Photo Credit: Guian Bolisay/Flickr
From the infamous Wall Street to Broadway, New York City (NYC) champions its identity as a city with opportunities for everyone. But as the city is ever-changing, it is important to note how technology may become, if it isn’t already, a key influence in a variety of well established and emerging sectors in the city.
Tech:NYC, founded roughly two years ago by Julie Samuels, its current Executive Director, shows how NYC is changing as different kinds of technology are becoming more prevalent. Within the last two years, TECH:NYC has expanded from five founding members - pre-Yahoo AOL, Bloomberg, Facebook, Google, and Union Square Ventures - to over 650 companies and investors. Samuels emphasizes that the company was founded to bring light to technological advances and opportunities in NYC. The company aims to do the following: engage in state and local policy to ensure that tech companies are represented within the government, champion NYC as more than a financial, fashion, and real estate hub, and increase civic engagement. With these three points in mind, the company formed a strong coalition that contributes to creating policy briefs that support their goals, such as the letter they recently sent to President Trump opposing his executive order on immigration. The letter was signed by more than 2,000 New Yorkers who work in the tech industry. The tech companies who work in coalition with Tech:NYC vary in their interests creating a diverse sphere of cooperation that is brought together by the focus on technology.
Tech:NYC aims to foster a creative environment that stimulates the growth of the technology industry through policy. The company has already seen great progress. As mentioned previously, the real estate sector is a staple in NYC, but even here, an important driving force is the increase in demand of tech companies for office space. Just in the past nine years, the properties of tech companies in the city have expanded from 17.6 million square feet to 29.3 million square feet. Julie Samuels is not only looking to improve the community of New York City, but, through Tech:NYC, she aims to influence policy supported by the tech sphere to bring positive change to the lives of citizens and tech companies.
Natalia Bafia is a junior at New York University. She is double-majoring in Global Liberal Studies and Economics, along with minors in Italian Studies and Politics.
Jack Hermann is a freshmen at New York University. He is a student of the Liberal Studies Core Program in hopes of transferring to NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies.