Mayor Bloomberg said the city is sponsoring a $22 million fund that will invest in tech companies.
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a message for computer geeks everywhere: Forget Silicon Valley and launch your company here.
Bloomberg made his pitch yesterday at a gathering of technology entrepreneurs, announcing the creation of a city-sponsored $22 million venture fund that will invest in promising tech companies headquartered in New York.
The city’s Economic Development Council will invest $3 million in the fund while FirstMark Capital, a New York-based venture capital fund, will provide up to $19 million more.
The backdrop for the announcement was TechCrunch Disrupt, a media and technology conference that draws tech entrepreneurs.
Bloomberg made his fortune with Bloomberg LP, a financial data and news company. He reminded the crowd that he was a tech pioneer long before the Internet existed and offered some of his other high-tech credentials.
“Before this morning’s conference I updated my Facebook page, sent a Tweet, browsed my Digg feed, and checked in at Foursquare,’’ he said. “I even posted a personal ad on Craigslist: Cleveland basketball star to play basketball in the Big Apple.’’
It was a joking reference to the city’s efforts to woo LeBron James of the
Asked why a tech start-up should choose New York over the West Coast, Bloomberg said that venture capital funding of companies in New York was up 19 percent last year, even as it fell elsewhere. He said the creativity and talent in New York were unmatched.