Startup Ecosystems are EverywhereSilicon Valley is the worlds premier location for startups. Of course, when we think of Silicon Valley we immediately think of buzzwords such as Facebook, Y Combinator, Google, developers who live in mansions, and of course, LOTS and LOTS of venture capital...
However, there has started to be a large change in the way that startups figure out what geographical startup ecosystem they would like to be a part of. Of course, Silicon Valley is the cream of the crop in regards to a best possible startup ecosystem, but besides the money available and the "vibe" of Silicon Valley, there are other things to consider before packing up your bags and relocating yourself to Southern California. In fact, there are many places that are highly competitive in regards to providing what Silicon Valley offers all around the world!
The location I would like to point out today is New Hampshire. New Hampshire's startup scene is starting to boom, and the progress can easily be seen in locations such as Manchester, Portsmouth, Durham, and Nashua. New Hampshire has a great startup vibe, and also is home to many fabulous education resources, accelerators, and incubators.
New Hampshire is home to many top IT startups such as Dyn, who are all working at creating a much larger startup ecosystem in New Hampshire!
According to Matt Rightmire - the Managing Director of Borealis Ventures, you need to have "6 key components" to make up a great startup ecosystem. Below, I have created only a small list of components of what makes up a startup ecosystem.
Typical Components of Choosing a Startup Ecosystem
- Startup Output
- Location and Events**
- incubators and Accelerators**
**Components that New Hampshire Provides to Startups
New Hampshire's Startup Ecosystem
New Hampshire is home to many great colleges and universities. These schools pump out great students, developers and entrepreneurs. In addition, with Boston (one of the top startup ecosystems in the world) only 1 hour away from most major cities in New Hampshire, there is always a high availability of talent to help start and develop your business.
The way startups are getting funded now is changing rapidly. More and more venture capital companies are straying away from Silicon Valley where it is getting crowded with Venture Capital and expanding their views to other startup ecosystems. In addition, in recent study by Gnome, Boston, MA is shown to have around the same level of funding as Silicon Valley and is ranked higher than New York City in the funding category!
Of course, the power of the internet has also helped spark many new companies in startup ecosystems that either have a small footprint or do not even exists. Through the use of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, it is virtually possible to get funding no matter what startup ecosystem you are a part of. However, funding is only 1 of the 6 components that makes a great startup, and just because you have a lot of funding does not mean you are going to be successful.
New Hampshire is home to many venture capital firms and angel investment groups, and beyond these groups are many other individual angel investors who are willing to help mentor and fund a startup! In AngelList, there are approximately 9,000+ Angel Investors registered from the state of New Hampshire! For a list of venture capital groups and angel investors, check out this list on NH Economy.com.
Mentors are plentiful, and can be found nearly everywhere around the globe. Many mentors are exited to be part of new startup communities, and will sometimes even proactively reach out to help new startups!
Many mentors have been around the startup world before, and have years of experience in your local startup ecosystem. Mentors can range from previous or current startup owners, retired CEO's and high level executives, to venture capital firms. Many mentors have been in the same position as entrepreneurs and have had the same "up's and down's" that typically happen when trying to start a new company. In addition, Mentors most of the time will give you invaluable access to their network to only strengthen your chance at success!
Education and LocationNew Hampshire is home to many colleges and universities. Many of these colleges have high retention rates of students who end up staying in the area based on the great startup atmosphere, creative and growing companies, as well as a low cost of living. Some of the educational facilities that can be found in New Hampshire are:
- University of New Hampshire - Who also has an incredible "UNHInnovation Lab"
- Southern New Hampshire University - The Top Online Higher Education School in the World
- Dartmouth College - Ivy League School
- St. Anselm's College - Private College Located in Manchester, NH
In addition to the great education that New Hampshire Provides to its students, the location of being within an hour of one of the top startup ecosystems in the country/world (Boston, MA) is an increased benefit. Boston is a great ecosystem to start a business and slowly more and more startups are locating in New Hampshire because the cost of living and the cost of doing business (not to mention NO INCOME TAX!) is much lower than if a company was located in the center of Boston.
As an added benefit of being in New Hampshire, there is also a wide variety of incubators and startups who have an infinite amount of resources to help assist startup companies.
Incubators and Accelerators in New Hampshire
Incubators and startup accelerators can be a key resource to a startups success. Many of these organizations are formed by previous startup owners who have a goal to help other entrepreneurs reach their dreams just like they have in the past.
Accelerators are programs that look to help coach and teach new entrepreneurs on the best ways to create their startup. These programs are very helpful, and can offer additional resources to help boost and grow your startup to the next level.
New Hampshire has a wide list of these organizations, and always have their doors open to help the next generation of startups in New Hampshire. Here is a small list of incubators and accelerators:
- Alpha Loft
- Wasabi Academy
- Live Free and Start
- Dartmouth Regional Technology Center
- Enterprise Center at Plymouth
- Hannah Grimes Center
- Mount Washington Valley Tech Village