New York Senator Wants Big Apple to Challenge Silicon Valley

Charles Schumer kicks off Internet Week saying that New York City should overtake it as the country's tech center by 2035.

NEW YORK - New York City should focus on surpassing Silicon Valley as the country's tech center by 2035. That is the goal that Senator Charles Schumer of New York set here Monday in a keynote address on the opening day of the fourth annual Internet Week New York. The event celebrates the city's Internet community.

"New York's ability to adapt to changing times and emerging industries has been the vital ingredient to our continued success decade after decade," Schumer said. "Today, we stand at another turning point, and that's why New York needs to become not just a high tech center, but THE American high tech center for decades to come."

Schumer on Monday also called on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has focused on expanded the Big Apple's Internet infrastructure, and Governor Andrew Cuomo in creating a working group with leaders from the high tech, media, financial services and other sectors to establish a public-private partnership.

Schumer highlighted that New York recently managed to overtake Boston in terms of venture capital investment in high tech companies to become number two behind Silicon Valley, signaling that this was a sign of ascendancy.

But talented graduates still often choose Boston or the West Coast when it comes to career options, meaning New York most make sure graduates and even professionals in the field know about job opportunities in the Big Apple, Schumer argued.
"We got to raise our profile so that the perception catches up with the reality," he said.

Also, immigrants who graduate should have easier access to greencards given that a high percentage of Silicon Valley startups are based on ideas from immigrants, according Schumer.

Beyond the Internet and related tech sectors, he also suggested investment in and focus on a development of the biotech and clean energy sectors.

Twitter: @georgszalai