We’re Moving! Reflecting On Our First 6 Years & What’s Ahead
As our Work-Bench community turns 6 years old in seemingly the blink of an eye, it has us reflecting on some amazing successes for not just our home and hub for all things enterprise tech in NYC, but for the broader ecosystem too.
Back in 2013, our space was empty, our wifi sometimes didn’t work, and the enterprise landscape was still nascent. Fast forward to 2019: the number of enterprise tech startups in NYC launching and scaling continues to multiply, and we’ve got fresh capital to support them after the launch of our $47M Fund II announced last year.
In the 6 years since, our Work-Bench community has grown too. As the home for 100+ enterprise startups and by hosting 200+ events a year — from 50-person technical meetups, 150+ person NY Enterprise Tech Meetups (7 years and going strong), sales lunches, customer success workshops, CEO Dinners, to 300+ person conferences — we have seen time and again the generosity and spirit of our incredible, vibrant community.
Our motto is simple: great things happen at the intersection of suits and hoodies. So we always bring together the best and brightest people in enterprise tech to make that magic happen 😎
In honor of 6 years of memories since breaking ground at 110 Fifth Ave, enjoy some of our favorites:
1. $6B+ in NYC VC Enterprise Tech Funding. We bet early and we bet big on enterprise tech in NYC. When we launched, MongoDB was the only enterprise game in town. Fast forward and we’ve tracked over $6B in aggregate venture funding raised by NYC enterprise startups over the past 6 years. It’s been amazing to be a part of this continued growth that shows no signs of slowing down.
2. An Enterprise Event Machine. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a 32,000 sq. ft. workspace at our disposal for the past 6 years. Recognizing our good fortune, we sought to use it in every single way possible. Between hosting over 200+ meetups a year and several full-day conferences at our space, we have been moved time and again by the spirit and generosity of our community, in bringing people together, learning and sharing.
3. Community = Deal Flow. Community in venture means many different things. But for us, let’s be clear — it’s core to our investment model at Work-Bench, and we’ve always believed that leading with a community-first approach would lead us to great people and in turn great investments. In our case, 7 of our last 9 deals were sourced directly through our community. To share a few recent examples, we met Scytale through CoreOS’ co-founder (a successful Fund 1 portfolio company), Catalyst by originally hosting their CS meetups years ago and inviting them to CS leaders dinners, and FireHydrant through our friend who was VP Engineering at fellow NYC company Namely.
4. #womenterprise. Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to us, and while we’re proud of our efforts to date, there is still a long way to go. As we previously shared here, we continue to build on our efforts across our Women in Enterprise speaker series, profiles, women enterprise founders database, and our Navigate Summit which we launched last year and was featured on the Nasdaq Tower. With that said, we are proud to share that among our Fund II portfolio companies to date, we already have over 70% founder diversity, a truly exceptional stat for enterprise software, and one we are committed to raising even higher.
5. Customers Customers Customers. We’ve said it a million times and we’ll continue saying it 😎 — NYC has the greatest density of Fortune 500 companies compared to any other city in the US. We’ve actively sought to create a home for both suits and hoodies, and this environment of learning and value for our corporate partners has helped us close more in enterprise contract value for our portfolio companies than our AUM in Fund 1 ;)
6. Friendships. Last but not least…friends! The phenomenal quality of the people we get to interact with on a daily basis has made our jobs an absolute pleasure. We have attended weddings, welcomed babies, played in basketball leagues together, had endless Flywheel spin challenges, began an active weekend bike riding crew, and so much more as we truly just enjoy the people behind our companies. Our personal favorite day of the year is Work-Bench Family Day, which sums up all of our feels quite nicely.
And with that…we’re moving! Our lease on our current workspace ends next month and we will be moving to a new space, just one block away on 18th St. and 5th Ave.
As you can tell, community is in our DNA, so don’t expect that to ever stop.
Our new space will still be home to many enterprise startups, and we will continue hosting our signature Work-Bench events such as Dev Lunches, Sales Workshops, Corporate Roundtables, and plenty more.
We are excited to partner with WeWork Labs, WeWork’s platform that supports early-stage startups and corporate innovators, to build our new space. Given WeWork’s global reach as a physical platform for startups and large corporations alike, they’ll help us create a space that caters to larger events and provide other services like networking support as our startups scale and mature beyond our Work-Bench space. We can’t wait to partner together to elevate even more startups in the New York ecosystem.
While our address may be changing, Work-Bench’s impact on NYC is just getting started.
Cheers to an incredible ride at 110 Fifth, and to even more great times ahead.
To everyone who has been a part of our Work-Bench journey with us and who has helped make our space feel like a home — thank you so much.