Silicon Valley has long-held the crown as America’s tech capital – but New York is closing the gap.
Amazon recently announced plans to build half of its second headquarters in the Big Apple.
And as CGTN’s Nick Harper reports – it might only take a ‘New York minute’ before Silicon Valley loses its throne.
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New York – home of Wall Street, Times Square and Fifth Avenue shopping, is now also home to tech.
When looking for a headquarters for his start-up, Stuart Feffer opted for New York. The company, which provides software for sensors in the autonomous car industry, didn’t feel Silicon Valley was the place to be.
“There are a lot of startups here. It’s also a great place to recruit talent – we have a number of universities from which to recruit,” Feffer said.
A tech ecosystem study shows the number of tech jobs in New York between 2006 and 2016 has grown by 30 percent, with around 76,000 positions added.
And that number is likely to climb with the addition of Amazon. Taking advantage of generous government incentives, the online retail giant has invested millions of dollars in several New York locations in recent years, culminating with this announcement last month.
But New York’s political leaders have been criticized for offering billions in tax breaks and grants to attract Amazon. And some residents in New York’s Long Island City, the location of company’s new hub, said Amazon will strain the city’s aging public transit system and increase gentrification.
“This is a working class, people of color neighborhood and people are just going to be pushed out of their homes because Amazon employees are going to be moving in,” Sabrina Rich, a student said.
But the New York City government has promised to invest $180 million into transit, infrastructure and housing. And some analysts say a robust tech sector will help strengthen the economy and improve job prospects for communities like Long Island City.
Emily Raimes, VP Moody’s Investors Service:
“New York City is so concentrated in finance that this actually brings some diversity to New York City’s employment base.”
Google is also reportedly considering a major expansion in the city, with room for over 12,000 new workers.
Startups in New York attracted $11.5 billion in venture capital last year. And with the Big Apple also able to draw the big names, New York is clearly targeting tech and ramping up its rivalry with Silicon Valley.