In the past year, we’ve had Now In Store, Decode Global, Nexalogy, Busbud, Datacratic and many other Montréal startups go back and forth between Montréal and New York City. What was once a purely financial and media capital became the go-to-place for new and growing startups, just after Silicon Valley.
New York NewTech Meetup is probably one of the drivers as well as the best example of the NY’s success - a leading event that gathers 800+ entrepreneurs each month. We’ve talked with Andy Saldana (@CholoCouture), senior manager at NY NewTech Meetup, on what makes NYC so successful and how you can join in too.
Photo by Craig Williston / Qool Foto
NewTech (@Heri) - Hi Andy, Can you present yourself, what NYTM does, and what do you do?
NY Tech Meetup is a 501c6 Non-Profit organization that supports the Tech Economy in NYC by connecting, developing, diversifying and advocating for its citizens.
Our flagship event is our monthly meetup that takes place at the beginning of every month at the Skirball theater at NYU. The program includes live demos from 9 companies and one to two “Hacks of the Month” every month. We sellout every month with over 800 in attendance. Each month a networking after party follows and allows attendees to interact with the demoing companies and NYTM Sponsors.
As the Senior Manager of Events and Development, my main role is to manage our full event portfolio, including sourcing and prepping demoers for the monthly event. In addition, I manage our sponsor relationships and manage partnerships with other organizations and brands.
NewTech - How big is the NY startup scene currently? Do you have numbers in terms of total # of startups, number of investments?
It’s difficult to estimate the exact size of the NYC Startup scene as it is growing very quickly. This spring, NY Tech Meetup collaborated with Association for a Better New York, Google, Citibank and HR&A to conduct a study examining the economic impact of New York’s Tech Ecosystem. The findings conclude that “Tech is not a silo” but is “infused throughout the city’s diverse economy.” It also finds that there are 291,000 jobs in the NYC tech ecosystem. You can find more details about the study at http://www.nyctecheconomy.com/.
Other indicators of the size of the startup scene is our “Made in NYC" list, and the city’s "Made in NY" list. Both sites list companies that base 75% of their development here in NYC. Each list has over 600 and 1000 companies listed, respectively.
NewTech - For a very long time, everyone has been talking about the Valley and Boston. Now NY is BIG and bold. What’s the NYC difference? What makes it so successful, as opposed to other cities?
I think what sets New York apart from other cities is the existence of such a strong world economy with diverse industries populations and problems. New York is and has been a major world capital for big industry sectors like the Financial, Media, Advertising and Fashion industries. It is also the most diverse and densely populated cities in the US. This comes with a unique set of problems that need solving and I’m finding technology is playing a huge part. I also have to mention the beauty, creativity and community is nurtured here and really provides a perfect place to create, test, iterate and produce amazing apps.
NewTech - Let’s say a Canadian startup wants to move to NYC. How would you accelerate the process? Any insights on meeting investors, potential partners, getting new customers?
I would definitely suggest checking out our Monthly event and our website! Second, they should check out as many of the tech and entrepreneurial meetups found on meetup.com and events such as Creative Mornings, Internet Week, Social Media Week or any of the number of conferences that happen monthly and annually in the city. NYC is thriving with coworking spaces such as WeWork that also encourage community and collaboration and are great places to work! The NYC EDC also runs some great programs focused on entrepreneurs that many startups can take advantage of. Here’s the link . In addition there are great programs like VentureOut NYC that connect startups with investors in NYC. If startups are ready to look for Angel funding, AngelList and Gust are great tools places to start.
NewTech - Can you highlight names of individuals or organizations that are a must in New York? For a growing startup.
In addition to some I mentioned in my previous responses here are a few resources that are a must. Subscribing to the NYTM newsletter, Gary’s Guide, StartupDigest, This Week in NYC Innovation are all great newsletters for trends, events and community news. AlleyWatch, AlleyWire, TechCocktail are great sites for startup news funding and general content. General Assembly, Flat Iron School and New York Design and Code Academy are great places to learn and hire local developers. There are a ton of resources out there for anyone new, looking to relocate, expand and collaborate in NYC. We at NY Tech Meetup are always happy to help as much as we can!
NewTech : thanks Andy! We’re looking forward to do collaborations between NYC and Montréal.