NY Media Bangs the Drum of Local Tech – Alley Now Trumps Boston

For the third week running, a major NY daily has written an article about the NY tech scene, so I figured 698_big01that it is was about time for me to write something here on the topic.

I was already in a NY tech state of mind, having just attended a NY Tech Meetup last week. The meetup group is a great microcosm (or macrocosm, as it has grown quite large) of the NY tech scene. Each meeting has upwards of 800 attendees, who typically sit spellbound while taking in the evening's demos from hot NY tech startups, and get a chance to mingle and network afterwards.

This one was no different – the demos featured a mind boggling array of tech – everything from enterprise software (e.g. Foretuit which offers a great data visualization add-on to Salesforce.com), to consumer electronics and apps (Kogeto, an iPhone camera add-on which makes it possible to take panoramic videos and share them with your social networks), to the almost-too-cool-for words (e.g.Shapeways, a company that lets users manufacture and sell custom objects on-demand, via its Web site and 3D physical object "printers").

The first article ran in the NY Times: On the Move in NY's thriving Tech Sector.  It caught my attention because of some of the numbers mentioned:

According to city officials, high-tech employment in New York is… shooting up by 30 percent in the last five years, at a time when overall private-sector employment has decreased. New York recently surpassed Boston in the amount of venture capital invested in Internet start-ups, and lags behind only San Francisco.

The article described the city's ecosystem of VCs, entrepreneurs, incubators and networking groups, and moves that the city and state are making to support the growth of the tech sector.

The Wall Street Journal chimed in too, with a story, Silicon Alley Gets a Boost, about software giant Infor's move from Atlanta to NYC.  The article mentioned a shortage of office space in Chelse and Soho that is a result of heightened demand from the techies.

The Daily News wrote a nice piece just yesterday that called the R train NY's tech train (actually, it said "Silicon Subway" which makes a nice headline, but is not entirely accurate, as I am not sure if there are any chip companies here). The train line is apparently the best way to take a tour of NY's tech community. This article also cited some impressive facts and figures, and summarized the array of tech companies in NYC:

Of the 100 startups that have raised the most cash — from about $10 million to upwards of $150 million — 64 are software companies, 20 are e-commerce companies and the rest are a mix of multimedia and other firms, according to the CB Insights data.

Employment has soared. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of high-tech jobs in the city rose 30% to 90,700, up from about 70,000, according to the city’s Economic Development Corp.

And in the last quarter alone, New York-based startups raked in $831 million in 86 deals, blazing past Massachusetts for the No. 2 spot in the nation in overall venture-capital funding, behind only California.


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