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Start-ups, let’s hear it for New York

Stephen Foley

98093415 194x300 Start ups, lets hear it for New YorkOne Apple iPad – $499. Marketing buzz from smashing an iPad live on stage – priceless.

Credit to Scott Heiferman, founder of meetup.com. He sure knows how to get a gasp from a room of 850 tech nerds, start-up entrepreneurs, web developers, designers and investors. He’s not going to…? Surely not…? Thwack.

It was great stunt, to make a good point. “Sometimes you just have to get off the internet.”

He was publicising a nice creation of his, a little button for news websites which connects readers who want to arrange getting together in real life. If it takes off, it could be a neat way of organising protests, volunteering and political action.

Huffington Post is using it this week to get people to meet to plot attacks on BP petrol stations discuss how to aid the oil spill clean-up.

Mr Heiferman is also the driving force behind the event at which he was presenting, the New York Tech Meetup, a monthly showcase for new ideas and Big Apple start-ups. It is an event that has grown and grown, reflecting the increasing vibrancy of the New York technology scene.

There’ll be no tipping the balance of power away from California’s Silicon Valley any time soon, but – as The Economist is among the latest to note – venture capital and angel funding here has been going up, while over on the West Coast it is falling.

It is time to dust off that dot.com bubble-era moniker “Silicon Alley”, and to put it on that list of fabulous Gotham addresses, with Fashion Avenue, Broadway and (still) Wall Street.

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