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NYSIA April Meeting Recap – Startup Life in NYC
Tonight the April meeting of the NYSIA was held at the JPMorganChase headquarters in Manhattan. A packed crowd attended with the panel discussing startup life in NYC. The panelists included: Hank Williams, Founder and CEO, Kloudshare; Jeffrey Stewart, Founder, Mimeo.com; Jason Olim, founder CDNow; and Roger Krakoff, Sigma Partners. Moderating the panel was NYSIA member Howard Greenstein. Here are my notes from the discussion.
Howard opened the discussion by listing the most popular challenges that startups face in NYC (data obtained via survey):
- real estate
- finding the right talent
- finding advice
General panelist takeaways:
- it’s hard to find talented people in NYC who are also willing to take a big risk with a startup
- believes GPS will be huge in the near term once the consumer side of it expands
- also stressed that an economic downturn is good for startups
- lawyers want more money in NYC
- believes the ideas generated here are great
- has 10% of the companies in his portfolio in NYC (he’s based in Boston
- the key is to show value in the market
- he believes there is more talent in New Jersey but these folks aren’t willing to make their way across the river so it might make sense to open an office there
- make sure to think about the west coast for funding – staying local might not be beneficial
- he believes in outsourcing to China and Argentina to find great developers
- NYC is an international city which means that talent and ideas are here from all over the world
The panelists did a good job overall. The discussion only focused on funding and employment. While those two issues are important, there are so many other topics that could have been discussed as well. At one point I had to stand up and mention communication. For example, while everyone spoke about finding great talent, there was no discussion about how to get the word out that you need the talent! More discussion about real estate would have been welcomed as well. I like the NYSIA folks a lot and know how much they give back to the community. It sure seems like they have a lot of organizational process for the group as a whole.
Check out our February recap — discussion with Henry Blodget.