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Countering West Coast Pull, by Helping Finance Start-Ups Sell in New York

Olov Renberg of BehavioSec, which participated in the FinTech Innovation Lab this year, discussed his company at the program’s Demo Day in June. CreditHarrison Hill/The New York Times

When Jeff Bezos, then a New York hedge fund employee, decided to start Amazon in 1994, he quickly moved to the West Coast. So did Mark Zuckerberg, who moved from Harvard to California in 2004 to find the technology talent and financing needed to build up Facebook.

Today, the West Coast exerts a similar tidal pull for start-up companies in finance. Nine of the 15 United States financial technology “unicorns” — companies worth $1 billion or more, as tracked by CB Insights — are in the San Francisco area. These Bay Area companies, which are not public, include the online payments processor Stripe, the online lender Social Finance and the finance website Credit Karma.

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