NYC Tech Startups Shake Up South By Southwest Interactive

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The Bloomberg administration's "Made in New York" marketing campaign to promote the city's tech scene went on the road last week and joined the South by Southwest Interactive technology festival.

Silicon Alley companies came out as well to bolster their own brands and to look for the developers and coders that are the engines behind successful technology startups.

This week on New Tech City, host Manoush Zomorodi reports on New York's presence at the annual digital technology festival and gauges what kind of impact the city and its companies had on the throngs of techies as they converged in Austin. 

New York has more than 990 tech companies 75 percent or more based in the city, according to the city's Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot.

"We truly are a tech town," Haot said at SXSW. "There is an enormous amount of tech talent, and it's really important that people know this — they are hiring for 3,000 different jobs."

One potential problem with this smorgasbord of open positions is that it can be difficult to find the people with the right skills, especially when it comes to software engineers, a message not lost on the startups attending SXSW. 

"We need to be encouraging kids in school to learn how to code," Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer told Manoush Zomorodi at SXSW. "We have to continue to crush borders and allow talent to go in between countries a little bit easier so that we can continue to innovate."

So, what does the landscape look like to someone in, say, Detroit, who's interested in a position at a New York startup?

"Detroit is a long way from this happening," said SXSW participant Matt Shaar, an engineer with a business degree from Detroit who's considering a move east. "What you have in New York is a critical mass to make it happen at a rapid pace."

Nevertheless, Shaar said he's on the fence because of New York City's reputation as too expensive and too aggressive.

Also in this week's episode, New Tech City checks in with Startup Bus NYC after their 72-hour voyage from NYC to Austin.

The 29 "buspreneurs" on board built startups from scratch, including Career Mob, a job site for veterans and military personnel that beat out dozens of other startups in a competition held at the end of the trip.


Correction:  In an earlier version Matt Schaar's last name was spelled Scharr.