Alliance for Downtown New York Announces LaunchLM, Community-Led Campaign to Grow Technology and Innovation Sector in Lower Manhattan
With an upsurge of technology companies located below Chambers Street, the Alliance for Downtown New York today announced LaunchLM, a new enterprise designed to advance the rising technology community in Lower Manhattan. LaunchLM will help bring together the current and future innovators in the district to collaborate, share resources and ideas, and network with the thriving businesses already in Lower Manhattan. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg introduced LaunchLM at a speech today on New York City’s post-9/11 renewal.
“This new initiative will advance the tech community in Lower Manhattan by creating venues for those in the industry to congregate, collaborate, and share resources and ideas,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This is just the latest in our efforts to create the kind of community where the young people who dominate the tech industry want to live and work. We’ve also supported the Downtown Alliance’s tech incubator, the Hive at 55 Broad Street, which has been a huge success, and we’ve created competitive grants to encourage tech companies to move or expand downtown – and many have.”
As part of the unveiling of LaunchLM, the Downtown Alliance also announced that its co-working space, the Hive at 55 at 55 Broad Street, will now double as the public headquarters of LaunchLM. The Hive will host lectures, hack-a-thons, educational workshops, and networking events geared towards fostering Lower Manhattan’s technology and innovation community.
“The business landscape in Lower Manhattan is at a tipping point,” said Scott Anderson, Partner at Control Group and LaunchLM Leadership Council member. “It’s no longer all about finance or government – innovation has become part of the fabric of the district. As a tech entrepreneur in the district, it’s exciting to know that I’m surrounded by a strong and vibrant group of like-minded people from a variety of industries. With LaunchLM we can work together to advance Lower Manhattan as a hub for innovation and technology.”
LaunchLM is advised by a council of thought leaders from the New York City technology community who play a critical role in guiding the vision and initiatives of the platform. Members of the LaunchLM Leadership Council include:
- Scott Anderson, Partner, Control Group
- Dawn Barber, Co-founder, New York Tech Meetup
- Dan Chiu, Founder, HD MADE
- MaryLiz Ghanem, Global Director, Corporate Communications, Sapient
- Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner, FuturePerfect Ventures
- Adam Neumann, Founder, WeWork
- Carley Roney, Cofounder and Chief Content Officer, XO Group Inc.
- David Tisch, Managing Partner, BoxGroup
- Bill Rudin, Vice Chairman and CEO, Rudin Management Company
“Lower Manhattan has a rich history as a center for innovation, and with this new initiative we can cement New York as the place to be in today’s digital age,” said Rudin. “The launch of this initiative will further invigorate the existing technology community in the district and encourage companies to relocate here in the future. This is a landmark moment not just for Lower Manhattan, but for all of New York City.”
As the New York tech scene flourishes and competition for commercial office space intensifies, Lower Manhattan has become a top destination for tech and creative companies. With its unbeatable accessibility, concentrated talent pool, premiere broadband infrastructure, adaptable floor plans with affordable and modern office spaces, a diversity of industries and sweeping views of the New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan has become a location of choice for homegrown and transplant tech firms.
“The New York tech scene is booming, but there is always more to accomplish,” said Daria Siegel, Director of LaunchLM. “LaunchLM is designed to ensure that the greater New York tech scene benefits from the amazing resources available here. With the momentum we’ve built developing LaunchLM, we are truly excited to partner with tech companies to move forward with our vision of a connected, forward-thinking, and tech-driven Lower Manhattan.”
Currently, more than 600 tech companies have set up shop below Chambers Street. In the last year alone, a number of prominent technology businesses have moved to Lower Manhattan, including Paperless Post, The Flatiron School, and Droga5. These companies have joined other companies already in the area including the Control Group, LiveIntent, Nielsen, Red Hat, Sapient, WeWork, SinglePlatform, Stack Exchange and more.
LaunchLM is the culmination of over a year of planning by the Downtown Alliance in partnership with a team of technology, venture capital, urban planning and real estate professionals to develop the first tech-focused community initiative in Lower Manhattan.
Current efforts underway by LaunchLM include:
A new website (www.Launch-LM.com) that will serve as the digital hub for the initiative and the Lower Manhattan tech community. The website features details on events, workspaces, parks, restaurants, nightlife, and how to get involved with LaunchLM and other tech companies in the district.
Ongoing programming that will bring together existing Lower Manhattan technology companies through lectures, networking events and happy hours.
LaunchLM will also work with the NYCEDC’s program Take the H.E.L.M., a competition designed to attract critical high-growth industries to Lower Manhattan. Take the H.E.L.M. will award up to $250,000 towards office build-outs and rent to four winning companies who locate in the district.
Lower Manhattan has been historically tied to the technology and innovation industry beginning with AT&T building its first headquarters in the area in 1916. In its founding year, 1995, the Downtown Alliance established the Information Technology District (ITD), later renamed Technology/Business Exchange (t/bex). Additionally, the Downtown Alliance served as a marketing partner with Lower Manhattan property owners and the NYCEDC to launch Plug’n’Go in 1997 to provide over 100,000 square feet of affordable, pre-built, Internet-ready office space for growing information technology which at its peak attracted 200 tech firms to the district.
Today, Lower Manhattan stands at the center of a bi-state, multi-modal public transportation network. It can be reached by 12 subway lines, 30 bus routes, PATH lines, six ferry landings, bike paths, and on foot. The Brain Gain, a recent report by the Downtown Alliance, shows a vast concentration of young, creative workers within a 30-minute commute to Lower Manhattan, making the area an ideal location for technology and innovation companies establishing roots in New York City.
LaunchLM is an initiative designed to encourage and celebrate collaboration, the diversity of industries, and the pursuit of progress in Lower Manhattan. Developed by the Alliance for Downtown New York in collaboration with a group of technology, venture capital, urban planning and real estate professionals who share a desire to help grow innovation and build community in the district, LaunchLM intends to connect and support the district’s growing tech community. LaunchLM is currently headquartered at the Hive at 55, a shared workspace for the Lower Manhattan community. For more information, visit www.Launch-LM.com or follow LaunchLM on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.