Back in April, accelerator AngelPad held a demo day for 11 new startups at the San Francisco bar and restaurant 25 Lusk.
The choice of location masked a big change — even though the accelerator was founded four years ago in San Francisco, and even though it still has offices there, AngelPad partners Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas have actually moved to New York City, and the accelerator’s home base followed suit.
When talking about the move, Korte and Magescas can seem a little coy, as if relocating from one side of the US to another was no big deal. Korte acknowledged that living in New York was a personal preference (I can sympathize with that part, since I moved from SF to NYC last fall), but “overlaid” on top of that, he said, was the conclusion that as long as the partners and companies are in the same place, “It doesn’t matter where we are.”
He added, “We set out as a charter that we’re going to be in both places.” In other words, AngelPad’s seventh batch of companies (i.e., the ones that had their demo day in April) may have been the first ones to be based out of the the New York office (pictured above), but they still spent a significant amount of time in the Bay Area. There were three week-long trips out to San Francisco, including the one for demo day.
And speaking of demo day, despite the move, AngelPad didn’t hold an equivalent event in New York. Korte said he’s certainly hoping that the startups meet with and raise funding from New York investors, but after “debating that for a long time,” he and Magescas concluded it would diffuse the energy and excitement to hold more than one official demo day.
Korte also suggested that the move has resulted in more applications from New York-based founders (who seem particularly uninterested in relocating). In the most recent batch, he estimated that one-third of applications came from New York, one-third from San Francisco, and one-third from “somewhere else.” And at the end of the session, “almost half of the companies” chose to stay in NYC.
Korte also offered a few updated numbers about how AngelPad companies are doing in general. They’ve raised a total of $200 million (particularly well-funded ones include Crittercism, Postmates, and Vungle), and they’ve also seen $400 million in exits — the biggest by far being Twitter’s $350 million acquisition of MoPub (and that’s going by the initial price — the stock deal is worth significantly more than that now).
Now that one group of startups has made through the new AngelPad structure, Korte and Magescas seem to think their experiment in bridging the East and West Coasts is working.
“We really want to see the two cultures melded together,” Korte said. “In Silicon Valley, you see audacious goals, crazy moonshot projects, and everyone’s starting a company. Versus New York, where founders take a look more seriously at how the company will make money.”
And there are two more weeks before the June 29 deadline to apply for AngelPad’s fall session.