NEW YORK--New York Mayor Michael P. Bloomberg wasn't kidding when he said he wanted Gotham to be a true global technology hub, and not just because municipal broadcast station NYC TV won its very first Webby Award this year.
At a press conference Monday evening, Bloomberg--himself a veteran of tech entrepreneurship--announced the debut of NYC Seed, a venture firm for early stage technology companies in the city. The event at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence, kicked off Internet Week New York, a citywide festival of conferences, parties, and other events promoting the city's digital industries.
Calling the city "an exciting place, a challenging place, and perhaps most importantly, the city most welcoming to immigrants," Bloomberg hailed the diversity of New York and its possibilities as a hub for technology in addition to fashion, entertainment, finance, and media. "We accept each other in ways that I don't think happens anyplace else."
Referring to his experience at the helm of the finance information giant that still bears his name, he said, "My company never would have been remotely as successful if we had tried to put it in any other city."
NYC Seed, which will provide up to $200,000 of investment into New York-based technology start-ups, is a public-private partnership between the New York City Economic Development Corp. the New York City Investment Fund, the Partnership for New York City's economic development arm, Polytechnic University, the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation, and the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corp. It will be headquartered at the Brooklyn-based Polytechnic University's start-up incubator.
There is currently $2 million in the NYC Seed coffer.
Internet Week has been organized by the mayor's Office for Film, Theater, and Broadcasting, helmed by Katherine Oliver, whose experience in pulling more TV and film companies into the city led Bloomberg to select her for Internet Week and beyond. "I challenged her to do the same thing in technology," Bloomberg said.