An entrepreneur’s guide to NYC’s tech scene | Tech Fashion

If it’s been a while since your last trip to New York, there’s a chance you might actually assume that the scene has slowed. Over the last few years the hype has somewhat abated. In fact, it was only a few years ago that the media was constantly comparing New York’s startup ecosystem with that of San Francisco’s.

During a recent trip I spoke to venture capitalists and founders, and they explained that the city’s tech scene has matured, having begun a new chapter of more stable growth. In fact, New York currently boasts 6,300 startups, with tech jobs growing at a rate of 30 percent over the last decade.

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In many ways the startup scene in NYC has begun to focus on the industries that the city as a whole is best at: finance, real estate, and enterprise.

There are, according to the state comptroller, 7,500 New York-based tech companies, supported by $38.4 billion of investment over the last five years and underpinned by vast networks of incubators, accelerators, meet-ups and universities.

A couple days walking around Manhattan, and a couple evenings attending any of the city’s countless events, and you’re liable to reach the conclusion that, for an entrepreneur, NYC is still the place to be.

But the seemingly limitless opportunity and energy of the city, the places and people you’ll feel you have to know, can be ironically daunting and deterring. For that reason, my colleague Peter Andringa and I put together a guide for entrepreneurs looking to explore and potentially break into NYC’s tech universe.

The lay of the land

Across its 5 boroughs, thousands of tech companies vie for their place, from industry titans to early-stage startups. While behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have staked out territory in the Financial District, Chelsea Market, and 42nd & 5th Avenue (respectively), corporations like Barclays, SAP and Verizon are sponsoring innovation programs and coworking spaces.

As for startup success stories, they are abound. Grubhub has outlasted other food delivery platforms with 9.18 million active diners, the co-living startup Common is building a real estate empire, and has developed a leading platform for artist and collectors.

Management training startup General Assembly was acquired for $413 million, the meal kit startup Plated bought for $200 million, and Venmo was acquired for $26.2 million by Paypal. Source3 was also purchased last year by Facebook, while Kickstarter has become the go-to crowdfunding platform, and Paperspace continues to redefine the virtual desktop.

Other noteworthy success stories grabbing headlines include Etsy, Bonobos, SeatGeek, Warby Parker, and Clinicube.

Instead of suffocating beneath the heft of Fortune 500 companies, these startups subsist and thrive off their success, partnering with big businesses, hiring exiting talent, and developing products that enhance what their much larger competitors offer.

Within this symbiotic system, startups also grow up, go public, and enrich employees that then reinvest their earnings and expertise into new ventures. This has fed an ever-expanding, mature tech system, and one which is specialized geographically.

For how the ecosystem is broken down geographically, the long-time heart of the scene, the few blocks around 23rd Street commonly referred to as Silicon Alley, is home to more FinTech and AdTech startups. Brooklyn has attracted cutting-edge UrbanTech, PlantTech, and CreativeTech companies.

Queens is known for FoodTech and Biotech companies; Harlem and the Bronx host numerous social good enterprises; and Chelsea is known for its fashion tech companies.