[Dan Crain is CEO of Gadget Software; he cofounded the company with Maxwell K. Riggsbee, COO and chief product officer. Crain is a serial entrepreneur. His previous startup, WhipTail Technologies, was acquired by Cisco for $415 million. Riggsbee was also with WhipTail. This article was written as part of our Story of the Year 2016: Newark’s Tech Renaissance.]
Bringing our new venture, Gadget Software, to Newark has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our entrepreneurial careers. Many members of our team are serial entrepreneurs, and have worked at companies big and small, from Silicon Valley to New York, as well as around the world, during their careers. I grew up around northern New Jersey, so for me Newark has always been a crucial hub of so many things, but watching it start to attract other entrepreneurs and technology companies is pretty awesome.
In the past six to eight months, we’ve spoken to no fewer than a dozen potential Newark startup founders from all sorts of industries. Certainly, the enthusiasm, encouragement and support from the mayor’s office has been fantastic. And the fact that we can attract talent from the entire New York/New Jersey metro area makes Newark an incredibly attractive place, in addition to the great and affordable spaces that are available here for startups.
We’ve actually had wonderful success with our internship program, which has focused on people from the greater Newark area. And, finally, let’s not forget that Newark is a college town. The Newark university scene has been amazing. There are so many talented people who are eager to work in town, it’s been a breath of fresh air to be able to meet, recruit and hire people from the area, reminding us all once again that there are great and smart people everywhere, if you allow yourself to see them.