Why I Love the NYC Startup Scene
I became a NYC-based venture capitalist two years ago and transitioning from a career in investment banking to VC had its perks (like not having to wear a suit and tie everyday) and its challenges.
When I first started navigating the NYC landscape, I was extremely nervous about how I would be received. I didn't know if the “establishment” would accept me because I wasn't a long-time member of the club.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. I am happy to report that I have been embraced with open arms from Day 1.
Silicon Alley has an outstanding sense of community.
One of my first tasks as a VC was to grow my network of fellow investors and get invited to all the great events and programming available in NYC. So I jumped in with both feet and started investigating ways to get involved.
During the course of my research I routinely run across names of established players in the city. Once I identify someone I want to contact, I attempt to leverage my network for an introduction. However, when all else fails, I fall back on an old investment banking skill. Cold calling.
The art of the cold call is an invaluable asset.
To my surprise, almost everyone I contact agrees to meet with me. So many people have been gracious with their time and I am truly grateful for the advice and guidance I have received.
I am amazed by the collaborative nature of the venture scene in New York. I routinely meet with my new venture friends where we talk business, share leads and support each other.
There isn't a sense of competition or people trying to hoard deals. VCs and angels are more than willingly to talk about potential investment opportunities and make introductions.
Everyone I meet is so excited about the explosion in the NYC tech scene and I am proud to be a part of this growing community.