Call me biased, but New York City has always been the place to be. As the “city that never sleeps,” “the concrete jungle where dreams are made (oh)” and the cultural center of everything important in American culture, it is a place that is simultaneously rich with history and full of future potential. And now, according to a recent New York Times article, it is also the place to be for tech.
Yes, forget Silicon Valley; embrace Silicon Alley. Sure, New York City may offer nothing close to the peaceful sunshine of California, but in swapping urban sprawl for mass transit and high rises, clean air for sweet smog, you may just propel your talents and your business to new levels of achievement.
While Silicon Valley is strong in its pool of technical talent, New York City prides itself on its concentration of media, advertising and fashion companies, the connections with which many tech startups need to succeed. It’s the basis of synergy. And now, as the New York Times notes, many companies relocating to New York and bringing their entire teams with them, to take advantage of all the city has to offer. For instance, Qwiki, a service that lets media outlets add interactivity to their content, moved to Silicon Valley after having trouble finding financing in New York, but recently moved back to New York.
In the past, the inability to find venture capital financing in New York City discouraged many tech startups from locating in the Big Apple, but now the tides are shifting. Between 2007 and 2011, about 500 New York startups received some form of venture financing, according to a report from the Center for an Urban Future. Plus, the number of VC deals is up since 2007, and, many venture capital firms have opened offices in the city. Tech is happening now in New York City.
The only problem that remains? Talent. And that can be solved easily enough with a little financial persuasion. But even in this case, New York is catching up. Take TechStars, for example. They are an incubator that fosters not just local tech entrepreneurs but with minority representation as well. As our Vinod pointed out, Benny Wong of TimeHop and Payal Kadakia and Sanjiv Sanghavi of Classtivity were supported by TechStars.
So come one, come all. Enjoy the vibrant eclecticism of the city where you can jet across the city and find yourself in an entirely different world in a matter of minutes. Embrace the “intimacy of the relatively small but tight-knit [tech] industry,” and, most importantly fall in love with the city. It won’t let you down.
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