New York (or ‘Silicon Alley’ as it’s known within the startup community) breeds a special kind of entrepreneur – the true hustler. The level of competition here is staggering, however there is such a dense and supportive community to help give you a real fighting chance – watch out Palo Alto! But be warned, the cost of living here is extreme so prepare to familarise yourself with Ramen Noodles, fast.
The startup community in NYC is growing at astronomical rates with groups like Tech Meetup’s 28,000 members regularly gathering in swarms of 800+ every month. Every vertical you can image has a thriving community, even the most ‘niece’ industry or sector will have a meetup or gathering organisation of some form. From distributed information systems, to secondhand clothing, to nanotechnology – whatever the industry, you’ll find a group of people in NYC who share you passion. Being immersed in a highly dense environment by driven and like-mined people is what makes the allure and opportunity of New York so appealing.
Considering that Manhattan accounts for almost 10% of national GDP, it’s not hard to understand that capital and personal wealth is in abundance here. Venture capital firms in most cases are looking for strong business models as well as other partnering firms that would be able to add value to a potential round of capital raising.
One of the most first criteria that a VC will grade a potential deal on is how the opportunity got in front of them in the first place. As Andrew Mitchell (Managing Partner at ZIG Capital) told me – “How did this deal get on my desk?” Although cold calling/emailing can *sometimes* work, how the VC game is played in NYC is all about connections – so if you’re willing to take the plunge, prepare to build a network and take the time to understand the community (and investors) before reaching out for money.
A rising trend towards promoting and fostering more socially impactful, clean tech and non-profit startups is especially abundant in a place like NYC and has driven the creation of dedicated co-working spaces like Green Spaces as “playgrounds” for innovation and socially conscious entrepreneurs wanting to make a difference. Very impressed with this space, and those inside of it!
The popularity of co-working spaces over the last 2 years has grown exponentially around the world, however no single entity has arguably been as successful than NYC-born General Assembly. In under 3 years Adam Pritzker, Matthew O.Brimer and Brad Hargreaves have expanded GA campus’ and educational services across the nation and recently opened up offices internationally. If you decide that NYC is in your sights, make sure GA is one of the first places you land.
There is an indescribable buzz and energy about the city that’s completely intoxicating and infectious. Although you’re a tiny fish in a seemingly endless ocean, the osmosis effect of the city pushes your harder, makes you work smarter, and places you in an environment where you have the capacity to truly excel on the world stage.
If you can make it here, everyone will pay attention.