And it was quite deliberate of us! Conventional wisdom said we should be where our industry is strongest; unconventional thinking made us realize we needed to be somewhere different in order to achieve our bigger mission. When our founder Brian started a small consulting business in San Francisco, he was happily ensconced in the tech-heavy bubble of the west coast and the Silicon Valley. His work there was largely focused on bigger companies — many in the tech space. As he began to expand and work with smaller businesses on the east coast, he realized that most places in America don’t have the unique financial resources or peer support that Silicon Valley has in place.
“Silicon Valley is great,” Brian says to our team. “Most venture capital emanates from there. For the tech world, it’s the mecca of all startups.”When setting his sights on what StartBlox could become, Brian was setting his sights on helping all startups, in all locations, and in all industries. His work with those businesses outside of Silicon Valley made him realize StartBlox needed to be in a place were we could relate to a broader diversity of startup circumstances. That place needed to be outside the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We’re trying to serve all of America, all industries, all people.”So, even though it would have been easier to gain peer support and venture capital from a comfortable seat in Silicon Valley, StartBlox chose to locate on the east coast. The tech community is growing here, but still much smaller. Investment is generally much harder to come by. But it was important to us to have this experience so that we could relate and speak to a more “typical” American startup experience. Brian, along with all the StartBlox team, is passionate about supporting startups and small businesses regardless of their circumstance. With vastly different kinds of expertise among us already, our team wants to reflect the diversity of our broad user base. “People are starting coffee shops, restaurants, construction companies, BnB’s, and selling their art. Startups are not just tech,” Brian reminds our team. Every one of these business owners, even if they are sole proprietors, need to know how to manage their business.
“I wanted to make sure I could have as diverse of a perspective as possible. I wanted to understand more than just one type of entrepreneur.”StartBlox users are based across the country and are active across several industries. From dreaming to already functioning, their businesses are as diverse as our team. Yet, they all share common challenges: deciding where to locate, choosing names, filing taxes, hiring their first employees, and more. We are dedicated to helping them understand these crucial back office commonalities, saving them time and helping them avoiding critical mistakes. Do we regret out decision to leave behind certain opportunities that are available in Silicon Valley? Not at all. We welcome the challenge in pursuit of our goals.