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Now for Silicon Alley

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New York’s Silicon Alley is hotting up and becoming a real challenger to the West Coast’s Valley. Our man in the Alley, URI ESTRIN reports.
Everybody knows that Silicon Valley is synonymousnwith the world’s biggest tech companies. Apple, Yahoo, Google, eBay, are justnsome that concentrate together to form the most powerful tech epicentre onnEarth.  But this predominance is beingnchallenged by the East. No, not the Far East as in China or Japan, but thenother East. The East Coast. New York City.

New York City’s silicon alley, as it’s known,nis now the fastest growing tech centre in the United States. Some of thensuccesses are not nearly as well know as the Valley’s, but its getting there. Google’s second biggest officenis in New York – and this is no coincidence. Not to mention a strong presencenfrom heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter.

Silicon Alley has produced some well known names. Doubleclick, IAC (former parent ofnExpedia) ask.com, match.com, meetup.com , tumblr, fab.com and Buddy Media.

Isn’t New York a little late to the game?  And can a city full of stuffy, suited lawyersnand bankers transform itself into a relaxed tech hub?

The answers are No and Yes, respectively. New Yorknwas a little late getting started, but New Yorkers are serious people whonwanted to make sure that, post dot-crash, there is something real taking hold,nnot just hype. And Yes, bankers are exactly what start-ups need, along withnmoney – and plenty of it.

Let’s not forget that one of the greatest techncompanies ever created is from New York. It’s founder is now the city’s leader,nthe mayor. Bloomberg revolutionized the financial industry by putting a screennon every desk. Today, Mayor Bloomberg is one of the major driving forces innSillicon Alley’s ascent. He has championed the Big Apple Apps competition,npublicly funded incubators and recently succeeded in securing $100-million ofninfrastructure support and land to catalyze the new joint venture betweennCornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s newnengineering campus on Roosevelt Island.

But New York also has several other advantagesnover Silicon Valley that are strongly aiding the City’s tech rise. New York hasnalways had big money. In terms of tech venture capital funding in 2011, NewnYork was second only to California, beating out long time rival Boston, home tonMIT.  Couple this with New York’s richnand diverse economy built on media, advertising, banking and fashion – and somenof the world’s smartest people – and you have a recipe for huge success.nnnnNew York was recently ranked as the world’s number one Global City in separatensurveys published by Bloomberg, The Economist and Euromoney magazine. New Yorknoutpaces London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. It’s no wonder European andnIsraeli start-ups not only feel more comfortable in this cosmopolitan center,nbut choose the city over any other to springboard their US and global ventures.
With the City’s potency, global attention and an abundance of chutzpah, thennext big big thing is probably being born and raised here right now. Watch thisnspace.

* FollownGadget on Twitter on @gadgetza

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