Five lessons for aspiring tech cities
Memo to mayors, state premiers and even ministers for broadband, communications and the digital economy: technology is the economy.
That is the view of urban economic development experts from New York City who have overseen the Big Apple's reinvention as a New Tech City to challenge Silicon Valley according to a report in theage.com.autheage.com.au.
Punch drunk from the 2008 financial crisis that came close to gutting the city, the local government leveraged tech and digital sectors to rebuild and grow the local economy. As a result, in 2011 the city received USD$2.2 billion in venture capital funding, up 30 per cent from 2009.
The technology sector's ability to create businesses, jobs and win investments cannot be underestimated. As a result of one government initiative, car manufacturer BMW set up a new $US100 million venture fund in the city. In the second quarter of 2011 alone, 98 companies received VC investment.
“The city recognised this and knew it needed to do something,” explained Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University, New York. Money isn't the only answer, however. “You need a strategy,” Bachenheimer said.
For Australian local governments looking to join the ranks of new tech cities, here are New York's lessons: >>More here