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Digital.NYC Launches to Spur Innovation and Economic Growth

New York City's economic development corporation partnered with the private sector to create a platform for anyone interested in the local tech scene.

New York City has officially launched Digital.NYC, a portal that may supercharge a start-up community that’s already energized.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. partnered with the private sector to create the platform for anyone interested in the local tech scene. The software firm Gust created the portal using IBM’s Bluemix app development and cloud technology. Digital.NYC offers data and resources for the city’s tech workers and enthusiasts, including tech news, job listings, training and funding opportunities, business-focused educational content, event information, a link to New York’s software development portal, and a database and map of start-ups and companies. The Web portal is a mechanism to connect potential business partners and foster a thriving tech community that spurs economic growth.

Earlier this year, the New York Daily News reported data indicating that the city’s technology future looks bright. From 2009 to 2013, New York City added 25,000 jobs -- a 33 percent growth rate compared to the city's 8 percent economic growth rate overall -- and city tech firms pay an average annual salary of $118,600, nearly 50 percent more than the average salary for other types of jobs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration designed Digital.NYC as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs and investors with big ideas. Ideally companies and taxpayers will benefit from the resultant job creation and innovation.

“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,” said Kyle Kimball, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in a statement. “We are showcasing the diverse elements of the fastest growing digital and tech center in the world.”

According to Forbes, New York’s impressive roster of tech businesses comprises companies like Tumblr and Etsy, and Digital.NYC had 5,701 start-up listings in its database as of Oct. 6. 

Digital.NYC launched amid fanfare and promise, but the city will have to wait and see how fruitful its benefits will be. Writer Ronald Barba reported from a Brooklyn press event during the Oct. 1 launch, and claimed that some attendees doubted the public-private initiative’s ability to help the city. He dismissed the criticism, however, citing that Digital.NYC could lower barriers to entry to the tech industry. The portal demystifies the city’s sprawling tech ecosystem.

“The availability of a resource like Digital.NYC — while seemingly minute when placed alongside all other tech-related initiatives that can be pursued through public-private partnerships — can contribute to lowering the barriers to entry in the tech industry and increasing accessibility,” Barba wrote.

Hilton Collins is a former staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines.