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.
Last week, Technorati reported on the booming New York tech scene. In recent years, New York City has attracted hundreds of new tech companies as the city continues to transform its economy to one not just focused on finance, but also on the booming technology and information industries. In fact, The Real Deal reported that information and media sectors took over the financial sector in New York City for the first time, accounting for 27.8 percent of office leasing compared to 26.3 percent in the financial sector. Much of this growth has been centered in Union Square – a neighborhood that has seen the lion’s share of new tech firms migrating to the neighborhood. Just in the last few months, the venture capital firm FirstMark Capital decided to move to the neighborhood following companies like Yelp, Jibe, Apple iAd, Net-A-Porter, Mr.Youth, and GroupMe. In 2011, nearly a dozen technology firms have made Union Square their home, leasing in aggregate over 135,000 square feet of office space.
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.
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.
The response for our Spring Small Business Event with Yelp has been kind of amazing. For those not subscribed to our newsletter (AHEM!), the Union Square Partnership is working with Yelp to bring you a forum about using Yelp to drive consumers to your business. Due to the limited capacity at the venue, we have opened a wait list sign up for those interested in attending. Bummer if you hadn’t heard in time to sign up. Chin up! You can join the wait list and still have a chance to participate!
Tech companies continue to flock to the Union Square district as FirstMark Capital recently signed a 10-year lease for 10,600 square feet of office space at 100-104 Fifth Avenue. The venture capital firm joins other notable companies within the building including Apple’s iAd and Yelp’s east coast headquarters. Union Square continues to be the preeminent New York City neighborhood for tech firms. In fact, five of the top ten most active venture capital firms recently profiled in Crain’s New York are located in the neighborhood including FirstRound Capital, Canaan Partners, IA Ventures, and Union Square Ventures – whose co-founder, Fred Wilson, is leading the charge to establish the City’s first Academy for Software Engineering within the Washington Irving Campus, just one block from Union Square Park. The number of tech firms who had decided to make Union Square home is a testament to the area’s accessibility, multitude of diverse restaurants and retail options, and unique office stock in the center of the City.
VC Firm Abandons Midtown for Digital District [Crain's New York]
FirstMark Capital Leases Space at 100 Fifth Avenue [Globe Street]
FirstMarks the Spot: Venture Capital Firm Plants Seed at 100-104 Fifth Avenue [NY Observer]