AlleyNYC, a 16,000 square-foot “entrepreneurial hub,” and Y-Combinator, a seed accelerator for startups, have some big news that aims to get startups in NYC noticed and on their way toward becoming profitable.
In an exclusive announcement, Justin Kan, a partner at Y-Combinator, tells VentureBeat that he has given AlleyNYC a personal investment.
A serial entrepreneur who has previously founded Kiko, Justin.tv, Socialcam, and Exec. (all funded by Y Combinator), Kan knows the secrets to startup success. He understands how important it is for startup companies to collaborate with others in a creative, interactive environment such as AlleyNYC. His personal investment shows that he’s doing everything he can to ensure that this interactive lifestyle is a reality for as many startups as possible.
Kan told VentureBeat, “I believe that younger companies are starting to want ‘office as a service,’ and that more and more people in the work force are starting small businesses and startups. Starting a startup can be an isolating experience, and often those companies get a social benefit from working around others.
“Having more spaces like the Alley where entrepreneurs can connect with each other will help.”
AlleyNYC CEO Jason Saltzman is very excited about the investment. He told VentureBeat, “It’s perfect time for something like this to happen. The startup ecosystem in New York City is continuing the grow and places like mine are indicative of that growth. We have a 1,500 person wait list just to get in the door, and that shows you how much need there is for space for startups.”
While lots of startup visionaries head west to Silicon Valley to pursue their dreams, New York is trying to keep the “Silicon Alley”-based startups interested in what the East Coast has to offer.
In Silicon Valley, the prevalence of seed and venture capital make it easy to raise money for business growth. Additionally, networking opportunities with other tech companies, founders, and investors out west are incredibly valuable.
But, with Kan’s investment, AlleyNYC and Y Combinator are creating more opportunities for startups in the Big Apple.
Recently, for example, New York Fashion Tech Lab — based, obviously, in New York — took an opportunity to partake in a months-long educational session in Silicon Valley. According to Crain’s New York, this move happened only a few days after the company’s official NYC launch in the spring.
To keep NYC-based startups from running to California at the first chance they get, it’s important that investments like Kan’s continue happening to instill faith and confidence in young entrepreneurs on the east coast. Y Combinator is also throwing a NYC Startup School on Wednesday, June 18, and AlleyNYC is going to be one of the promoters.
“That event is indicative of how much is growing in our ecosystem. Whereas they used to have these events just in the Valley, now they’re getting into the Alley, so to speak,” Saltzman tells VentureBeat.
Y Combinator and AlleyNYC hope that once startup companies hear of the various NYC success stories at the Startup School, including the story of Zach Sims from Codecademy, founders will be inspired to get to work in NYC.
Further, says Kan, as more businesses start to have tech components, there will be more of a need for engineers and tech gurus in companies all across the country, not just in California.
Starting a business, says Saltzman, is a difficult task, but there’s hope.
“You’re faced with things every day. One day can be the best day of your life followed by the worst day of your life. And to be around a support collaborative environment makes it that much easier for you to get through the pains, and celebrate the wins.”
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