Tech: NYC to lobby for New York Tech Companies

By : |May 3, 2016 0

Tech:NYC is a new advocacy group for tech companies in New York City. The non-profit member organization which is co-chaired by investor Fred Wilson and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says that its main objective is to represent New York City’s technology sector and to work with the city, state and federal officials on issues that affect tech companies before laws are passed.

Though New York has added thousands of good-paying tech jobs and the city’s start-ups pulled in $1.94 billion in venture funding in the first three months of this year, a super hit like Google or Facebook has proved elusive for the city. The new lobby body aims to fill in this gap by providing conducive regulatory environment and wider technology access for New Yorkers.

The organization which already has some big players lined up, says it will advocate for policies that “1) underscore a regulatory environment that supports the growth of technology companies and technology talent in NYC; 2) promote inclusivity; and 3) ensure access for all New Yorkers to connectivity, technology tools, and training.”

                                 

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To do all this, the group will be funded through membership fees, calculated based on the company’s employee count, or a flat fee for VC firms and individual angel investors.

The group cites a few recent debates in the city that it could have weighed in on, such as disagreements over how to regulate companies like Uber or Airbnb. Indeed, those two are on a long list of companies on the nonprofit group’s roster of members, which also includes Google, Snapchat, and many others.

“We need to ensure that the voice of the NYC technology community is part of each of these vital conversations,” Wilson and Armstrong write in a blog post announcing the creation of the organization. “Tech:NYC will be part of a long New York tradition of engaging with our political leaders to get to the right result. We understand the need for regulation and legislation, but we must ensure that it is balanced and effective.”

Julie Samuels would be the executive director to handle day-to-day operations. She was running Engine until now, a national advocacy organization for similar issues.Tech:NYC is reminiscent of sf.citi, a San Francisco-based organization founded in 2011 that makes similar claims around representing the local tech industry in regulatory talks as well as encouraging tech companies to engage with the local community. Many of the same companies, like Uber, Facebook, and Google, are also supporters of sf.citi. Ron Conway, who co-founded venture capital firm SV Angel, is the chairman of its board.

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