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New York challenges Silicon Valley

Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg (Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 20, 2011

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NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg is firing a shot across Silicon Valley’s bow, saying his city aims to surpass the California region as the world capital for technology start-ups.

“We understand that we will not catch up to Silicon Valley overnight,’’ Bloomberg said in a speech. “Building a state-of-the-art campus will take years - and attracting a critical mass of technology entrepreneurs may take even longer.’’

The city plans to offer nearly free real estate and up to $100 million in infrastructure upgrades to an institution or consortium that commits to creating a world-class campus on Governors Island, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or on Roosevelt Island.

Stanford and Cornell universities and the University of Chicago have expressed interest, as have overseas schools. Some institutions have formed partnerships as they consider the deal. One such group is made up of New York University, Carnegie Mellon, the City University of New York, the University of Toronto, and IBM.

New York City is the number two recipient of venture capital funding for technology start-ups, having surpassed Boston last year, Bloomberg said.

He said Silicon Valley’s dominance is due in part to schools like Stanford. And companies started by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates generate annual revenues of about $2 trillion, he said.