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Poll: What other US cities for a YC like program?
35 points by jasonlbaptiste on July 7, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 56 comments
I know some may feel YC like programs aren't a regional business. In essence, they're not, but that doesn't mean there aren't large entrepreneur communities that could use something like YC in their city.

I only made it US cities, because that's probably a good place to start. Europe could be a poll of its own and maybe someone else should do that in a day or so. Tons of opportunity there

PS- if a choice isn't on there that shouldnt be, just leave a comment and i'll add it.

New York City Area
63 points
Seattle
28 points
Another Boston option
25 points
Chicago
22 points
Los Angeles
22 points
Portland,OR
22 points
Austin
16 points
Another Silicon Valley option
13 points
Miami
10 points
San Diego
8 points
Pittsburgh
7 points
Las Vegas
6 points
Another Boulder option
6 points
Philly
6 points
Cleveland
5 points
Salt Lake City
4 points
Columbus
4 points
Orlando
3 points



Austin, TX.

A YC-ish group called 'Capital Factory' recently began operating here, but if you look at the inaugural group of funded ventures, they're either:

  a) Not attracting Silicon Valley caliber talent/ideas/entrepreneurs
or

  b) Not looking for the same type of startups as YC.
I'm not sure which, but I sadly suspect the former.

Also, given that YC appears to be going Valley-only, perhaps the 'Another Boston option' should just be Boston, MA, right?


Austin is great. We have a large university, many freelance web developers/designers, and lots of wi-fi. A small amount of money goes a long way here, which is a big plus.


Given that I applied to cap factory and got denied, I suspect the latter. :-)

From what I saw, they appear to be looking for more polished startups, and their application process does not have the same focus on finding talented hackers that YC's appears to have.


You're probably right. I was feeling negative, because I had hoped that Capital Factory would provide seed funding for innovative development and help kindle some entrepreneurship among top-notch hacker types in Austin.

I'm not really sure what motivated them to pick a hodgepodge of me-too web properties (a few niche craigslist-ish things and a pet medical site).

Outside of Capital Factory, it seems like Austin Ventures and friends will continue to fund more of the same recycled enterprise network/virtualization/identity management software companies, being started by the same management teams over and over.

I really hope the next batch of CF startups is more interesting/innovative. Good luck with your venture, it looks promising, even if CF didn't care to fund it.


interesting re: cap factory.

techstars is in boston now too.


Has the poll locked or hit a maximum? Lots of good suggestions in comments aren't yet poll options.


stepped away from the computer. going to add in some new ones.

Update: done. Geez polls get killed in terms of staying on the homepage rankings.


I voted for Las Vegas, and I'll admit I'm biased since I live there, but let me elaborate as to why I think it could be a hotbed.

Many people know Las Vegas as only a resort community, which was and remains its focus, but recently it has a growing entrepreneurial base. Small companies such as Heatlh Data Insights have been started here and grew exceedingly quickly. Moreover even its nature as a resort town is helpful to certain types of startups since numerous conventions are held here and thus facilitate networking with people in various fields with minimal travel.

It currently has both a major university (UNLV) and a smaller community college (CSN). While neither are exceptionally highly ranked that is largely because they are young as institutions and UNLV was improving with impressive speed prior to the economic downturn. Boyd School of Law within UNLV continues to climb the charts in spite of the downturn. So there is a strong and growing academic base here.

While the cost of living here is unfortunately high, it is less so than Silicon Valley so that is clearly no major barrier.

In all, I think Las Vegas would be a rich vein for startups in the future.


> Boyd School of Law within UNLV continues to climb the charts in spite of the downturn.

And the relevance of this to startups is? (One possible answer is "they do startup law", but only if they actually do.)

> While the cost of living here is unfortunately high, it is less so than Silicon Valley so that is clearly no major barrier.

"barrier" has something to do with the relationship between cost and benefit. If the cost is 10% less but the benefit is 50% less....


>And the relevance of this to startups is? It depends on how you define startup. If you are referring specifically to high tech startups, then the relevance is fairly small. If you use the term more generally for recently formed, small companies then many fields require immediate access to lawyers. And for many of those, the more and cheaper the lawyers they can get, the better. HDI, a company I would cite as a recent success story here, requires frequent access to lawyers as part of its business model.

>"barrier" has something to do with the relationship between cost and benefit. If the cost is 10% less but the benefit is 50% less.."

You are completely right. Perhaps I should have more cautiously said "While the cost of living here is unfortunately high, it is less so than Silicon Valley so that is clearly not necessarily a major barrier in itself."


>> And the relevance of [a local aw school] to startups is?

> It depends on how you define startup. If you are referring specifically to high tech startups, then the relevance is fairly small. If you use the term more generally for recently formed, small companies then many fields require immediate access to lawyers.

(1) Lawyers, yes, but you mentioned law school. I've seen plenty of "SV works because" stories that mention law firms, but I don't think that I've ever seen one that mentioned Boalt (Berkeley) or Stanford Law.

(2) Why do tech startups have less need for a law school, or lawyers for that matter, than other kinds of startups? (Generally speaking of course, as you were.)

Please be specific, because I don't see it.


> (2) Why do tech startups have less need for a law school, or lawyers for that matter, than other kinds of startups?

Being neither a lawyer nor a founder I am speaking based on assumption and conversations with certain business people, so take this with a grain of salt. As I understand it, most tech and especially software startups can grow to a substantial size with no need (or limited) need for a lawyer. They might come in handy for things like working with angel investors and initial incorporation, but as I understand it if the founders are bold and willing to read the fine print themselves, lawyers are not actually needed as long as you can avoid getting sued.

