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Online campaign promotes city's growing tech industry

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches the

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches the city's We Are Made in NY technology campaign at BuzzFeed offices in Manhattan. (Feb. 19, 2013) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

New York City? Try New Tech City.

As the Big Apple continues to grow as a hot spot for tech startups, the mayor laid out new plans Tuesday to ensure the next generation of digital entrepreneurs has New York in its sights.

The initiative, called We Are Made in NY, comprises a media campaign and an ambitious website linking businesses, job seekers and city services that give startups a boost.

"There is no better place to build an industry than New York City," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said while announcing the plans at BuzzFeed's Flatiron District headquarters.

More than 900 startups in the five boroughs, the majority of which are Internet-based companies, are looking to fill 3,000 jobs, and Bloomberg said it was important to encourage tech startups to take a chance on Gotham.

The campaign will expand the Made in NY advertising campaign -- which highlights the city's film industry -- to include the tech sector.

The website, meanwhile, can give entrepreneurs several key resources:

An up-to-date map that gives the location of tech companies that are hiring, as well as investors.

Links to applications for grants and subsidized office space.

Meet-up events.

Promotional videos for companies

Katherine Oliver, the city's entertainment commissioner, said the best part of the campaign is the video testimonials from successful startups. They show how they can enhance other businesses.

"Every sector is trying to wrap their head around a digital and tech strategy in their business plans," she said.

With nearly 500 digital start-ups popping up in the city over the past five years, there are a lot of success stories to be told, the mayor said.

Though many of those startups are smaller mom-and-pop operations that are just getting their gigabytes in order, a lot of recent tech successes, such as LinkedIn, Seamless and BuzzFeed chose to set up shop in New York and continue to expand, the mayor said.

More than 80 companies raised more than $10 million in investments since 2007, the mayor said.

Last year, eight of Forbes magazine's fastest-growing tech companies were based in New York. Internet software company Red Hat, for example, saw more than $1.13 billion in sales, according to Forbes.

The city was second in the nation last year when it came to tech company acquisitions, which totaled about $8.3 billion.

Bloomberg noted that venture capital investments in New York went up over the past five years even though they saw a slump nationwide.

The investments paid off, according to BuzzFeed's chief executive Jon Steinberg. He said the online viral news site grew from 15 to 215 employees in three years.

"The growth and success of our company happened because of New York City," Steinberg said.

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