I’ve watched New York grow up from afar. In May of 2010, I moved out of my apartment in Harlem. I was broke. My original co-founder and I had split. My attempts at raising money on both coasts had imploded. And despite very publicly stating an intent to move to Silicon Valley, I didn’t even have the cash to get there.
But I had a team. I had co-founders. And that turned out to be everything. I digress…
It’s been more than a year since I left. And boy has New York changed! The Valley money has arrived. Ron Conway has partnered with Lerer Ventures to sprinkle cash across the land. Vinod Khosla did GroupMe’s Series A at a $35M pre-money (now that’s a Valley valuation!). From what I can tell, the angel community is still small and underdeveloped relative to Palo Alto, but innovations like AngelList have made it possible for people outside the Valley to get Valley money––if only they come and get it.
And then there’s General Assembly. I’m on their email list. On the founders, Brad Hargreaves, is a friend of mine from, well, the New York of early 2010. Holy cow! The events they put on their sound consistently awesome. To be honest, when I first saw pics of the oh-so-luxurious space, my first thought was: “Bubble!!!!” But man have they executed.
Which brings me to my last point: My generation is growing up.
Today brought news that Mike Karnjanaprakorn had raised a Series A from Union Square and Spark Capital. I don’t think I’ve ever met Mike in person, but I do remember him from the Twitters. Man, I remember when that guy was just another scrappy mofo hustler trying to make a name for himself. His last name was comically unpronounceable. I’m not sure, but I don’t think he had any notable pedigree or connects. He was just a dude trying to make it. Like me.
And now here he is all grown up and shit, raising $3M from one of the top dudes in the land.
My my New York, I don’t miss ya, but how you’ve changed. Congrats!