New York City (NYC) has transformed itself from military port to manufacturing hub to financial epicenter and now takes center stage in the creative and applied tech sectors. Driving over USD70 billion in startup valuation and exits every year, holding more risk capital than any other city in the world, and with an inherent culture of openness, diversity, and excellence, NYC has had a meteoric rise to its current position in the top two innovation ecosystems globally.
This chapter explores the government initiatives, digital infrastructure, and research institutions that helped harness NYC’s assets and allowed it to develop as the world’s second largest startup and venture ecosystem. Given that capital is required for innovation to take off, NYC’s proximity to capital is a strength few ecosystems can match. Waves of IPOs from 2019 to present will only boost innovation as talent from companies become new founders and investors bolstering the NYC ecosystem. New York City will continue to strengthen its position as a leader in the innovation space.