Certainly many other fields can get away with no (or limited) legal involvement to start with, but some businesses absolutely require a lawyer's services on a regular basis. Most government contracts, especially ones that involve any kind of personal information have such specific and detailed requirements mandated by federal law that regular legal counsel is required. Similarly, I understand that the biomedical field is so filled with patents that are aggressively enforced (not just in the defensive portfolio sense that many tech companies build) that lawyers are essential.

Also, any company involved in gambling in Nevada is carefully overseen and will have lawyers on retainer with the larger ones holding them in house.


I'd expect a Las Vegas law school to have special expertise in gaming, but does it have special expertise in other start-up relevant areas?

Like I wrote, no one mentions Stanford Law, they mention Wilson Sonsini, so why would Las Vegas be different?


Strangely, Boyd's strongest area is real estate law. I have no idea what the reason is. But like almost all law schools it focuses on creating general JDs.

Again I caveat that I am neither a lawyer nor a founder, but I think there is an advantage to having a law school that is not one of the top 10 present (hence no Stanford). People graduating from one of the top 10 law schools generally expect and are frequently able to command exceptionally high salaries straight out of school.

What a lot of startups need in regulation-heavy fields (those dealing with gambling, government contracts, healthcare, etc) is large numbers of competent lawyers at the lowest price possible. In fact, I have seen cases where regulation requires a lawyer review certain types of documents and certify them, but they are not actually expected to reveiw them for anything in particular as far as I could tell. It was simply a requirement that a lawyer certify them.

Now naturally the presence of a reasonable (by which I mean good enough to be competent but not so elite as to have graduates overpriced for a startup) is an advantage shared by many cities, but I think it is an advantage, and some of the other points I mentioned in favor of Las Vegas are somewhat more rare.


There are, for the record, YC-like programs in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Boulder, Austin and Washington D.C. and something similar in NYC -- if not more.


What is the name of the YC-like program in Chicago?


Ah, I thought DreamIt was in Chicago; seems to be in Philly.


I'm helping Betaspring in Providence RI get off the ground. http://betaspring.com. There's also Bootup Labs in Vancouver, Junto Partners in Salt Lake City, Good Company Ventures (for social enterprise) and DreamIt in Philly , Next Start in Greenville, Alphalab in Pittsburgh.


I at least googled before asking, but what's the DC equivalent?



Thank you very much.


what is there in NYC? Hatchery is more like an incubator?


http://www.startatspark.com/ was what I had in mind.


seems more like a CRV quick start type program?


Baltimore. Relatively low rents for the East Coast, culturally unique, and has low-cost access to DC, Philadelphia, and New York. Not to mention there's huge numbers of technical people around here because of the federal government.


I hope this isn't taken as snarky as it sounds when I say it out loud, but in my experience, the average federal employee is the last person I'd expect to be entrepreneurial in the least.

And do note that I say that as a federal contractor.


Philadelphia, DreamIT is based here and has gotten a lot of local support


Philly's got lots of colleges & universities, though not as well known as Boston's. One of PG's criteria!


Wharton is pretty well known


The way the Philadelphia startup community has rallied around Indy Hall, Philadelphia Startup Leaders, and DreamIt is extremely impressive and the nucleus of something bigger.


I was going to add that, but I feel DreamIT has philly covered well enough.


Atlanta


Detroit,Michigan - motion picture production startups

The State Of Michigan is offering a new 40% cash rebate of motion picture production which makes it the most aggressive program in the country. Its is trying to send a message to hedge funds, private equity groups, money managers, family offices, tax attorneys, high net worth investors, tax credit buyers, New Markets Tax Credit investors, and other international investors on the risk minimization of entertainment finance by getting a 40% cash back on the cost of equity.

More info: http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=1170341 http://www.michigan.gov/


Raleigh, NC


Pittsburgh


I'm posting this from AlphaLab right now.

http://alphalab.org/default.aspx


Love finding other Pittsburgh YC'ers. Drop me an email sometime - I'd love to get together and shoot the bull.


It's about time we do another meetup... I have emails for a lot of the Pittsburgh people here, please send me an email if you're not on my list.


Open Coffee is this Thursday, I'm sure that there'll be a lot of Pittsburgh's HN-ers there, right? I missed the last meetup.


What's up Steve!


Saint Louis or Chicago anyone? I really don't know of any real tech communities throughout the Midwest but there certainly is a lot of talent here.


Denver/Boulder


Portland, OR.


+1 for Orlando. We have a great community down here, and cost of living is far less than the bay area (and taxes are low too!). You could probably bootstrap a lot easier here, and if everything goes horribly wrong there's a decent job market to fall back on.


Columbus, Ohio.


I hail from Cincinnati originally, details please???


Salt Lake City, UT


Cleveland, OH


Houston


Irvine, CA (Orange County)


San Diego


New Delhi, India


San Diego


Great research university (UCSD), decent support schools (USD + SDSU), massive biotech/medtech startup scene, some strong big tech & gaming companies (e.g Qualcomm, Sony Online Entertainment), growing startup/web scene (Mindtouch and more), great weather, easy, relaxed lifestyle, relatively cheap housing...


Join us at the San Diego Tech Founders meeting July 16th. I'm organizing a group of San Diego Tech Founders with the purpose of meeting monthly to discuss customer and product development and business strategy. I would also like the group to develop into a great place to meet potential co-founders.

http://sd.techfounders.org/

http://twitter.com/sdtechfounders

If you are a founder of a technology company, or have the desire to start/co-found a technology company, please join us for presentations and networking at our first meeting on Thursday, July 16th at the Hive Haus co-working space in downtown San Diego.

Details and RSVP at http://bit.ly/15qTnn

Mike


Nice, I'll be there.




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