New Tech City: Has NYC Passed Boston in Mobile and Web Innovation?

On Wednesday, New York-based Center for an Urban Future, a policy think tank, released a report surveying the city’s digital startup scene, and its conclusion was rather dramatic: New York has surpassed Boston in tech leadership, the center says. “In 2006, I wouldn’t have put New York anywhere on the map [of leading tech hubs],” says entrepreneurship trend tracker Vivek Wadwha in the report. “Now it is literally number two. If there is any second to Silicon Valley, it’s now New York, not Boston.”

Certainly the researchers contributing to the report have some compelling data to back up the notion that NYC is now the number-two tech hub in the United States. In the five years ending in 2011, 486 companies were founded and received angel or venture capital, according to the report, which pulls together data from several sources, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The number of VC deals grew 32 percent in that five-year period in New York, while venture funding was down in every other major tech hub.

The report includes an index of digital startups, which spotlights some interesting trends in the Big Apple’s tech industry. Digital media was the most active segment of the sector over the last five years, with 121 startups getting funded. E-commerce and social networking followed close behind, with 103 and 79 new companies respectively.

The authors of the report, analysts Jonathan Bowles and David Giles, point out that at least 28 of New York’s new tech companies were started by Harvard Business School graduates—a trend that’s no surprise to us here at Xconomy, where we’ve been tracking HBS-rooted companies, particularly in the fashion industry.

One of those Harvard-born companies also holds the distinction of having raised more VC funding than any other New York startup in the last five years: Gilt Groupe, which has brought in $221 million. Other companies in the top five, according to data compiled by Center for an Urban Future, are … Next Page »

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2 responses to “New Tech City: Has NYC Passed Boston in Mobile and Web Innovation?”

  1. KA says:

    The mention of the Harvard Business Grads starting businesses in NY is one thing… but finding out the reason why is another. How many of those ppl were from the Boston area? Maybe they only went up there to go to school and never had plans on staying….??

    As far as Mr. Greely comparing the NYC area to the entire state of Texas…? Well what does that say about an entire state? Also – what was the performance that quarter in comparison to the market as a whole? That would be the better indicator.

  2. Major_Ray says:

    True KA.  New Yorkers attending Boston schools probably did not have an incentive to  return to NYC before the tech boom.