Today, we sit down with Connell McGill, Jr., a co-founder of Enertiv, an eco-friendly company that markets, designs, develops and manufactures energy-monitoring systems globally.
What does “Made in NYTM” mean to you and your company?
Well I suppose the correct answer is that “Made in NYTM” highlights digital companies who do most of their software development in NYC. For us, it’s all about designing, developing and building amazing products, not only elegant software, but also physical hardware products in the city. At Enertiv, we believe in building things and getting our hands dirty. “Made in NYTM” also ties into our sustainability efforts. While developing and manufacturing in New York City has a very clear and positive economical impact on the city, it also greatly reduces our overall carbon footprint. We’re really excited about the revamping of Brooklyn’s Industry City. Currently, our manufacturing facility is located in Pennsauken, N.J., but we’d like to bring that closer if the costs are reasonable.
What can be done to maximize the “Made in NYTM” campaign?
There’s a great chapter in the book Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (the founders of 37signals) titled “Pick a Fight.” One of the key points in this chapter is not to hesitate to tell your competition that they “suck.” Of course, “Made in NYTM” doesn’t need to be this aggressive, but I think a powerful marketing strategy would be to pin the Alley up against the Valley and really showcase how awesome our entrepreneurs are, what makes NYC-based entrepreneurs different and what makes entrepreneurship life here in the city more fun than out West.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in NYC?
Go directly to the source: students. Convince students from MIT (for example) that it’s a heck of a lot easier to move to NYC than Palo Alto, and that the startup scene is even more exciting here. Also, it’s important for local universities to teach entrepreneurship. Having gone to the No. 1 entrepreneurial business school in the country (Babson), I knew that as soon as I graduated, I wanted to build companies. For many top students in and around the city, it’s all about locking down that position at Goldman or McKinsey – that stuff’s way too boring.
Where does your company fit in the ecosystem?
We are growing and meeting interesting jobseekers every day from the “Made in NYTM” site. The only real complaint I have is that we’re getting 2-3 calls from recruiters every day. That should be discouraged. Perhaps the site could include some sort checkbox for companies/entrepreneurs to confirm whether or not they’d like recruiters to contact them (either a yes/no or it’s ok/not ok option). I’d be happy to get behind this movement even more, realizing that “Made in NYTM” is important for my business and my career as a whole.
Read what other thoughts leaders have to say about “Made in NY™”.