Paul Graham: NYC Is More Important Than It Used to Be, But Valley Is Still the Center

paul graham Paul Graham: NYC Is More Important Than It Used to Be, But Valley Is Still the CenterWhen the Y Combinator accelerator program was founded, sessions alternated locations between Cambridge and the Valley. But when Mr. Graham decided to settle in Palo Alto after his wife got pregnant, he decided he wanted his YC babies there, too. It’s just a better place for kids, you know? But today came the announcement: the first official Y Combinator meetup, a “hybrid of reception and conference,” in New York will take place in September.

The meetup doesn’t mean Y Combinator is going to open a New York branch the way TechStars (Boulder, CO) and DreamIt (Philly) have, Mr. Graham indicated, it’s just an introductory session to recruit more entrepreneurs into the program. If they decide to stay in California, that’s cool. If they move back to New York after demo day, that’s cool too.

“Going to Silicon Valley for YC doesn’t mean moving there permanently,” he wrote on the Hacker News forum.  “There are about a dozen YC funded start-ups in NYC. And if ambitious people are willing to go to another city for several years for college or grad school, it doesn’t seem like a big stretch for them to go to Silicon Valley for 3 months for YC.

“There’s a long tradition of ambitious people traveling to the big center of whatever they’re interested in. And while NYC is more of a start-up hub than it used to be, the Valley is still the center. Founders who come here find it an eye-opening experience. So we wouldn’t necessarily be doing NYC-based founders a favor by establishing a branch there.”