The New Jersey Tech Meetup, held in Hoboken, has proved that startup success can be independent of location. Jeff Hoffman, founder and former CEO of Priceline.com announced that, “A good idea is a good idea, and it doesn’t care where it came from. Entrepreneurship can pop up any time, anywhere,” as reported by Fast Company. New Jersey’s startup revolution began with Newark-based, Audible.com, which sold to Amazon in 2008 for $300 million. In Montclair, just two years later, startup Diapers.com was also sold to Amazon, this time for $550 million. Now, two years later, the New Jersey Tech Meetup has 1,972 members and a wait list of startups that want to demo their projects.
Though Northern New Jersey benefits from its proximity to NY’s startup community, the Jersey startups do not identify with the city. 90% of attendees at the meetup said they live and work in New Jersey. This is probably due to the more suburban and residential lifestyle that New Jersey offers. Additionally, the types business that are found in New Jersey are different from those in New York- pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and manufacturing versus media, fashion, and finance.
Though the tech industry in New Jersey has its positives, it will not be competing with NY or Silicon Valley anytime soon. It lacks in talent from schools like Stanford or Columbia or MIT or NYU. Aaron Price, the NJ meetup organizer, Entrepreneur for DFJ Gotham, and founder of CrafterMania.com told Fast Company that, “When companies get outside of TechCrunch and into the New York Times and New Jersey Star Ledger, people get hungry. The community gets more accessible, and the idea that the barriers to entry to start a really profitable company are becoming really low.” Though New Jersey may not have the vibrancy of NY or Silicon Valley, its community of entrepreneurs is still tight-knit and creative.