Fast Company is doing a five part series on startup hubs outside of Silicon Valley. Part one was Boulder, Colorado, featuring my friend Brad Feld. I know there is a piece coming on Seattle and two other cities that I can't recall right now.
If you are in the startup sector in NYC or are thinking of relocating here to do a startup, you should read the piece.
I'd like to highlight one part of the article. Startup hubs take time to develop. You do need infrastructure and that takes time to build, but more importantly, you need mentors and role models. And that's what we have now in NYC that we didn't have ten years ago:
we're into the second decade now, and what the second decade is really turning out to be is serial entrepreneurs who've done it one, two, three, sometimes four times now, who can bring teams together very quickly, often teams that have worked together very quickly, can get on opportunities fast, can get money raised fast, can build companies pretty fast.
And now you have role models. So the first time entrepreneurs can find angel investors. It's exactly what has been going on in Silicon Valley for three, four decades now. Marc Andreessen becomes hugely successful, makes a bunch of money, becomes an angel investor, backs a bunch of people, mentors them, becomes a VC. That migration path is now playing out here in New York, and so most of the investments we do at the first angel-round stage is ourselves and a bunch of serial entrepreneurs in New York who are now making twenty-five- to fifty-thousand dollar investments as angels in these companies, sometimes acting as informal advisers and mentors to the first-time entrepreneurs.
So now we have the best of both worlds. We can back first-time entrepreneurs and have mentors and role models for them and we have those role models in their second, third, and fourth startups and that's the magic–that creates a sustainable startup economy that Silicon Valley has had for four decades now. We're three or four years into our second decade and I think it's going to be a great period for New York. I feel like we have just taken it to another level sometime in the past couple of years.
I'm very pleased to see Fast Company highlight startup hubs like NYC, Seattle, and Boulder. All three cities have nicely developing startup communities that are poised to produce some big companies in the coming years. Entrepreneurs and developers don't have to move to Silicon Valley to chase their dreams anymore. They've got options to fit their work to their lifestyle. And that's a good thing.