(Editor’s Note: Dylan Gans, author of this post, is one of the students taking the iSchool’s EntreTechNYC immersion course, a week-long tour of the startup and tech culture based in New York. The day-after-day visits to a wide range of startups and entrepreneurial firms gives students an all-encompassing experience. You can follow along with students’ visits and experiences all week on Twitter via the #EntreTechNYC hashtag.
Dylan is student of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and plans a dual major with Advertising in SU’s Newhouse School of Communications. He is working on an application idea designed to streamline the process of creating songs and is spending a summer internship at BNY Mellon.)
As background: It is Day 3 of EntreTech NYC, and it has been an incredible experience. I just finished my freshman year and this is my first experience in the startup and tech world, and I love it. Being immersed in this ecosystem has developed a lot of things for me, from my knowledge of this industry to how I communicate and network with professionals. From the moment I wake up till the moment I sleep, I have been talking and thinking about this business. Being around all these like-minded people is priceless. The fact that we can see how real these concepts are motivates everyone.
A Trip Highlight
So today we visited New York Angels, which is an angel investing company. I found my love of business a few years back when watching Shark Tank and seeing those angel investors so obviously this was going to be a highlight of the trip for me. As expected, I absolutely loved this visit.
Now, as if I were an angel investor, I will talk about the ecosystem of NYC; what I would look for to invest in companies; and two companies–one that I would like to invest in, and another that I would not–based on my own opinions and what I learned at NY Angels.
The environment for startups in the city has been on the rise. New York City now steals talent from Silicon Valley because of the atmosphere that has been attracting the smartest people in the world for centuries. New York City is a fun and diverse place to be therefore a great place to start these ventures. As far as the physical place goes, I am extremely excited about what is going to come in New York City in the future and impressed by what is already going on. I want to invest in companies that have clear goals, a good environment and culture, employees with diverse backgrounds, potential for growth, and some aspect of social good.
I would love to have the opportunity to invest in Mashable. I feel as if they have clearly defined their goals and have a great
team behind them. There is a certain happiness and motivation felt upon walking into that company. It is the perfect combination of a sharp company in a business sense, yet still fun, and it truly represents what I believe the startup culture should be like.
BuzzFeed, Not So Much
On the other hand, I would want to stay away from investing in Buzzfeed.
I think Buzzfeed is an incredible company, but too relaxed for me to become a part of. Also, one of the company heads said they have stopped looking to the ecosystem because they are the ecosystem. This confidence is exciting, but I feel once a company has that mentality, the growth and creativity stops, so they have the culture of a startup, but not the willingness to learn that a startup has.
Are there any companies you’d like to invest in, if you could? What would they be? Leave your comments here and let us know your thoughts!