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

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Sports

Belinda Bencic leads crop of young stars serving…

Belinda Bencic, a 17-year-old Swiss Miss, beat two Top-10 players before suffering a disappointing loss Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and Giants climb

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…