Amidst the “powered by adrenaline, fueled by Instagram dream” startup scene in New York, one group, the New York Enterprise Tech Meetup (NYETM), stands out by focusing on the non-glamorous, technology startups that sell to businesses.
As the mission on their website says, NYETM will foster innovation in the NY enterprise technology ecosystem through promoting early stage technology companies, supporting entrepreneurs, educating companies on how to work with enterprises, and creating an environment where entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses can all network and learn from one another.
As a tech product entrepreneur selling to businesses, I can relate to the lack of a support system for Enterprise tech startups. Being the less glamorous, country cousin of consumer focused tech companies, we are bracketed by investors and media alike, in the same terms they use to describe the behemoths in our sector, IBM or Oracle. These companies do not, or cannot innovate and the primary issues they address are to preserve the status quo for themselves and their technologies.
NYETM is a wonderful initiative in bridging the gap between early stage technology companies serving the enterprise market and the rapidly growing startup ecosystem in New York City. Supported by Morgan Stanley and Cooley, this initiative has grown into a monthly meet up that is part ‘show-and-tell’ and part networking.
I was at the inaugural meet up at the offices of Cooley LLP near Bryant Park in January. What was really impressive is the way Jonathan Lehr and his team from Morgan Stanley who organized NYETM had corralled not one, not two; but four tech startups to demonstrate their products for the enterprise market. Sitting there was like going into a time machine to glimpse a vision of the future – one where enterprises are no longer confined to safe, preserve-the-status-quo choices from an IBM or an Oracle; but one where they can interact with tech in ways consumers today interact with a Facebook or a Twitter.
The audience turnout was impressive and was the right mixture of the core audience NYETM seeks to connect: entrepreneurs, investors and businesses. For that alone, I would say, NYETM lives up to its mission statement. It almost seemed like a carefully curated audience designed for maximizing interactions between these three constituents.
More importantly, the audience and the organizers seem charged with a mission to make New York City the hub for enterprise tech startups. Almost all the attendees, as well as the organizers, seemed to have the same sense of, combined yet conflicting, urgency and laid-back-ness that characterizes Silicon Valley. As a tech startup company, I had the choice of being either in Silicon Valley or New York City. Feeling lost in the growing momentum for NYETM’s wildly successful predecessor, NYTM (New York Tech Meetup), I was not sure New York was the right place for an enterprise tech startup like ours.
After NYETM, I walked away with the feeling that with NYETM and similar initiatives positioning New York, in the words of Avis’s famous “We are Number 2, We try harder”; this was the place to grow and scale my enterprise tech company.
Author: Avinash Ambale
Category: Startup Advice