This week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an innovative initiative to draw more tech companies to the five boroughs and connect locals to jobs. The “We Are Made” in NY campaign is one of several strategies in place to expand the high-tech industry in the state, following recent expansion of high-tech centers at local universities.
Mayor Bloomberg revealed that the number of employees at digital media companies grew by 80 percent between 2007 and 2011. Furthermore, there were over 8.3 billion in tech acquisitions in 2012. The mayor, along with Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot explained that the We Are Made in NY initiative—which officially launched at the beginning of his administration, will now include digital companies that complete at least 75 percent of their development in the city’s five boroughs.
The multi-platform plan includes a website that will help ease tech entrepreneurs into their new roles by providing resources for office space and connect job hopefuls to more than 900 N.Y. start-ups that are currently looking to fill 3,000 jobs. Through the website, businesses can learn to build their digital presence and access free and low-cost internet in the city’s recreations and schools. The website, also accessible at NYC.gov, is a resource for students looking for training and programs in sciences and engineering. It will soon integrate MappedinNY.com, where visitors can find digital company locations, investors, co-working and incubator spaces, and companies that are hiring.
“The city offers the ideal location for talented people with ground-breaking ideas to start their companies, and the ‘We Are Made in NY’ initiative is the latest step we’re taking to help them grow here,” the mayor announced at BuzzFeed headquarters. BuzzFeed is among several partners including Advertising Age and Creativity, Clear Channel, LinkedIn, Mashable, Netted, New York Tech Meetup, Reddit, Shutterstock, Songza, and WordPress.com VIP who support the initiative and donated resources to help grow NY’s tech industry.
Here’s more on We Are Made in NY:
Other High-Tech Plans for New York
“We Are Made in NY” is the latest plan to boost high-tech in New York. In 2011, the mayor, Cornell University president David J. Skorton and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie announced a partnership to create a new high-tech “applied science and engineering” campus on Roosevelt Island. The project, to be completed no later than 2017, will receive $100 million in city capital and is intended to boost jobs and increase the number of full-time, graduate engineering students enrolled in leading master’s and Ph.D. programs by approximately 70 percent, according to NYC.gov.
In 2012, the mayor and New York University president John Sexton announced plans for a new Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in Brooklyn, with the help of $15 million in city funding, DNAinfo reports. Apart from launching and expanding urban tech businesses and jobs, CUSP will help “create a new high-tech industry around urban applied science – vaulting NYC to world leadership in this area – and train the workforce for it,” according to NYU.
Columbia University is also on board. Last year, plans were announced for the new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, planned for Columbia’s Morningside Heights and Washington Heights campuses. The city will provide $15 million in funding for the institute, which is intended to grow the city’s tech sector and boost engineering education in the state. The mayor’s office revealed that the institute will generate nearly $4 billion of economic growth across the five boroughs over the next three decades.