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The NYC Tech Ecosystem: Catching Up to the Hype

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The New York tech ecosystem is in an interesting place right now. The emergence of NYC was a big story at tech conferences and in the press maybe four or five years ago. Fast forward to today: on the one hand, NYC has become the clear Number 2 to the Bay Area; on the other hand, it’s hard not to notice that things have gone a bit quiet — at a minimum, we seem to be past the stage of unbridled enthusiasm.

The bull case is that New York is now firmly established as a startup hub, and therefore it is less press-worthy than when it was first emerging; to wit, entrepreneurial activity and VC investment levels have never been higher (for context, with $1.9B invested, Q1 2016 saw almost 7x more VC investment in NYC than Q1 2012)

The bear case is that, for all the progress, NYC still suffers from many of the same issues that have plagued it for years: a relative dearth of $1BN+ exits, a lack of local anchor companies that can serve as acquirers, and a comparatively lower concentration of talent, particularly when it comes to not just starting, but actually scaling, startups.

Image courtesy of observer.com

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