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Silicon Alley 2.0: Bruce Bernstein fostering high-tech growth in the Big Apple

I met with the man at the helm of NYSIA, Bruce Bernstein, at the organization’s new incubator for technology startups in lower Manhattan to tour the 21,000 square feet state-of the art facility and to discuss Bernstein’s ambitious plan to spur development of a first-of-its-kind “New York High Tech Council.

DISCLAIMER: I am a long-time member of the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA), and a happy one. I met with the man at the helm of NYSIA, Bruce Bernstein, at the organization’s new incubator for technology startups in lower Manhattan to tour the 21,000 square feet state-of the art facility and to discuss Bernstein’s ambitious plan to spur development of a first-of-its-kind “New York High Tech Council.”

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Bernstein, NYSIA President, has been spearheading the growth of the NYSIA IT/software trade association since 1997, when he obtained NYSIA’s first government grant; $100,000 from New York State. Today, Bernstein oversees a yearly $1-$2 million budget ear-marked for a range of technology focused economic and work-force development programs. Additionally, he is pitching the New York City Council for a $2.5 million grant to jump-start a new development organization which would target not only IT/software growth, but also telecommunications, digital media, bio-tech, scientific research…

NYSIA’s government funding is reinforced by top-tier corporate sponsors such as IBM, JP MorganChase and PriceWaterHouseCoopers.

As the trade organization of the software industry in the New York City metropolitan area, NYSIA”s mission is to “strengthen and support the development of the software industry in our region, and to assist local software companies, large and small, in their growth.”

NYSIA accomplishes its mission through a variety of real-world programs:

  • More than a dozen technical and business SIGs: Open Source, Security & Privacy Rights, CTO Council, CEO Roundtable…
  • Workforce Development Funding: Technology training and internships.
  • Monthly Networking: Thought leadership series.

The most recent NYSIA initiative is the launch of a full service technology start-up incubator facility in downtown Manhattan. The NYSIA Incubator provides high-end office space at below-market rents to about 13 NYC technology start-ups. Current tenants include:

  • Extricom: a WLAN technology developer and manufacturer of high-performance wireless network solutions for the enterprise market.
  • Medikin, Inc.: a Transcription Application Service Provider to manage document workflow in the Medical Transcription and Healthcare industry.
  • YellowJacket Software: developer of YJS Weather communication system for the weather derivatives market.

The NYSIA Incubator facility offers a sophisticated office and technology infrastructure:

  • 512Kb symmetric high-speed internet per tenant
  • Private VLAN with 255 IP addresses per tenant
  • Extra bandwidth available in 16Kb increments
  • Managed firewall on all connections, DNS management
  • VoIP phones with email notification of voicemail, webportal, call forwarding, auto-attendant...
  • Conference room equipped with projector, DVD player, VHS player, internet access, and conference call service
  • Hospitality lounge, pantry with beverage service

While the NYSIA Incubator does not feature access to capital, early-stage investment funding of area technology start-ups is envisioned for the planned “New York High Tech Council.” To help tech companies get in the money, Bernstein is going after the money himself:

There is a lot of high-tech development money out there. We think the high-tech council will result in more money coming into the city.