Silicon Alley’s Night Out

Time Inc. throws party for city's top startups

Wednesday night, for the second year in a row, Time Inc. threw a party to fete its list of 10 NYC Startups To Watch. Several of the company's leaders sat down with Adweek to discuss how being based in Silicon Alley colors their businesses.

Nikhil Sethi, CEO and cofounder of social ad firm Adaptly

“Being in the ad space, we realized that there’s only one city in the country that we can operate from. Literally 99 percent of our customers are within a block radius of our offices…In the Bay Area you walk into a coffee shop, and everyone talks about technology, but it’s always about consumer apps. You go to a bar in New York, and everyone talks about media and advertising, just like randomly in a bar.”

Vipin Goyal, CEO and cofounder of NYC-centric activity discovery platform SideTour

“Our business is New York City. We’re a business all about the people and experiences in the city…Look at the stuff on SideTour. You can learn the art of graffiti with an aerosol artist in Queens who’s been curating [famed street art locale] 5Pointz for years. You can have dinner with an investment banker-turned-monk in an East Village monastery.”

Carter Cleveland, founder and CEO of art discovery platform

“New York is the center of the art world, but it’s also just a great place to start up….A lot of the best schools are on the East Coast and near New York City—my alma mater Princeton is very nearby—so there are plenty of really talented engineers, art historians, you name it, coming out of these schools. But until recently for startups the only option was going out West, but increasingly that’s no longer the case because New York City has so much more to offer than the Valley does in terms of diversity of culture and industries.”

Robby Stein, CEO and cofounder of location-discovery platform Stamped

“Stamped really can only exist in New York. The reason why is what we’re about is recommending and putting your stamp of approval on those things you like the best: restaurants, books, movies and music. As part of that, a really important point for us is building a community around that, and what that means is being able to bring a lot of voices onto the service. A lot of times those are brands or other authorities in the area. We work closely with, for instance, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, Mario Batali, Michael Kors, all very New York personalities that can cultivate their recommended restaurants, books, movies and music.”

Scott Ballantyne, CMO of social shopping company Fab

“The whole idea is basically reinvented social shopping. It’s like walking down SoHo on Greene Street with your friends on Sunday, and you discover something in the shop window. We replicated that in an online experience…The heart and soul of the founders are here in New York, and obviously New York is a big deal for the design environment…New York was just a natural place for us to start, but we’ve got 250 people around the world and 170 of those are in New York.”