Corporate Innovation Services

Innovation Visitors Bureau  l  Captains of Innovation


Innovation Visitors Bureau



The Innovation Visitors Bureau (IVB) connects innovation players worldwide to the Massachusetts innovation ecosystem.  IVB provides introductions and facilitates opportunities to visit Boston Area innovation-related institutions and to take part in local innovation-related activities. Our goal is to foster international linkages with the Massachusetts innovation economy with the aim of creating concrete, valuable outcomes. IVB-organized visits provide visitors with insight into Massachusetts’ vibrant innovation ecosystem and provide a starting point to initiate collaborations. IVB also tells the story of the Massachusetts innovation economy.

We believe that innovation is one of the most promising paths to making the world better, so we seek to inspire other regions by Massachusetts’ example.


How it works?

IVB designs visit plans that match the needs of each visiting group. Each visit program includes a high-level overview of the ecosystem by a local leader as well as opportunities to tour one or more key innovation sites. Past visit sites have included:


  • Artisan’s Asylum
  • CIC Cambridge & Boston
  • District Hall
  • Greentown Labs
  • Harvard iLab
  • LabCentral
  • Mass Challenge
  • MIT and Harvard campuses
  • MIT Media Lab
  • NGIN

Tours sometimes include meeting with a number of local innovation catalyst participants, founders of startup companies, and sector thought leaders.

If the delegation’s visit coincides with a local event of interest, then IVB can arrange for the group to attend. These events can include a Venture Café session at CIC, a Mass Challenge mixer, or Mass Technology Leadership event. The teams also create opportunities for informal social connections with local leaders and entrepreneurs at lunch-time, social hour, and dinner gatherings.

Acting as a liaison between the innovation organizations and the visiting delegations, IVB offers insights into each organization’s philosophy and approach to fostering innovation, in addition to exposing participants to the magic of Greater Boston: our culture of innovation and collaboration.

The types of visiting delegations that IVB typically services are:

  • Country, regional and city government officials
  • University officials
  • Student delegations
  • Industry associations
  • Corporate groups

IVB tour fees are based on the size of the group and range of activities. Please complete the VISIT REQUEST FORM so that we can contact you and start the planning process.

For more information please contact


Captains of Innovation



The Captains of Innovation Program is designed to help larger companies envision the future of its industry and connect with Greater Boston’s startups to achieve that vision. The program’s gatherings engage with Boston’s innovation and research communities for conversations about customers’ future behavior.  Facilitated startup meetings introduce companies to disruptive technologies and market trends that may help strengthen a company’s competitive position and expand its innovation capacity.

Vencaf NTT07What are the Captains advantages?

Captains will allow you to strategically connect with executives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and companies in Greater Boston’s business ecosystem—the world’s most intense, dense, and diversified innovation cluster.  By joining Captains, your company will gain first-mover access to ideas and technologies as only insiders can:  quickly, strategically, and in a personal way.

Captains staff and senior advisors are trusted and highly respected business and technology leaders with intimate knowledge of multiple technologies, industries and markets.  As a not-for-profit initiative, we bring an objective and neutral approach to our work.

How does Captains work?

First, we work closely with your team to articulate the business and technology capabilities of greatest interest to your company.  Second, we scan Greater Boston’s innovation communities to identify lead users, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and startups working in these areas of interest.  And third, we organize customized meetings to bring together high-level executives from your company with these lead users, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs.  We manage the process from start to finish, including recruiting lead users and thought leaders, selecting startups for conversations, coordination of schedules, and use of Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) or District Hall facilities.

How do these gatherings look in practice?

We work with your team to design customized roundtables and gatherings.  Some program options are:

  • A facilitated gathering of users who can provide insight into the future of your industry and market.
  • An ideation session with thought-leaders and other experts within the start-up and academic communities.
  • A start-up liaison process that will connect your company to the local start-up ecosystem and expose your team to novel capabilities.

For more information, please contact