Open Letter to NY Tech Community

October 28, 2016

Dear Members of the New York Tech Community,

As the cost of living in New York City continues to soar and government officials place ever more onerous regulations on businesses, New Jersey offers a skilled workforce, a high quality of life, and a government committed to fostering innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship. As a result, on behalf of the New Jersey Tech Council, I would like to formally invite you to start, grow, and build your business in the Garden State.

Many states are embracing the opportunities created by the tech economy. But here in New Jersey, it has long been part of our DNA. In the 19th century, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell revolutionized the energy and telecommunications industries.  In the 20th, a biotech and pharmaceutical boom led New Jersey to be known as the nation’s medicine cabinet.

This history has helped sustain the Garden State economy in the 21st century, particularly as it transitioned from a manufacturing economy to a center of innovation and entrepreneurship in the knowledge economy.

Today, the Tech Council has provided needed capital to businesses through the Council’s first Venture Fund (currently launching second fund, Tech Council Ventures) and the Jumpstart Angel Network. In addition, state/municipal/regional groups, from the Newark Regional Business Partnership to the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority are incubating and supporting new businesses throughout the state.

As the tech sector in New Jersey grows, leaders in New York continue to throw up roadblocks to new businesses — from New York City’s threat to freeze Uber and other ride — sharing companies to the State’s recent passage of a law attacking Airbnb.

In contrast, Jersey City was the first city in the region to pass comprehensive reform to embrace home sharing and New Jersey legislators are actively working on a comprehensive bill that will foster responsible home sharing statewide.

Entrepreneurs and innovators should take note: while New York continues to shield legacy industries from the disruptive forces of technology, New Jersey is open for business, welcoming new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new approaches to solving old problems.

My team and I, and our very talented tech community stand ready to champion and help you grow your company. We hope to see you on this side of the river soon.
James Barrood
President and CEO
New Jersey Tech Council

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