Our second year was a busy one at Tech:NYC. Our organization continues to grow—both in terms of our hardworking team and our membership. We host increasingly more events and engage on more issues as we work to represent the diverse and creative tech ecosystem here in the most diverse and creative city in the world. The truth is, it’s a pretty easy job. Our successes are our members’ successes; our fights are their fights. I’d bet on the amazing women and men who make up our ecosystem any day.
Year two gave us a chance to kick the tires and test out what we built. And we were thrilled with what we found. Nearly everything we envisioned came to life in big, bold ways. During our second year, we hosted more than 50 events; fought hard in NYC, Albany, and Washington, D.C. on issues like computer science education, immigration, and net neutrality; and celebrated big tech wins that show how quickly our ecosystem is growing. It’s an honor to fight alongside our members and our community, and I’m thankful for it every day.
A diverse and growing set of companies power NYC's tech ecosystem.
PROOF OF CONCEPT:
We've built a membership of 630+ member companies, which includes more than 500 small startups. Together, they represent every kind of tech company there is—adtech, blockchain, fashion, fintech, healthcare, media, retail, and more. Which, of course, is exactly what you'd expect from New York.
Our membership is just a snapshot of the robust NYC tech ecosystem, which was responsible for 326,000 jobs and more than $11 billion in funding in 2017 alone. We're so excited about these numbers that we launched a data resource page spotlighting them and many others.
New York's tech sector has an amazing story to tell.
Proof of Concept:
This year, we were pleased to see others telling that story too, with a few common themes: 1) NYC is diverse; 2) access to existing industries and markets sets NYC apart from other international tech hubs; and 3) tech is an increasingly large part of NYC’s economy. These three stories prove our theory of the case:
Bloomberg outlines the new New York tech scene, which is fine with not being Silicon Valley. It includes more industry diversity and tech-fueled campuses like Cornell Tech (above).
The Associated Press uses Google’s $2.4 billion purchase of the Chelsea Market building (above) to help illustrate New York’s position as a top tech hub.
New York City is home to many companies that went public or were acquired in the past year. These companies range from enterprise software providers to coding academies.
Tech:NYC was featured and mentioned in more than 100 stories in the past year and continues to be a resource for media looking to connect with technology companies and better understand the NYC tech ecosystem.
New York's startups exemplify everything we love about our city.
Proof of Concept:
Our monthly Companies to Watch feature highlighted just how diverse and inspiring our community is. We learned about the best pizza, bagels, and coffee in the city. And how best to spend a snow day. Even more, we learned about what our community is building and what drives our founders.
We have a community of advocates who lend their voices on important issues.
Proof of Concept:
Nearly half of our members engaged in policy debates this year. Whether it was adding their names to a letter, their time or money to a cause, or inspiring the next generation of talent, we were proud to participate alongside our members.
A sampling of the advocacy our members engaged on in the past year.
We launched Tech Takes Action as a tool to help our tech community stand up for what it believes in. Our first campaign focused on helping DREAMers by encouraging tech employees to write to legislators or to donate/volunteer with local organizations that help immigrants.
2018 CS FAIR
Tech:NYC was a partner in the 2018 Computer Science Opportunity Fair, which hosted more than 1,800 NYC public high school students who are studying CS, giving them a chance to learn about tech careers and potential degrees. More than 60 tech companies and universities hosted booths at the fair.
This year, New York leaders in both tech and government continued the fight for net neutrality. Our members signed letters, contacted their representatives, and used their platforms to let the public know about the potential risk to the open internet. In May 2018, the Senate voted to overturn the FCC’s net neutrality rollback and we are thankful to Senator Chuck Schumer (below) for his leadership and for continuing to stand with our members.
It’s possible to shape policies to help New York's tech companies succeed.
Proof of Concept:
We continue to ensure the New York tech community is represented at the local, state, and national levels. When an issue that impacts how you do business arises, we're there.
ALGORITHM TASK FORCE
Tech:NYC worked closely with local policymakers to create a task force to study the city’s use of algorithms in the provision of government services. Our Executive Director now serves as a member on that task force.
For the second year in a row, Tech:NYC played a significant role in defeating a proposed marketplace provider tax that would have hit internet marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. Working with a coalition of our members and others, we were able to convince Albany policymakers to remove this provision from the 2019 state budget.
We pushed hard at the state level to make sure funding for computer science education stayed in the 2019 budget. New York State committed $30 million on computer science education, constituting the largest annual funding commitment from any state.
ALBANY POLICY LABS
During our first Albany Policy Labs event, our members spent a day meeting with legislators at the New York Capitol Building and showing them first-hand how their services worked.