Capital NY holds talks on growing city’s tech scene

Posted by Justin Hesser on November 1, 2014

New York City is home to a growing number of tech and media startups, and local authorities and business leaders came together last week to discuss how they can ensure that situation continues. At the first-ever TAMI Talks event, organized by Politico subsidiary Capital New York and real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, topics of conversation included how to attract new talent to the city while tapping into the existing pool.

Speakers highlighted the diversity of America's largest city as a strong point, but acknowledged that they should look to Silicon Valley for tips on how best to take full advantage of that diversity. It was noted that non-tech workers in tech companies have salaries that are 45 percent higher than the city's average, but unemployment is very high among black and Latino college graduates.

Another area of concern as the industry welcomes more startups and small businesses is the price and availability of real estate.

"New York is tricky, New York is not easy to grow in."

"New York is tricky, New York is not easy to grow in," said BuzzFeed CFO Mark Frackt. "When you are American Express or Sony, and you are growing at a rate that is fairly predictable on an annual basis, you can plan your real estate more practically. When you are a high-growth company, it is frankly harder to do."

Some cities have helped their software developing companies by laying down optic fiber networks. A representative from the mayor's office said that possibility has not been ruled out, but that in the meantime authorities are working to ensure that broadband internet is widely available. They hope to encourage competition among providers that will improve service throughout the city.