It’s one thing to attract adequate startup funding in New York or Silicon Valley. To do so in a place like Buffalo requires something more (a business plan, for one).
3. Ideas must travel.
"I sat with a company yesterday," said Z80 founder Jordan Levy, who had flown up to Buffalo that day from New York City. "I got angry with them because I said, what about the rest of the country? You’re building this just for New York City?" So many of the startups out there not only cater to young, single people, but city dwellers. The entrepreneurs at Z80, in part because of Levy’s urging, all have ideas that can "travel," as he puts it.
“Take big risks and take big challenges. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn.”
We asked Jason Sosa, founder of IMRSV, one of Time.com’s 10 startups to watch in 2013, what advice he’d give to people trying to get a startup off the ground.
IMRSV is the company behind Cara, a software that allows developers to turn any webcam into a real-time video analytics sensor. In a fast-food restaurant, it could track how many people are standing in line. In a house, it could help control the temperature based on who is home. It could even monitor a driver’s attention, alerting him if he falls asleep…
Why? “There is a reasonable hypothesis that areas that are fertile for startups are fertile at a point in time, such as Detroit in the 1890s,” says Ed Glaeser, Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard. “Startups come, they succeed, and then it becomes progressively less friendly as the area becomes wealthier. A few dominant firms emerge and they eventually end up pushing out startups. Areas then have to find a way to reinvent themselves.”
NYC tech startup, On Deck Capital, is running a contest to celebrate the opening of its new NYC headquarters. The contest will connect one deserving New York City-based small business with $10,000. All you have to do is describe in 100 words or less how the money would help your business grow….
Designers! In March a new program called Bridge by Designer Fund will pair up designers with high profile startups like Path, Dropbox, Pinterest, and Airbnb.
Bridge isn’t your typical residency, built to get young people into the industry. Rather, it’s intended for mid- to senior-level designers across all disciplines to try out the startup experience for three months—completely integrated with the team, working on an applied project that can be finished within a quarter.
From rooftop bashes and acquisition talks to staff clashes and layoffs, Hipstamatic’s founders and ex-employees describe the startup’s losing struggle to keep pace with Instagram, Facebook, and others in the white-hot photo-sharing space. Read the three-part series from start to finish.