Cohen’s eight person start-up is just one of hundreds of start-ups choosing New York City’s “Silicon Alley” over its older California cousin.
Total technology employment in New York City increased 28 percent from 2005 to 2010, and now accounts for more than 90,000 workers at more than 7,100 high tech establishments, according to the New York City government Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Overall private sector employment in New York rose 3.4 percent during the same period.
“I think New York is a fantastic place to be right now,” says Adam Pritzker, co-founder of the tech incubator General Assembly.
The start-up hub received $200,000 in seed money from NYCEDC. Pritzker, a 27 year-old San Francisco native says while Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem is well-developed with lots of engineering talent, New York’s advantage is its eclectic combination of people in the retail, entertainment, and financial sectors.
“As technology penetrates multiple industries and becomes a much more global phenomenon, those core depths of people who have been working in those industries for years and years, who are teaming up with technologists is a powerful combination,” Pritzker says.
New York ranks second behind California for all venture capital funding, according to the NYCEDC. New York beat out Massachusetts for venture capital invested in technology, raising $1.22 billion for 208 deals in 2010, compared to the Bay State’s $1.21 billion for 207 deals.