People think that technological advancement is only limited to increasing variety in Cox internet plans and better WhatsApp features. But, in reality, there is a whole world continuously expanding without being in the knowledge of a common man. And most of this expansion is happening in the world’s second-largest startup ecosystem, New York. The city is now internationally famous for hosting over 9000 startups and around 150,000 to 300,000 tech employees. However, New York was not always such a technological hub. So, how did it happen? 

How New York City Became a Technology Hub 

Many people have been a part of this city’s growth, but only a few know what really happened and how small things led to a vast transformation, turning New York into the city they know today. 

Surrounded By Crisis

Since the beginning, the primary source of income for New York has been its waterfront. The wealth mostly came from stock, trade, and warehouses since they were the physical connectors between the city and the global market. 

In the 1990s, the city first took baby steps into the tech world. However, it was quickly struck by a series of unfortunate events. For example, the Dot-com stock crashed in 2001. Then, there was the 9/11 event. Then, to top it off, in 2008, there was a significant financial crisis. 

Rescued By Investors 

Soon after the crisis, many companies went bankrupt, and people stopped doing business in the city. However, software and mobile technology companies found New York to be the perfect place for their startups. As they grew, they attracted investors and capitalists. For example, real estate developers and investors were very interested in the empty offices and buildings abandoned by people during the crisis. So, once again, New York City started to buzz with technological development.

According to most people, the most significant project was the One World Trade Center. Companies and industries were dedicated to rebuilding the trade center after 9/11, boosting the city’s economy. Many media and tech firms, like Spotify, moved into the New World trade center, and financial companies also hired hundreds and thousands of engineers. As a result, Wall Street is now a media and tech hub. 

Some Important Names in The Story

Google also opened its first New York office in the early 2000s and is now a prominent presence along the waterfront. They went from one marketing employee to 7000 workers in 5 different buildings. Today, the company owns 3 million square feet in the city, including YouTube production studios in the Chelsea market and offices in the Old Port authority headquarters. 

Amazon is also one of the most significant companies in New York, with over 5000 employees in the city. In fact, Amazon decided to build an enormous campus around Queens but later abandoned the plan because of local protests and activities. Even though it is a huge setback, it still does not reverse all the technological advancements through the years. 

Hudson Yards 

The high line construction started in 2006. In 2014, it opened its northern end, which created a pathway from Google to Hudson Yards. Most people know this place for luxurious housing, shopping, and restaurants. However, only a few know that even Hudson Yards is a prominent part of the innovation complex. Some of the city’s most prominent financial firms, investors, and tech companies have offices here. To name a few, they include JP Morgan, Black Rock, Time Warner, and HBO. Moreover, Facebook has leased over 1 million square feet in Hudson Yards. Even Amazon is just around the corner! 

Cornell Tech

Around the East River waterfront, there is another very significant company that makes a prominent part of the ecosystem. Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University have partnered to create Cornell Tech. In 2010, the city government initiated this project soon after the financial crisis. Cornell Tech is a graduate school that trains some of the world’s best, most elite software engineers, business students, and tech developers. The goal is to release creators, innovators, and tech geniuses into the city to create startups and further flourish New York’s economy. 

Conclusion 

Today, most of the city’s revenue comes from the tech industry, specifically digital media, business software, and online shopping. Creative offices and tech startups are the new connectors between New York and the global market. Ironically, a major financial crisis was what sparked and initiated the best thing that had ever happened to the city. A downfall led to a major transformation that nobody saw coming. What was once a city struck by disasters is now a dream for entrepreneurs, employees, and creative minds. 

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