As I wait (and wait) for the construction of our First Round Capital NYC office (overlooking Union Square) to finish, it’s good to know that our decision to open the office is sound. I went to last Thursday’s Open Angel Forum, co-led in NY by First Round EIR Charlie O’Donnell, and started by @Jason (Calacanis) and Tyler Crowley out in LA. We saw six excellent companies, any one of which would have gotten at least into our due diligence. Being the grandfather of several NYC based children, Aristotle Circle, which noted that admissions rate to NYC kindergartens are at 7% - worse than all the Ivy League schools- is solving a true pain point for people, getting admitted from pre-K to graduate school. Kodingen.com has created a cloud development environment that seemed easy to use, and well designed for the types of virtual companies being created today. Have already made two recipes from Food52.com, started by ex-NYTimes food editor Amanda Hesser, checked out the maps from UpNext, and pointed some of our other companies at HD Cloud – for video transcoding at high speed using the cloud. Sample sale aggregation is coming, and MyNines.com already has it.
All in all, it’s clear that New York City is a vibrant place for startups, not only in the media and advertising technology areas, but also in the more technical side. I’m hoping we get our final city permits today and can finish our construction in the next three weeks. And if there’s an Open Angel Forum in your area, and you have a startup, by all means apply.