New York City Wants to Become the Next Silicon Valley for Tech Startups
Mayor Bill de Blasio is hoping to transform New York City into the next Silicon Valley.
The mayor unveiled a new website Wednesday that provides resources for startup companies, investors, and anyone interested in entering the tech industry.
Digital.NYC includes an up-to-date database of the city’s startup companies and investors, making it the “ultimate tech matchmaker” to connect interested investors with companies looking for financial backing, the mayor said at a press conference to announce the website’s launch.
The site also has a listing of tech job openings, an event calendar, a section to register for tech-related classes, and a listing of available workspaces and incubator space around the city.
The mayor hopes the website will encourage more companies to settle in New York City—not just in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn where many tech companies are currently located, but throughout all five boroughs.
“In talking with people who are either part of the tech community or who want to be more deeply a part of the tech community, there’s a bit of an intimidation factor about New York City, a big and complicated place,” de Blasio said at a press conference held in DUMBO, Brooklyn. “But if we could demystify and simplify it, the whole world would want to be here.”
De Blasio said the wide range of information on the site will also help make the tech world more accessible to every day New Yorkers—in particular, young people who are hoping to begin a career in this field.
“It has to be an industry that we work with to open up opportunity for all, particularly New Yorkers who come out of our public school system,” de Blasio said.
The idea for the project began with the Bloomberg administration, but was fully developed with de Blasio’s office, in collaboration with IBM, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and local tech organizations.
The tech industry in New York City produces $125 billion of annual output and $50 billion in annual wages, according to Kyle Kimball, president of NYCEDC, a nonprofit.
In the fourth quarter of this year, 116 venture capitalist deals were made, worth a total of $1 billion.
De Blasio made the argument for New York City being a better locale for tech companies than Silicon Valley due to the high concentration of world-class corporations, universities, and hospitals, as well as the city’s position as the world’s finance and media capital.
“For entrepreneurs, that combination—I can’t think of anything more propitious. If they’re looking for funding, opportunities, clients, it’s all so accessible,” he said.