Prior to each TEP, W2NYC and International Week, we talk to each participating startup and explain the program, but more importantly we ask about their objectives for coming to New York City. Over the last five years two things have significantly changed:
- From “great to know” to “must know”
In the beginning, companies came without clear businesses models, refined pitches, or even a strategy to do business here. So we initiated a “Rapid Strategy Check,” for the companies (see graph). The check revealed a shift in company strategy. For the first three years we saw the focus on fundraising—pitching investors and presenting ideas. For the past two years though, things have changed. All companies are successful locally and have initial funding; US expansion has become part of almost every business plan. Traction here is mandatory for their continued success.
- From “open support” to “gated communities without a gate”
The tech ecosystems have matured: the number of funds have increased and coverage by specialized web sites has made it much easier to navigate the ecosystem.
At the same time, it has become almost impossible to cut through the noise and know what is relevant and provides value. Noise filters have evolved into to noise cancellation, making personal contacts and qualified introductions more important. A trend that is likely to continue. In that sense, New York City might become the biggest gated community for even the best startups and ideas.
Looking back, the startups coming to NYC have become really good and at the same time it has never been so hard to get New York’s attention. Now what? We are inviting the TEP, W2NYC and International Week friends, partners and contributors to a more formal, purpose-driven network of friends with the idea to invest and collaborate for the benefit of young companies, cities, and citizens as a whole. Inquire to become a part.