Today, TechCrunch Disrupt attendees were treated to a very special guest: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg addressed the audience of entrepreneurs, urging them to make their way to New York City to start their next venture. As he put it, “When you want to start a business, you don’t have any choice. This is where the best and the brightest are.”
Here’s a full video of Mayor Bloomberg’s talk (which was followed by a brief Q&A). My notes on the talk are below that.
I am the proud owner of a new iPad. It’s amazing. I told Steve Jobs the other day that if he can improve on this it will really be amazing. Before this morning’s conference I updated my Facebook page, sent a tweet, checked in on Foursquare, posted a personal on Craigstlist. (laughs)
Venture funding has increased by 19% in the city even as it went down in the rest of the country.
My company never could have been anywhere as successful if I started it anywhere else. If you want to compete in the big game and hae breadth of cultural possibilities this is the place to come.
20 years ago when Wall Street went into a tailspin, City Hall went into overdrive. When I started the business PCs did not exist, nor did the Internet when I started Bloomberg. We built our own hardware. I used to go up to Connecticut to be with our engineers I worked with and I would solder chips onto circuit boards. As PCs were developed we switched to PCs.
Our idea worked out pretty well, I don’t know who will create the thing big thing will be we do know it needs to be headquartered here.
We’re going to launch a media lab at a major university in our city later this year. We’re continuing to help IT firms find out about opportunities to do business with our city agencies.
Two announcements: first thanks to partnership with Firstmark Capital which is co-investing with our NYC entrepreneur fund will now be able to invest up to $22 million.
Also announcing first investment of $300k going to a mobile app provider MyCityWay.
MyCityWay – a year ago we launched a competition called NYC Big Apps. More than 100 submissions. My City Way put in NYC Way – puts everything New York right at your fingertips.
We liked what they did so much we not only listed them as a Big Apps winner, we also chose to invest in them. They have moved from NJ to NYC.
In NYC we understand innovation drives economic growth. We’re nuturing information technology. If you have an idea, or a product, or an app, NYC is the city for you. Business is better here. NYC has just become #1 tourist destination. It’s happening here. I can’t guarantee you will be succesful, but it’s an awful lot easier to attract the best and brightest, and to interface with other people. If you’re a smart people this is the happening city.
If you’re a world-class startup, why pick NYC?
Most immigrant friendly place in America. Gateway to the US. What is unique about NYC is that we live as a mixture, not a mosaic. Live together in a way that promotes understanding. People don’t have to forget where they came from.
Microsoft, Google, Reuters have few thousand people each in this city.
If you were starting today as an entrepreneur what would you do?
Something that wasn’t be done, or something that was only being done by big companies. Competing with big companies is much easier than small companies. Live expectancy of a company is relatively short. They become big, they develop infrastructure, and everything looks small in the bottom line so they don’t do it. And that’s when the next big thing comes along.
Your company was about disruption. Today’s media companies are being disrupted by the Internet. What’s your advice to the media?
I’m a big fan of quality media. I think that the problem is not, is it distributed via truck or fiber. The question is it something that you need> I would argue an awful lot of the media has gone away what the public wants to receive. Examples: The Economist keeps growing, it’s probably the most expensive general interest magazine that I know of. There are companies that sell what people want. An awful lot of companies got away from that. It’s not the technology. The magazines that are in trouble are in trouble because they are writing the same thing as everyone else does. They aren’t germane to people’s lives anymore.
Tax incentive programs for tech companies?
Basically, no. We have the fund, we have incubators. But NYC we tax people. We make this the safest big city in the country. Our streets are cleaner, safer. We support our cultural institutions. Rather than tax breaks we’re investing our money in making this city a better place for people to live so that when you want to start a business, you don’t have any choice. This is where the best and the brightest are.