That is if you think having your pictures on the cover of trend-spotting New York Magazine means you’ve made it here in NYC, then yes Silicon Alley is a force.
Actually, the writer of the article, Doree Shafrir, got it right!
She covered the usual Silicon Alley landmarks–foursquare, New York University’s IPT program, Union Square Ventures, Clay Shirky–but she made some good points about what has started all the green shoots tech activity in NYC. Cheap, modular cloud-based building blocks and platforms (Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google), talent from the Wall Street meltdown, and an enormous base of mobile subscribers addicted to smartphones have all come together at the right time and place to nourish startup growth in Manhattan (and Brooklyn).
I was at an alumni event at New York University on Tuesday night in which the tech start-up scene in NYC got some of the focus. It was pretty clear that computer science along with marketing and business graduates are blessed with a pretty vibrant job market in their hometown. They really don’t have to head to San Francisco or Boston when the lure of equity sharing here is enough to keep them put.
By the way, at this event I learned of a start-up that wasn’t on my radar. They’re called 10gen, and they provide commercial support for the open-source Mongo database project. Mongo is a high-performance, “no SQL”-style database that is deployed by foursquare, and lots of other social-networking companies. I’ll have more on 10gen in the coming weeks.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that New York University’s Courant Institute will be hosting a Startup Weekend June 11-13. More details can be found here.