A recent report from New York City Public Radio reports that New York City is now the second largest market for technology and internet based firms, only behind California’s iconic Silicon Valley. In 2012 alone, more than 40 technology ventures have been acquired or launched in New York. This, combined with an advertising and funding push from the city itself, has made it one of the premier markets for everything ranging from application development to Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing firms.
New York’s emergence as a leading market for the technology sector is hardly an overnight event. Since 1995, the city has been sponsoring events and programs that connect technology entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and larger firms. After the dot-com ‘bubble’ of the late 90’s and early 2000s, the city’s tech industry began it’s major resurgence and growth.
2003 marked the landmark year where ‘Silicon Alley’ took off and began constant growth, with firms like meetup.com, MediaMind and DoubleClick launching and establishing themselves in Manhattan. In 2009, over $1.4 billion in venture capital transactions related to technology firms. Until recently, Boston was the second-largest market for technology firms behind Silicon Valley. Boston and New York share similar characteristics – hotbeds of financial activity and strong educational institutions nearby. However, the recent surge in technology activity in New York City – in part fueled by funding for incubators and small business incentives from the city and state’s government – has helped push New York City over the top and into the #2 spot.
The trend of technology companies seems to move against the typical NYC office space trend. ‘Traditional’ companies – those in finance, accounting, marketing, advertising and consulting, typically choose to headquarter themselves and run operations out of Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District – the traditional business districts. While some technology firms have founded their ventures in neighbors typically not known for being business hotbeds. One example is Google’s New York City corporate office at 9th Avenue and W. 15th St., in the heart of Chelsea. The term ‘Silicon Alley’ is widely used, referring to clusters of tech companies centered in Flatiron, SoHo, and Tribeca along the Broadway Corridor. Today, the Silicon Alley is still a dominant area for technology firms, but Midtown’s business districts such as Times Square and Bryant Park have seen increases in the number of technology firms operating in the area. The Financial District, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhood DUMBO are also seeing a rise in technology firms.
New York City is long established as one of the world’s business capitals, the financial hub of the world, the epicenter of journalism and media. Now, joining those ranks, is the technology industry, leading the city into the future and helping create new jobs and bolster an already outstanding economy.