Growing New York tech scene and the need for talent

insights from NYTechDay and MADEINNY@APPNEXUS

New York City is an important hub for tech companies and start-ups. Recently, I visited two events that underline the strength of New York and its potential for facilitating these developments. The first one was the NYTechDay with 400+ start-ups and 10,000 attendees. This event was quite interesting and besides bigger start-ups such as Grooveshark, GeneralAssembly, Shutterstock and Uber, other less well known and coming ideas and products were shown. For example, Fitbark.com presented its wearable technology for dogs.

Jobs Map New York

At NYTechDay, most of the companies presented their products but were also looking for new talent. Which brings us to one of the bigger challenges for companies in New York City; to find new talent. A Jobs Map by “Made In NY” shows that currently over 1263 NY Tech Companies are looking for new hires. Of course this number also underlines the fast growing environment, but also shows that it is harder to find new qualified hires then for example, the San Francisco Bay area, which is also well known for its tech and start-up culture.

Another event that highlights New York’s position as a hub for tech companies but also the growing need for talent was a panel discussion hosted by Appnexus, an advertising technology platform. The panel discussion,  led by Rachel Hoat Stern (Chief Digital Officer of the City of New York), and the CEO of Appnexus and three other NY tech start-up representatives, focused on the strengths and opportunities for New York as a start-up hub. The event started with a short presentation by Rachel Hoat Stern about the “We Are Made In New York” initiative. This is an economic development initiative which helps the tech community. The following panel discussion focused on the challenges for tech companies and start-ups specific to New York. Two New York issues brought up were the expensive rents that companies are faced with, as well as the need for talent. However, Appnexus with its 500+ employees and a headquarters in mid-town Manhattan is living proof that its not impossible to build a successful tech company in New York.

Both events that I attended showed the potential of New York City with its 900+ local tech start-ups to strengthen the city’s role as a tech start-up hub but also once again showed the challenges that HR and recruiters have to face.

This Saturday will be the recruiting Unconference New York #truNY organized by @BillBoorman ,  where selected attendees were invited to lead conversation/tracks of their topic of choice. I will be there and for sure get more first hand insights from the HR/recruiting scene in New York — and of course blog here about the results.

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