At a time when jobs are needed, New York City is turning to startups and tech companies for help.
In March 2012, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle launched to figure out a pressing question: how to attract more tech companies to downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and Navy Yard. Brooklyn has many vacant offices, and companies throughout the “triangle” were having trouble finding qualified candidates.
This economic development project began with a study, to prove just how much impact startups have. They found that over 500 “innovation firms” in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle had an economic impact of $3.1 billion. That includes companies like MakerBot and Etsy, who call Brooklyn their home. And it will soon include Kickstarter, which decided to move to Brooklyn.
Research completed, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle is now developing a plan to make the area more attractive to tech companies in terms of transportation, real estate, and urban planning. Robert Richardson, senior director of Control Group, explains that they would love to see an “anchor tenant” like Google, Microsoft, Foursquare, or Facebook set up shop in Brooklyn.
“It’s a city in transition. It’s a transition away from the strong physical footprint of the financial industry, and looking for ways to create an economic engine from the most vibrant industries, the principal of which is technology,” says Richardson. His company is part of a team creating a plan to improve transportation, electricity, land use, and Internet in the area.
The Brooklyn Tech Triangle was launched in March 2012 by a triad of not-for-profits: Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and DUMBO Improvement District. Funding comes from foundations, grants from council members, and the city’s Department of Small Business Services. Once the plans are in place, then it’s time for implementation. But the timeline is still uncertain.
In the meantime, the community seems supportive. John Coghlan, cofounder at DUMBO Startup Lab, says that “creating stronger infrastructure to link the neighborhoods that will form the Brooklyn Tech Triangle should benefit the businesses in Brooklyn.”
Mosheh Poltorak, VP of marketing and business development at Kurrenci, had a positive experience working with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership while organizing an event.
“The Brooklyn Tech Triangle is a great initiative to make these neighborhoods and the surrounding areas more attractive to startups and tech companies, which will have a positive effect throughout these communities and the local economy,” he says.
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