A Look at New York’s Growing Tech Scene

By Katie Roof Technology FOXBusiness

The next big thing for NYC startups

FBN's Charlie Gasparino on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's interest in Goldman's Sigma X.

New York City has a growing tech scene and is home to startups like Etsy, Foursquare and Gilt. Now it’s poised to grow even further, with $3.1 billion in venture capital poured into the region in 2013, the most since the dot-com boom in 2001.

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A recent report shows that the region has seen a 33% increase in tech jobs over the past four years, which is four times faster than the job growth seen in the rest of the New York economy.

“Nearly 7,000 high-tech companies in New York  City provided more than 100,000 jobs during the third quarter of 2013, approaching the industry’s record level of employment before the dot-com crash of 2000-2001,” says the study, compiled by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

New York tech employees also earn more money, according to the report. The average tech worker made $119,000 in 2012, compared to $80,000 for the rest of the city.

The industry has flourished in part due to efforts made by Mayor Bloomberg, who was in office until January 2014. Bloomberg encouraged startups to launch here and was instrumental in facilitating the deal for Cornell’s upcoming tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

When asked whether Mayor de Blasio will make technology as big of a priority as Bloomberg, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian told FOX Business’ Liz Claman that “he knows how viable the tech sector is to the economy here.”

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Jim Robinson IV, managing partner at RRE Ventures, expressed doubt about Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to tech. Bloomberg “supported the community quite visibly. So far, we haven't seen much from DeBlasio. Doubt he sees it as a priority. He should.”

Two of the biggest tech exits last year were based in New York City. Blog platform Tumblr was sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion and 3D printing service MakerBot was sold to Stratasys for $403 million.

Hoping for more deals in the future, $1 billion in venture capital was poured into New York software startups last year. Capitalizing on New York’s strengths, $497 million went to media and entertainment startups, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

E-commerce also has a significant presence in New York, drawing upon the region’s retail business. In addition to Etsy and Gilt, New York’s Birchbox and Warby Parker are notable regional brands. About $429 million in venture capital was invested in New York e-commerce last year.

Although most of New York’s startups used to be clustered around Silicon Alley’s iconic Flatiron building, they’ve expanded throughout Manhattan. Brooklyn is also attracting an increase in startup activity.

Between the talent and the capital, it looks like New York’s tech scene may continue to flourish for a while.