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3 perspectives on the future of SF and NYC as startup hubs

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It has been an incredibly tough period for everyone the past few months as the global COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out whole industries from the economic map.

While tech has been among the most resilient industries in the face of this cataclysm, the extreme mobility of the industry’s workforce begs large questions about what the future of startups and work will look like moving forward.

We’ve debated what COVID-19 will do to the rise of the college town as startup hubs and how the pandemic will change the way we work in coffee shops and neighborhoods. Now, we want to address one of the larger questions that has been bugging us: Will tech continue to centralize in hubs like San Francisco and New York City, or will remote work and all the other second-order effects lead to a more decentralized startup ecosystem?

We have three perspectives from our writers, with wildly different predictions about what the future has in store.

First, we have Danny Crichton, who believes that tech, and particularly the VC industry, will remain as concentrated as ever, although where it is concentrated will perhaps shift a bit. Meanwhile, Alex Wilhelm asserts that startup growth outside major hubs will actually accelerate, spreading tech wealth even farther outside the metropolises. Finally, Natasha Mascarenhas argues that the combination of the economic dislocation of COVID-19 and the increasing attention to equity in tech will lead to more intense investment outside core startup hubs.

Danny Crichton: A new Napa Valley café shows why in-person networks matter

First there was Sand Hill Road. Then there was South Park. And now there’s Solbar at Solage in Calistoga.

Despite the wide availability of remote work tools over the past two decades, VCs have always miraculously congregated in extraordinarily tight quarters. VCs weren’t attracted to Sand Hill’s low-slung office buildings for the architecture, which were and are a terror to eyes with a taste for anything more sophisticated than “here be four walls and a roof.” VCs didn’t head to South Park to enjoy what Google Maps calls a “tree-lined oval garden” nestled between light industrial buildings. And they aren’t heading to Solbar in Napa Valley for Californian cuisine and a dining room conveniently closed on Partner Mondays.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/12/3-perspectives-on-the-future-of-sf-and-nyc-as-startup-hubs/

Start Ups

CB Insights: Trends, Insights & Startups from The Fintech 250

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See how we selected the 250 companies featured in this year’s Fintech 250 and get caught up on the trends and technology poised to transform financial services this year and beyond. Download.

Trends, Insights & Startups from The Digital Health 150

Get a behind the scenes look at this year’s Digital Health 150 winners and learn how we identified them and which trends and technologies your need to watch. Download.

What Tech Offers: The Future of P&C Underwriting

Learn about the technologies-growing ecosystem of innovative insurance startups-that are quickly digitizing P&C underwriting and changing the industry forever. Download.

 

Source: CB Insights

 

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Start Ups

Website Packages – Good or Evil?

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If you are an entrepreneur looking to take your business online, website packages many agencies offer might seem like a great deal. You get just what you need for a reasonable price – no tedious discussions and multiple iterations required. But is it really as good as it sounds? Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of website development packages and see if it’s a good idea to choose this approach instead of custom development.

  • Website package: How does it work?

When shopping around for a website, it is as to come across the so-called “packages” – predefined service offerings provided by web agencies. Typically providing a fixed list of features or level of complexity, they are often positioned as all-inclusive service packages. Moreover, they can even let you pick the features you need or choose specific requirements, building up your package just like a constructor.

Such offerings might range from simple corporate website packages for small businesses to complex eCommerce website packages or enterprise solutions. They can specify the number of pages, a number of possible design revisions, or website capabilities in general, for example, blog, contact/subscription form, social media integration, shopping cart, payments.

In addition to letting you choose the features you need, such packages can have some specifications about design (for example, WordPress website packages based on a template or custom design) or additional services, such as hosting, SEO, marketing, support, integrations. Based on the scope of work and the number of services the package offers, the price can range accordingly.

The described approach works well in a number of business domains, including travel packages and SaaS pricing plans. However, other business domains prove to be less suitable for bundled service offerings.
In terms of web development, this type of offering might seem attractive and convenient, especially for a business owner with no tech background. However, this might also turn out to be a crafty way to hook the customers with a cheap offer and upsell all the important features that were not included in the initial offering. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of the website packages?

 The Pros and Cons of Website Development Packages

  Pros:-

Fixed cost – As simple as that, most of us feel more comfortable engaging in cooperation with a definite budget and deadline. This is what makes website packages so attractive in our eyes.
Relatively low pricing – Website packages pricing is typically lower than any estimate a web development company can offer. However, this might be due to the fact that many features are not included in the package and will be upsold later.
Better transparency – With a specified list of features and services within a website package, you know what you will get upfront. In some cases, you can even tailor the packages to fit your needs (and budget!).
Faster time to market – Website packages typically don’t include long planning and business analysis, which might speed up the development process.

Yet, despite the listed benefits, there are many downsides to choosing “bundled” website development services.

  Cons:-

Limited growth opportunities – Being tied to the initial specifications, such websites are typically difficult to scale or customize in the long run. For example, WordPress website packages cannot be further expanded to include eCommerce features.
Poor customization – If you go for a package offering, all that you will get in the end is another off-the-shelf, generic website. Thus, you won’t be able to stand out among thousands of other small business websites and will lose your brand identity. Plus, you won’t be able to add custom integrations or features due to the initial package limitations.
Prove to be costly in long-term – Website packages for small business are typically suited for a fast launch, yet they don’t take into account the further development and maintenance. If the agency doesn’t provide any support, the website might turn into a throwaway project, as no other agency will want (or be able to) deal with legacy code.
You can’t be too picky With a website package, you won’t be involved in the development process, so you won’t be able to influence anything. Once you choose a package, all you can do is sit and wait for the results. So if the reality doesn’t meet your expectations, there is not much you can do post factum.
No business outlook While the absence of analysis and consulting might speed up the project duration, the business outcomes of such a project might turn out to be very poor. Due to the generic character and limited functionality of your website, you will lose a number of competitive benefits.

Making a Decision: Do You Need to Buy a Website Package?

While the website package price is considered to be the main advantage of the described approach, the listed drawbacks clearly outweigh this benefit. A custom approach to web development proves to be more beneficial in terms of business outlook and efficiency. After all, eBay and Amazon didn’t start as generic eCommerce website packages.

Simply put, website packages cannot be tailored to your specific business needs and scale accordingly as your business evolves. We at Eastern Peak always recommend a custom website development approach. By conducting a thorough business analysis and consulting, we get to know your specific requirements. Thus, we can tailor our offering to meet your needs and build a great website for your business.

Source: Alexy Chalimov. Alexey is also a founder and technology evangelist at several technology companies. Previously, as a CEO of the Gett (GetTaxi) technology company, Alexey was in charge of developing the revolutionary Gett service from the ground up and deploying the operation across the globe from London to Moscow and Tel Aviv. Currently, Alexy is the CEO of EasternPeak.

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Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

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This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth mode, and investors back into the check-writing arena.

Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.

We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.

For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.

A strong Q3, a strong 2020

Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.

Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.

According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $3.90 billion.

In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $8.66 billion for the year through Q3.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/boston-startups-expand-regions-venture-capital-footprint/

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