Yonkers’ knowledge professionals are launching a technology initiative to attract more start-up companies to southern Westchester County’s riverfront.
The four-point idea behind YONY is to attract businesses by creating opportunities for seed money, networking, office-space location and worker education. YONY will begin this effort with December 12 meet-up at 6:30 p.m. in the Yonkers Public Library’s riverfront branch with a talk by Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project, who will discuss his management-consulting business and his decision to locate in downtown Yonkers.
YONY co-founder Peter Boodell, a Yonkers resident and a hedge fund manager, said it’s time for private business to take the lead in promoting a river towns tech corridor.
“You actually have an unusual number of creative, tech, designers, architects and people in film that live along the river towns corridor….YONY is designed to bring those people together,” Boodell said on Wednesday, adding that the effort will focus on Yonkers because its downtown resembles Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, where Google and other technology companies are located. “We think the Googlers of the world like places that look like Chelsea.”
Boodell noted that the Chelsea-based IAC moved about 160 employees of the Internet company Mindspark into downtown Yonkers from White Plains earlier this month, bolstering the area’s potential as a creativity and tech hub.
In 2011 Yonkers officials similarly tried to promote their downtown by launching Y-Enterprise, a start-up incubator, but that initiative stumbled at the start because the location chosen by the city lacked a certificate of occupancy. Now the project is running out of money, according to Mayor Mike Spano.
The city may move Y-Enterprise’s half-dozen tenants to the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, said Spano.