New York City lacks the startup density of Silicon Valley, but there are plenty of reasons to start your next company here:
1. A great (and growing) startup scene. Soho, Union Square and the Flatiron district form the new Silicon Alley, where you’ll have your pick of companies, meetups and events. Great startups are doing great work here across industries—including tumblr, foursquare, 10gen, Betaworks, turntable.fm, Etsy,Skillshare, and Harvest, among others 1. New York also has a sizable angel and VC community 2.
2. Bubble-free. SF often feels like a company town; in contrast, New York is a national hub for publishing, advertising, fashion, food, and finance, to name a few. Being in the center of all these industries is inspiring, and your startup can take advantage of this diversity.
3. The singles scene. Some folks might rank this as #1; I’m trying not to assume too much. But if you’re a single straight guy or gal in SF or Mountain View, you (or a friend) have likely complained about the singles scene in the Bay Area.
Forbes ranks New York as the best city for singles, putting it above San Francisco, which clocks in at #7 3. For single guys, the numbers don’t lie—there are 210,820 more single women than men in the New York metropolitan area, while the Bay Area boasts a surplus of 65,000 men. 4
Plus, being a hacker/entrepreneur is more unique in New York—telling someone you make iPhone apps elicits interest, not eye-rolls. (Try it.)
4. Official support. Mayor Bloomberg wants to turn New York into a tech hub, and city officials reach out to local entrepreneurs. The NYC Economic Development Corporation offers great resources including info on city incentives and discounted office space for startups.
5. The city never sleeps. NYC is much friendlier to the late-night hacker’s schedule—subways and buses run 24/7 and great restaurants stay open till 2am or 4am. Contrast this with San Francisco, where it’s hard to get good food after 11pm, even on a Saturday night.
6. The upstart startup hub. This one is hard to quantify, but there’s something exciting about being part of the NY startup culture because it is less established than SF—you’ll find plenty of room (and enthusiasm) for starting a new meetup, for example. There’s an energy in the air here, a sense that we are all part of something new and growing and awesome.
If you’re living in SF or elsewhere and looking for a change, come visit NYC and see if it’s right for you.
I’ll even buy you a coffee.
1 See a bigger list of NY-based companies here: Internet Made in New York City.
2 The New York market on AngelList hosts an excellent list of NYC-based investors and angels.
3 Source: Forbes
4 Source: Boston Globe