Dear Mr. Mayor-Elect,
On behalf of General Assembly, and the broader NYC tech community, I’d like to congratulate you on your decisive victory in yesterday’s election.
Over the past several years, we’ve all seen New York City emerge as one of the country’s strongest and most attractive startup ecosystems. This wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of City Hall and the Economic Development Corporation. GA is living proof of this: we were founded with the support of the Economic Development Corporation, and in less than three years, we’ve grown from four co-founders to 100 full-time employees in New York, and about 100 more worldwide.
So, Mr. de Blasio, I am confident that as Mayor, you will also be committed to maintaining our place as a global technology hub, and continue to support and encourage the city’s entrepreneurs, innovators and creators, in the same way that the city supported us.
As you begin to build your team and prioritize the issues where your administration will focus its efforts, I want to offer a few thoughts on why tech matters to NYC, and what you can do to keep us on the right path:
1) Tech means diversification.
Tech is important to New York City for a lot of reasons, but one in particular stands out: the economy. Ten years ago, NYC’s tax revenue was overly dependent on financial services – and we all now know that was a precarious dependency. High growth tech companies are the best hope towards creating a more sustainable and diversified tax base for our city’s future well being.
2) Talent is key.
One of the key assets that NYC has is that people want to live here. Creating, attracting, and keeping the world’s best and brightest is the only long-term strategy for sustainable economic growth. The tech industry knows this better than most. And at GA, producing top tech talent is our core mission.
3) We can achieve more together.
There are so many issues to tackle, the only way we’ll be able to grow NYC’s tech community (and the overall economy) is if we play to our strengths and work together. The last administration achieved amazing things through public/private partnerships and we’ll be looking for more innovating thinking from you, Mr. de Blasio, on that front. There’s no way we can solve our needs for more broadband, real estate, and talent, without us all working together with a shared sense of mission and purpose.
For our part, General Assembly is continuing to aggressively invest in NYC in a number of ways. We will be significantly expanding our footprint over the coming months, in an effort to graduate even more junior web developers into our startup ecosystem. As we set our sights on filling the nearly 5,000 developer job openings in the city, we look forward to partnering with you to broaden the tech talent pipeline, and help the city’s technology industry flourish, by connecting local companies with workers equipped with 21st century skills.
Again, congratulations. We can’t wait to work with you to help make NYC the global capital of innovation.
Jake Schwartz is Co-Founder and CEO of General Assembly.