It all started when it occurred to me that we were missing a nice visual map of Silicon Alley's early-stage ecosystem available for everyone to use. Entrepreneurs were always asking me about various angels and VC's and I just thought that such a map would be a good resource to which I could refer people. I also thought that adding the twitter addresses of all these investors would be a nice feature as well. So one night I did just that and mapped out New York's early-stage tech investor ecosystem and posted it here on my blog.
After receiving so much great encouragement and so many submissions and corrections, I thought I'd do the same for our neighbors to the north- my old stomping grounds- Boston! That took me a bit longer, of course, because the ecosystem is quite a bit larger than NY's coupled with the fact that I couldn't do most of it from memory. I haven't lived in Boston for over nine years now!
Well, the encouragement and emails kept flowing. There was a real need for this. No one enjoyed wasting hours looking various funds up online or clicking through some spreadsheet or flipping through one of those venture capital directories for that matter. I knew then that I had to take the next step into what appears to be a new discipline- I think I am going to call it Venture Cartography. :)
The Silicon Valley/San Fran map was soon to follow and I'm happy to say it is now up and running! Corrections, submissions, etc. more than welcome as usual. Bring it on!
At this point, however, I realized I needed help. I really wanted these maps to be interactive and provide richer information for us all. So I gave my friend Shane Snow a call. He is a super-talented entrepreneur, hacker, designer and journalist extraordinaire who can basically do anything.
Our collaboration has resulted in this interactive map, which is a precursor to us mapping the venture ecosystem of the entire world in its component parts. Now all you have to do is just click on the city you are interested in and then click on any investor to get a good understanding of his or her background, investments, blogs, opinions, twitter-feed and the like.
We've put a lot of effort into teeing this up, but this is meant to be crowd-sourced on an ongoing basis- so please- send us all the names, the people, the angels, the accelerators and the funds we are missing! You can email us here: info at venturemaps.co (yep, that's .co, not .com)...
We'll be thankful for all the help you can provide. Apologies in advance to anyone we've left out.
I want to offer a special thanks to the folks who have given us excellent insight into their respective ecosystems, especially the venture investor and irrepressible gadfly Stewart Alsop (@salsop) as well as my buddy JJ Freitag (@jjfreitag) over at Azure Capital. Thanks guys!