Top 10 Startups in NYC , Q1 2017 edition

“who are the best startups in NYC?”….I get this question a lot.

It is very hard to quantify an answer, usually is based on some anecdotes but rarely is it a data driven answer.  One way to quantify this is by utilizing information via Glassdoor  If a company is highly ranked on Glassdoor, it should indicate that the employees overall are happy campers.  If you have happy employees, there is a strong likelihood that customers are happy, which usually means $$$.   I have not researched whether or not, there is a strong correlation between happy employees and company success, but intuitively I think it makes sense, if you disagree, please let me know.

In any case, here are my top 10 startups in NYC, would love to get your thoughts.

In no particular order:

  • Seatgeek
  • Apprenda
  • CB Insights
  • Boxed
  • Datadog
  • Hightower (now VTS)
  • InVision
  • Kemp
  • Justworks
  • BounceExchange

These companies met ALL of the parameters below, again the data is from Glassdoor:

  • HQ’d in NYC
  • At least 20 reviews provided by current/previous employees
  • At least a score of 4.7 (out of 5)

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Make America Great Again ?!

As you know, this is Trump’s slogan.  What does he mean exactly when he says this?  When was America great?  When did we lose our greatness?

Make America Great Again…like when we took the land (& killed) of the indigenous population?

Make America Great Again….like when we enslaved (& killed) Africans?

Make America Great Again…like when the South was willing to lose the lives of over a million people in the Confederacy to protect the slave economy?

Make America Great Again…like when we dropped nuclear bombs on Japan?

Make America Great Again…like when our schools were segregated?

Make America Great Again…like when over a million people were killed in the Vietnam war?

Make America Great Again…like when civil rights leaders were being assassinated?

Make America Great Again…like when women weren’t allowed to vote?

Make America Great Again…like when we went to war with Iraq?

Make America Great Again…like when police killed over 1,000 people in 2015?

There are a lot of great things about America, but we are not great (yet) but are getting better over time.  We continue to iterate as a country, which is the greatest thing going for us.  Our past is painful, let’s never forget it but learn from it and build towards a better country. 

 

 

 

Summer Internship 2016

Update on 1/29/2016:  I am currently reviewing the submitted emails and will respond by Feb 15th if we want to move forward with an interview.

 

We (SVB) are seeking an amazing intern for the Summer of 2016.

The past interns that I’ve hired have gone to do some interesting things in the startup/venture community:

  • Kevin Carter, who subsequently joined SV Angel as an Associate and is now a Partner
  • Chaz Flexman, who subsequently joined SVB full-time, then worked for A16Z and now is VP of Strategic Relationship at PCH International
  • Thomas Knowles, who subsequently joined the SVB venture arm and is now a Partner at Gratitude Railroad (a VC fund in Utah)
  • Dimitris Kouvaros who subsequently and recently became a Director at Newark Venture Partners (a new VC fund / Accelerator)

Here are the characteristics that she or he must possess:

  • PASSION for the startup community
  • Articulate (both in writing and presenting)
  • Takes initiative
  • Hard worker
  • Have an opinion (let me know which sector(s) you are excited about)

If this sounds like you and can clearly demonstrate the above characteristics, please send me an email at sgoldman at svb.com.  In the subject line, use: 2016 Internship.

A few key points to highlight:

  • This is a paid position (~$15 / hour)
  • Ideally, the candidate is currently a Freshman, Sophomore or Junior
  • Start date would be around June, flexible depending on your class schedule
  • Could be either full-time or part-time
  • Position is based in NYC
  • Ideally, the candidate lives in NYC, in case we would like to extend the internship beyond the summer
  • You get to work directly with me 🙂
  • All the work you will be doing is squarely focused on data/metrics regarding the startup/vc community.  A lot of ad hoc projects around venture funding/activity, sector analysis, portfolio reviews, assisting with blog posts, working with CRM, etc.
  • I will review applicants emails in January and will make a final hiring decision by the end of February

 

About SVB:

In short, we are the leading global commercial bank for entrepreneurs and investors.  A more detailed overview is provided below.

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Start Small

A little more background on my recent tweets, see below.

I recently had a conversation with a VC who is in the process of raising his 1st fund.  My suggestion was to start small, acknowledging that management fees would likely be minimal or close to nothing.  The benefit of starting small is that the fundraising process will likely be slightly shorter and slightly easier (although it is never SHORT or EASY).  Institutional LPs want to see how you can manage a fund, so that faster you get started and show a track record, the faster you can have a chance of raising from those big LPs.  Many funds have shown the ability to start small and then raise significantly larger funds in a handful of years.

I also threw out the idea of…hold you breath…not charging any management fees on the first fund (i.e. no salary) but with a pre-negotiated amount of draw to cover non-salary costs.  I know this is shocker for some, but several managers have done this.  The trick obviously is how do you pay your bills with no salary?  Some had savings that carried them over for a few years, some had a significant other that helped them cover their living costs and some did consulting on the side.  Hard to pull off, but can make the fundraising process even faster if you are looking to optimize for speed.

Related, here is a post by a Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, who raised an inaugural $8.3M fund and outlines the economics of his fund  http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2014/5/12/the-economics-of-a-small-vc-fund.html

Also a post by Notation Capital, which raised a sub $10M inaugural fund and how they capped their fees https://medium.com/@NotationCapital/a-million-dollars-in-fees-762009db0cc8#.uh0xauv93

 

How Do I Rebuild My Twitter Feed ?

One of my new year resolutions was to nuke my twitter feed.  I was following about 500 people and I unfollowed all of them.

Rebuilding you twitter list takes some time, but here are the steps that I took to rebuild my list:

  1. Go through my DMs, which is any easy way to refollow people who are important for me.
  2. There are about ~50 people that I can easily remember to follow again.
  3. Use SocialRank – this awesome service gives you insights on which of your followers you should follow and who you interact with the most
  4. I go through my mentions area to see if there are some people that I should follow that I recently engaged with.
  5. I ask people who I should follow.   See this as an example.

Within a few days, I rebuilt my feed with about 250 people.  About 50 of those are people I didn’t follow before.

If you have any tips on this, please let me know.

Better Health

Got my physical results last week, without getting into specifics, the doctor says I need to take better care of myself. So I set out to five goals for myself for the next 30 days:

1. No booze. I do a lot of entertaining/networking for my job and also watch a lot of ball games, so I tend to consume a fair amount of alcohol, this is going to be challenging but I’m mentally prepared.

2. No caffeine. I hardly drink any sodas but I do drink at least two cups of coffee a day, sometimes three, so this is going to be the most challenging part for me.

3. Participate in Movember. Will raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. Will be raising money (see link) and also growing out a mustache (see pic below).

4. Trying to reduce the consumption of red meat and sweets.

5.  Lastly, doing a 3 day liquid cleanse during the 1st week of this new diet (see pic below)

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The $600B Opportunity

Four years ago, I wrote a post about how there is $240B on the balance sheet of some of the biggest technology companies (10 of them) in the world, which is a great sign for startups who are looking to get acquired.  Almost all of the companies in 2011 have added significant cash to their balance sheet over the past four years. I pulled up the cash on hand for an expanded list (21 companies) and now there is $600B available to make acquisitions of startups.

I included cash and short-term investments only for this and previous post.  So in reality there is much more than $600B available via long-term accounts / offshore accounts.

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