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More and more, Boston startup founders say they’re part of a community

A new poll suggests Boston’s startup scene is thriving, with entrepreneurs feeling well-connected to one another, guided by supportive mentors, and generally happy to be here.

Most of the 100 founders surveyed were in the technology, health care, biotech, and life sciences industries, but also included entrepreneurs leading analytics, social, and lifestyle firms. Nearly all were early-stage companies raising their first or second initial rounds of funding.

The Internet poll — commissioned by Hubweek, a festival showcasing Boston’s arts, science, and technology that’s cosponsored by the Globe — was done as a follow-up to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Innovation That Matters” study. Released earlier this year, the report named Boston “the #1 city in the nation for fostering entrepreneurial growth and innovation.”

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Here’s some of what the founders said:

Boston is a good place to begin

Most startup founders, 75 percent, said that starting out in Boston had strengthened their firms. And 77 percent of the founders would launch in Boston again if they had to do it all over.

An overwhelming majority, 92 percent, said they felt very or somewhat closely connected to the Boston innovation community. That number should encourage the numerous accelerators, industry associations, venture capital firms, and other groups that have worked to convene Boston startups.

Maia Heymann, the senior managing director at Converge Venture Partners and previously a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, said that feeling of community was once missing in Boston.

“In Palo Alto, just going out for coffee, you’d get business done. You’d run into someone and say, ‘Hey, I owe you an e-mail, let’s talk,’ ” she said. “That’s happening in Kendall Square now, which wasn’t always the case.”

It’s not always easy to stay in Boston

Only 44 percent of the founders said they were certain their companies would still be in Boston in five years. More, 49 percent, were unsure.

But since most founders said they would start their companies in Boston again, it’s likely these responses reflect the business uncertainties inherent in young companies more than an active desire to flee elsewhere.

For example, Alan Xie, the 22-year-old cofounder of Boston film analytics startup Pilot, said he answered “unsure” because he expects most of his eventual customers to be companies in Hollywood or New York City. He’s pondering keeping his software and executive teams in Boston, while opening sales offices near his clients.

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Noncompetes are a nonissue

Somewhat surprisingly, 75 percent of the founders surveyed said noncompete agreements would have a negligible impact on their businesses, if any.

The result comes after a year in which the controversial contracts — which can bar workers from taking new jobs or starting new companies in the same markets as their previous employers — were a hot political issue on Beacon Hill. A bill that would have limited their use failed to pass the Legislature.

But industry experts noted that the survey’s pool of early-stage founders was unlikely to be affected by noncompetes, which critics say hurt the economy by preventing the formation of new companies in the first place.

The poll, whose findings will be discussed at a Hubweek event on Wednesday at Faneuil Hall, was conducted by Brunswick Insight.


Dan Adams can be reached at daniel.adams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Adams86.