Tanya Soman: San Francisco

What’s your historical San Francisco and New York connection?
I’m a Brooklyn girl at heart! I went to Brooklyn Tech, then to Babson College in Massachusetts for a change of scene, and found myself back home looking for an awesome startup to work with. New York was the hot new city with a rapidly growing tech scene. For about a year I worked with a thriving mobile app startup, but I soon realized if I wanted to grow as a millennial, and as a female in the industry, I needed to be in the heart of the action. There was too much of a delay in between SF and NY. I moved out to the Bay Area less than two months ago and have loved every second of it. I now work at 500 Startups, an accelerator program that exposes me to almost every level of Silicon Valley. I couldn’t have asked for a better transition.

Describe your experience in SF and your experience in NYC.
NYC will always be home to me. I love everything about the city: the pace, the culture, the sass, it’s unlike anywhere else I have ever been. It’s really easy to fall back into the same rhythm when I go back; the hustle and bustle of the city makes me feel at home.

San Francisco is a beautiful city that is filled with an inspirational culture. The technology presence everywhere is very visible and so motivating; it’s as close to the future as we can get. I really enjoy working with the people out here; for the most part, everyone is driven and is some percentage geek.

What was the biggest challenge of moving between NYC and SF?
The culture is completely different in SF in comparison to NYC, you learn that rather quickly, everything moves a little slower and people are nicer. I also learned that there is a different set of skills and experience that is valued here versus what is desirable in NYC. It was hard to discredit all the work I had done in the past year since graduating college, but if I wanted a sturdy foundation, I needed to start over. That was by far the hardest part, but I’m most thankful for figuring that out sooner than later. Besides, everyone out here is always willing to help if you help yourself.

How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
It would be ideal if the two cities could learn from each other. There is a certain authenticity embedded in SV startups; if those values translated into the NY tech scene, the two communities could be better aligned. Likewise, the NYC hustle is unlike any other, bringing that to the valley could be really helpful. At the end of the day, both cities should be helping each other for us to grow a cohesive industry.

Favorite SF secret spot
Disclaimer: I’m a foodie! Cream in Palo Alto, is not a secret spot, but definitely a hidden gem. There’s something about an ice cream sandwich that they really nailed, it truly is worth the wait.

Favorite NYC secret spot
Hands down, the Wythe rooftop bar in Williamsburg is one of the most underrated venues. The view of the city is absolutely breathtaking and it beats all the tourists who don’t think to meander off into Brooklyn.

If you were not working at 500 Startups, what would you be doing?
I would either be running my own company or be the opening performance at the Grammy’s. My heart has always been split between business and music.

Roadtrip Entertainment: tell us what song/album, TV show, podcast, or web videos you’ve been watching lately.
I’m always channeling my inner Sasha Fierce, so Beyoncé’s newest album has been on repeat for a while. I’m shamelessly obsessed with Silicon Valley, and can’t wait for SUITS to return with a new season. I’ve made it a point though to make sure I incorporate more outdoor activities in my life since I’m usually cooped up with my Mac all day, it’s working so far.

From the 2905 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + SAN FRANCISCO

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