At GA, we always try to bring data to the conversation. The data around unemployment, particularly for low income youth, recent college grads and veterans, isn’t the kind of data we like to see. In the United States alone, there are nearly 6.7 million young people ages 16 to 24 who are neither employed nor pursuing education; additionally, 5.3% of all veterans are currently unemployed.
As General Assembly continues to grow, one of the initiatives that I’m most excited about is Opportunity Fund, which offers scholarships to underrepresented groups in the tech industry to participate in GA’s Web Development Immersive. GA is a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love, and I am passionate about finding new ways to open our doors to diverse individuals around the world.
This week, Ernst & Young named me an EY Entrepreneur of the Year in New York. This is a great honor by an amazing company with a storied history of supporting entrepreneurs, and I’m incredibly grateful.
As I got up on stage to accept the award, I started to reflect on the growth of General Assembly over the years, and how many people it took to get the company where it is today. No one person alone can make a company succeed. There are so many stakeholders, so many supporters, so many people who make GA work, that the idea of a singular Entrepreneur of the Year seems unfathomable.
To list some of the crucial, irreplaceable heroes who are part of the GA story so far:
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.