Brooklyn has always been a borough steeped in entrepreneurial, backbreaking, bread-winning businesses since the borough was established in 1634. The transition from brick and mortar ventures to the tech companies mushrooming throughout the borough today was a given (Brooklyn is changing as much as the rest of the world and, sitting next to the borough that serves as the capital for just about every major industry in the world, we should’ve expected that Brooklyn would come into its own in the tech seen sooner or later — San Fran be damned).
Of course, there are numerous reasons why not only small startups looking to dodge the high rents and high cost of doing business in Manhattan but well-funded startups well on their way to scaling have settled comfortably in Brooklyn as well (Esty, Kickstarter, Kaltura, How About We and Drop.io which was acquired by Facebook, to name a few).
But the most important reason (aside from saving money – crucial for a startup) is that Brooklyn, like every other borough, has its own flair. Creative, yet edgy, open to the world yet unapologetic about its rough edges, Brooklyn can produce some of the most passionate, risk-taking entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet.
Here are a few great articles on the burgeoning Brooklyn tech mecca:
- Brooklyn Venture Capital Scene on the Rise (NY Convergence)
- Food Startups Find a Home in Brooklyn (NY Times)
- Brooklyn Brewer Revitalizes Williamsburg for Startups (Huffington Post)
- Dumbo’s Startup Lab Expands as Brooklyn’s Tech Scene Grows (The Next Web)
- Nerds Welcome in Brooklyn (NY Post)
- Economic Growth in New York’s Brooklyn Holds Lessons for Cities (Reuters)
Brooklyn Venture Community Meetup
Brooklyn Venture Community Meetup (@BKVenture), founded in 2011, features over 200 entrepreneurs and freelancers based in Brooklyn. I had never been to one of the Meetups prior to taking over as organizer in August 2012, but I certainly appreciated the spirit and original vision of the Meetup which stated:
“Brooklyn Venture Community (BVC) is a public community focused on the venture scene in Brooklyn, NY. Our goal is to connect everybody who is interested in entrepreneurship, from all sectors and industries, who live, work, or party in Brooklyn. BVC Seeks to create a community through hosting a wide range of events, fostering the sharing of knowledge, and, perhaps most importantly, having way too much fun together.”
As BVC’s new organizer, I not only want to uphold the above-sentiment, but I would add that,
“Brooklyn Venture Community serves, first and foremost, as a resource and support for Brooklyn-based entrepreneurs offering what entrepreneurs need most — access to affordable business services, up-to-date information on potential business opportunities and changes that affect them the most, alternative investment funding opportunities and a place to call home where they can share their experiences and have compelling, honest dialogue with other entrepreneurs.”
In addition to being a support for entrepreneurs, Brooklyn Venture Community will serve as a much-needed platform for showcasing new ventures and talent by members and guest speakers and be a networking resource for investors and VCs wanting to explore investment opportunities.
At the beginning and end of every startup is a story that resonates through the imaginations and hearts of the people (the customers) whose lives are made better by a successful startup. People invest in people, in their stories and how they tell their stories.
We entrepreneurs share our stories with the world through our startups. A startup to an entrepreneur is what a pen and paper are to a writer — it’s the manifestation of our creativity laid bare for the world to take or reject as it may. Our stories begin at home: Brooklyn.
Technology, the internet, social media in all its glory and frustrations affords us the opportunity to work in our own backyard. We no longer have to move to Manhattan or San Francisco or anywhere else in the world in order for our stories to be heard. Suddenly, our stories and their truths are plenty enough and offer a solid foundation to build our startups on — and these stories resonate out, across the Brooklyn Bridge and to the world beyond. The ice-breaker at networking events used to be, “What do you do” but soon it will be, “What is your story.” Ain’t that grand? Trees aren’t the only thing growing in Brooklyn, startups grow in Brooklyn too. Hello, Brooklyn!
For additional info or questions, email brooklynventures[at]gmail.com.