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Attracting talent for NY’s Tech Sector

Technology has the potential to power us toward a better future.

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New York has high hopes for it’s tech sector. Up and coming in the New York area, technology has the potential to power us toward a better future, said a panel on Wednesday, but only if investments are made in new talent and innovation.

“What we need are great people,” said founder and CEO of e-commerce giant Gilt Groupe, Kevin Ryan, at Crain’s  Future of New York City conference this week.  

There are numerous challenges to this potential. One is the lack of technology focused universities in New York. A new Cornell campus is expected to focus on technology and science when it opens in 2017 on Roosevelt Island. In the meantime, recruiters need to scour local universities to seek out new talent.

Another is the cost of living. In order to drive the tech sector forward, New York needs to focus on changing the building code to provide smaller less expensive apartments that would accommodate housing needs for young professionals in Manhattan.

“The people who run these universities are waking up to the fact it’s happening at MIT and Stanford or Harvard and it’s not going to happen here unless we make it happen,” said Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm; Mr. Wilson also suggested making Wi-Fi available on every subway in New York city, as it would enable productive commuters to take advantage of downtime.