The Real Deal New York

Tech execs praise NYC’s growing startup culture – with caveats

October 22, 2012 12:30PM

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The Bloomberg Administration has made no secret of its goal to promote New York City’s burgeoning tech industry in order to diversify the local economy. And the message is hitting home with tech entrepreneurs, the Associated Press reported.

“Over the last few years, what we’ve seen over and over again is a commitment to make New York City a viable alternative to Silicon Valley and a place where true innovation occurs,” said Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt earlier this month.

Kevin Ryan, founder of Gilt Groupe, a luxury discount website that launched here in 2007, told the Associated Press that New York offers a concentration of fashion buyers. “If we weren’t here, we’d have to have a huge office in New York anyway,” Ryan said.

Evidence of the growing technology industry abounds, from Google’s $1.8 billion purchase of its East Coast headquarters in 2010, to the establishment of tech firms like Foursquare, Tumblr and Kickstarter, to the construction of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island, where a U.S. patent office will operate on site.

At the same time, tech founders lamented New York’s distance from the universities best known for producing engineers. Others decried the patchy broadband service, particularly in industrial buildings, which one tech entrepreneur called “embarrassing.” [AP, via Yahoo] –Leigh Kamping-Carder

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