BY MAYRA DIRICO
According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), New York City’s tech ecosystem accounts for over 291,000 jobs and more than $124.7 billion in economic output.
New York City’s 7,500-plus technology firms raised in excess of $9.6 billion in venture funding in 2016, and New York City has seen an 18 percent growth in tech sector jobs over the past ten years, continuing to stand at the forefront of entrepreneurial growth in the tech sector.
There is growing support for entrepreneurial companies in New York, such as accelerators, workspaces, business groups, and other government initiatives.
For example, NYCEDC programs like the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) partner with Queens Chamber members Queens College and LaGuardia Community College – two of more than seven higher-educational systems in the borough – to allow foreign-born entrepreneurs access to uncapped H-1B visas in order to expand their businesses in New York and invest in local communities.
Compared to Silicon Valley, New York city is advantageous for two primary reasons: its tech sector touches a diversity of sectors and marries technology with consumer goods. As technology disruption moves into traditional industries, New York is poised to leverage its diversity of industry.
The business revolution of the next several decades will be about transforming large industries that no longer meet their customers’ demands into something more efficient and personal. That can happen only where those industries are located.
So, although Silicon Valley dominated the first wave of technology disruption, the advantage has shifted to New York, with its vastly greater diversity of businesses.
In addition to the diversity of business, New York City also demonstrates a blatant diversity of background, culture, and gender.
City Hall has made a concerted effort to paint New York City’s tech sector as more diverse, friendlier to women and people of color, and having representation from all economic backgrounds. Workers here, as City Hall says, are not “siloed in tech campuses far from the communities they live.”
In fact, between 2009 and 2014, New York City had the largest number of companies with a female founder of any location in the country. Some 374 companies, 21 percent of all startups founded in the city during that time period, had a female founder. [Stats and analysis by Crunchbase.]
Further, a study by the Center for Urban Future found that New York City’s tech sector employees were 16 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic, and 9 percent African American.
As the Queens Chamber of Commerce continues its efforts to support our startups and the tech sector at-large, we encourage our members to remain active and let us know of any new initiatives on the horizon.