NYC is a place not only teeming with opportunities for startups, but it also has a diverse and rich infrastructure to support, educate, and finance those startups. In this article we will share some of our favorite centers of influence in the startup scene in NYC.
Venture Out NYC. Venture Out provides a one-week hyper accelerator focused on getting startups “to the right place through the right people.” They run 25 of these a year, focused on specific industries (the upcoming ones are on AI and Retail Tech) and they are not for the faint of heart. Monday-Wednesdays are spent in intensive sessions covering marketing, sales, and legal as well as panels with industry leaders. Wednesday night concludes with a pitch to a large group of investors, while Thursday and Friday are spent in private meetings with investors and follow-ups with previous meetings and activities from the earlier part of the week.
2020 Startups. If you thought one week was a sprint, the 90-day program from 2020 Startups is a marathon. The program is estimated to cost $25,000 per participant, but thanks to sponsors and grants, 90% of that cost is subsidized, meaning that participants only have to pay $2,500 for the 12-week program. Considering that it often costs north of $6000/month to run an early-age startup in NYC, this is a great deal. The program is specially focused on early-stage startups. A key feature of this program is direct access to a mentor, which starts on Day 1 of the program.
WeWork. WeWork is a large player in the coworking space, with over 50 locations in NYC alone. Coworking spaces are primarily home to startups of various sizes at various stages, but WeWork, which recently acquired Meetup, is also known for hosting great events for startups, like pitch practices and brand building.
The Yard. The Yard has more than 10 locations in NYC. They are focused on community and unique design in each of their locations, which shines through in their blog that takes the time to highlight their members.
Events & Networking
Digital NYC. Digital NYC is a unique public/private partnership between the office of the Mayor of NYC, the NYC EDC, and more than a dozen companies that lead the way in technology and media. It prides itself on being an official online hub of the NYC startup and tech ecosystem. In addition to news and events the site features a link to over 120 accelerators as well as listings for many courses for companies and entrepreneurs at various stages of their journeys.
Strtup Boost. Strtup Boost particularly excels at putting on great events. They connect entrepreneurs to the solutions they need in finance, development, real estate, design, etc. They also have a slack community you can join. Events often cost as little as $10 and often feature a well-curated group of investors and entrepreneurs that provide an excellent networking opportunity.
Meetup. Meetup was founded in NY so it’s not too surprising to see one of the largest Meetups in NYC eventually gave rise to a business venture of its own. The NY Tech Meetup is put on by the NY Tech Alliance. The latter has over 60,000 individual and institutional members and runs a monthly meetup in addition to running advocacy programs for the tech sector and the city of New York in general. The monthly meetup draws hundreds of attendees.
Shapr. Shapr is a startup based in NYC and Paris that uses swiping to lead to curated networking connections. After you create a profile, you add hashtags that interest you, like #entrepreneurship or #sustainability or #tech and only those whose hashtags match you, and are within a geographic radius you select, will be matched. From there it’s easy to reach out once you are matched and arrange for a phone call, coffee, or lunch.
Startup Guide NYC. If you feel unsure where to start, or are simply new to NYC (and the tech scene), you’ll have to look far and wide to top this self-titled “Hitchhiker’s Guide to New York City Tech.” It has an interactive map, links to pillars of the NYC business community, a list of large companies like Amazon that have a significant presence in the city, links to relevant media (like Digital NYC), podcasts and twitter influencers you might consider, and much more.
NYC EDC. The New York City Economic Development Council is comprised of teams of individuals from many sectors who all share a passion for NYC and its people. They focus their efforts on promoting and growing quality jobs for all New Yorkers across all five boroughs by:
- investing in infrastructure
- leveraging city assets
- advocating for the best legal environments for businesses to start and grow
- cultivating NYC as a global center for innovation
among other efforts. They even have a page dedicated to showcasing opportunities for incentives, equity, and financing.
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Stephen writes about startups, hiring and career issues for VocaWorks.