Tech and the City: The Best of Silicon Alley Under One Virtual Roof
When it comes to the Big Apple, there’s one thing that both visitors and the city’s long-term residents have in common: we all heart New York. From the exclusive luxury of Madison Avenue to the specialty shops of The West Village, there’s something that most in the fashion industry agree on and that’s the yearning to be a part of the New York City retail scene. For those wanting show their love for the city through their wallets, there’s a new way to, quite literally, pay it forward to New York start-ups that’s far more fashionable than buying a cliché tourist tee.
This year, the New York Hearts Tech e-commerce site launched. This online marketplace brings multiple brands, featuring their very different products, together under one virtual roof. Stretching across various industries, these companies are offering products ranging from fashion and beauty merchandise to fitness and lifestyle subscription services. While, at first glance, this conglomerate of brands might not have much in common beyond their chosen retail channel, one denominator they all share is that every single one began in the Silicon Alley. New York City has always been a hub for the nation’s cutting edge. New Yorkers are famously depicted as driven, tough, and ambitious people, so it should come as no surprise that some of the biggest names taking over the online retail space are among them. New York Hearts Tech is not only just a multi-brand e-commerce site to shop for new products, but it also stands as a symbol as New York City innovation.
Upon visiting the site, customers can navigate to shop fashions and cosmetics from various brands – some well-known and a few more obscure. Among these featured companies is BaubleBar, Birchbox, Adore Me, Gilt, Gilt City, GlamSquad, and Gwynnie Bee. The site’s Shop page displays each brand’s highlighted product and current promotional offer. Once customers select the one they want to shop, they’re brought to the product page that notes each item’s attributes and gives a brief introduction to the brand. If a customer chooses to click the “Shop Product” button, they are led to the retailer’s own site so they may make a purchase and complete the transaction.
This online initiative is sponsored by lingerie subscription company, Adore Me, and was designed to highlight the successful start-up brands based out of NYC. Sharon Klapka, Adore Me’s VP of business and brand development, serves as chairperson of New York Hearts Tech and heads the development team. When asked about the platform, she says the “idea was that there were are all of these great startups based in Silicon Alley, but we’ve also go backers from Silicon Valley and people may not realize we’re in New York.” Being a featured company on the multi-brand website is the equivalent of an official seal, certifying it as being New York born and bred.
To make this innovative vision a reality, Adore Me partnered with a handful of other sponsors: The Harvard Business School Entrepreneurship Center, Columbia Business School’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, the New York Fashion Tech Lab, and Loeb.nyc. Together, these organizations have developed, and continue to maintain, the e-commerce platform that acts as a collective portfolio of the city’s tech-savvy retailers. In creating New York Hearts Tech, Klapka and her team have created a startup community and are successfully positioning the Big Apple’s Silicon Alley as the nation’s capital of e-commerce innovation.
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