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The City so Nice, They Named it Twice …

September 10, 2012
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There’s been a tension in my life since the age of four, when my Red Sox Nation mother moved our family back to Vermont, leaving my Yankee Evil-Empire father’s (I’m a Mets guy) Brooklyn in the rear-view mirror. We’d venture back to NYC to visit family, and immediately upon graduation from college, I moved from Burlington VT to Gramercy Park. And then to Boston to join a startup. I met my future wife – until that point a lifelong resident of the Upper West Side — on a business trip to NYC.  I somehow managed to convince her to marry me and move to the Boston suburbs. Still trying to figure out how I managed that one.

So, when we made the commitment to open a Flybridge NYC office at the beginning of this year, it was only fitting that I would help lead the effort. This decision was an easy one given the exploding local tech community, the rise in our NYC deal flow, and the growing number of great Manhattan-based early stage companies in our portfolio.

We see NYC as a bona-fide startup center in its own right – for a number of core reasons:

  1. Startup success stories – look to DoubleClick, Admeld, Right Media and Buddy Media  as examples of great venture returns that have and continue to spawn new startups.
  2. Emerging leaders – companies like 10gen, Fab.com, FourSquare and Tumblr are industry leading category killers.
  3.  Magnet for talent – NYC has always been a melting pot and a global magnet, and in the market for startups, new grads, immigrants and Wall St. defectors alike have joined the ranks.
  4. Access to customers and partners – Manhattan is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other city in the US in a variety of industries.
  5. Community support  – Quintessentially NY is the extent and level of support in the tech community, with such groups as the NY Tech Meetup, NYC Entrepreneurial Fund, HackNY and a number of city-wide initiatives like the Academy for Software Engineering.
  6. World class academia – Nearly 600 thousand students in more than sixty universities call NYC home – and more are moving in, such as Cornell, Technion, Carnegie Mellon and IIT.

Add to this mix a host of incubators and accelerators, and ample seed capital – all within 10 square miles on an Island – and NYC is poised to continue its growth. To support our own growth in NYC, we’ve built out our team. My colleague, Matt Witheiler, has moved to the city with his wife and I am very pleased to announce that we have hired our first associate in NY – Caitlin Strandberg, who joined us from LearnVest and previously Behance. We hope to contribute to the community in NYC by offering our experience as both entrepreneurs and investors through multiple cycles – to help the next crop of founders build great companies.

So while Boston continues to be an important center of gravity for Flybridge and the rest of our team remains in the Back Bay, I am looking forward to our adventures in Manhattan!

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