I can’t believe it was five years ago that we moved to NYC! (I don’t call it Silicon Alley or Big Apple)
Since moving here with my Wife (Kanya) and two dogs, we added two amazing children, Sophie is now four years old and Caleb is 18 months old. (Yes, I’m still reppin’ my Bay Area sports teams…this pic is from the Bronx Zoo)
The startup scene has evolved dramatically.
An important KPI for an emerging startup community is the # of VC backed companies, ultimately you need to have exits though (but that is a function of time).
The # of VC backed companies that raised money in 2011 = 97
The # of VC backed companies that raised money in 2015 = 416… the is over a 4x increase!!!
On the exit front, there were zero $100M+ exits in 2011 and in 2015, there were three (Etsy IPO + Business Insider and Sunrise acquisitions). In addition, there a lot of well established companies that are IPO ready and/or on the IPO track.
On the VC front, there were a handful of well established NYC HQ’d firms in 2011, Insight, Bessemer, Firstmark, RRE, USV, First Round, Greycroft, etc. Now there are 100+ firms who are actively writing checks, and notably, there has been a massive amount of seed focused funds established in the past few years.
The SVB office, which was growing to 10 people when I moved here, is almost 50 people now.
We are still in early days for this startup community. Over the next five years, we are going to get closer to the Bay Area in terms of investments and acquisitions (although I don’t expect NYC to be at the same scale, nor does it have to be a goal to be considered a success).
I am excited about several local initiatives that are going to propel the startup community. One is Cornell Technion campus that is being built on Roosevelt Island. It should be up and running at the end of next year, the goal is create a Stanford/MIT equivalent in NYC. The second being CSNYC , whose “mission is to ensure that all of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students have access to a high-quality computer science education that puts them on pathway to college and career success”. Lastly, we have many private organizations that are teaching people how to code, which will support the growing tech community. Some of the programs include General Assembly, Flatiron School, Startup Institute, Codecademy, Coalition for Queens, etc.
I’m grateful to be part of this growing community, the future is bright!