It’s Official: New York Has Emerged as a Leader in Tech

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 10, 2012

General Assembly NYC

“Riding a wave of start-ups, New York has emerged a national leader in fields that leverage the Internet and mobile technologies—a development that has provided a key economic boost and left the city well positioned for future tech growth”

Yesterday, a study called “New Tech City” was released by the Center for an Urban Future authored by Jonathan Bowles and David Giles. The study looked at 486 technology companies that had been founded in the city since 2007. It was clear that despite the economic collapse of 2008, the New York tech sector continued to rise.

Fact: Out of the 7 main tech regions in the US, New York was the only one to see growth is VC deals between 2007 – 2011. New York deals increased by 32% while Silicon Valley came in 2nd with a 10% decrease in deals.

Key findings:

  • There are well over 1,000 Web-based technology start-ups in the city.
  • 486 digital start-ups formed in the city since 2007 that have received angel, seed or VC funding.
  • Of the seven leading technology regions in the United States, New York City was the only one to see an increase in the number of VC deals between 2007 and 2011.
  • More of the city’s digital companies got acquired by other firms in 2011 (55) than in 2008 and 2009 combined (54).
  • In the last five years, information technology jobs in the city have increased by 28.7 percent, from 41,100 to 52,900.
  • Today’s tech start-ups are less about building new technology than applying technology to traditional industries like advertising, media, fashion, finance and health care—all of which New York excel in.
  • There are now more than 23,300 members of New York Tech Meetup, more than twice the number of members in December 2009 (11,500) and nearly triple the figure from October 2008 (7,500).
  • Prior to 2009, there were no accelerator programs for tech start-ups in New York. Today, there are at least a dozen accelerator programs in the city.
  • There were almost as many tech-related VC deals in New York City in 2011 (165) as in 2006 and 2007 combined (172), according to data from SeedTable.

Where are these startups in the city?

The majority of the companies are based in Manhattan between Canal St and 42nd St. The largest concentration is in the Union Square area with a small portion of the companies starting in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. One reason for this is in part because attractive locations in Brooklyn and other boroughs lacked adequate broadband access.

What companies have the most funding since 2007?

  • Gilt Groupe – $221M
  • Tumblr – $125M
  • ZocDoc – $95M
  • 2tor – $90.8M
  • Buddy Media – $90M

It looks like New York is here to stay as a leader in the tech space. No other city seems to making such huge strides in the area. In part we can attribute this to the city being led by a billionaire entrepreneur himself in Mayor Bloomberg. Even Steve Case, one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists wrote a piece on the rising New York Tech scene.

It’s a great time to be building a company in New York. As the report said as recently as 5 or 6 years ago New York was not part of the conversation for leading areas to build a company. Just imagine what will happen in the next 5 or 6 years and maybe New York will take down Silicon Valley as the tech leader in lets say 30 years or so?

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