Today we speak with Rameet Chawla, the founder of Fueled, an iPhone application development agency and Fueled Collective, a shared coworking space in NYC. Rameet was recently selected as a NYC Venture Fellow by NYCEDC.
What is your take on the startup scene in NYC today?
I think it is stronger now than it has ever been. I think what everyone predicted –– New York would be the second hub for technology –– is now coming true. Obviously, we are still nowhere near where San Francisco is, but we are different from San Francisco. We have different markets and clients here. In terms of my take on the current scene, I think it’s exactly where we envisioned it would go three years ago, which I think is awesome.
Everything started about five years ago. And, about three years ago, the scene started to really blow out and has seen accelerated growth since then. I expect to see the industry continuing to grow over the next three years. A lot of people talk about the “bubble” bursting but I still think in the next three years, we are going to see a boom in terms of tech.
However, five years is questionable. You never really know what’s going to happen long-term. There could be other external elements that slow the industry down, but in an even longer term –– 15 years or so –– New York is going to be one of the hubs for sure. In fact, it’s been growing faster than any of the other technology hubs.
What do you see as challenges?
The only challenge in New York is the expense to live. In any large urban city, especially where the population density is as high as it is in New York, living costs are high. One thing that drives this industry is entrepreneurs. But being an entrepreneur in New York, you have to deal with the high living costs. So, I think what we are going to see is that in a long term, a lot more hubs will be shifting towards Brooklyn.
There are two different things that we’ve been doing. One is Fueled, and then the other is the Fueled Collective. On one hand, Fueled provides services to our clients, and since we tailor our services towards startups, we fit in a way that we are helping those startups actually produce quality product. On the other hand, the Fueled Collective that is not only about where we fit in the ecosystem –– we are the ecosystem. With 20 different companies operating in our space, we are like one of the components of the ecosystem itself because we actually house and facilitate all those startups, and indirectly incubate them.
Read what other thought leaders are saying in the “Pulse of the Alley”.