Sitting at the intersection of finance and a vibrant and constantly expanding treasure trove of young tech startups, not to mention 12 subway lines, 30 bus routes, PATH lines, six ferry landings, and bike and foot paths, the Alliance for Downtown New York announced a new initiative designed to advance the growing technology community in Lower Manhattan. LaunchLM will help bring together the current and future innovators in the district to collaborate, share resources and ideas, and network with the thriving businesses already in the area. Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced LaunchLM during a recent speech on New York City’s post-9/11 renewal efforts.
As the New York tech scene flourishes and competition for commercial office space intensifies, Lower Manhattan has become a top destination for tech and creative companies. With its unparalleled accessibility, concentrated talent pool, premiere broadband infrastructure, adaptable floor plans with affordable and modern office spaces, diversity of industries and sweeping views of the New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan has become a location of choice for homegrown and transplanted tech companies. Currently, more than 600 of them have set up shop below Chambers Street, including the Control Group, LiveIntent, Nielsen, Red Hat, Sapient, WeWork, SinglePlatform, Stack Exchange. In the last year alone, they’ve been joined by Paperless Post, The Flatiron School, and Droga5, just to name a few.
“This is just the latest in our efforts to create the kind of community where the young people who dominate the tech industry want to live and work,” said the Mayor at the announcement. “We’ve also supported the Downtown Alliance’s tech incubator, the Hive at 55 Broad Street, which has been a huge success, and we’ve created competitive grants to encourage tech companies to move or expand downtown – and many have.”
The Hive at 55, the Downtown Alliance’s co-working space at 55 Broad Street, will now double as the public headquarters of LaunchLM, hosting lectures, hackathons, educational workshops, and networking events.
“The business landscape in Lower Manhattan is at a tipping point,” said Scott Anderson, Partner at Control Group and LaunchLM Leadership Council member. “It’s no longer all about finance or government – innovation has become part of the fabric of the district.”
Other members of the LaunchLM Leadership Council include:
· Dawn Barber, Co-founder, New York Tech Meetup
· Dan Chiu, Founder, HD MADE
· MaryLiz Ghanem, Global Director, Corporate Communications, Sapient
· Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner, FuturePerfect Ventures
· Adam Neumann, Founder, WeWork
· Carley Roney, Cofounder and Chief Content Officer, XO Group Inc.
· David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup
· Bill Rudin, Vice Chairman and CEO, Rudin Management Company
Current efforts underway by LaunchLM include a new website that will serve as the digital hub for the initiative and the LoMa tech community, featuring details on events, workspaces, parks, restaurants, nightlife, and how to get involved with LaunchLM and other tech companies in the area, as well as ongoing programming that will bring together existing LoMa tech companies through lectures, networking events and happy hours.
LaunchLM will also work with the NYCEDC’s program Take the H.E.L.M., a competition designed to attract critical high-growth industries to Lower Manhattan. Take the H.E.L.M. will award up to $250,000 towards office build-outs and rent to four winning companies who relocate to the district.