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Mayor promotes city’s growing tech industry with new online campaign

20 Feb

By IVAN PEREIRA

Bloomberg launches “We Are Made in NY” initiative

Photo credit: Bloomberg launches “We Are Made in NY” initiative to grow local tech industry. (Mayor’s Office)

New York City? Try, “New Tech City.”

As the Big Apple continues to grow as a hot spot for tech start-ups, the mayor laid out new plans Tuesday to ensure the next generation of digital entrepreneurs has New York in its sights.

The initiative, called “We Are Made In NY,” is comprised of a media campaign and an ambitious website linking businesses, job seekers and city services that give start-ups a boost.

“There is no better place to build an industry than New York City,” Mayor Mike Bloomberg said while announcing the plans at BuzzFeed’s Flatiron headquarters.

More than 900 start-ups in the five boroughs, mostly Internet-based companies, are looking to fill 3,000 jobs. Bloomberg said it was important to encourage tech start-ups to take a chance here.

The campaign will expand the “Made in NY” advertising campaign — which highlights the city’s film industry — to include the tech sector.

The website, meanwhile, can give entrepreneurs several key resources:

An up-to-date map that gives the location of tech companies that are hiring, as well as investors.

Links to applications for grants and subsidized office space.

Meetup events.

Promotional videos for companies.

Katherine Oliver, the city’s entertainment commissioner, said the best part of the campaign is the video testimonials from successful start-ups.

“Every sector is trying to wrap their head around a digital and tech strategy in their business plans,” she said.

With nearly 500 digital start-ups popping up in the city over the last five years, according to the mayor, there are a lot of success stories to be told.

While many of those start-ups are smaller “mom and pops” that are just getting their bytes in order, a lot of recent tech successes — such as LinkedIn, Seamless and BuzzFeed — chose to set up shop in New York, and continue to expand.

More than 80 companies raised more than $10 million in investments since 2007, the mayor said.

Last year, eight of Forbes magazine’s fastest-growing tech companies were based in New York.

The city was second in the nation last year when it came to tech company acquisitions. City tech acquisitions totaled about $8.3 billion.

Bloomberg noted that venture capital investments in New York went up over the last five years, even though they saw a national slump.

The investments paid off, according to BuzzFeed’s CEO Jon Steinberg, who said the online viral news site grew from 15 to 215 employees in three years.

“The growth and success of our company happened because of New York City,” he said.

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