In the near term, headhunters said the expansion by tech giants could squeeze tech start-ups a bit. The city, which has become a mecca for entrepreneurs, thanks to a diverse talent base and abundant funding, now boasts more than 7,000 tech start-ups, with fast growth in B2B, consumer web, health tech and fintech, according to Tech:NYC.
“These behemoths sell themselves. They have more staff and more recruiters. It might take some jobs away from start-ups because they’ll be more competitive in securing talent,” said Rob Samet, a recruiter at Madison Search Partners, which focuses on mid- to senior-level executives in sales, business development and account management.
Longer term, though, the expansion of tech giants in New York will be good for the city’s tech scene, as it would stimulate the growing tech ecosystem in the city.
Tatiana Becker, the founder of New York headhunting firm Niah Recruiting, recalls that when she moved from Seattle to New York in 2010, everyone asked, “Why take a tech job in New York?”
“Nobody wanted to move to New York, because it’s not a tech hub.” That’s changed, she said, noting that start-ups in the city tend to be rooted around dominant industries such as fashion, finance or real estate.
“I don’t feel like Amazon and Google will be a threat to start-ups. Seattle and the Bay Area have huge tech company headquarters and also many start-ups. I can confidently say that I think it will be a plus for New York City tech,” said Becker.
If anything, Amazon and Google’s expansion in New York could bolster more investing in start-ups, said Samet, noting that Google has a $3.5 billion venture capital fund, Google Ventures, while Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has a personal venture capital portfolio, Bezos Expeditions. Both companies invest in tech start-ups as well as other industries. Google Ventures has invested in Outdoor Voices, Uber, Jet, Nest and others, while Bezos Expeditions has invested in Makerbot, Nextdoor.com and Uber.