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Fostering New York's startup scene

TechStars NYC is what's known as an accelerator, or a company that takes in startups and nurtures them into more mature businesses. There's high demand to get into this program, which typically choose 12 companies to participate. The acceptance rate is only half of 1 percent.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The Rock smells innovation

Inspirational signs and posters are hung everywhere, giving it a Dot Com-like vibe to the place.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Steering the TechStars ship

Alex Iskold is the managing director of TechStars NYC. He's bullish on tech in New York, arguing that it has advantages in the city's diverse population and key industries like finance, media and fashion.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Countdown to success

Once the program begins, the clock counts down from 13 weeks -- the length of the program for the startups. At the end, the companies pitch to potential customers and investors.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

NY Tech Meetup's shepherd

Jessica Lawrence, the executive director of NY Tech Meetup, has helped drive membership growth in the group. It now boasts 45,000 members, or three times its size from just four years ago.

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Photo by: Craig Williston / Qool Foto

New York's diverse crowd

NY Tech Meetup has a monthly gathering. July's event was held at a theater at New York University and drew nearly a thousand members.

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Photo by: Craig Williston / Qool Foto

Welcome to Gilt

Gilt Groupe is one of the successful tech companies to emerge out of New York. The company raised $50 million earlier this year and may eventually go public.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Fashion-inspired technology

New York's various industries offer inspiration for local startups. Gilt is tied into the fashion scene in the city. Gilt CEO Michelle Peluso likes the fact that New York isn't all about tech. "There's a healthy distance," she said.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

The heart of Silicon Alley

Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1 billion in 2013, overlooks Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, where Silicon Alley originated back in the mid-'90s. The term is largely unused now, since the tech scene is spread all over the city.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Diversity an advantage

Tumblr's creative director, Peter Vidani, also touts the city's diversity as an advantage. But he notes it's a challenge to recruit people from San Francisco. "Once they're here, it's really easy to show them exactly what makes this place so magical."

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Welcome to LittleBits

LittleBits, which makes do-it-yourself gadgets, is so supportive of New York that it opened up a pop-up store in the city.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

A tightknit tech community

To LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir, New York tech is getting more organized.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

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