Brooklyn’s Economy Is Booming Thanks To Innovative Businesses

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Birdseye view of Brooklyn Navy Yard Master Plan
(Architectural and Urban Design Concepts by WXY, Illustrative Visualization by bloomimages)

Brooklyn’s economy is booming, driven by growth in tech start-ups, creative companies, and next-generation makers and manufacturers, a new report by the Center for an Urban Future published Wednesday finds.

Brooklyn’s 356% tech start-up growth since 2008 was bested only by San Francisco. Some other findings: 

Bklyner reporting is supported by our subscribers and:
  • Brooklyn was home to 1,205 tech-enabled start-ups in 2018, up from 264 start-ups in 2008.
  • Brooklyn now has 9.2 percent of New York City’s tech start-ups, up from 6.3 percent in 2000 and a higher share than ever before.
  • The number of Brooklyn residents working in “professional, scientific and technical services” industries increased by 14,569—accounting for 51% of the citywide increase
  • 6,327 more Brooklyn residents worked in  “information” industries in 2017 compared to 2015, accounting for 94% of the citywide increase.
  • Jobs in the creative industry sector have increased by 155%

While manufacturing declined in Manhattan, Brooklyn saw a modest increase, a net of 198 new jobs.

“Like the rest of the city,” the report explains, “Brooklyn has suffered job losses in many traditional manufacturing subsectors. But the borough has experienced net job gains in several manufacturing subsectors connected to tech or design.” 

Brooklyn has been helped by the emergence of large business and manufacturing areas – like the Navy Yard, Downtown and DUMBO, and Industry City – that offer space for many of the startups of the innovation economy, defined by authors as “diverse mix of tech start-ups, creative companies, and next-generation makers and manufacturers.”

Who are some of these companies?

  • Podcasting giant Gimlet Media, was recently acquired by Spotify for a reported $230 million (Downtown Brooklyn)
  • Care/of, a personalized wellness company famous for customized daily vitamin packs has attracted more than $42 million in investment (Brooklyn Navy Yard)
  • goTenna, a start-up that produces devices to create distributed communications networks  (Downtown Brooklyn)
  • Paperspace, a cloud computing platform optimized for machine learning and AI (DUMBO)
  • Tailored Industry, an on-demand, high-tech knitwear manufacturer for the e-commerce industry (Brooklyn Army Terminal)
  • Radiator Labs, a creator of smart radiator covers (Brooklyn Navy Yard)
  • Keap Candles, a nearly zero-waste, direct-to-consumer scented candle company (Industry City)

Read the report here.

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