5 Pillar Companies that Started in Boston

Surrounded by top colleges in the US, Boston has been a hub for innovation and home to the country’s best companies in industries such as biotech, consumer technology and robotics. Many of these companies have grown from local startups to local public companies with the support of the innovation community. Here are 5 you might already know!


Photo credit: Justin Jensen

TripAdvisor is one of the biggest online travel companies that leverages user-generated content to create atomic network effects. Founded in 2000, it started out as an eight people startup with a small office on top of Kosta’s Pizza & Seafood in Needham. Now it has become an international media group that serves travelers around the world. In 2015, the company expanded its Needham HQ and they continue to fuel the tech ecosystem and innovation in the greater Boston area.


Photo credit: Ryan Breslin

Originally known as CSN Stores, the e-commerce company that sells a “zillion things home” was founded in Boston in 2002 by Niraj Shah and Steve Conine. Since then, the company has been growing quickly and internationally. Since 2014, Wayfair has gone public and become the largest online-only retailer of home furnishings. Besides that, Wayfair is also one of the 25 companies for work-life balance in the US, according to Glassdoor.


HubSpot was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah at MIT in 2006, and it provides various tools for online marketing. HubSpot brings a revolutionary approach to digital marketing with “inbound marketing,” and they have educated thousands of marketers and online business owners around the world to find their customers through content marketing. With strong growth and constant innovation, they are poised to be a leader in the marketing automation space for years to come.


Photo credit: Dina Rudick

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Vertex began as a small start-up focused solely on research and aimed at developing groundbreaking drugs. Since the very beginning, Vertex has maintained a thriving culture of innovation and ambitious long-term vision. Vertex has been at the forefront of the biotech industry, and since 2011, it has ranked among the top 15 best-performing companies on the S&P 500 list.


Photo creadit: Aram Boghosian

iRobot was founded in 1990 by 3 MIT students who designed robots for space exploration and military defense. While developing innovative robots in medical, military and research applications, the company has also designed and launched robots for everyday consumers. Its robots — Roomba, Scooba, Dirt Dog — have names as cool as the technologies that power them.

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