March Newsletter: As for New York City, It Is a Place Apart

This is the mid-March 2018 edition of the Tech:NYC newsletter. If you're not already getting this in your inbox, sign up now.

It will come as no surprise to hear how bullish we are on the NYC tech ecosystem—it is diverse, creative, and exciting. We have no doubt the future of tech will be centered here, in New York. Despite this, we have felt for some time that the story of tech in NYC has been underreported and, in fact, misreported. Too often, the media’s myopic focus on exits fails to capture the myriad other elements that create a successful and thriving ecosystem.

In the last couple of weeks, we saw that really starting to change with three important stories, one from Crain’s New York, one from Bloomberg, and one from the Associated Press. Each story shows different a piece of how the NYC tech ecosystem is growing and evolving. But there are some common themes we want to highlight:

  • New York’s tech community celebrates diversity, and has created a strong culture for women founders. It is no coincidence that Shan-Lyn Ma, co-founder and CEO of the rapidly growing Zola, was prominently featured in multiple pieces. This pairs with the recent exciting growth of the female VC community here, with high-profile firms like Union Square Ventures and FirstMark Capital adding women partners, Rebecca Kaden and Beth Ferreira, respectively.

  • Access to existing industries and markets sets NYC apart from other international tech hubs. Not only does this provide easy access to customers, capital, and expertise, but it directly leads to diversity of thought and experiences. Like all New Yorkers, everyone we meet who works in tech in New York is inspired and excited to find themselves surrounded by people who work in all other kinds of industries.

  • Not only does NYC support a robust tech ecosystem, but the tech ecosystem likewise helps to support New York. As the Crain’s piece points out, “There are now 7,500 New York–based tech companies—defined as those whose principal business is tech and its applications—fueled by $38.4 billion of investment in the past five years and supported by accelerators, incubators, meetups, and universities. These companies employ 120,000 people, 60% more than a decade ago.” The cultural impact is notable, too. More and more offices—even banks—are starting to look like tech companies. You see more people in jeans. Neighborhoods like the Flatiron are booming.

We have no doubt that these trends will all continue, and we’ll be documenting all of them over at our new NYC tech ecosystem data page. We can’t wait to see what’s next.


What Our Community Is Up To

  • Last Thursday was International Women’s Day, and our member Arkadium was highlighted for its dedication to gender equality.

  • Our member WeWork acquired New York-based digital marketing company Conductor, another great NYC exit.

  • Several NYC-based tech companies including Etsy, Expa, Foursquare, Kickstarter, and Shutterstock filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the FCC's decision to end net neutrality.

  • Crain’s New York writes that Fred Wilson, Tim Armstrong, and Kevin Ryan are a model for NYC tech leaders who also want to have an impact on politics.

  • The New York Times dived into the daily routine of our Leadership Council Co-Chair and Warby Parker Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal.

Community Events

March 15: Join WeWork and Flatiron School for an evening of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and conversation about increasing accessibility to technical education. Help welcome Access Labs, a new coding bootcamp for low-income New Yorkers, to the neighborhood and get the chance to hear from Flatiron School Co-Founder and CEO Adam Enbar. Register here.

March 24: Alleycon, a one-day tech conference backed by Columbia Business School and sponsored by Microsoft, will feature TED-style talks by rising entrepreneurs, VCs, and founders. Speakers include Casper CEO Philip Krim, First Round Capital Partner Hayley Barna, and Venmo Co-Founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail. Use the code “TECHNYC” for 15% off. Register here.

Join Us

If your company wants to play a more active role in the NYC tech community, now’s the time to join Tech:NYC. Check out our membership page, and let us know if you have any questions.