Maybe it’s because I’m in New York City for a few days this week, but this article in the Wall Street Journal and this one in the New York Times caught my eye.  New York City has surpassed Boston as the #1 tech sector for Internet and mobile technologies on the east coast.  The story was based on a report released by the Center for an Urban Future.  Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • “[T]here has been an explosion of tech start-ups in New York City, most of which are companies that leverage the Internet and mobile technologies.”  Specifically the Center for Urban Future identified 486 digital start-ups formed in NYC since 2007 that received angel, seed, or VC funding, and there are over 1,000 web-based technology start-ups in the city.
  • NYC was the only technology region in the country to see an increase in the number of venture capital deals between 2007 and 2011.
  • The start-ups located in NYC are growing significantly.  Fifteen have raised more than $50 million in investments, 27 have raised at least $25 million in investments, and 81 have raised at least $10 million.
  • The NYC technology sector has created 52,900 jobs in the past few years, a 28.7% increase for that sector (as compared to the 3.6 percent growth rate in the NYC private jobs sector generally).
  • This explosion in growth appears to be sustainable.  The start-ups are less focused on building new technology and more focused on applying existing technology to traditional industries like advertising, media, fashion, finance, and health care.

This last finding is perhaps the most significant because the application of existing technology to industries in which New York City already excels, appears to be lynchpin to the city’s strong tech growth and a distinguishing factor from the “dot com” bubble in the late 90’s.  The report is well worth reading as a case study of how and why a city develops a strong technology sector.  This is great news for my favorite city in the world!

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