Paul Capestany

Ex-neuroscience researcher turned techie. Obsessive optimizer. Enjoys good beer.

Goodbye Baltimore. Hello San Francisco.

25 Jun 2011

I came to Baltimore 10 years ago to study neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. It was only shortly after graduating that I started to realize just how slow the pace of academic research was—between waiting for experiments in the lab I began craving to work on something that was faster-paced, yet still had the potential to make a big impact. Eventually I decided to do a 180° and threw myself into the tech world, founding a web startup with a professor and a college buddy who’d also stayed in Charm City. Long story short, after 4 years of the company not really going in the direction I’d envisioned, I decided to pull the plug on it. Failure taught me a lot of lessons, and amongst them I learned the hard way that what I was attempting to do in Baltimore was an unnecessarily difficult uphill battle.

So I’m headed off towards Silicon Valley.

Deciding to pick up and leave nearly everyone and everything you know behind in order to start anew across the country is not an easy decision to make. Especially after spending so much time and effort helping improve the Baltimore startup scene, which is now quite vibrant. Things have gotten a lot better for people pursuing the startup dream in Baltimore, and will keep improving, but there are still big obstacles here for entrepreneurs (mainly cultural and money-centric, but that’s a whole other blog post).

For now, suffice it to say that I’ll certainly miss Baltimore (and all my friends in it!), and even though I have no exact plans yet, I’m excited for what the West coast has to offer.

Plus, I hear San Francisco has great vegan food.

Edit: Brian Sierakowski from the Greater Baltimore Technology Council did a fun exit interview with me which you can listen to here.

#Baltimore #San Francisco #startups #culture #entrepreneurship