The Rise of the New York Startup Scene

The Rise of the New York Startup Scene

Original post by RACHEL METZ via  technologyreview

A growing number of techies are calling New York City home, and investors are paying attention.

When Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai started building their location-sharing startup,Foursquare, in 2008, they chose New York City for their headquarters, and Crowley’s kitchen table in the East Village served as their first workspace. “We never even had a conversation about, ‘the only way to make it succeed is to go to California—should we pack up our stuff?’ ” he says.

Given that the pool of Web developers was so much bigger in Silicon Valley, Crowley’s decision might have seemed risky. But in the past few years, a growing number of startups have seen the Big Apple as a viable alternative to the San Francisco Bay area. This growth is fueled by a confluence of factors: the rise of several prominent startups, including Foursquare and the crowdfunding site Kickstarter; the arrival of venture-backed accelerator programs to help young startups get off the ground; a pool of engineers who have come to or stayed in the city as companies like Facebook and Twitter built offices in New York; and moves by New York City’s government to encourage tech innovation.

Today, Crowley occasionally serves as a startup mentor in the city, taking meetings with students and nascent entrepreneurs in New York the way respected tech veterans have long done in Palo Alto or San Francisco. “That stuff that’s been going on for 20 or 30 years in the Valley is just starting to happen,” he says.

It’s hard to say precisely how many startups there are in New York City, but an online mapfrom Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office lists nearly 1,000 that are hiring. New York Tech Meetup, a nonprofit organization, took about seven years to get its first two members; but by April 2011 it had 15,000 and now 26,000, says Jessica Lawrence, the group’s managing director. Monthly meetings, which are held in an 850-person theater, cost $10 and lately have been selling out in less than a minute, she says, forcing the group to offer simulcasts at other locations for those who can’t be there in person. One of her group’s goals is simply to remind people that there is an abundance of software engineers in New York.

Techmeetups launches the Guru Program to help Startups & early stage companies with mentoring on all aspects of your Business.

Limited spaces are available – book your place on the Guru Program now to attend in London or remotely from anywhere in the world.


Leave a comment