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Greg MacSweeney
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Inside the NYC FinTech Startup Scene

The financial services entrepreneur scene in New York is growing rapidly. Here is one of the many startup shared offices in midtown Manhattan.



Though there is no official count of financial services technology startups, observers say there has been a surge of activity in the past year or so, especially in New York, Boston, and Chicago.

ValueStream Labs, a firm that helps connect entrepreneurs, investors, and financial services professionals, has two offices in Manhattan in partnership with OfficeLinks, a leading NYC office space provider. Its large co-working space, seen in the following slideshow, can seat entrepreneurs from many firms. ValueStream is an investor in ChartIQ and Estimize, two of the more established vendors whose employees sometimes use this location while in New York for meetings.

Communal workspace
As it is at many co-working offices, communal workspace is a central feature of this facility. Workers can gather informally to share ideas or have quick meetings.
As it is at many co-working offices, communal workspace is a central feature of this facility. Workers can gather informally to share ideas or have quick meetings.

Click below to continue the photo tour of ValueStream's NYC digs, 



Midtown Manhattan's growing startup scene
ValueStream Labs' midtown office is a few blocks from the Empire State Building. A number of startups currently call this space their main office. In addition to helping entrepreneurs hone business plans, meet with investors, and expand their business, ValueStream has a fund that invests in companies. The skylights in the unique office provide ample natural light.
ValueStream Labs' midtown office is a few blocks from the Empire State Building. A number of startups currently call this space their main office. In addition to helping entrepreneurs hone business plans, meet with investors, and expand their business, ValueStream has a fund that invests in companies. The skylights in the unique office provide ample natural light.



More formal digs
When space for a more formal meeting or a presentation is required, conference rooms are available and can be booked in advance.
When space for a more formal meeting or a presentation is required, conference rooms are available and can be booked in advance.



Not-so-formal signage
The co-working space also has a creative flair, with conference room names penned right on the glass.
The co-working space also has a creative flair, with conference room names penned right on the glass.



Just the basics
Workers in this part of the space require little more than a table, a chair, and WiFi. There are small offices available, but those are booked under longer-term leases in the space.
Workers in this part of the space require little more than a table, a chair, and WiFi. There are small offices available, but those are booked under longer-term leases in the space.



ValueStream's managing partners
Greg Neufeld, managing partner/founder (left); Karl Antle, managing partner; and Josh Elwell, managing partner, in the ValueStream Labs office.
Greg Neufeld, managing partner/founder (left); Karl Antle, managing partner; and Josh Elwell, managing partner, in the ValueStream Labs office.



Communal lounge
The TV in the community space is appropriately set to Bloomberg TV.
The TV in the community space is appropriately set to Bloomberg TV.



Thinking caps optional
When it comes time to focus on the next big idea, the Meditation Room can come in handy. Thinking caps are optional, phones are banned, and you are asked to remove your shoes.
When it comes time to focus on the next big idea, the Meditation Room can come in handy. Thinking caps are optional, phones are banned, and you are asked to remove your shoes.



Open kitchen
The kitchen also opens up into the office. It includes a few chairs and couches with high backs and sides to offer added privacy.
The kitchen also opens up into the office. It includes a few chairs and couches with high backs and sides to offer added privacy.



A comfy strategy session
The couches near the kitchen have higher sides, which provide some more privacy for informal meetings.
The couches near the kitchen have higher sides, which provide some more privacy for informal meetings.

 

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 10:18:27 AM
Startup
The tech startup scene in NYC is definitely growing, though we could definitely come up with a better name that " silicon alley"
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 10:34:47 AM
Re: Startup
Agreed! This is a really cool, modern workspace. I like how the office lends itself to creative meetings, serious discussion, solo brainstorming and group chats. Seems like a productive environment for a startup. 
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 11:27:59 AM
Re: Startup
I secretly have the same fear, Bryan. The scene is growing exponentially and the name will soon follow. I hope it's a clever one. Really, really hope.
Becca L
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50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 11:33:47 AM
Re: Startup
From talking to a few startups, the most important elements to a shared workplace are the networks you can build with the peers aroudn you and events the office set up.

The other is swanky conference rooms. Imagine having a big potential buy-side client coming by, these sleek rooms make a big favorable impression. ValueStream's offices are beautiful and definitely feel high-energy.

 
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 12:13:59 PM
Re: Startup
I never thought about that before, but the way you put it, it definitely makes sense to consider the aesthetics in these kinds of facilities. First impressions count for a lot in business.
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 12:18:31 PM
Re: Startup
I think startups are like a playground for interior designers. Look at how much FUN that space is!
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
5/27/2014 | 9:12:58 AM
Re: Startup
Silicon Alley has been used for the NYC tech scene for a long time But, maybe it is time for an 'upgrade.'
Becca L
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50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 2:29:00 PM
Re: Startup
An "upgrade" - Clever, Greg, very clever. I hope the new name really differntiates itself from the scene in SF, not that it isnn't wonderful, but there are so many unique things going on here I feel it can stand on its own, the name should reflect that.
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