Union Square Park
The Union Square Partnership completed a massive Wi-Fi upgrade and expansion. The new system features more antennas and an astounding 1,100% increase in bandwidth to support the popular tablet and smart phone devices that have mushroomed since USP’s free Wi-Fi system was first implemented several years ago. Thousands of users have taken advantage of the new system, which can be found under network name USP Park Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi now extends to the pedestrian plaza along Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets. The upgrade was made possible through the generous support of Beth Israel Medical Center and our rooftop partners Vornado Realty Trust, Paragon Sporting Goods and Related Companies.
Bad weather? Take it inside…
Photo: Jane Kojima, Flatiron Partnership
The tech explosion has rocked the New York City economy, bringing in new jobs and expertise. Union Square and the Flatiron District are at the very heart of the industry’s growth in the City. To support these businesses, the Union Square Partnership and the Flatiron Partnership sponsored one of General Assembly’s weekly happy hours, for members of the coding power house. Tech companies have had a major impact on the neighborhood, driving the commercial vacancy rate down to 2.9% – the lowest of any New York City market according to Ash Zandieh, Director of TechStarter at ABS Partners.
Today you can stop by a “street lab” tent in the north plaza of Union Square Park and see a variety of student-created technological innovations from the Israel Sci-Tech schools. Inside you’ll be able to meet the students and view works such as an Android app to identify foods with allergens, a digital system to prevent illegal parking, and a creative way to reduce water consumption during showers. Continue reading
According to E-tailing Group Inc, 98% of retail customers are online. I mean, you are reading this blog, right? It is now more important than ever to have a professional web presence. On Thursday, January 24th, USP and our friends at Wix Lounge will hold a free small business networking forum: Small Business 2.0. At the event, Wix will provide an overview of the essentials for small businesses going online, including website design and social media outreach and marketing. There will be complementary wine and hors’doeuvres. Deets below.
USP’s Small Business 2.0
Thursday, January 24th – 6:00 PM
10 West 18th Street, 2nd Floor
See the giant red dot with 126 tech companies? Yeah, that’s us. So the economy has been kind of meh lately. That’s why the city created this awesome map to help all you techies find the jobs of your dreams. You can be playing pinball in your sprawling Union Square Office while dreaming up your next coding adventure at some of the biggest and best companies and start-ups this side of the Rocky Mountains. Come on, what are you waiting for? Check it out!
For those of you who have not been paying attention, the media has exploded with coverage of the tech boom right here in Union Square. We, of course, have been chatting about this since our blog launched 2 months ago. First, the Center for the Urban Future published a major report about New York City’s tech sector, placing Union Square the epicenter of the new software-based economy. The report analyzes the explosion of digital startups founded in New York over the past five years—with data on nearly 500 New York startups.
Of course all this report also comes at the heels of a MoneyTree report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association that concluded of the seven leading technology regions in the United States, New York City was the only one to see an increase in the number of VC deals between 2007 and 2011.
Did we mention that in February Crain’s New York also released a list of the top 10 most active venture capital firms in the city and Union Square neighborhood is home to 5 of them?
Today Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk joined Mayor Bloomberg to announce and welcome the new Academy for Software Engineering to the neighborhood. The new school will make its home in the Washington Irving Educational Campus on Irving Place, just one block from Union Square Park. Fred Wilson, from the venture capitalist firm Union Square Ventures, is bringing his expertise and connections to the new institution, serving as chairman of the school’s advisory committee (and guest speaker at our annual meeting!). The school received approximately 800 applications for just 103 spots! We also learned from Mr.Wilson that 50% of software engineering positions in the United States remain unfilled today. As the hub of NYC’s tech sector, we’re lucky to have the first high school with a software engineering focus. This new school is an important step to help the city fill the growing demand for software engineers in the district.
‘Silicon Alley High’ to start up at Washington Irving [The Villager]
We are thrilled to hear that Knewton Inc, the educational tech start-up, is moving to expanded space within the district at 100-104 Fifth Avenue. The building is becoming quite a little hive of tech activity that is now home to Apple’s iAd and Yelp, with the tech venture capital firm FirstMark Capital announcing a move to the building this summer. Union Square continues to draw in tech firms as the new digital district of the city.
Growing new-tech pioneer takes more space at Kaufman building [Real Estate Weekly]
Star techies making Midtown South shine [Real Estate Weekly]
Back in January, Mayor Bloomberg announced a new Academy for Software Engineering to open on Irving Place, just one block from Union Square Park. The neighborhood’s tech draw – now including companies like Yelp, Jibe, Apple iAd, Net-A-Porter, Mr.Youth, and GroupMe - makes it a natural location for such an innovative school. Students will pursue course work in information technology, programming, and software engineering.This new high school is supported by venture capitalist Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and will be run by Principal Seung Yu. If you missed last night’s open house at Google check out the AFSE at NYU on March 10th and March 13th.
You must RSVP to attend! Check AFSE’s website for details.