New York: Show Me The Money

4/5/11

Last year was a watershed year for the NYC tech scene. In the spring of 2010, the hottest startup in the country was located here in NYC and was being breathlessly courted by some of the biggest venture capitalists in VC from Silicon Valley and Boston. In June, Andreessen Horowitz became the winner of the Foursquare sweepstakes, and the startup was suddenly $20 million dollars richer. For Foursquare, there were plenty of VCs who were more than eager to show them the money.

Tech companies and startups located outside New York are also investing big money to establish and grow their presence here. Google, for example, became a big landlord in Gotham City with last year’s purchase of an office building for $1.9 billion and now employs more than 2,000 people in NYC. Facebook is expanding its office here and also acquired two Brooklyn-based companies last year: Drop.io and Hot Potato.

More recently, over 25 leading academic institutions, including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, IIT Bombay, New York University, and Purdue, responded to the city’s request for proposals to build a world-class engineering school in NYC. Stanford’s proposal, for instance, envisions a first phase of development that would cost $250 million, would be financed by Stanford, the city of New York, and philanthropists, and would eventually enroll 2,200 graduate students and hire 100 faculty members at a Roosevelt Island campus.

Compared to a decade ago, the depth and breadth of startups in NYC has changed dramatically. New York is not just home to online … Next Page »

Warren Lee is a venture partner with Canaan Partners in New York, focusing on investments in digital media companies. Follow @

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