Silicon Alley

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Silicon Alley is a nickname for an area with a large concentration of Internet and new media companies in Manhattan, New York City. Originally, the term referred to the cluster of such companies extending from the Flatiron District down to SoHo and TriBeCa, but as location of these companies spread out, the term more often referred to any dot com company in New York City

The term was in most common use in the late 1990s, when companies such as Razorfish, and became local success stories with successful IPOs. The first publication to cover Silicon Alley was @NY, a pioneering online newsletter founded in the summer of 1995 by Tom Watson and Jason Chervokas. The first magazine to focus on the venture capital opportunities in Silicon Alley, AlleyCat News co founded by Anna Copeland Wheatley and Janet Stites, was launched in the fall of 1996. Courtney Pulitzer branched off from her @The Scene column with @NY and created Courtney Pulitzer's Cyber Scene and her popular networking events Cocktails with Courtney. Silicon Alley Reporter started publishing in October of 1996. It was founded by Jason Calacanis and was in business from 1996-2001. @NY, print magazines, and the attending media coverage by the larger New York press helped to popularize both the name, and the idea of New York City as a dot-com center. In 1997, over 200 members and leaders of Silicon Alley joined NYC entrepreneur, Andrew Rasiej to help wire Washington Irving High School to the Internet. This tremendous response and the Department of Education's growing need for technology integration marked the birth of MOUSE,an organization that today serves tens of thousands of underserved youth in schools in five states and over 20 countries. After the bubble burst, Silicon Alley Reporter was rebranded as Venture Reporter in September 2001 and eventually sold to Dow Jones. Self-financed AlleyCat News ceased publication in October 2001.

The name is derived from Silicon Valley, California.


[edit] List of Dot-com Era Silicon Alley Companies

Company Founding Date Founder(s) Notes
@NY 1995 Tom Watson and Jason Chervokas Bought by in 1999. 1999 Chris Maroney and Jon WhelanBought by in 2000 for $50 million. Backed by F&F. 1995 Chan Suh and Kyle Shannon Backed by EdVenture Ventures, Intel Capital and Seneca Investments. Bought by the Omnicom Group in 2003.
iTraffic 1995 Scott Heiferman Backed by Hudson Ventures.Sold to in 1999 for $15 million 1997 Richard Johnson Went public in 1999. At peak had a $1.2B market cap. Sold to Yahoo! for $436M in 2002.
DoubleClick 1996 Kevin O'Connor and Dwight Merriman Backed by ABS Capital Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, Canaan Venture Partners, Capital One Ventures, Emergence Capital Partners, Greylock Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Trans Cosmos USA, Venrock Associates and Weiss, Peck & Greer. Bought for $1.23 billion in April 2005 by Hellman & Friedman, JMI Equity Fund and Opus Capital.
Kozmo 1998 Joseph Park and Yong Kang Backed by, Amerindo Investment Advisors, Private Equity Group, Barksdale Group, The Carlyle Group, Chase H&Q, Investment Arm, Flatiron Partners, Greenfield Private Equity, Ingram Entertainment, J. & W. Seligman, J.P. Morgan Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, NeoCarta Ventures, NeoCarta Ventures, New York City Investment Fund, Oak Investment Partners, Sands Brothers Venture Capital, Semper Ventures, Softbank Investment Corporation, Thomas Weisel Partners Group and Triad Media Ventures. Never turning a profit, this startup was the largest investor backed failure in Silicon Alley history. 1998 Jeff Stewart Internet-based document printing and delivery. Venture investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham, HarbourVest Partners and Hewlett-Packard.
MOUSE 1997 Andrew Rasiej and Sarah Holloway Today, MOUSE pioneers innovative school programs in support of its mission: to be a catalyst for the effective integration of technology in teaching and learning in urban public schools, empowering students and schools to succeed in today's knowledge-based economy.
Nerve 1996 Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field
Oven Digital 1996 Miles McManus and Henry Bar-Levav, Inc./Webstakes 1996 Steven Krein and Daniel Feldman Backed by Travelers/Citigroup Investments, Allen & Company, BigFlower Holdings, Invesco Private Capital, Weiss Peck & Greer, Stone Capital, Excite@Home and NBC. IPO on Nasdaq in 1999 led by Bear Stearns, Thomas Weisel Partners, ING Barings and Wit Capital. reached a market cap of more than $500 million and in 2002 was sold to women's media company, iVillage (now owned by GE).
Pseudo 1996? Josh Harris
Razorfish 1995 Jeff Dachis, Craig Kanarick Eventually became SBI.Razorfish and then Avenue A/Razorfish, a subsidiary of aQuantive.
SiteSpecific 1995 Seth Goldstein
SquareEarth 1995 Jeff Stewart Pioneering Internet consulting firm who’s clients included Citibank, AIG, Merrell Lynch, Pepsi, Compaq, Pfizer, CIBC-Oppenheimer – Merger with the Proxicom 1998, IPO 1999.
Starmedia 1996 Fernando Espuelas and Jack Chen
T3 Media 1995 Chris Bryant and Michael Diamant
Silicon Alley Reporter 1996 Jason Calacanis
Flatiron Partners 1996 Jerry Colonna and Fred Wilson The venture capital firm has bet on startups such as Acurian, Alacra,, comScore Networks, eShare, FundQuest Incorporated, FusionOne, Geocities, IAN, iBiquity Digital, ITXC,, New York Times Digital, PlanetOut, Return Path, SportsYa!, Standard Media International, Starmedia, and
JumpCut 1996 Marc Scarpa Pioneering web 1.0 broadband video venture specializing in live internet broadcasting. Produced historical Townhall with President Clinton, Woodstock '99, Tibetan Freedom festivals and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani innaguration. Backed by Atlas Venture, Redwood Partners and Carthage Capital Group, this startup sold to Media Most and Getty Images in 2002.
Sonicnet Founded by Tim Nye, this start up was led to acquisition by Viacom under the leadership of alley veteran Nicholas Butterworth
Virtual Melanin 1995McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves Acclaimed Brooklyn-based developed urban content with clients like Spike Lee and Sean "P-Diddy" Combs.
Community Connect Omar Wasow Ethnic-oriented community websites, including BlackPlanet and AsianAvenue Online email service
iVillage Community for women
Linkshare Steven Messer Affiliate management company 1999 David Siegel, Christos Zoulas, Ross Garon Online bookmarking site, backed by Tudor Ventures and Sandler Capital
Upoc 1999 Gordon Gould, Alex Levine, Carlo Martino, Greg Clayman Backed by Allen & Company, Apax, Arts & Alliance.
Kizna 1999 Takeo Miyazawa, Yoichi Miyazawa, Feisal Afzal, Tetsuya Okada, Tomaso Poggio Backed by Crescendo Ventures.
Urbanfetch 1999 Ross Stevens, Mike Prindle, Fred Tausch Backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners.
First Tuesday 2000 Vincent Grimaldi, John Grossbart First Tuesday of New York - a monthly forum gathering 500 to 1000 venture capitalists and Silicon Alley entrepreneurs - was an initiative of law firm Sonnenschein and the Kellogg School of Management. Other corporate founders included Accenture (then Andersen Consulting), Alley Cat News, The Grimaldi Group, and Merrill Lynch.

[edit] Web 2.0 Era Silicon Alley Companies

[edit] Silicon Alley Organizations

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

  • case report on the impact of Silicon Alley on the New York economy by the Diebold Institute

Silicon Alley

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