Silicon Alley NYC
The name Silicon Alley refers to an area of New York City that boasts a high concentration of firms involved in the media and Internet industries. The name of this area makes clear reference to the internationally recognized high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, in California.
The history of Silicon Alley can be traced back to the 1990s, when the so-called dot.com bubble was at its peak. There were a number of very successful start-up businesses that originated in New York during that time, such as About.com, Double Click, Razorfish, and Agency.com. At the same time, the Californian tech hub at Silicon Valley was rapidly becoming the global point of reference for high-value industries. While some Internet and media companies that had been launched in New York moved west, others decided to stay in the city and take advantage of New York's high business density, long-established international reputation, and varied funding possibilities.
Originally, the majority of tech and media companies that formed part of Silicon Alley were based in Manhattan, especially around SoHo, Tribeca, the Flatiron district, and parts of Broadway. Later on, a cluster of companies involved in digital marketing and educational technologies appeared in Brooklyn, and these were also considered part of Silicon Alley. As time went by, the term Silicon Alley was used to refer to the whole of New York City, making allusion to the city's profile as a global center for anything related to the dot.com industry.
The development and growth of Silicon Alley followed a pattern very similar to the one that took place in Silicon Valley. Within its first few years of existence, the area became an important focal point of venture capital business opportunities. This fact attracted the attention of the media, which until 1995 had not covered in depth the development and significance of Silicon Alley. In 1996, Silicon Alley was home to some of the country's largest and most influential networking events, which took place under the name of 'Cocktails with Courtney' and 'First Tuesday'. The meetings attracted capitalists and investors from different parts of the world by the hundreds, and in some cases, up to 1,000 people attended these networking events.
During the following four years, the projects undertaken at Silicon Alley received the support of large corporations and important institutions, such as Merrill Lynch, Accenture, and the Kellogg School of Management - Northwestern University. Moreover, some of the most influential members of Silicon Alley joined the New York City Entrepreneurs Network to work on equipping educational institutions with adequate technology solutions. Eventually, this initiative became a well-established youth development association, which today is known as MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education).
In the year 2000, and following the burst of the dot.com bubble, Silicon Alley entered into a period of decline. Many of the new media publications that had marked the start of the Silicon Alley venture were rebranded, acquired by other companies, or stopped publishing altogether. However, since the mid-2000s there have been a number of initiatives in place that aimed to bring Silicon Alley back to its former status. As a result, many entrepreneurs were attracted to the local tech and new media community, and nowadays Silicon Alley is considered the third most important technology center in the United States.
Companies Based at Silicon Alley
Some of the most important companies that have their base at Silicon Alley include Google, Foursquare, Etsy, Venture Beat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, TechCrunch, Gilt, TapAd, Birchbox, Warby Parker, App Nexus, OnSwipe, Local Response, Grapeshot, the Paperless Post, Stella Service, the Flatiron School, and Booker.
Some up-and-coming Silicon Alley companies include The Verge, Movie Pass, Single Platform, NewsCred, Quirky, Rap Genius, Sailthru, TheFancy, Moda Operandi, Taboola, and Persado.
Silicon Alley: Facts and Figures
During 2012, start-up companies at Silicon Alley attracted more than $2.8 billion in funding, most of which consisted of seed investments.
According to an article published by the Huffington Post, female entrepreneurs are twice as likely to start up a business in New York's Silicon Alley than they are in its Californian equivalent. Approximately 20 per cent of all founding entrepreneurs in Silicon Alley are female.
Nowadays, Silicon Alley is listed as the twelfth major start-up ecosystem in the world.
As of 2013, more than 20 per cent of business angels in the United States choose to support a Silicon Alley start-up.
New York City is served by three international airports: John F. Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark. Since a large number of Silicon Alley companies have their offices in Manhattan, the easiest way to reach the area is to fly into La Guardia airport. Buses, shuttles, and taxis connect the airport with downtown Manhattan. Domestic flights often arrive at the airports in Teterboro, Long Island, and White Plains-County.
If you require further information on travel options around New York, visit http://www.nycgo.com/ or http://www.nycbta.org/