A Report by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

 About Start-up City 

Read the full report.

As perhaps the entrepreneurial capital of the world— from finance and fashion to marketing and media— New York City has staked out a significant presence in this new entrepreneurial economy. Tech-rich entrepreneurial businesses offer a gateway to the middle class for thousands of New Yorkers. Unlike other growth areas of the economy, an entry-level coding job at a start-up tech firm can pay as much as $65,000 a year.

However, as Start-up City notes, the benefits of this economic boom have been concentrated among those few New Yorkers with the resources and skills— both technical and entrepreneurial—to take advantage of new opportunities. The City can do more to ensure that jobs in these industries are truly accessible to all, while also supporting the expansion of existing entrepreneurial businesses.

Start-up City focuses on five major challenges, all of them developed in consultation with experts on the ground:

  1. Talent Shortage: Companies are struggling to fill a range of jobs, from low- to mid-level coding, to marketing positions and high-tech engineering slots.
  2. Bureaucratic Inefficiency: Entrepreneurs are saddled with red tape and lengthy delays in getting their businesses off the ground, especially DOB
  3. Consistent Connectivity: For a city that is an established leader in tech revolution, New York has slow, spotty internet access—even in Midtown Manhattan—and many communities lack multiple options to create redundant connections.
  4. Inferior Infrastructure: As entrepreneurs flock to job corridors outside the Manhattan Core, there is a significant need for improvements in the City’s public transportation network to connect emergent job centers. Superstorm Sandy only increased the need for significant investment in this critical infrastructure.
  5. An (Un)Affordable Atmosphere: It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find affordable places to live and work in New York City. New York risks allowing the next generation of entrepreneurs to choose cities like Austin, Boulder and Portland if it cannot find a way to provide affordable housing and office space.

To confront these many challenges, we make roughly a dozen central recommendations, again developed in consultation with key stakeholders.

Some of the recommendations require Congressional action, including comprehensive immigration reform and enhancing the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Microloan program. However, the majority of the programs designed to boost the entrepreneurial economy of New York can be developed right here in the Empire State.

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