Tech boom in New York’s Silicon Alley

Meetings are held on bean bags at the offices of Enterproid, which created the Divide app.

They work together, play ping pong together and meet at the same coffee shops to brainstorm on what will make the next great Internet start-up.
 
Welcome to the heart of New York City’s Silicon Alley. Many of the city’s web designers, software engineers and start-up founders work out of a stretch along Broadway and Fifth Avenue, between Union Square and Madison Square Park.

A new report out last week showed that New York is giving the West Coast’s Silicon Valley a run for its money, emerging a national leader in cranking out web start-ups.
 
Calling the city “the nation’s second-leading hub for technology companies,” the Center for an Urban Future report shows that New York is dwarfing other cities in its rapidly multiplying start-up sector.
 
According to the report, the number of information technology jobs in New York has increased 28.7 percent in the last five years, from 41,100 to 52,900.
 
The report estimates there have been 1,000 start-ups created here in that same time, with many of them hunkered within a few blocks of each other. About 40 start-ups, from Shelby.tv to Tumblr, have offices between and around Union Square and the Flatiron district.
 
Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, which released the report, said eight different companies are located at 902 Broadway alone, between 20th and 21st streets.
 
“That address is right smack in the middle of the area where we are seeing the greatest concentration of start-up activity – between Union Square and Flatiron,” he said.
 
Because their offices are located so close together, employees have coffee meetings at the same cafes — Grey Dog is a favorite — and see each while in line for lunch at Shake Shack.

“We all kind of cluster together,” said Reece Pacheco, 29, founder and CEO of Shelby.tv, a video-sharing site with offices located at 23rd Street and Park Avenue. “I’m just constantly running into people when I’m going out for lunch.”

Choosing to be near each other

Pacheco said he intentionally wanted Shelby.tv to be headquartered near other tech start-ups.
 
“I think there’s a natural tendency to want to be in the same area and make it easier to get to meetings and make it easier to meet up with friends at other companies,” he told Metro.

While searching for office space, they looked south of 23rd Street, he said.
 
“We want to be 23rd and below,” he said. “We want to be near places where we have coffee meetings.”
 
This leads to a lot of run-ins with other techies. “Shake Shack is a staple of the New York tech community for sure,” he said.
 
In his building, five other start-ups also operate — and those are just the ones where he knows people, he said.

Their office includes a ping pong table, drum set and guitars – and a shower, which is helpful for Pacheco, who lives at the office for now, because he travels so much he doesn’t have an apartment.
 
Jeff Levinson, at Enterproid, which created the app Divide that lets users swap in and out of work and personal profiles on one phone, wanted to be around other start-ups – and their building at 22nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues had good history, he said.

Google bought the start-up that previously operated in their office space.

“The space has that good buy-out karma,” he said.

Tech toys

And you thought having a free coffee machine was a perk. Here are some
of the things found in the offices of the city’s tech start-ups:

  • Turf instead of a rug
  • Drum sets
  • Guitars
  • Showers
  • Couches
  • Ping-pong table
  • Cotton candy machine
  • Foosball


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…