TechStars NYC is what's known as an accelerator, or a company that takes
in startups and nurtures them into more mature businesses. There's high
demand to get into this program, which typically choose 12 companies to
participate. The acceptance rate is only half of 1 percent.
Alex Iskold is the managing director of TechStars NYC. He's bullish on tech in New York, arguing that it has advantages in the city's diverse population and key industries like finance, media and fashion.
New York's various industries offer inspiration for local startups. Gilt is tied into the fashion scene in the city. Gilt CEO Michelle Peluso likes the fact that New York isn't all about tech. "There's a healthy distance," she said.
Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1 billion in 2013, overlooks Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, where Silicon Alley originated back in the mid-'90s. The term is largely unused now, since the tech scene is spread all over the city.
Tumblr's creative director, Peter Vidani, also touts the city's diversity as an advantage. But he notes it's a challenge to recruit people from San Francisco. "Once they're here, it's really easy to show them exactly what makes this place so magical."