Could Harlem Become the ‘Silicon Valley’ of New York?

By Robert Stitt

When you think of technology centers you probably think about Silicon Valley in California. If you are from the east, specifically, New York, you may think about DUMBO. The area of Brooklyn known as Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) has the highest concentration of tech firms of any New York neighborhoods. In fact, 25 percent of New York City-based tech firms are located in DUMBO with over 500 tech and creative firms in just a 10-block radius. Now, another New York neighborhood wants to get in on the tech game. In October, the 2015 Silicon Harlem Tech Conference hopes to inspire current technology firms and those interested in tech entrepreneurship, innovation, and developing new opportunities.

According to Black Enterprise, “Silicon Harlem aspires to transfer Harlem into an innovation and technology hub that will thrive and inspire the global digital economy.” The hope is that another ‘renaissance movement’ can take place in Harlem, this time in the tech sector. The local politicians and entrepreneurs behind Silicon Harlem believe that they can create the relationships, knowledge and resources for industries to be successful in the area.

By bringing technology and engineering interests into the community, economic development is accelerated and education can also be positively impacted in the short-term. In the long-term, the shift toward technology has the potential to impact the area’s high unemployment rates and poverty. The hope is that the tech industry can do for Harlem what it has done for San Jose and Mountain View in California.

To encourage and woo potential companies and investors, entrepreneurs, professionals, and others who want to be a part of the Silicon Harlem movement they will be given a co-working space, networking opportunities and monthly meet-ups for encouragement and assistance in transferring ideas into reality.

The Silicon Harlem Tech Conference is the main event of the endeavor. During the conference, attendees will find information sessions “on financing a start-up, next generation Internet, monetizing digital, disruptive technology, elevating your business brand, technological art and creativity, and more.”

Those interested in attending the conference can go to http://www.siliconharlem.net.

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