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Staten Island Tech Meetup Hopes to Create Startup Scene in the Borough

By Nicholas Rizzi | September 5, 2013 3:43pm
 Startup Staten Island has started monthly meetups aimed to create a tech and startup community and market in the borough.
Startup Staten Island has started monthly meetups aimed to create a tech and startup community and market in the borough.
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Startup Staten Island

STAPLETON —  A local web designer hopes to bring tech startups to Staten Island.

Lyle Foxman, 40, started Startup Staten Island, which will host monthly meetups to try and create a tech and startup community in the borough.

“Tech and startups are really big in the city, and it’s becoming a lot bigger in Brooklyn and all the boroughs,” Foxman said. “We’re trying to mimic as much of that as we can and try and grow our own culture like that out here.”

The problem for the borough, Foxman said, is that many younger residents interested in tech will move elsewhere to start their companies because there’s no infrastructure, like co-working spaces, to support them.

Also, coders and designers who do live on Staten Island travel outside for work because there are few to no companies here, Foxman said.

“Right now there's no options for them,” he said. “To start building the community is the first step.”

Foxman’s first meet up was on Wednesday night, and he plans to hold monthly meetings at the NYC Arts Cypher in Stapleton.

The meetings will simulcast the popular New York Tech Meetup’s monthly meetings, as well host their own discussions and presentations beforehand. For the first meet up, Foxman had speakers from the Phat Startup, which focuses on music and gaming, come.

Aside from the meetups, Foxman plans to hold networking events and demos in the borough.

Foxman said it's the perfect time for companies to head to Staten Island, with several large real estate projects planned for the North Shore.

And with office space cheaper than Manhattan, Foxman said he will try and convince startups to open in Staten Island instead.

“We also want to bring tech companies from other boroughs that might have minimal funding,” Foxman said. “We have affordable space in the North Shore.”

And for Foxman, who’s working on getting funding for his project to live cast events such as weddings to social media, the project for him is about helping his hometown.

“I could go out to the city like everybody else,” he said, “but I grew up here and I believe in trying to grow my community.”