Uzi Scheffer: So much more upside even after New York tops tech city rankings

Published on March 10, 2019

There’s a saying about New York City: there are eight-million stories in the Naked City.

That observation — the tagline from the famed film noir movie from the 1940s of the same name — was meant to highlight just how many tales are going on simultaneously in a large metropolis like the Big Apple. In New York’s world of innovation, it might be interpreted as an axiom implying that stories about high tech and startups are as wide and varied as you can get.  

The truth is that New York is the natural place for convergence between corporations and the tech industry. For example, nearly ten percent of Fortune 500 companies are based there, and startups account for over fifteen percent of new job creation.

Couple that with the fact that there are over 320,000 people currently employed in tech throughout the five boroughs, and it becomes clear the city of New York is an obvious front runner for the global tech ecosystem. This is probably most evident in the recent interest from tech giants such as Google, which have eyed expansion in New York.  All this while growth continues at an accelerated pace. In 2017 alone, start-ups raised twelve billion dollars in venture capital, a 40 percent jump from the previous year.

The result: a report from real estate brokerage firm Savills found New York ranks first in a global index of top tech cities, ahead of San Francisco in second and London in third.

The reasons New York took the top spot include: the large amount of venture capital available to invest in technology companies, a wide pool of workers from both the city and around the world, and the many opportunities that are available to them. The ability to attract top talent is another key part of New York’s elevation to the top spot in the rankings.

It’s important to also note that the city of New York has made a concerted effort to launch its own initiatives to add to the growth of the overall New York tech landscape in the last year. For example, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) launched multiple initiatives to transform the city into a hub for cyber-focused technology innovation. This initiative, Cyber NYC, leverages a roster of world-renowned partners and includes the launch of the Global Cyber Center, an innovation hub for startups, initiatives to fuel commercialization and research, and new talent pipelines to train the cyber workforce of the future.

We live in a hyper-connected, multi-device world, which means the need for robust protection against cyber attacks has never been greater. The complexity and cost of cyber-crime has increased at an unprecedented scale, reaching as much as $600 billion – about 0.8 percent of global GDP and creating a true challenge for all types of organizations in facing and protecting against cyber threats. The city of New York is making a smart choice by deciding to tackle this issue head-on, and investing in the kinds of technology companies that will change the future of cyber tech.

Another great example of how New York is helping to grow the city’s tech ecosystem is the recent launch of its partnership network, “The Grid.” The NYCEDC is working with CIV:LAB – a nonprofit dedicated to connecting urban tech leaders – to start a member-based urban tech community for New Yorkers. The goal of the network is to link organizations, schools and local tech leaders to promote collaboration and sharing of resources and knowledge.

Whether it’s cybersecurity or urban tech, New York is the city to watch as the global tech ecosystem continues to grow. With or without the addition of major tech brands like Google, the city will continue pushing forward with technology initiatives that will not only shape the technology industry as a whole, but will directly impact our everyday lives for the better.

Uzi Scheffer is a New Columnist at Grit Daily. Based in New York, he is also SOSA’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of SOSA’s Board of Directors. Uzi leads the day-to-day operations of the company and guides the company’s overall vision and strategy. He is an experienced executive, with a long track record of building operational businesses based on technology. He is also a seasoned e-commerce entrepreneur, specializing in advanced B2C marketing tools and analytics and is passionate about supporting early-stage startups. Uzi is fluent in English, French, and Hebrew. SOSA is a global innovation platform that recently partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to build a Global Cyber Center in downtown Manhattan.

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