Here is a “balcony view” on the 6 takeaways of this year’s TEP & International Week. We have focused again on concepts, ideas and topics that will be relevant for corporations, cities and policy makers in future while introducing startups to the NYC tech eco-system. The findings are almost universally applicable, so we are suggesting changes for TEP 2017 and invite you to comment. Here are some of this year’s findings.
Cities are just getting started. Collaboration among cities is nothing new. International collaboration for the benefit of founders and a better urban ecosystem is just getting started. The new Start Alliance and our Smart City round-table discussions are just two examples. We will expand the discussion around city innovation and collaboration in 2017.
Even Google is afraid of the competition. Yes, almost unbelievable but still true if you look at companies like AOL or Yahoo. Even an apparent dominance can vanish in no time as Ross La Jeunesse, Global Head of International Relations at Google, pointed out. The American Council on Germany, a TEP partner from the beginning, added the policy and regulatory discussion—a highlight of 2016 (and not just because of the unexpected comment by Google.) We plan a further collaboration in 2017.
It is easier than ever to connect with innovators. By now, even senior management understands the power of change coming from agile teams of entrepreneurs. In a tougher financing environment, strategic support from big corporations is more welcome even if a productive collaboration is often difficult. More learning is needed on both sides. We will expand the industry tracks for 2017.
The community of one. Community, almost the #1 buzzword in the 2000’s, no longer resonates as communities have become increasingly fragmented and diverse. The good thing is, new targeting tools can drill down and engage the single leader of a niche community, making outreach and collaboration more effective. We plan to bring some of these amazing leaders together next year.
Open versus closed. Groups and systems go from open access to closed communities, enabling better support for their members. The online discussion of “open vs. closed systems” is moving offline, enabling rapid innovation among closed groups. Case in point: The Barclay’s FinTech accelerator—a global community of the best innovators in FinTech. TEP has always been closed to enable an open discussion. We will not change that, but will include more open sessions.
Preparation makes all the difference. It’s not the best solutions that win in New York City, but the best prepared. The companies coming to expand their businesses to the US have generally gotten much better over the past six years. Traction and funding in their home countries has become a prerequisite. It is a basis, but not enough. We plan to make TEP 2017 the conference of the best-prepared ventures.