NY Tech

Mayor Bloomberg Hosted a Press Conference for Startups at Buzzfeed Today, Because Why Not

Maybe he was promised an intro to Grumpy Cat?
The whole crew's here!

The whole crew’s here!

Guess Mayor Bloomberg isn’t going to close out his third term partying in swinging London, after all. Today in the hipper-than-thou surroundings of the BuzzFeed offices (BTW? sad lack of actual cats), he announced a new all-out, city-backed push officially expanding the “Made in NY” branding (created for the entertainment industry) to the tech business.

“We’re spreading the word, hopefully drawing even more tech companies to the five boroughs by taking a couple of steps today,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

Companies with at least 75 percent of their production in the city now includes tech firms can apply to be “Made in NY” certified, meaning they can display that spiffy little logo (or as it was described in the announcement, the “mark of distinction”) on their site. Everybody’s getting stickers, in other words!

There was quite the crowd crammed into a central atrium in the BuzzFeed offices, including New York Tech Meetup’s Jessica Lawrence, omnipresent Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, Songza’s Elias Roman, LearnVest’s Alexa von Tobel, and BuzzFeed’s Jon Steinberg. Before we could get into the details, we were treated to a somewhat makeshift slideshow of “5 Animals Who Are Not Disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg.”

The city is launching a website aggregating various resources for entrepreneurs (from permitting how-tos to free public Wifi hotspots), as well as information for people thinking of taking up residence in Startupland, including the Mapped in NY roundup of companies hiring (900 looking to fill 3,000 jobs, at last count) and where to take coding classes.

“Since I’m going to be unemployed in 315 days I’m starting to pay more attention to this now,” Mayor Bloomberg noted.

But of course, why simply roll out a website when you can create an enormous marketing campaign? And so, you can expect to see this video everywhere you turn online, with print equivalents splashed onto buses passing you by on the street. Finally, something you can point out that’ll impress your Nana, even if she still has no idea what your adtech company does! Companies can also create their own Made in NY videos, like so.

“Our true hope is that perhaps a young child is riding on the subway, sees that image on the subway and says, ‘Maybe I’ll consider taking an extra math course or an exta science course and entering that field,’ and perhaps another engineer joins the company and helps to take it to the next level here in New York City,” Ms. Haot explained the campaign.

She also put a cheerful gloss on the lengthy list of readily available startup jobs: “It’s good to know if that gig doesn’t work out or if that startup doesn’t work out, there are literally thousands of other opportunities that are available to you here in New York City.” Consider us reassured.

It seems BuzzFeed also provided more than a venue and the opportunity to show a picture of the mayor with a zebra. “We worked closely with the mayor’s office to create the social content ad campaign for We are Made in NY,” said President and COO Jon Steinberg. The site even made up one of its listicles, “11 Reasons To Start A Company In New York City,” complete with GIF of the mayor high-fiving Mr. Met.

Everyone will also doubtless be fascinated to know that Mayor Bloomberg has made the switch to an iPad Mini, which makes his distracted fiddling during other speakers’ comments slightly less noticeable. Now that’s innovation.

Here’s the ad you’ll soon be seeing everywhere:

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com