New York Is a Genuine Tech Hub (and That Was Before Amazon)

In the past, New York start-ups typically sold out to larger tech companies. That, too, is changing. Mr. Wilson, the venture capitalist, pointed to MongoDB, a database supplier, and Etsy, an e-commerce seller, as examples of start-ups that held out and went public in recent years.

MongoDB trades at about $70 a share, compared with its initial price of $24 a share, when it went public in October 2017. Etsy, which went public at $16 a share in 2015, currently trades at about $47 a share.

“New York entrepreneurs, investors and boards are just starting to get the courage to stay independent and grow here,” Mr. Wilson said.

The rise of New York’s tech sector, businesspeople and technologists agree, owes a debt to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He pushed initiatives to make the New York economy less dependent on finance and championed tech programs and education — a long-term campaign to upgrade the technical skills of the city’s work force, whose progress enhanced New York’s appeal to Amazon.

After the financial crisis hit in 2008, Mr. Bloomberg stepped up those efforts. In 2010, his administration announced an applied sciences competition.

The city solicited proposals from universities and research organizations for a new center of higher education that would focus on technology, innovation and business. The winner, announced in December 2011, was a joint plan by Cornell University and Technion-the Israel Institute of Technology.

The new institution, Cornell Tech, got underway in Manhattan in 2012, and last year moved into three buildings in its first phase of development on Roosevelt Island. There are now 300 graduate students on campus. Over the next two decades, the plan calls for two million square feet of buildings, a student population of 2,000 and hundreds of faculty. Daniel Huttenlocher, the dean of Cornell Tech, sits on Amazon’s board.

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