In her role as Managing Director of New York Tech Meetup, Jessica Lawrence has a unique perspective on what’s bubbling up from the city’s startup community. She’s blogging her insights for us every month. So what should attendees at tonight’s meetup expect to see?
The trend in New York tech this month isn’t just about a handful of startups, it’s about the New York startup community as a whole — and the money that is flocking here to invest in tech.
Data from a recently released report by the Center for an Urban Future highlights New York’s growth as a startup community — and its new position as the fastest-growing tech hub. Between 2007 and 2011, venture capital deals increased 32% in New York, while deals were down significantly in every other region, including Silicon Valley (-10%), New England (-14%), LA/Orange County (-8%), Texas (-17%) and San Diego (-38%). In addition, the number of accelerators in New York went from 0 in 2008 to 12 in 2012, and NY Tech Meetup’s own membership nearly tripled between 2008 and 2012. Even the real estate footprint of tech and media/information companies has been impacted, increasing from 3.8 million square feet in 2010 to 6 million square feet in 2011.
All in all, the Center for an Urban Future report adds substance and data to what those of us in the midst of the tech sector in New York have witnessed first hand over the past few years, and especially over the past 12 to 18 months. It is hard to sit in coffee shops in Union Square, Flatiron, DUMBO, Soho and a number of other areas without overhearing conversations about tech startups.
Even during a recent visit to the DMV, the people in line in front of me were a mother-and-son team working on a health-related startup to help cancer patients get expert answers to their questions. It also seems to be the trend that has people are getting excited about the city’s growing tech industry, they are also keeping one eye out for how we can make sure that the growth is sustainable and that the job creation happening through the tech sector is not short-lived.
The city government and the community are collectively looking at both infrastructure (such as improving broadband) and education (like the computer science high school, applied sciences campus, and a growing number of classes currently being offered in a wide variety of tech startup related areas). Everyone seems to realize that while the fast growth is exciting and absolutely something to celebrate, we are most successful when that growth can be sustained and continue to increase over time.
To add to the push toward sustainable growth, we recently asked members of the startup community to share their experience and wisdom –- helping others make informed decisions as they build their own companies — and this week we were pleased to release the first three videos in our #StartupStories series, co-produced with NASDAQ OMX and HD Made. The videos provide key insights into the core aspects of building a company from building a team to failing. We look forward making more resources like these available to the community to continue to strengthen New York’s tech ecosystem.