New York has become an entrepreneurship hub now!
by Yan, Liu (Daisy), Full-time MBA 2014/15, in Central European University
The first week in New York was exciting. 13 guest speakers generously shared with us their own experiences as an entrepreneur or as a facilitator of entrepreneurship. I was amazed by how fast New York City was transferred from a financial center to a diversified business center. Now, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, New York City is the right place to go!
The global financial crisis has hit hard New York City’s economy in 2007-09. As a result, the government felt that it’s necessary to change from a highly financial sector dependent economy into a more balanced one. Since then, the vision to redevelop the city as an entrepreneurship and innovation center has gradually driven the formulation of the entrepreneurial framework – Some public or private funds with billions of dollars have generated, entrepreneurship incubators have popped up, and talents have recruited from all over the world. New York City has successfully attracted numerous talented entrepreneurs to come here to pitch their ideas, raise money, and start up their startups. Successful stories such as Uber, Kickstarter, Kozmo, Bebo, FriendsEAT, Paragraph, General Assembly, etc.
What’re the key take ways from these stories?
Firstly, the strategic vision is essential to the success, in terms of both the macro level – New York City- and the micro level – entities such as New York University, incubators, and startup companies. The vision drives people to work towards the same direction together.
Secondly, the entrepreneurial environment and framework is the key to make that vision happen. Far before success, huge amount of money needs to be invested. Amazingly, New York City is a very open society. Investors feel comfortable to trust people, even strangers, and put their money into highly risky startups. Except from financial investments, entrepreneurs can also easily find partners through numerous entrepreneurial events. Also, there’re some incubators where entrepreneurs could find experts to help, or some practical courses/trainings to take.
Thirdly, it is difficult for other cities, say Budapest, to copy the mode of NY at the moment. This is not because of lack of talents in other cities. To the contrary, the talents are equally good. The problem is that there is no strategic vision and support from the authority and power center. Talents in other cities would be in disadvantage. For example, entrepreneurs in Budapest may desperately look for investors, who have concerns on the safety of investing on unknown business, for their brilliant products, when the competitors in NY City have financed in a short time, put the products into market, and become the first mover.
Finally, New York is a fast paced city. Immigrants from all over the world come here to realize their dreams. People are highly motivated, hardworking, and know what they want to achieve. Strangers can work together. Talents and professionalisms are highly appreciated.