There’s a battle brewing in Boston that every local startup founder and employee is closely watching, but the outcome will have implications far beyond Massachusetts.
By Ellen Rubin
As our state legislature weighs several bills that would ban noncompete agreements, the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) and many entrepreneurs, including myself, are arguing that the time is past due for this move.
Noncompete agreements clash with our company culture at ClearSky Data – they slow innovation, harm entrepreneurship, and limit employees’ career development. As a co-founder, I’ve removed these clauses from my startup’s employment contracts, and I urge other Massachusetts businesses to do the same.
Noncompetes slow the growth of innovation
During the 15 years I’ve worked in Boston’s startup community, I have personally seen some of the negative results of noncompetes in my own companies and other startups in the area. Before I became CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, I co-founded a company called CloudSwitch that was acquired by Verizon in 2011. Verizon committed significant resources to building a local technology hub in the Boston area as a result of the acquisition, hiring more than 100 people here. Previously, I was part of the executive team at Netezza, a data warehousing company in central Massachusetts that went public in 2007 and was acquired by IBM in 2010, scaling to hundreds of people employed locally.