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New York's tech industry booms

A man walks through the newly opened Dell solution center on May 10, 2012 in New York City. New York is now the second most important U.S. tech hub after Silicon valley, based on startups and job growth, new study says.

Kai Ryssdal: Steve Case, the founder of AOL, calls the tech scene in lower Manhattan nothing less than a revolution. Because even though Mark Zuckerberg and his hoodie are firmly ensconced in Northern California, technology startups are all over the place in the Big Apple.

So many that a study from the Center for an Urban Future says New York is second only to Silicon Valley as a technology hub. And the lifeblood of those high-tech startups -- venture capital -- is flowing.

Our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore explains.


Heidi Moore: David Teten is an investor at ff Ventures in New York. I asked him to describe the city's startup scene.

David Teten: Booming!

As the song goes, it's a heckuva town. Venture capitalists like Teten have financed 486 tech startups in the city since 2007. In a city obsessed with playing it cool, the word "geek" is now suddenly a compliment. Established tech companies have also gotten in on the city's techie action.

Teten: Google, eBay, Facebook, have all publicly said, this is one of the major reasons they created offices here, because they were losing in the recruiting wars to other employers who were here.

Adda Birnir is the co-founder of Skillcrush, a startup that teaches programming and other tech skills to newbies. She says media, fashion and other companies are clamoring for people who know tech.

Adda Birnir: What I really like about the New York tech scene is the focus is not necessarily on technology, but on creating interesting content, or media or social media, and technology is seen as the tool to further that goal.

The city's tech scene is interwined with the industries that make New York, New York: advertising, marketing, media and fashion. But the city has finance in its blood. Cold, hard cash is the measure of success even at tech startups.

Teten: New York investors tend to focus more tightly on revenues, as opposed to just eyeballs.

Shelling out billions for loosey-goosey Internet traffic metrics? To folks here, that's Silicon Valley's thing.

In New York, I'm Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.
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