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. :)

Mixed bag

I’ve been meaning to write a few updates and announcements over the past few weeks but things have been a bit hectic. So, for the sake of getting it done – I’m doing a mixed bag post now.

The Fetch London

First up, The Fetch officially launched in London. That’s right – we’re now covering what’s on in the digital, business and creative communities in the UK, and oh my, there is so much! It’s been fun ‘armchair eventing’ and perusing all the amazing things to do, especially with unique offerings like de Botton’s The School of Life. I’m pleased to be working with fellow pom/Oz-heritage mashup Chloe Nicholls on this. Check it out if you’re a resident or in town visiting –>

Dumbo Feather

Secondly, I’ve started collaborating and working with Dumbo Feather magazine. The name leaves everything to the imagination, but in a nutshell it’s a publication and community around extraordinary ideas and the extraordinary people behind them. Originally started by Kate Bezar, Dumbo has now been ‘passed on’ to the great team at Small Giants – a company founded in 2007 that focuses on and supports social enterprises. The beautiful thing about the magazine’s content is that it’s largely long-form interviews, something I find incredibly refreshing online. To get a taste, delve into some recent interviews with Chris Anderson (curator of TED) and Brené Brown (a grounded academic and vulnerability thought-leader). I’m sinking my teeth into their digital offering and online community, and will be experimenting with everything from Kindle Singles (check out Alain de Botton’s here) to video stories and Instagram campaigns. Follow along at @dumbofeather and /dumbofeather.

Here’s a pic of the latest mag’s cover:

Tripping 2012

I’m off again to San Francisco next week and London in April. Part of the San Francisco trip will be to immerse myself in the Valley’s culture and get some feedback from investors and industry peers about The Fetch. I’m currently refining the core offering but really need to have these conversations to take it to the next level. Part of the trip is to also get to some rather cool conferences:

If you happen to be at any of the above or would like me to cover any specific elements –  say hi or ping me on Twitter/email and I’ll do my best with updates. Content will be published here and on Dumbo Feather.

Startup World

The inspiring Hermione Way of Newspepper and The Next Web has initiated a global startup competition called Startup World. Much like competing on American Idol, the competition will be held in 36 cities world-wide, with the regional winners flying to Silicon Valley to battle it out in front of a panel of judges to be crowned the world’s best startup. I’m an advisor along with some other peeps, so check it out and shoot any questions through. There’ll be more updates re: Australian dates soon.

“Whilst there’s certainly advantages to building startups in Silicon Valley due to the sheer amount of entrepreneurs, venture capital and access to talent, startups and entrepreneurship is a global story.”


Not really much to report here but I’m totally three years to late to Tumblr and absolutely loving it. I’m unsurprisingly


I’m running another Melbourne Community Management Workshop this week but have decided to head to Sydney in mid-April. If you want to hear what social media is really about (i.e. the people not the tools) and what brands are doing it well, come along! –>


And before I bore you to tears, there’s been a few media features I haven’t mentioned here yet. For completeness on this mixed-bag update, here they are:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and keep on fighting the good fight!


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.