New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a surprise guest at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this morning, and he didn’t waste any time in promoting the city as the perfect spot for emerging startups.
According to Bloomberg, “When you want to start a business, you don’t have any choice. This is where the best and the brightest are.”
Bloomberg pointed out that venture funding in NYC rose by 19 percent, when it fell in most other places in the country. He went on to say that the city is also home to two technology incubators (Betaworks and Rose Tech Ventures), and a major New York university will soon be launching a media lab.
There don’t appear to be any plans for tax incentive programs for tech startups. And Bloomberg made it clear that the city is certainly expensive and doesn’t offer much space. But he argued that it’s still worth it for tech startups to give the city a shot.
According to TechCrunch’s transcript, Bloomberg wrapped his talk with the following rousing statement:
In NYC we understand innovation drives economic growth. We’re nurturing information technology. If you have an idea, or a product, or an app, NYC is the city for you. Business is better here. NYC has just become No. 1 tourist destination. It’s happening here. I can’t guarantee you will be successful, but it’s an awful lot easier to attract the best and brightest, and to interface with other people. If you’re a smart person this is the happening city.
Bloomberg also announced the first investment by NYC’s entrepreneur fund, $300k in the local search company My City Way. The city partnered with FirstMark Capital for the fund, which can now invest up to $22 million. My City Way won several awards at the NYC Big Apps competition, which was held to spur on innovative companies in the city. The company’s mobile app fits over 50 local search tools (it’s available for New York as NYC Way), and it plans to make its app available for 20 cities by the end of 2010.
[Image via Columbia University]