A couple months ago when Dave and I were creating a pitch deck for TSF, we did a little research comparing our metro to other metros in the south-east. One of the metrics we wanted to know was, how many startups are there in RTP as compared to Atlanta, DC or Miami. So we went to AngelList. I was woefully disappointed in our numbers and when I reviewed the companies that were listed, I was even more disappointed to see a distinct lack of participation from companies I knew.
This came to a head again a few weeks ago with James Avery’s post on his blog – Measuring the Triangle Startup Community – about the area. There are some interesting thoughts here about where we rank. His blog has no comments section so I resorted to Twitter to lay out my thoughts. Those thoughts are that we are under-represented and that pisses me off.
There are at least 3 major startup directory/funding platforms that every startup should be listed on:
- AngelList – the big poppa and a must for EVERY software startup.
- Crunchbase – the sister to TechCrunch
- F6S – an up & comer but a deep directory nonetheless.
To decide to not list yourself is to show the world that you are not ready to play the big game. Running with the baseball analogy, I wrote a post for INC last week about the dangers of a small-ball strategy. Getting national exposure is part of getting big. To not put yourself in position to be noticed . . . well, what the heck are you thinking?
So here I sit on January 4th, 2015 and I have a RTP resolution for the new year.
I am asking that every startup organization in RTP require their startups to be listed on at least 2 of the 3 sites listed above as a requirement for further discussion.
I am talking to you; CED, Groundwork Labs, American Underground, HQ Raleigh & Greensboro, 1789 Venture Lab, Launch Chapel Hill, Flywheel Co-Working, NC Idea, Packard Place, Citrix Accelerator, Blackstone Network, and of course TSF. I also include the university programs; UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State Garage, Duke and UNC-Wilmington Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and NC Central. I also include Bull City Venture Partners, Intersouth, Piedmont Angel Network, Triangle Angel Partners and every active angel investor. Who am I forgetting? Call them out in the comment section and I will make sure they see this.
I have long desired to find a project where we could all work together to create something bigger than each one of us. This is a simple but great opportunity to create a regional awareness that can only benefit each and every one of us. I will try and push this personally.
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Who’s with me? Let’s goooo . . . . .
You are right – local companies should reach for a broader stage. But, limiting this visibility to signing up with the list of existing directories is not enough. All this will do is make the Triangle a reactive participant along with every other startup in the world.
The Triangle needs to do is be proactive – to show the world that it is, at a minimum, one of the core centers for entrepreneurial activity in the world. AngelList, Cruchbase and F6S are investor focused directories. Being included in a directory does not solve the individual goals of each member of the early stage community – a directory is not a marketplace.
Become the home and the advocate for the Early Stage community. Endorse and promote the reality that the early stage is a marketplace for its constituents: startups, sponsoring organizations, funders and partners. From your list: startups are self defining. Sponsoring organizations would include the CED and all of the incubators and accelerators your mention. Funders (here is where it gets fun) – money will go anywhere – but money has to know that you exist and that you have a level of validation. Partners are those public and private entities that validate the startup by issuing that first press release and saying, “yes, I know about XYZ and I am working with them/buying their stuff/in a joint development deal with them/etc.”
Do not limit “startup” to high tech. Revolution Growth invested in LollyWoolyDoodle in Lexington, NC.
Each constituent has a self interest – satisfy those interests. Each constituent has a job to do – create the marketplace for them to work together to do their jobs.
BTW – We sold our house in Mountain View and will move to the Triangle by end of February. Continue your advocacy and I hope to see you soon.
Hope you are well and Happy New Year
Spot on; we’re guilty as well. How about expanding your call to action eastern NC also (I’m looking at you, Greenville)
Thanks for continuing to rally the community, Chris. Will continue to ask this of the startups that we work with and talk to.
Absolutely with you with the long desire to find projects where we could all work together to create something bigger than each one of us. Looking forward to doing us doing that in 2015.