talent. Halligan contends that East Coast workers are more committed to their companies for the long-term, staying with the company through tough times. However, if this was to happen in the Silicon Valley, “the whole company leaves to work for competitors.” Halligan advised entrepreneurs to seek their fortune on the East Coast and avoid the inevitable pitfalls of the Valley.

Venture Capital investments are essential for any startups looking to expand their business. Halligan discussed his experience with West Coast venture capitalists as an East Coast company. HubSpot waited until the later rounds to receive funding from the Valley, only after it became a well-established firm. West Coast VCs are less likely to support smaller, less-reputable companies.

HubSpot is currently considering going public, says Halligan in a recent interview. The company is now worth millions of dollars, and is a prime example of a successful startup. As for other aspiring companies hoping to make it big, the East Coast might just be the place to start.

For more information, check out the Boston Business Journal.

Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, said the company found a number of advantages in launching on the East Coast.