When it comes to building a company, choosing the appropriate location to launch is an important decision, but also a daunting one. While entrepreneurs have traditionally swarmed to Silicon Valley to kick off their companies, more and more founders are thinking beyond California’s borders .
Among their top choices is New York, where the city is leading the way when in terms of both venture capital spending and female entrepreneurship.
If you’re considering launching a company, here are the top 6 reasons why you should consider launching in the Big Apple:
1. You’ll have access to top talent.
“New York is now at a point where we’ve had multiple rounds of successful startups exit,” said Ma. “We’ve built up a critical mass of tech startup talent across engineering, product design, et cetera,” she said.
There’s a compelling financial incentive in building a company in New York as well: It’s often cheaper to employ tech talent in the Big Apple. Employers in Silicon Valley typically pay more for the average engineering position than in New York.Glassdoor estimates that entry-level software engineering jobs in Silicon Valley typically command around $US10,000 more than their New York City counterparts.
2. If you’re building a company that has anything to do with finance or fashion, starting up in New York just makes sense.
New York isn’t considered the world capital of finance and fashion for nothing.
In the past few years, several finance and fashion-focused companies have taken root in the city. Among them are health insurance company Oscar Health, Shan-Lyn Ma’s own wedding-centered startup Zola, and popular low-cost online glasses store Warby Parker.
According to Ma: “If you’re in fashion, if you’re in the financial services, or you need access to financial services partners, or any industry that happens to thrive in New York, then you want to be here, because it’s a 10-minute ride to anyone you would ever want to meet, and you could set up a meeting that morning and meet them that afternoon.”
3. There’s lots of venture capital.
While Silicon Valley might be renowned for blue-chip firms like Andreessen-Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Sequoia Capital, there’s a number of New York-based firms that are equally important.
Firms like Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, and Greycroft are all known for their smart investments and high-profile portfolio companies.
Additionally, New York is quickly becoming a top contender when it comes to investing in new companies: Last year, the city beat out the San Francisco Bay Area for the amount of venture capital deployed by around $US50 million.
4. New York’s entrepreneurial community is extremely supportive.
As Ma notes in her interview with The Verge, New York’s startup scene is known for its sense of community.
“[T]here’s now a great ecosystem of founders and other entrepreneurs who really are supportive and want to see each other succeed,” said Ma. “There are people that you’ll find at the same stage as you, as well as a few stages ahead who have been operating longer, so that you will be able to get advice from people who are really wanting to help because they’re really wanting to see this ecosystem win and thrive.”
Guidance resources for entrepreneurs have been sprouting up in New York, as well, like Oceans, a mentorship program led by former tech executives, offering assistance and guidance to the founders of new companies.
5. It’s great for female founders.
New York’s demographic diversity is benefiting female founders. In the past few years, women have spearheaded a number of leading New York-based companies like theSkimm, ClassPass, and Birchbox.
Female-led firms like BBG Ventures and F3 Ventures are set on cultivating a thriving female-centered investment community in the city, as well.
While resources for female entrepreneurs also exist in Silicon Valley, research seems to suggest that New York might ultimately be ahead in terms of spurring female entrepreneurship. A recent study from Dell ranked New York as the very best city worldwide for starting a female-led company in terms of both capital and cultivating an enabling environment.
6. It’s outside the Silicon Valley echo chamber.
One of the best reasons for building a company outside of Silicon Valley might be simply because it isn’t Silicon Valley.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, AppDynamics founder Jyoti Bansal stressed the importance of getting perspective on your company. Sometimes, said Bansal, this means abstaining from all of those Palo Alto cocktail mixers.
“It’s really important that you get out of that Silicon Valley ecosystem,” said Bansal. “There’s so many investors and VCs who want to grab coffee. You’re constantly invited to these fancy parties and events. There’s a point where you’re playing entrepreneur instead of being an entrepreneur.”
This idea has been stressed by multiple venture capitalists in interviews with Business Insider, as well. Many New York-based investors agree that the city’s diversified workforce provides a fresh perspective and spurs technology that solves real problems.
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