What's in a name? For New York City's famed tech sector, perhaps not enough.
The moniker "Silicon Alley" is infuriating to some New Yorkers who'd like to think their hub of innovation spans more than a couple of blocks. "The term was intended to be complimentary, but now it's not viewed as complimentary because it was created in the shadow" of California's Silicon Valley, Alec Hartman, founder of Tech Day NYC, tells The Wall Street Journal.
There is disagreement about the origin of the area's name--former tech strategist Mark Stahlman is sometimes credited with coming up with it, according to WSJ--as well as its geographic borders. Many people in the New York tech scene believe that the Alley, once confined to a small region in and around Manhattan's Flatiron District, now stretches to the far reaches of the borough and to Brooklyn and Queens. But one thing's for sure: By certain measures, the region still doesn't hold a candle to Silicon Valley.
"NYC is a strong market for advertising technology, financial technology, some commerce, and a few other smaller segments, but it's not aligned with where most venture dollars are going these days," Dave Zilberman, a partner at venture capital firm Comcast Ventures who recently made the switch from New York to California, tells Inc.
Sure, the city may be home to 7,000 high-tech companies and 100,000 high-tech jobs, but the proof is in the funding: In 2013, venture capital firms invested $3 billion in 450 deals in New York, versus $12 billion in 1,272 deals in Silicon Valley, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
Perhaps Silicon Alley needs some flashy branding, after all.