Bitcoin Center NYC has announced that it is now accepting applications for a startup incubator that will help entrepreneurs fund and manage new digital currency ventures.
While the launch has brought new attention to New York's first brick-and-mortar bitcoin resource center, co-founder Nick Spanos explained that the announcement simply adds formal branding to the work already being done by his team at 40 Broad Street.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Spanos moved quickly to separate his new incubator from more conventional offerings, describing the program as a showcase for talented entrepreneurs who want to attract the knowledge and capital they need to succeed.
Spanos told CoinDesk:
"We're more than an incubator in someone's garage out in Silicon Valley. We're on the ground floor here, we're 100 feet from the New York Stock Exchange and we have market makers and Goldman Sachs people and anyone you can think of that walks into our doors, and they want to invest."
Once accepted into the program, Bitcoin Center NYC will provide startups with office facilities, housing and access to its staff, though Spanos noted such extensions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Spanos told CoinDesk that the reason he decided to extend this opportunity to upcoming bitcoin entrepreneurs lies in his own past. Prior to entering the bitcoin industry, Spanos was an tech entrepreneur, having founded web ventures in the hospitality industry in the 1990s.
The former founder and CEO of Getaroom.com, Spanos describes his startup as an early AirBnB, an online destination that offered booking for vacation rentals and grew to encompass offices in Buenos Aires, Florence and Manhattan.
Still, he says that his business ultimately was passed over for investment due to the fact that he didn't have crucial connections.
"I was a viable business and made money every month, and some of these other outfits, they didn't make any money. But they did have one thing, they had a pretty good Wall Street connection."
Throughout the interview, Spanos sought to frame Bitcoin Center NYC's location as its strategic advantage and main selling point for entrepreneurs, saying that this high visibility will give startups the exposure they need.
"They can be out in Wisconsin, thinking they're going to get funded, but that's not where it happens," he added.
Spanos also noted that simply by working at the Bitcoin Center NYC, selected startups will be provided mentorship opportunities from individuals with a wide range of backgrounds.
But, at its simplest, he says the new initiative is just about allowing Bitcoin Center NYC to continue to do what it does best:
"We're just augmenting our brand to encompass this also, we've been doing it anyway, and we want to do it some more."
Incubator visualization via Shutterstock