Shai Goldman is a Director at Silicon Valley Bank and a long term supporter of Founder Labs. Silicon Valley Bank is also a sponsor of Founder Labs. We caught up with Shai to discuss some key trends in technology, mobile, entrepreneurship in NYC and the role of Silicon Valley Bank in the startup ecosystem. You can follow Shai Goldman on Twitter @shaig and Silicon Valley Bank @SVB_Financial.
FL: What are some key areas of growth for startups in the next few years?
Shai: Three key areas of growth come to mind. Applications for enterprise workers and security are two areas of growth. Not many startups are focused on these. Migrating legacy enterprise software to SaaS – particularly in areas like financial software, health care, government, is also a strong area of growth.
FL: Areas of growth in mobile?
Shai: You see very young kids, 2 or 3 year olds, on iPads. There are significant opportunities for creating learning and content applications. There are some applications out today but this area is still wide open for growth and investments. Mobile enterprise applications is another area.
FL: Silicon Valley vs NYC - what are the pros and cons in starting a company in NYC vs. Silicon Valley? How have you seen NYC change as a start-up hub in the past 6 months - 1 year?
Shai: There is so much energy in New York City. Several new funds and incubators started up in New York recently. Fashion, commerce, advertising, digital media, financial services – all these are areas of strength for New York. Several large companies are based in the east coast, so enterprise companies have an opportunity here since their client base is here. There are some verticals where Silicon Valley has an advantage – e.g.: cloud computing, hardware etc.
New York needs a few large exits to create more angel investors similar to Silicon Valley – companies with 1000+ employees with large exits. The recent Ad Meld deal is an example – we need even larger exits. There is a lot of personal wealth from investment banking and private equity in New York. Need to educate these individuals to become sophisticated angels to further promote startup growth.
FL: What is the role that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) plays in the startup ecosystem broadly? In NYC? When should entrepreneurs consider SVB?
Shai: SVB is a commercial bank. We have been working with startups for 30 years. Every startup needs a bank account and we can provide that. We focus on the tech sector and work with everyone from two founders incorporating a company to founders preparing for an IPO of their company. We provide banking services and loans to technology companies.
In NYC specifically - we have been here for 10 years and know the market well. We work with a wide spectrum of clients ranging from Kayak, which is about to go IPO, to smaller companies just starting out in General Assembly.
FL: What are the criteria that SVB looks for, before lending to a company?
Shai: We look for VC-backed companies, but also serve non-VC backed tech companies that have a 5-10 MM revenue run rate and are growing rapidly.
FL: What advice would you give (based on your experience at SVB) to first- time entrepreneurs/Founder Labs participants about starting a company?
Shai: Based on having worked with many startups in the past, I would say this: Everything in a startup takes longer than you expect - building the product, hiring, fund raising etc - so plan for that.
FL: What are your thoughts on the Founder Labs model?
Shai: Founder Labs has a unique model. Enables people with full time jobs to work evening and weekends to build a company. It pairs up people in different industries with different skills sets and accelerates the process of getting to know a co-founder.
FL: Thanks, Shai, we appreciate your time and support of Founder Labs.
Posted by Resmi Arjunanpillai, VP Marketing, Founder Labs