My Talk Today About The NYC Startup Sector

A couple things:

1) It will be live on ustream at

2) The talk is scheduled to start at 6:30pm. I'll twitter out the URL when the talk is about to start.

I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback in the comments. It is a great discussion, comment thread so far. The final deck, reflecting some of the comments is below.

I'm looking forward to giving this talk and if it is well received, I'll do it again soon in a larger venue.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. David Huckley

    Have you seen these 2 reports which say there’s a shortage of engineers, and the linkage from universities to startups is weak. I know you’re focusing on the positives, but if you could also address these points, that would be great.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      This was an interesting piece from that site, Will Low-Skilled Workers Benefit from Economic Recovery?. You know what would help low-skilled workers? Not continuously importing more low-skilled workers to compete with them for jobs and drive down their wages, while at the same time straining federal and state social services budgets.Neither the current GOP establishment nor the current Dem establishment is responding coherently to the challenges of globalization on those who are vulnerable to outsourcing or insourcing (i.e., most private sector workers). This is a dangerous political void. We may not like what fills it.Sorry for the digression.

    2. fredwilson

      I think they are wrong about the first point and the second point is over rated as a factor

      1. ShanaC

        I don’t think the second point is totally overrrated. Only partially. You’re paying your first college tuition bills now. I was talking to some law students recently- is law school (or undergraduate to get to law school) worth the cost we put into it if we see college as a place where you get credentials. Or law school, or Business school. Or even parts of medical school. We use these places as partial filters of wealth, prestige and intelligence. And most people go into debt to do so. And for some people, it’s not a little debt, it’s a lot of debt. Jobs that are perceived as stable or at least jobs that are perceived that will earn money are going to be the ones that are in high demand.Meanwhile, it isn’t clear that these are they places where you build skills for a job, or is that job shoved to your actual job, a la the old school way, apprenticeship. If it is more like apprenticeship, why are we not running around and trying to mimic that experience for more people in more ways (back to the hacking education problem). Internships partially resolve the problem- yet only partially. There are massive questions of why you would pay someone to give you a job (aka school credit for a job) as well as is the job actually appropriate and a way to gain skills.So you may have a flurry of young people chasing around jobs that may or may not exist to pay back debt for someplace that may or may not have helped them get a job in the long run. Wonderful.

      2. jaredhecht

        Why do you think the second point is over rated? Vivek Wadhwa just had two posts on TC addressing the disconnect between invention and entrepreneurship in universities. Aside from the obvious bureaucracies inherent in major institutions, how is this not a potentially valuable untapped market?NYC has a tremendous academic force producing valuable research, a majority of which sits on the shelf and collects dust. Couldn’t this be a major source in helping to develop the NYC startup community?

        1. fredwilson

          All great companies start with an entrepreneur not a piece of research or technology

  2. Mark Essel

    Sorry to admit I’ve been tied up and haven’t dug into the slides. Will definitely tune in, thanks for live streaming the talk!

  3. twakefield

    Two of your points dovetail nicely with what is happening with augmented reality. The technology is more suited to densely populated areas and it is bringing the internet into our everyday lives. Furthermore, it seems NYC has been pretty innovative in location based mobile apps (e.g., foursquare). If AR becomes as big as some people think and NYC can become a leader in the field, it could catapult forward in the startup sector.

    1. William Mougayar

      That’s a great point regarding NYC being a leading adopter of mobile/location-based services which is a key trend, but that’s from a usage point of view mostly, not development necessarily (although Foursquare is there obviously). I’ll repeat it here- NYC is the host city to a staggering number of technology conferences. They all pass by NYC to legitimize themselves. It strikes as a missed opportunity if companies just pass by NYC and not learn about why they should stay and expand in NYC.Also, there could be better bridges/synergies between the universities and the startup sector. What NY universities are pumping software/engineering grads like Stanford, UC, etc… are?

    2. fredwilson

      We are certainly paying a lot of attention to ar right now

  4. Vladimir Vukicevic

    Thanks for this Fred. It helps our community to have strong leaders that advocate the cause of New York – you will have that role tonight.

  5. chris dixon

    They asked me to be part of the Q&A after you talk. I feel like a comedian going on stage after Chris Rock.

    1. fredwilson

      When they threw in jack dorsey before you as well, that was rough duty!

  6. Mike Su

    anytime you can work in a shot from Trading Places, you have a winning presentation (even though the film was primarily based in Philly, but I guess it did conclude in NYC).

  7. William Mougayar

    Wow. Bonus for us to have both Fred & Chris weigh in.

  8. ShanaC

    Now I need to figure out how to rewatch it, meetings.

  9. Rathan

    What do you think of proximity to major advertising agencies as a potential factor for successful internet start-ups in NYC (maybe it’s not its own factor, but perhaps a factor 10a)? Since a lot of web destinations are reliant on the advertising model, I would believe being close to where most advertising agencies are headquartered would be advantageous as far as relationships and keeping up to date with how advertising objectives change.Is there a place where this can be replayed?

  10. Mark Essel

    I missed the live broadcast, if there is one saved, can I watch it?On a side note, caught an awesome ted talk from Tim Brown on design and it’s human focus, with a larger systematic scale.…OMG Trading Places image, how did I miss this talk, damnit.Last remark, is there a way I can donate to a fund that will buy the Snorgtees advertisement girl some bacon, she’s looking unhealthily thin.

    1. fredwilson

      They were supposed to post the video. I will find it and post it here

  11. Guest

    Hi Fred, Great presentation. Quick question if you don’t mind, what’s the source for the number of seed/early-stage tech deals? Is it “startupvision”? Thanks!

    1. fredwilson

      No it is thompson reuters data

      1. Guest

        thanks, appreciate it.

  12. Go Blue!


  13. Go Blue!