Silicon Alley Insider has a interesting post entitled “Does New York City Need More VCs?.” In it they compared the venture capital situation in New York and in Silicon Valley. New York appears to have much fewer and less visible VC investors in the technology markets. In addition the article laments that the venture capital funds in New York are much more closed and less active in building a community and technology cluster. For example in Silicon Valley, investment groups, angel investors and venture capitalists are present at start-up events and seem to have a more open door policy. The resulting technology community draws in companies, investors and business founders and other technical staff from elsewhere around the world thanks to the ease with which start-ups can get access to investors.
Does Atlantic Canada need more VCs?
Broadening the argument of the need for more and more active VCs in New York, I would argue that Atlantic Canada could also use a good dose of investment companies. Now I would not be able to argue that Atlantic Canada and especially New Brunswick as a province with a relatively small population and number of companies can support a large number of investment firms. Certain government programs such as AIF and NBIF do have avenues for funding start-ups but in most cases, I think that any additional business support will be relatively generic and not be tuned in to a company’s particular business and their field.
There are a few funds with operations in Atlantic Canada but I don’t see any IT specific funds. Could they really give me insight on bringing a dot.com or technology company and product to market? Could they do much more than give cash? I have no doubt that some of the funding companies could be a great resource to have onside but I would think that great Silicon Valley firms could also provide valuable industry advice based on previous experience with technology markets.
Not all IT is done in Silicon Valley
It is worth making the case though that venture capitalists and fund managers should not simply stick to their comfort areas in the big cities and known hotspots. As many IT professionals can tell you, not all IT activities happen in Silicon Valley. There are many great ideas and entrepreneurs out there across North America but some won’t be able to reach their potential due to lack of funding.
Maybe if you want to succeed in IT, you really do need to move to Silicon Valley.
I Hope not….