Q. Does the city you live in affect your working environment and your startup’s overall success? Be specific about how/why.
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Boston Has What We Needed
Of course. Boston give me access to some of the smartest college graduates on the planet, easy travel to Europe, inspiration and stimulation and access to capital. What else do I need?
– Panos Panay, Sonicbids
2. Established Hubs Are Unnecessary
Although the city you start in certainly has an impact on success, it doesn’t determine if you can or can’t be successful. New startup hubs are sprouting all over the world thanks to small groups building vibrant entrepreneurial communities. We are helping do this right now in Oklahoma City. If you embrace the unique qualities of your city, you can turn it into a competitive advantage.
– James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
3. Organized Communities Trump All
An organized entrepreneurial community trumps any that are not. This is because events and organizations give you access to other businesses, partners, resources or potential team members that can help move your business forward. Without this type of organization, it’s simply hard to find the right people and resources needed to make your company successful.
– Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
4. Remote Workers Won’t Be Affected
Our team is spread all across the globe. We are largely based in America, but we’ve been able to find amazing talent in other countries. With so many great tools to enable remote work environments, the restrictions of being located in a particular region seem to be less of a factor for us. However, it is important for the key players to get together as much as possible to keep the culture strong!
– Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
5. Tampa Called Our Name
College Hunks Hauling Junk relocated our headquarters from D.C. to Tampa a few years back, primarily because Tampa has a great environment for hosting a national call center: lower cost of living, great local talent and, of course, the beaches and warm weather don’t hurt. Our company, our revenue and our employees have enjoyed increasingly sunnier days ever since we moved here.
– Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving
6. Established Businesses Still Benefit From Community
We provide outsourced financial services to early-stage companies. In the Bay Area, there are startups in need of the exact services that we offer, from transactional accounting to strategic finance and valuation to taxes. Our deep experience within this active startup community has helped us build our knowledge and credibility, which has enabled our expansion into different markets.
– David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
7. Access Is Most Important
Absolutely. The city in which you grow your startup team has a direct influence on its success because sales and partnerships are often about access to a network or set of industries in that city. Although more and more work can be done remotely and the Web makes it possible for geographically distant connections to be successful in business, there is still a benefit to joining an ecosystem.
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
8. Opportunities to Connect Are Essential
In the few short years since we started our business in Seattle, I’ve really seen the startup community mobilize and the opportunities to plug into networks and resources increase. Surrounding yourself with the right people early on is crucial to survival, and finding great advisors, investors, employees and customers is much easier when the community is well-organized and active.
– Martina Welke, Zealyst
9. Community Interaction Helps
Omaha has a strong reputation for being startup and entrepreneur friendly. The economy here is unbeatable, which always helps. I’ve spent a good deal of my life in this city, so I know a lot of the startup folks. We follow and support one another. That’s the Midwest I guess.
– Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
10. Culture Comes From Within
My business operates in China but markets to customers all over the world. Our management team gets ideas for our business via subscriptions and mentors from all over the world. Some of the most successful companies in the world were not in popular, entrepreneur-focused cities but were in areas where there was talent and opportunities.
– Derek Capo, Next Step China
11. Good Environments Create Good Businesses
It definitely can have an effect. For high-tech, software-driven businesses, it is vital to be located close to a major metropolitan area for recruiting, hiring, training, developing and mentoring high-quality people. It is critical as business owners to hire “A-players” no matter where they live, but these major areas attract more “A-players.” For organizations to grow, they need great people!
– Adam DeGraide, Astonish
12. Startups Need an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
I have done a lot of traveling all over the world, and different cities have different vibes and feelings that they invoke. For a startup, you need to be in a city where there is a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem to support you. That’s why I used Canada’s tech hub, Waterloo, Ontario, as a base for my business. It has a strong startup culture and so many resources and mentors available.
– Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World
13. Location Doesn’t Matter
As long as I can get to wherever my customers are going to be, then it’s a win. Experiential marketing takes place at every fair, festival, concert and college campus in America, so meeting with my clients in the field is often more rewarding for both parties. We get a better idea of what they get excited about, and they get to see the weeks of months of endless emails culminate into action.
– Vinny Antonio, Victory Marketing Agency
14. New York Is Still a Rich Environment
New York is all about working, work-arounds and creative solutions. It’s where creative industries intersect with staunchly traditional ones and learn from each other. Having a rich environment like that helps our team view goals and problems with a different eye.
– Benish Shah, Before the Label
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