Where Would You Locate Your Hi-Tech Startup?

Map of Newark, NJ

If you’re scouting a location for a tech company close to New York, you’re probably considering the following:

  • Can I find the talent I need here? Is this a developing startup community, and am I close to tech colleges and incubators?
  • How much will I need to spend on office space, and how good is the technology infrastructure in the area?
  • Are we near an airport and on public transit? How long would my staff need to drive?
  • Are there marketing, technology and financial partners close by? Is doing business going to be easy?
  • Finally, is the environment exciting—humming with restaurants, culture, sports venues and entertainment options?

In short, are you close to everything you’ll need to attract a good team to build a thriving new business?

If you’re a technology or business founder and the answer to all of the above questions is yes, you may well be sitting at a coffee shop in Newark, NJ looking through a window at the beginnings of the tech hub growing in this city.

At the city’s July Tech Town Hall, hosted by Lean Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka discussed plans to enliven the city through partnerships among high-tech companies, businesses and nearby universities.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka

Mayor Ras J. Baraka speaks at Newark’s July Tech Town Hall

Baraka’s vision for a Newark 3.0 hinges on the development of infrastructure: real-estate growth, the opening of restaurants and entertainment venues, access to free wireless downtown, not to mention the presence these days of larger technology companies like Panasonic and Audible.

All of this will no doubt draw more tech and tech-enabled business to Newark. At the town hall, Mayor Baraka also stressed that Newark—a town that has long struggled economically—has the people and services in place that a growing tech sector needs. “We [don’t] need to go outside to bring people into this community,” he said, “… there are hundreds of people already doing the things we expect others to come to Newark and do.”

Collage of Newark Locations

Phone.com is proud to be based in Newark. You’ll find our offices at the Enterprise Development Center on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which has over 11,000 Engineering and Computer Science students. We’re also close to Rutgers’ Newark campus, known for its medicine, law and business schools.

When we entertain technology partners from other cities at our headquarters, they are surprised at what Newark has to offer:

Ten minutes from Newark Airport by tram or taxi; fifteen from Penn Station NY to Penn Station Newark. Yes, driving by car you’ll encounter typical New York traffic but at least you’re not driving in Manhattan!
While downtown Newark is not known for its hotels, if you consider those around the airport, there are plenty of fairly priced rooms. Newark also has at least three world-class sports and entertainment facilities close by with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Prudential Center, and beautiful Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison.

Given its proximity to New York, Newark has become an infrastructure hub, with some of the largest data centers servicing Wall Street firms, stock traders and countless tech companies.

The nearby Ironbound section of Newark makes for a lively and diverse place to shop and dine, though I do believe that more cafes and bars right in downtown Newark would enrich the entire ecosystem for business and tech development. As engineers, we all need a good pub lunch close by before getting back to our code!

In closing, I am no real-estate developer and I’m certainly aware of the investment and years of effort it has taken to develop business in Newark. But looking at all these indicators I truly believe there is something great going on here for startups.