“When people think about New York they think about food, fashion and entertainment. We want them to think of technology,” said Donn Morrill, founding chairman of the New York Technology Council. Cheers filled the bottom floor of the Houndstooth Pub in Manhattan’s Garment District, where supporters had gathered to celebrate the launch of the council.
The goal of this newly formed group is to make technology a cornerstone of the New York City marketplace. “The three pillars on which we will base our success are business, academia and local government,” said Morrill.
The New York Technology Council was founded by Morrill, Paul Ellis and Ted Brown. Brown is executive director of the CUNY Institute of Software Design and Development and has spear-headed a program to place CUNY students into local technology internships by providing 1/3 of their pay, up to $1,000. The organization is also working closely with New York City Council Member Gale Brewer, the chair of the Committee on Technology in Government who said, “we are always looking for ways to make this city more tech friendly to business.”
On the business side, the New York Technology Council has secured Google, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Verizon as sponsors, and are working with IBM to finalize an official partnership. A spokesperson from Google was on hand to remind the crowd that the technology giant employs some 800 programmers in the Big Apple, reiterating that New York is already a major player in the worldwide technology scene.
The long term ambition for the newly formed council is to pave the way for “people to come to New York with their technology ideas,” according to Morrill. In the short term, the goal is better coordination between the businesses, government and academic institutions already present in the city of New York.