Truman James: The Prime Mover of the New York Startup World


Moving sucks and when you’re doing an office move, that sucks even more. First, you have to find the right space. Then you have to negotiate the lease. Then there are all the details involved in the move itself – including making all of the preparations for the space you’re moving into. Consider this: you have advisors who help you with your business, right? What if you have one to help you with the move?

Enter Truman James, an online service that simplifies your next move. Not only do they know about needs that are specific to startups: they’ve simplified the process through technology. Truman James is part of Interplay, an accelerator-incubator hybrid that grows companies the old-fashioned way: by grabbing an idea off the shelf, recruiting a CEO, raising money, and launching a new venture. Simple. The way Truman James will take all of the friction and stress out of your next office move. The company comes from inside the startup community, so they know the deal.  explains how that makes him and his team uniquely qualified to work with startups – and how much easier Truman James can makes your lives. And the service won’t cost you a dime.

Truman James Logo

Tell us about the product or service. 

Truman James is a commercial real estate advisor to the startup community.  What that means is we locate office space for entrepreneurs, negotiate the lease for them and help them find vendors to assist in build-out & move-in.

Coleman Headshot

Coleman Skeeter
Founder and CEO
Truman James

How is it different?

We are the only commercial real estate brokerage incubated inside the startup community.  Finding office space is often the last thing a founder wants to deal with, however the right space serves as a creative springboard to launch a company and is core to building a culture.  Furthermore, the wrong space can waste money and create undesirable liabilities.  We built this company to protect entrepreneurs, remove the pain points associated with securing office space and to act as advocates for the tech community.  Furthermore, because we are tech entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand the needs of our peers and we leverage technology at every step of the process, something that is often lacking in commercial real estate.

What are the hot neighborhoods in New York for startups? (Outer boroughs count, too.)

The hottest neighborhood in the country is Midtown South, commonly referred to as Silicon Alley.  It encompasses Flatiron, NoMad, SOHO, Hudson Square and Union Square.  And there is no question the catalyst for growth in this sub-market has been the tech community.

What market are you attacking and how big is it? 

We are attacking the commercial real estate broker market, which is estimated to be $25 Billion worldwide.

What is the business model?

Our service is free for startups.  We get a fee from the landlord when we place a tenant.

What are the things startups should look for when they’re looking to rent their first office?

The biggest concern for startups looking for their first office should be flexibility.  If you are in your first two years of operations, you are uncertain of how exactly your organization is going to grow.  Taking on too much, or too little, space can cause problems down the road.

Why should a startup consider Truman James instead of going to a traditional commercial real estate agent or company?

We get founders.  In addition to being deep in commercial real estate, our team has worked at venture funds and founded tech companies.  We’re also streamlining the process through the use of technology.  In a nutshell, we’re re-imagining the experience of finding office space to modernize and streamline it.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months? 

Help founders succeed in building better companies.

Why are you launching in New York?

New York has the distinction of being the fastest growing tech hub in the world as well as one of the largest and most sophisticated commercial real estate markets.  This creates a unique opportunity for us to help bridge the two industries together, while creating real value for the entrepreneurs located here.

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About the author: AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch is the destination for startup news; opinions and reviews; investment and product information; events reported, experienced, seen, heard and overheard here in New York. But it’s who we are that makes us different: we’re the writers and the entrepreneurs; the investors and the mentors; the lawyers and the marketers; the realtors and the recruiters – the people who work in the industry.

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