New York, New York


I know, I know, where have I been, right? Can’t believe it’s a month since my last update. And I started the year like a blogging machine. #fail

Anyway, there is a reason… I just moved to NYC. Yep, I’m hanging up my minimalist and digital vagabond shoes for a while, and now have a lovely apartment to call home. A couple of weeks ago, I didn’t own a pillow. Now I have a whole bed. (Side note: it takes a surprisingly lot to furnish a place.)

There was quite a bit of rationale behind switching the base of The Fetch HQ and I’ll dive into a little of it below.

For starters, NYC has definitely proved to be the media meets tech capital of the world. I’ve really resonated with Meetup, Etsy, General Assembly, Skillshare, Kickstarter, Foursquare, Thrillist, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, Flavorpill, Brain PickingsCreative Mornings and other Made In NYC goodies for some time. I feel The Fetch’s startup DNA is similar.

I’ve also been accumulating share-worthy tidbits like:

A recent book called Tech and the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community by Alessandro Piol and Maria Teresa Cometto, with a forward by Fred Wilson, is a recommended overview. I’ve just starting reading the Kindle edition (god bless Amazon Prime and its lending library!) and already feel way more conversant and familiar with the ecosystem from the first few chapters.

Startup Genome published its annual worldwide startup ecosystems report late last year. While females are still underrepresented as founders of tech companies, New York leads the way of the top city’s list with close to 20% women entrepreneurs. I went to an event at the Apple Store in SoHo tonight featuring Brad Feld and one of the authors above, and was blown away by the amount of driven female founders and investors packing the room. Before ducking out, I was caught in a line of around 20 women waiting to ask the speakers questions. It was such a foreign yet incredible ratio for me.

Like others, I’ve also found the startup cultures differ between the San Francisco Bay Area and NY. This article from Online MBA from March this year offers a solid comparison of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley.

RebelMouse’s Megan Berry also wrote a post for Huffington Post around the time of her relocation on Comparing New York and San Francisco Tech Scenes.

The government is also playing a big role. It seems there has been some cool shit going down ever since Rachel Haot took over as the City’s Chief Digital Officer. Check out Made in NY (celebrates the city’s media, entertainment and digital industry), Mapped in NY Digital Map and the one and only New York Tech Meetup’s Made in NYC list. The latters monthly meetup is now approaching 30,000-plus members, which is a feat in itself.

NYC is massive but it’s still an underdog compared to the Valley and as a result, I’ve found the community tighter-knit, extremely welcoming and very inclusive. People are open to coffee meetings (yes, they can be a time waster and sin but less so when you’re new somewhere). On my most recent trip here, I left feeling I could really make a contribution and dent. I hope to in SF as well – but have often felt drowned out with all the noise there.

We will continue to curate and share more links in upcoming issues of The Fetch New York.

For now, I’m trying to give this non-Night Owl thing a try and go to bed earlier.

If you have any cool happenings or recommend anyone I should meet with in NYC, please forward my way.

To finish, I finally get why people say “New York, New York”. Took some time but I got there. :)

A couple of pics from NYC

There was something surprising about my recent visit to NYC. It’s kind of freaked me out. It’s as if I was finding out Santa isn’t real for the second time. You see, like others, I’ve long held the city as the epicentre of greatness – both in sheer size but also in less tangible aspects like opportunities and people. It’s the most renowned hotbed of artists, entrepreneurs, creators, writers, designers, musicians and everyone in between, of the last century. People flocked here to experiment and to make something.

What I noticed this time around though… was that it felt cosy. Navigable. Consumable. Especially the tech startup community. On my first day at a conference I bumped into nearly everyone I needed to. Two weeks and three Thanksgiving dinners, countless meetings, long days and some sneaky sales shopping later, it feels like a home. I’m mourning the loss of my bright eyes – the ones that would scan every street horizontally and vertically in awe. The shy creature conscious of locking eyes in busy subways. The one delighted by differences as small as pedestrian lights.

Suddenly the world doesn’t feel so big.

Been getting back into Instagram. I’m @katekendall and you can view other pics here.

Attention Australian startup founders

Edit 7/2/12: Enter!

Someone was recently chatting to me about the lack of awareness of Australian startups by VCs (even local ones), with poor national press coverage doing us no favours. I agree with this to a large extent and as result have been posting more about our startups here and also over on The Fetch Blog. However, I also think Australian startups need to stand up and own the fact that they’re Australian. I think we can often be obsessed with trying to appear global and appeal to certain markets, like the US, rather than pushing our own story and roots. What I’ve witnessed in other startup communities around the globe is that they have a real pride and bond around origin – particularly their city. New York is perhaps the best example of this – and likely a result of the ever-present dominance from the West Coast. ‘Internet Made in NYC‘, which lists all the NYC-based startups is one of the most useful startup resources to have. It’s visited by job seekers, journos and investors alike.

You can read more about the list in the FAQ at the bottom but the following will give you an idea about the structure.

“What do these companies have in common?

  1. They are mostly coded in nyc
  2. They have 10K+ people use or visit their site monthly
  3. They display “Made in NYC” as prominently as its copyright — and it links to this page ( [Optionally, (a) spell out “New York City” and/or (b) precede with an adverb/verb]”
No denying where Skillshare is based

In Australia, I believe a crucial step in evolving our ecosystem is bonding cross-city and providing transparency around who’s here. We should create our own version of ‘Made in NYC’ as ‘Made in Oz’, and pop links in footers everywhere! It’s good to see leaders like 99designs have kicked things off.

99designs is "Proudly Australia" (although only on the domain)

Perhaps we could even add some green and gold into the mix… ;)

So cheesy it's back in fashion

And one for good measure – 6wunderkinder wearing the badge:

A proud Berlin-based startup 6 Wunderkinder (check out Wunderlist & Wunderkit)

Thoughts, commentary, discussion?

Have a good weekend.



Drinks at the Golden Gate

I’m heading to San Francisco and the Bay Area on the 19th of July for about month. I’m also heading to NYC for a week or so. It’ll be my first time to SF, so, aside from going to a few conferences, coffee meetups and working remotely on projects – I’ll be playing the the part of the tourist. Therefore, I’d love and really appreciate any of your recommendations in the comment section below, on Twitter or via email. Even better – come and have a quiet drink the Sunday before I leave and tell me in person!

Sunday 18th July
From 3pm
Golden Gate Hotel
238 Clarendon Street
South Melbourne
Map here

Photo credit: PatrickSmithPhotography