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What's ahead for MassTLC in 2018

As 2018 kicks off, I have been reflecting on the role MassTLC plays in our community and why I am so thankful for the opportunity to lead this great organization.

We often say that MassTLC is the largest tech trade association in Massachusetts, but it’s not the size that makes the organization so special. It is the fact that we are an inclusive “big tent” for technology sector in Massachusetts, with members of all sizes and stages, representing new and old technologies, applied to just about every industry sector. We believe in breaking down silos and that innovation happens at the boundaries as people and ideas bump and blend to create new solutions that make our world a better place.

The people who participate in the organization are among the smartest and most innovative leaders on the planet. They are problem solvers who apply their craft to challenges ranging from extraordinary lifesaving humanitarian missions to solving a problem in a company or community next door. Many, I like to say, are living in the future as bionic limbs, flying and self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence seem like scifi to people outside the sector or the region. Perhaps best of all is that by joining MassTLC, this group self-selects for optimism, collaboration, and support for one another.

Such a range of companies with such an incredible bench of talent can, and do, really have an impact and cause positive change in the world. As a trade association, we serve as a platform for them to make new connections, curate knowledge, and catalyze the collective impact our community. The number one reason companies locate in MA is our world class talent and getting enough of it is their number one challenge. As such, we spend a lot of time working with our members on talent and inclusion initiatives – helping middle and high school girls get excited about tech, getting congressional support for apprenticeships, and even championing the impact of immigrants in the U.S. Supreme Court.

We have a small, but amazing, team of professionals committed to accelerating growth, innovation and talent in the MA tech sector. Take a look at our 2017 Year in Review video to get a sense of all that they do. The MassTLC team is responsible for countless connections and initiatives that really matter in our community, such as the creation of the largest tech festival in the region, the creation of a robotics innovation center, and helping engage tech companies to help solve the last mile commuting challenge for a local community college.

There are hundreds of dedicated member executives who volunteer their time and expertise to really making tech in Massachusetts special, but with 170,000 people employed across all our member companies, I know there are many more who have yet to become engaged. To all of you who have not participated with us or many other great community organizations, I want to say that MassTLC welcomes you no matter who you are or where you come from so long as you have a passion for technology and a sound moral compass.

Organizations like MassTLC are like health clubs – what you get depends on what you give. Start by attending a few programs. Get to know the volunteer leaders and staff. Find an area to lean in and help. Much of what we do is driven by our volunteer advisory boards and communities. Become a champion for tech. Join us for State House day or for our annual DC Fly-in as we build relationships and help our elected officials better understand the value and opportunities of tech and what policies are needed to continue to accelerate innovation and growth in the sector.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Hopcroft