Bloomberg disses Silicon Valley in bid to lure techies to New York

Plan appears to be working; for the first time in four years, Big Apple's Silicon Alley edges out Silicon Valley in IT job creation

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg smattered his commencement address to Stanford's graduating class this past weekend with a little trash talk about Silicon Valley, part of his and other influential New Yorkers' ongoing effort to foster the Big Apple's evolution into a major tech mecca.

"I believe that more and more Stanford graduates will find themselves moving to Silicon Alley, not only because we're the hottest new tech scene in the country, but also because there's more to do on a Friday night than go to the Pizza Hut in Sunnyvale," Bloomberg said. "And you may even be able to find a date with a girl whose name is not Siri."

However, Bloomberg and other Silicon Alley supporters aren't simply relying on childish taunts to win over technology professionals and entrepreneurs. Investors have been dedicating resources into fostering a tech-friendly business environment on the East Coast, and those investments appear to be yielding results. For the first time in at least four years, hiring demand for tech positions is higher in Silicon Alley than in Silicon Valley, according to newly released data from Wanted Analytics.

Bloomberg disses Silicon Valley in bid to lure techies to New York

The analytics firm based this assessment on its analysis of the types of jobs being recruited in the two regions and overall hiring conditions. "Between these two areas, there were 116,000 tech jobs being advertised online in April. Both NY and the combined San Francisco/San Jose metro areas accounted for similar volume. However, for the first time in the past four years, hiring demand in New York surpassed what was seen in the Silicon Valley. There were about 58,600 ads in New York in April, and 58,000 in the Valley," wrote Abby Lombardi, director of marketing at Wanted (which happens to be based in New York).

There are striking similarities between the types of tech pros sought by employers in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. Both groups' top-10 lists include the following titles: project manager, Java developer, senior Java developer, software engineer, Web developer, business analyst, and network engineer. "However, job titles that are specifically software-engineering related appear on higher on the list for the Silicon Valley than they do in N.Y.," according to Lombardi.

The increase in New York-based job opening shouldn't come as much of a surprise; the region has seen investor interest in tech on the rise. For example, investor RR Donnelley has launched an accelerator program called Work-Bench, through which funded startups get to use a 32,000-square-foot office space near Union Square while enjoying access to an array of advisers, company mentors, and RR Donnelley clients.

Work-Bench participants thus far include Dwolla, a mobile-payments company; LayerVault, which makes software for designers; Pymetrics, which develops recruiting software that uses neuroscience and big data; Moneao, a tax software startup; iLumen, a business data analysis company; and Adcade.

Yahoo's $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr, too, points to a healthy, vibrant startup environment in New York -- a region that now draws 11.4 percent of venture capital deals in the United States, second only to Silicon Valley. John Borthwick, co-founder of New York-based Betaworks, told GigaOm that the sale of this type of social media company "helps solidify and legitimize the entire New York startup ecosystem" and that "the knock-on effects of this sale are going to help the new tech-centric New York gain momentum."

This article, "Bloomberg disses Silicon Valley in bid to lure techies to New York," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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