The most famous US tech giants locked arms to create a New York City-based lobbying group that, as AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and venture capitalist Fred Wilson believe, will become the key to better representation of the city’s tech community before local and state governments.
The two businessmen, who are serving as co-chairs of Tech:NYC, say the group’s objectives are two-fold.
First of all, the group is aimed at supporting the growth of the tech sector in New York City and increaing civic engagement by leaders of the NYC tech community and to advocate for policies that will attract tech talent, jobs and opportunity to the city.
Apart from this, Tech:NYC will advocate for policies that underscore a regulatory environment that supports the growth of tech companies and tech talent in the city, promote inclusivity and ensure access for all New Yorkers to connectivity, technology tools and training.
“We need to ensure that the voice of the NYC technology community is part of each of these vital conversations,” Wilson and Armstrong write in a blog post announcing the creation of the organization.
“Tech:NYC will be part of a long New York tradition of engaging with our political leaders to get to the right result. We understand the need for regulation and legislation, but we must ensure that it is balanced and effective.”
“In announcing the group, Armstrong and Wilson point to a number of recent tech-related public policy issues in the city including a data breach bill, local drone regulation and how to handle ride-sharing and home-sharing services like Uber and Airbnb, respectively,” Tech Sport writes.
“The group is off to a solid start with an impressive list of founding members including AOL, Bloomberg, Facebook, Google and Union Square Ventures. Other members include Airbnb, eBay, Etsy, Kickstarter, Snapchat and Uber, just to name a few,” the publication adds.
The new group will be a nonprofit, member-supported organization with all NYC tech companies allowed to join. Tech:NYC will also be open to organizations that are not classic tech companies but are sympathetic to the issues that tech companies face and that would like to support and join the cause of tech companies locally.
“Tech:NYC will be led by Julie Samuels who is ideally suited to provide the day-to-day leadership this effort requires. Julie has spent most of her career working on technology policy issues,” the group’s founders announced.
“She recently ran Engine, a leading national advocacy organization supporting entrepreneurship and technology policy, primarily at the federal level, and she remains president of that organization’s board. Prior to that, she was a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where many of us first got to know Julie and her zeal as an advocate.”