Adam Jackrel, an entrepreneur and an alumnus of New York University, is working on his startup business
with 3D printer at Leslie Entrepreneurship Lab of New York University.
|/Photography from DUBS|
A team of reporters from the University Media Center of Dongguk visited the United States from June 28th to July 9th to report young people’s startups. In the U.S., the team visited various startup companies in New York and startup programs in New York University and Georgetown University.
Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, WeWork; these well-known companies are the fruits of young generation’s startups in the United States. New York has emerged as a fashionable spot for startups, also known as the “Silicon Alley.” A research from a startup funding platform “Gust” showed that the investment rate in Silicon Alley was 22 percent, which was 4.5 percent higher than that of “Silicon Valley” in San Francisco. This shows that the startup boom in New York has become more than just a tendency, but one of the features of the city.
New York, a cluster of diversity
“New York is a crazy place. You can access to every place in less than an hour. Media, art, finance, fashion, education and so on; they are all in the city. The easy accessibility makes this city so special, and I believe that this is why New York could become such a big place for startups,” said Jason Saltzman, a founder of a co-working space, “Alley.” New York is formed with diverse races, languages, and cultures. Based on different cultures and business backgrounds, the city’s complexity provided a sufficient environment for startups to develop. “New York is special in that it offers a wide diversity of industries. Whatever you choose as your business, there are always customers in town,” said Adam Cragg, a manager of New York University Leslie Entrepreneurship Lab.
“Wholehearted” supports from the government
Michael Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor aimed at making New York to become a big spot for startups. He propelled a lot of benefits to foster startups including tax-free supports, startup campaigns, and the related programs. Bill de Blasio, the current mayor is also supporting continuous startup nurturing, especially aiming on the goal to make New York City possess a competitiveness based on technology. Recently New York City held startup seminars and events in various forms. There is a lot that the city and the state do to support entrepreneurship. New York University is actually in conjunction with the city and the state that have three incubators in addition to Leslie Entrepreneurship Lab. What is interesting about those three incubators is that they are assigned to startups as the place that are exempt from corporate tax for up to ten years. This could be very impactful for startups, which is a great example of the ways the city and the state are working on to help young generation’s startups.
Active educational supports
Universities in the East provide students with startup supporting programs and curriculua, leading young people to start their businesses with entrepreneurship. New York University, Columbia University, Georgetown University and so on are the ones that are well known to have the entrepreneurship courses for students. New York University has its startup center called, “Leslie Entrepreneurship Lab,” where it helps students to start their own business anytime including mentoring and consulting services. Adam Cragg, a manager of Leslie Entrepreneurship said, “Our lab has a lot of available resources. Some of them have mentors such as patent lawyers, attorneys and accountants for students to get free legal advice and accounting advice,” and added, “It is a great time for students to start a company while at university because they have four whole years when it is okay to fail. The world becomes much of a harsher place once you leave the university. From this point of view, universities should support students a lot to get them to start and do many experiments.”
Universities in Eastern region have also ignited the heated startup trend in New York. Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative in Georgetown University encourages students to join the program and experience entrepreneurship regardless of their majors. There are the initiative classes for students who are interested in learning about business and startups. During the vacation, it holds a summer launch program, specifically for students who may have developed an idea over the course of school year, but not really have the full opportunity or time. Alyssa Lovegrove, an Associate Director and Adjunct Professor of Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, said, “What we think is, ‘how do you break this into a set of skills?’ What we practice is creating a landing page, advertising, seeing what kind of response to get, investigating how to talk to potential customers and how to build a team. We think of these skills and hopefully they will stay with students, and some years later, when they do identify an opportunity, they will figure out what to do next.” She also added, “A lot of what our center does do not fit into the conventional way that classes are taught in a way that evaluates students’ progress. This is about what we fight all the time.”
While it used to be a “tradition,” entrepreneurs who graduated universities in Boston and start their businesses in “Silicon Valley,” the rising tendency tells that “Silicon Alley” is more likely to be chosen by the entrepreneurs since New York is geographically close, and the city gives a lot of benefits.
A lot of job creations do not come from large companies. It comes from startups. In terms of the health of economy going forward, startup is critical in maintaining or developing economy; it is the role that can be done by startups. New York is reaching out further, becoming a city of opportunities. Young startup dreamers are gathering to the city. Behind such boom, the city’s unique trait and supports from the universities and governments played a big role which kept on encouraging the new innovations. “All university students should have some extortion to entrepreneurship because it primarily shares the same ground with a way of problem solving in life,” said Adam Cragg.
Reckless Challenge, the Treasure of Young Startups
» Alley,Co-working space
|Jason Saltzman (37)|
|/Photography from Dgupress|
“Startups are important because large corporations cannot create products in the way startups can. I feel that new businesses that are being created in new technology are the future of the world. Less political environment and bureaucracy frees the mind, and allows crazy ideas. It is always the startup that is going to change the world, so young people have to be convinced that the world needs you. But it is never going to be easy. Get ready for the bumpy ride, it is so worth it. So do it when you have a lot of time as a young age. Mess up and fail. But fail fast, and start over again and again. Learn as much as you can from your failure, then you can become a successful young entrepreneur.”
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|Dae Lim (25, left), Harry Lee (25, right)|
|/Photography from DUBS|
Dae: “It is necessary for young people to engage themselves politically also at universities. That is because a university has to be a place where politics and especially democratic principles have great importance.”
Harry: “The biggest difference I realized between the United States and Korea is the way people think of failure. I was forced to be perfect, and got afraid of failing when I was in Korea. But here, failure is something you can learn from, and something neccessary for further improvement. The idea of ‘It is okay to fail, you can always start again’ really helped me start my own business.”
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|Sang Lee (29)|
|/Photography from Dgupress|
“I decided to quit my job as a fund manager and start my own business. Startup is very attractive in that you have the power to develop your own idea. When this meets with young generation’s fearless, creative and passionate mindset, I believe that this is where the innovation happens.”
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|Sohin Shah (28)|
|/Photography from Dgupress|
“I worked at an investment bank before, and one of the challenges I faced was that my role was limited in terms of the contribution I could make to the company. And I believed that everyone should have an opportunity to contribute to their fullest. That was in 2012, when I became an entrepreneur. But entrepreneurship is filled with struggles. The vision that you should have is making sure that you are in this to learn and build something which can make the world a better place and solve all the problems. So focus on that, do not focus on making money or getting rich or successful. Then you will be able to feel happy as well with whatever the outcome is.”
Choi Young-eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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