Julie Samuels, Executive Director
One year ago, we launched Tech:NYC. We saw a need for an organization to represent the fast-growing tech industry here in New York, which was (and still is!) increasingly becoming a larger part of the city and state’s economic pie. As such, the industry was facing increasing challenges and opportunities from state and local legislators and regulators, all of which needed to be addressed.
We knew an appetite existed for the kind of organization we proposed to create. As our co-chairs Tim Armstrong and Fred Wilson wrote at the time:
It goes without saying that New York City is one of the most important cities in the world. Our city is a leader in media, finance, culture, fashion, government and—of course—innovation. It also goes without saying that our world is in the midst of a digital transformation, and like all great transformations, the regions, cities, and companies that stay ahead of the trends become beacons of growth and progress. On this front, New York City is incredibly well positioned to continue its leadership by relying on its many natural assets—a strong and growing university system, a robust capital structure, a diverse and growing talent base, a multi-disciplinary private and public sector, and a growing connection with leaders from other important technology hubs.
Our first year has shown that our theory–that New York’s tech companies, leaders, and investors—wanted to come together to support our city and state—was right. In that short time, we’ve built a membership of nearly 500 companies and investors and established a real and sustained presence in New York. We organized a letter from more than 2,000 New Yorkers in tech to the White House opposed to the immigration travel ban and helped kill a proposal in Albany to impose a dangerous tax on internet marketplace companies who have a presence in New York. We’ve hosted or co-hosted more than 30 events with 2,800 guests and provided our members with access to critical thinking around the policy issues that their companies face.
For more on our first year, see our annual report here.
We’ve learned a lot in year one. My favorite lesson so far is this: if there is one thing every single one of our members can agree on, it’s a deep and abiding love for New York. People don’t end up in New York accidentally. They come here to live and build companies because they want to be here. They want access to the culture and diversity that makes New York unique. They know it won’t be cheap and that it comes with certain challenges, but to our members—and so many other New Yorkers—that is a deal worth making.
Many in the Tech:NYC community, myself included, have come here from other parts of the country to be part of the amazing thing that is New York. We are thankful every day for the opportunity to represent not just our members who are building amazing new technologies and creating jobs across New York, but also for the opportunity to support the city and state we love so much.
As our first year comes to a close, there are so many people we need to thank, including our amazing team, and our Board and Leadership Council. But our biggest thanks goes to New York, without which none of this would be possible.
Want to join us? See more information at www.technyc.org/membership.