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Bloomberg Launches 'Made in NY' Campaign for Tech Startups

By Jill Colvin | February 19, 2013 3:58pm

FLATIRON — The city ramped up its efforts Tuesday to give Silicon Valley a run for its money with a new "Made in NY" campaign to promote city tech start-ups.

Digital and tech companies that complete at least 75 percent of their development in the city will be able to advertise themselves with a "Made in NY" logo, just like movies and television shows.

"There is simply no better place than New York City to build a digital business," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the Flatiron headquarters of the website BuzzFeed, which is most famous for its viral lists of quirky animal photos.

To help boost the industry and connect New Yorkers to tech jobs, the city will be launching an ad campaign featuring burgeoning city tech companies in buses, subways and taxis.

The city has also launched a new website, "We Are Made in NY," which features a map of the city's 900 tech startups, with information about which are hiring, as well as information about shared workspace, training grants and coding classes, as well as a section where companies can post videos profiling their businesses.

"We're spreading the word and hopefully drawing even more tech companies to the five boroughs," Bloomberg said.

Jon Steinberg, the President of BuzzFeed in NYC, credited the city for the rapid growth of the company, which has expanded from 15 to 215 employees over the past three years, he said.

“The growth and success of our company happened in and is because of New York," said Steinberg, who declared New York "the center of the media world."

The number of employees at digital media companies grew by 80 percent between 2007 and 2011, with tech company acquisitions in the city now topping $8 billion a year.

In honor of the occasion, Bloomberg's staff compiled its own version of BuzzFeed's list of '33 Animals Who Are Extremely Disappointed In You' that it titled '5 Animals Who are Not Disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg."

The list includes photos of classic Bloomberg animal encounters, including a shot of him holding Staten Island Chuck, the temperamental groundhog who took a chunk out of his finger back in 2009, and a shot of his getting a peck from Obsorne the Sea Lion titled, "Getting a kiss from him was even better than Lady Gaga."

Bloomberg, who is never far from his trusty iPad, said Tuesday that he doesn't spend much time on sites like Buzzfeed ("I don't have a lot of time," he said.)

But the tech founder, who has repeatedly heralded startups including Twitter and Facebook, reiterated the fact that he isn't such a fan of social media's impact on government.

"I think it’s gotten to be much worse," said Bloomberg, when asked whether he still agreed with comments he made last year in Singapore that social media can make governing more difficult.

"Today we have an instant poll on whether anything is good before you can get a chance to explain it or answer all the question in terms of how it's going to work," he said.

"Information is great... but you have to have some space and time and be able to talk to people about things and solicit their advice before its in the newspapers... and unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, we've shortened that time.

Now maybe the cart is coming before the horse in a lot of these cases," he said.