Brad Feld, a Techstars co-founder, did not mince words when he grabbed the microphone at demo day.
“I think this Techstars class is the most technically deep Techstars class that I’ve seen,” he said. “It’s pretty incredible to see it here in New York City.”
That was his assessment of the winter 2015 class of Techstars NYC last week at NYU’s Skirball Center. The twelve startups that graduated include online data science school DataCamp and Cartesian, which developed a desktop 3D printer for circuit boards. (See slideshow.) LSQ, whose platform is used to develop software applications that can each run multiple “microservices”, did not demo on stage and is not pictured.
It was perhaps fitting that the demo day was held on the same stage where the monthly New York Tech Meetup takes place, which also included DataCamp in its last outing.
New York does see a large share of consumer and media-driven startups. However, that does not mean the city is devoid of what some might call “real” technology. Feld said when he and his Techstars co-founders—David Cohen, Jared Polis, and David Brown—expanded to New York in 2011, they got a bit of guff from others about what the city had to offer.
“The first couple of years in New York, I heard over and over again from people around the country that the companies in New York were lightweight,” he said.
The popular notion, Feld said, centered on Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area as the only places to get really deep in technology.
“I’ve been calling bullshit on that since 2011,” he said.
Given Etsy’s huge IPO the day before demo day, the local innovation scene seems to be cementing its legitimacy, by Feld’s reckoning. “It’s another step along the way to seeing the New York startup community really blossom,” he said.