©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
When Doug Imbruce wanted to start an interactive video company in 2009, he had no luck finding investors in New York. So he moved to Silicon Valley — where venture capitalists were receptive to his pitch — and founded Qwiki. But in February, he decided that being so far away from the nation’s big media companies was stifling his start-up’s growth. So he moved back to New York, bringing the company with him. Qwiki, with 15 employees, now operates out of a SoHo loft space.
“We went to Silicon Valley because they understood how big we wanted to get,” Mr.Imbruce said, “and we moved back to fulfill that promise.” The recent burgeoning of New York’s Internet industry has forced some entrepreneurs — who, just a few years ago, might have felt they had little choice but to head west to pursue their dreams — to make a difficult choice. New York is now enough of an attractive alternative that a few West Coast-born start-ups are even packing up and moving east.