New York’s startup scene has been pegged as the next big thing for quite a while now. So why hasn’t it lived up to the billing as the “next Silicon Valley”? Or is it that our expectation to find another Bay Area boom out east are unreasonable and should be adapted on a place-by-place basis?
In observing NYC and its array of diverse and new ideas up front, we at Gotham.tech found a better answer to those questions and more. New York, with its impressive stable of 6,300 startups and tech jobs growing at a rate of 30 percent over the last decade, should be overlooked or scoffed at no longer when it comes to important tech.
Because of the immense talent pool and competition, NYC will always be one of the most crucial markets for tech companies.
NYC’s startup scene
Throughout the five boroughs, a number of newcomers are trying to find space to fight with behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, which have firmly marked their space in the Financial District and Chelsea. Other big names like Barclays and Verizon are putting big money into innovation programs that gives the new guys a fighter’s chance at surviving amid the unforgiving competition.
Grubhub is one such success story that now boasts over 9.18 million active users. Real-estate-based companies like Landis are also doing well in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
WeWork, Oscar, and Jet.com are a just a few of many quickly rising startups that are turning the tide of good fortune in New York’s favor. The current startup scene in the “City that Never Sleeps” has seen countless evidence of smaller companies growing fast, being able to go public, and then rewarding the sacrifice of employees and early investors.
Coworking is the new office
Every day more and more coworking spaces are moving into buildings in downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and elsewhere.
There are about 80 coworking spaces of varying sizes and costs in New York, which give golden opportunities to new startup founders and organizers beginning their businesses and trying to build from the ground up. New York’s notoriously rough rent prices have made a clear niche for places like Spark Labs’ two New York locations, in both Union Square and Bryant Park. The company is connected to a network of tech spaces throughout the world – some 30 in total – that give opportunities through their synergy and great facilities.
Help from city government
NYC’s influential startups deserve a lot of credit. They have created their own thriving ecosystem without much help from the government or public institutions, relative to other places.
There are, however, places willing to lend a helping hand like NYCx, which offers grants to entrepreneurs tackling local problems in low-resource communities.
The nonprofit Economic Development Corporation in New York has been a critical part as well of New York’s startup success. It helps bridge the gap from outside markets, especially international ones, to the New York scene where investors and other institutions can take part in the special environment here.
The scene in New York is rising at an exponential rate. In 2016 alone, NYC’s startups were able to raise nearly $10 billion in venture capital funding and investments.
Through the mentioned coworking spaces, bright new ideas from emerging startups, and the infrastructure of the “old guard” like Amazon and Verizon, there are a remarkable amount of investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses in New York.
As it continues to grow rapidly, more startup owners are trying to get a piece of the ever-growing pie as the potential for success is bigger now than it ever has been in a city that is redefining its startup future.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company