Reuters - Video



A startup ditches Silicon Valley for Detroit - Tech Tonic

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 - 03:47

Two Harvard-educated venture capitalists abandon Silicon Valley and head home to downtrodden Detroit, finding opportunity and money to grow a business in a city that many left for dead. (February 15, 2013)

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Why would someone come to Detroit. Because. You can really stand out you can do things here where it's into -- can -- department could have a job and you can go to the bar and have a good time that's great. Well this is the kind of place where someone literally gives you a building to started communities and give you a building to start a business forgive your building to started -- -- You know there's a lot of direct benefits that relate to this kind of weird phenomenon of the big city they kind of went small. Retained a lot of its infrastructure. -- just 40% of what -- was in San Francisco. My commute to work is two blocks I've -- when you're driving I can get twenty miles. -- 25 minutes. Try that. Think dot com. Is a website that helps get consumers find local professionals recommended by their friends. And also -- helps small businesses look professionals. Connect with their clients online. I'd -- our story really started ten years ago and we met just forward to policy went to Harvard and we were classmates of FaceBook. So in fact three of whom were in my dorm and one of them with him. So we started the business in San Francisco which of course is the thing to do I mean that's and discredit collagen. Nathan came a few years later RC runs led by Tim Draper is happening dollars San Francisco. Mark my -- is also in the round which is a classic contributor to VC funds and number of the angels of folks would start business for better paying it forward. By helping out -- trip so. That was our seed effort and we're out here in Detroit raising local money. It it. Good news. For a long time. All the money was in San Francisco there wasn't a lot of like classic adventure classic risk taking. Elsewhere but people started to copy that model you see that now in Detroit -- and certainly Austin, Texas and thanks for that panel at play. San Cisco has a lot of talent but it has even more competition for talent. It's a much bigger struggle not only to kind of get folks in the door but also keep them around because there's this really the culture of startups in San Francisco. Is great when your -- company but not so great when you're trying to hire people who are also trying to build. I think there were looking to be -- -- -- the here I think that it's too we have small team conference office I. We feel pretty good about where revenues tracking in the end the year we feel it. We can be right there to get involved in that. You notice in Detroit that usually -- of these homey authentic places like nobody here is going to Chile's. Or going to an apple these these are all places that have been around since your parents went to these hours and high school and maybe. And since their parents went to the car's high schools have lot of tradition and a lot of fun -- to my favor of Boris from the good old days of high school is a great furcal Tom's tavern right buyers. The famous barbecue place called slows down the street San Francisco as nice -- that is that the bush you refinements that the -- people that I from Stockton and happy but. I think that Detroit has its own charm and that urban landscape of -- -- -- to try to -- story really begins here. Folks are still here feminists are still here and it's a great town I think that no matter all the place the world we've lived and -- So the best people are --

A startup ditches Silicon Valley for Detroit - Tech Tonic

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 - 03:47

Top News »

The Exchange »

Moving Pictures »