At a ceremony today in the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Digital.NYC, an online platform that will serve as a centralized hub for the city’s tech ecosystem, providing information and resources to help turn ideas into businesses, deliver tools for digital startups and connect New Yorkers to opportunities in the City’s technology ecosystem.
Digital.NYC offers a search portal and database with profiles of virtually every city-based tech company and investor; a continuously updated list of early-stage tech and digital job openings; a citywide tech event and class calendar; an interactive map of tech companies, investors and resources across the city’s five boroughs; and additional features that combine to create a comprehensive one-stop shop for everything startup-related in New York City, IBM said.
More than a dozen New York-based tech and civic organizations joined with the city, led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), to create Digital.NYC. The site runs on Bluemix, IBM’s next-generation cloud solution, and was developed by New York-based Gust, a Web platform provider that connects investors with startups.
Digital.NYC integrates data and applications from dozens of high-tech firms, including New York-based CourseHorse, WayWire.com, The Muse, Uncubed, AlleyWatch, General Assembly, Flatiron School, Meetup.com and the New York Daily News. And it is one of the first Web platforms to take advantage of the new dot-NYC top-level Internet domain, exclusively reserved for New York City residents and businesses.
Digital.NYC will make New York’s tech ecosystem more accessible to all New Yorkers and will provide a platform for all players, including investors, startups, community-based organizations, job seekers and others to engage.
“Technology is driving innovation across New York City’s industries—from fashion to finance to manufacturing, making it necessary than ever for the city’s digital community to have a central platform,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We are proud to launch Digital.NYC, a ground-breaking resource that will seamlessly connect members of the city’s tech hub to training, jobs, and funding and make our city’s digital economy accessible to all New Yorkers.”
From 2003 to 2013, the New York City tech ecosystem added 45,000 jobs, growing faster than both total New York City employment and total U.S. employment, according to IBM. In addition, the New York City tech ecosystem generates approximately 541,000 jobs, $50.6 billion in annual compensation and $124.7 billion in annual output. The New York City tech ecosystem also generates more than $5.6 billion in annual tax revenues to the city, representing 12.3 percent of the city’s 2013 tax revenue.
“Digital.NYC will have a tangible impact on the city’s economic growth, connecting companies to resources and introducing more New Yorkers than ever to opportunity in the tech ecosystem,” Kyle Kimball, president of NYCEDC, said in a statement. “By bringing together the latest news and information about the jobs, classes, events, financing, workspaces and more that power New York’s burgeoning startup community, we are showcasing the diverse elements of the fastest growing digital and tech center in the world.”
IBM Spurs NYC Tech Ecosystem With Bluemix PaaS
Demonstrating its continued commitment to New York’s tech industry and the cultivation of “Silicon Alley,” IBM will soon open the doors of its new Astor Place offices. Home to the IBM Watson Group, the Astor Place offices will also offer an innovation lab for NYC startups interested in learning how to power their innovations with IBM Watson.
“IBM is proud to have a strong partnership with the city of New York, and we are especially honored to help NYC power its digital economy with IBM Cloud and Bluemix,” Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of Software and Cloud Solutions at IBM, said in a statement. “Adding to New York’s status as the media and financial center of the world, Digital.NYC is designed to bring the city’s dynamic and creative business culture into the cloud, and will help to unleash new innovations which will solidify New York’s status as one of the world’s greatest technology hubs.”
Digital.NYC, which will be available to the general public on Oct. 8, builds on the city’s original New York Digital Map created in 2013 by Internet Week New York, and the city’s We Are Made in NY campaign, which was expanded to incorporate digital companies in 2013. Earlier this year, NYCEDC convened a series of roundtables with key tech companies, community-based organizations, business improvement districts and other stakeholders to solicit feedback on how the site could best serve its users and New Yorkers in general. The site will be maintained by Gust.com and optimized for mobile use within 60 days.
Meanwhile, IBM said Silicon Alley startups are relying on Bluemix to build mobile and Web apps quickly. For instance, Measurence, based in NYC’s Flatiron District, uses IBM’s SoftLayer cloud and Bluemix to power its analytics and intelligence platform so that brick-and-mortar retailers can quickly gauge metrics just by sensing the smart devices customers carry, providing insight into customer foot traffic, loyalty, time spent in the store, frequency of customer visits and more. Another example is data science startup 8 Path Solutions, which is based on New York’s Upper West Side, and uses IBM’s technology to create unique data analytics and data science solutions for its clients.
Moreover, Digital.NYC further supports IBM’s strategy of nurturing, investing and providing support to entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists and other members of tech ecosystems, who tap into Big Blue’s expertise and innovations to fuel new ideas. As the first major dedicated hub created for the digital industry in New York City, Digital.NYC will serve as a model for other tech and startup economies around the world.
IBM has sponsored Bluemix Garage events to help spur startups in other cities such as San Francisco. For example, the San Francisco BART public transit system developed a prototype mobile app in 15 days with Bluemix, a process that normally would have taken six months.
IBM also is taking Bluemix to the seat of power. To spur innovations for government, IBM is launching a Bluemix developer challenge in the Washington, D.C., area that will leverage open data sources in creating new citizen-engaging apps.