Besides the Bay Area's Silicon Valley, New York City's Silicon Alley is widely considered the largest hub for entrepreneurs to launch their startup dreams. But should it be?
Flush with cash from venture capitalists and resources galore, New York has managed to attract countless entrepreneurs. Just type in the word "startup" on Meetup.com and more than 500 groups pop up that are within five miles. It boasts 46 co-working spaces, 30 incubators and 14 accelerator programs, according to Crain's New York.
What's more, last year, large corporations spent a whopping $8.3 billion on either merging or acquiring 100 startups based in New York, according to financial research firm PrivCo. And Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg just launched the We Are Made In NY campaign, which provides an interactive job map for startups' hiring needs, resources and programs for growth. The list of incentives for why young entrepreneurs should make the Big Apple home could go on.
So, naturally, you would think that with so many entrepreneurial opportunities, a founder's hiring needs would be a piece of cake. You may be wrong.
New York City is running the risk of losing its competitive edge based on a mismatch between the current talent pool and the jobs needing to be filled, especially in the tech and finance startup ecosystem, according to a new report "New York City as a Destination of Choice for Talent" by consulting firm AON and business group Partnership for New York City.
The main issues driving talent away from the five boroughs pertain to immigration policy, cost of living, the current startup boom outpacing available talent and the traditional structured workplace environment not aligning with the needs of the younger, millennial demographic.
To continue attracting top talent and keep the Big Apple on the map for young entrepreneurs, here are several recommendations for what NYC can do from AON:
- Give workers a break. Make living in the city less expensive by continuing to develop programs targeted towards low-cost housing and looking into providing "employer-assisted housing."
- Make talent retention a priority. Appoint a Chief Talent Officer who would provide recommendations for policies and programs to attract and keep talent.
- Go on the road. Amp up recruitment efforts by focusing on getting graduates, entrepreneurs and other skilled and well-matched professionals to come New York.
- Cultivate home-grown talent. Develop an agency to focus solely on ensuring New York-based students have the proper skills for in-demand jobs by overseeing partnerships with businesses and educational institutions.
- Encourage legislation. Collaborate with Congress to allow more foreign workers and students to assist startups and entrepreneurs by increasing the number of visas issued.
- Modernize 'Old New York.' Give older New York buildings a makeover by providing a more modern design targeted towards young entrepreneurs.
- Market NYC. Promote New York City to young entrepreneurs during various events, including college recruitment.
Related: A Glimpse Inside NYC's Startup Scene
As a young entrepreneur in New York or elsewhere, what kinds of hiring challenges have you run into? Tell us about how you're endeavoring to resolve them in the comments.