The most interesting part of today’s news that mobile advertising startup Place IQ had raised $4.2 million was that the Boulder, Colorado based company is packing its bags and heading to New York. Roger Ehrenberg, whose IA Ventures has been backing Place IQ since the seed stage, says it’s the natural evolution of the company. “The partners and the clients are here. The engineering talent is here. They did a great job building out the core tech and finding some traction. But when it’s time to scale, you want to stop living on an airplane.”
New York as a hotbed for engineering talent is becoming a familiar refrain. But if Facebook is also opening an office in Silicon Alley to try and tap into these in-demand workers, won’t hiring here become an absolute nightmare? “I think its actually two very different kinds of people,” Mr. Ehrenberg said. “There are folks who appreciate the stability and scale of a Google or a Facebook and then there are want to be the big fish in the little pond and make their mark on a company.”
Mr. Ehrenberg hinted that future funding announcements would be paired with a move to New York (okay, that’s two; three times is a trend story). “The old line is that Silicon Valley VCs only want to fund companies in their backyard. We try and take a more flexible approach.”
Having startups relocate to New York does give Mr. Ehrenberg a chance to flex his muscles as a recruiter. “I work with the engineering and data science folks at Columbia, so we can tap a ton of great young talent coming out of there.”
There are outliers of course. TechStars NY grad ThinkNear, also backed by IA Ventures and working in the mobile advertising space, decided to head for Los Angeles after graduating from the accelerator. But with foursquare, Hyperpublic, Localresponse and many others, New York stands out as the nation’s biggest hotbed for location-based tech companies.