By Bill Parry
When Mayor de Blasio wanted to introduce New Yorkers to Digital.NYC, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive online hub for the city’s tech ecosystem, he sent his tech officials and leaders on a five-borough tour to help turn ideas into businesses, aid digital startups, and connect New Yorkers to opportunities and jobs in the city’s tech ecosystem. When it came time for the group to visit Queens March 25, the choice of venue was an easy one.
They went to the Long Island City headquarters of Coalition for Queens, the non-profit team that fosters the borough’s tech innovation and entreprenuership.
“C4Q is doing amazing work in getting this community involved in technology,” Digital.NYC Marketing Director Justin Cina said. “Jukay and his team have created some remarkable programs here.”
Cina was referring to C4Q founder Jukay Hsu, who is also a member of the Mayor’s Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force, and the program is Access Code 1.0, which teaches iOS mobile development. Participants in the coding course raise their income from $26,000 a year to $73,000 a year by gaining new tech jobs.
The tech world has noticed the success at C4Q. Just last week Google, Reddit, Verizon and several other companies invested a $1.75 million grant allowing C4Q to expand Access Code and its existing entrepreneurship and urban planning initiatives.
A standing room only crowd of nearly 300 attended the Digital.NYC at the Falchi Building’s ground floor offices of C4Q.
“The crowd was more than we expected,” Cina said. “They seemed more technically focused than the crowds we’ve had in the other boroughs. They were eager to learn and discover what they can do to improve their skills, businesses and products.”
The event was just another way for C4Q to carry out its mission to “foster” the Queens tech ecosystem. “It was great to host and support Digital.NYC,” Hsu said. “The Queens tech community is growing, and we’re excited to increase exposure for tech opportunities in New York.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr