Look At Me Now
Tech Talent Crunch
We feel a little guilty. We’ve been fickle and easily distracted. Last year, the first two TechStars NYC classes were all we could talk about. But when their programs ended, we kind of forgot about them and directed our attention to the newest TechStars NYC class. Shame on us!
But back in the day, those first 23 companies were all the rage. Like shiny new toys, they were exciting and fascinating. There was even a reality television show about them. So even though their three-month, highly-competitive startup accelerator program has ended, these companies are still around. They didn’t just vanish into thin air. (Well, some of them did).
But all of this begs the question, where are these companies now? How have they fared in the big, bad world? Did they flop? Or surpass expectations?
We didn’t know, so we decided to find out. And it turns out that we weren’t the only ones who were curious about what these companies have been up to.
You’d be hard pressed to find an aspiring banker or model or writer or actor who would need much convincing to move to New York City. Not so with tech folks. In the face of competition from the Valley and giants like Facebook and Twitter, suddenly in our midst, seven startups have banded together for a campaign called Come Work in New York that promises to ply talented developers, designers, and “business people” with $5,000 to help them move to the city if they’re hired.
Let’s get this party started.
GO: Ben Lerer and Roger Ehrenberg do a fist bump and talk about having a coding sleepover #brogramming
1 – Companies are coming out to Empire State of Mind. Investors high fiving them as they walk down the aisle.
2 – Unlike last year, when Bloomberg was filming, the lunch with investors after demos is private this time.
3 – David Kidder introduces Contently, says he’s an investor, and promises this thing has legs. Mr. Kidder says its gotten to $1 million a year.
4 – Contently’s Shane Snow talk about how LinkedIn became their client after trying Demand Media and other content farms.
With Demo Day coming up tomorrow, ten out of 11 companies is the number to beat. That’s ratio of startups from TechStars inaugural class that got funded. But keep in mind not everyone had a killer Demo Day. For some, funding didn’t come till a few months down the line. “It’s like the SATs,” one mentor told Betabeat of Demo Day. “Some people are good at testing, some aren’t.”
There’s a lot riding on tomorrow’s event–the funding environment isn’t quite as frothy as it was for TechStarsNY 1.0, and the companies are well aware of that, mentors told Betabeat. “It’s a more fragile period of time than last Demo Day,” said the mentor. “They realize that they gotta be on their game.” As such, companies have been pounding out the decks, practicing demos for each other almost every week.
Perhaps it’s because the cameras aren’t around, or perhaps because TechStars New York is more established, but there’s less ego in this class and fewer type-A personalities. Investors promise that this Demo Day will still have plenty of showmanship and say this season’s TechStars class is fundamentally very solid. Many companies have partnerships; some have revenue. Almost all have raised money or gotten commitments–several New York VCs told us they had invested in at least one of the startups. Two companies won’t even really be raising money, one mentor said, because they don’t need it.”
Curious to know who pivoted and who’s already closed their round? Check out our cheat sheet, get your game face on for tomorrow and pick your ponies in the comments.
Update: SideTour announced their funding today on TechCrunch, a $1.5 million round led by RRE and Foundry Group. We noted in the slideshow they already had their lead investors locked down, but it seems unlikely now they will try to grow their round tomorrow.