VC Growth in NYC: Thank Rudy –

NEW YORK – New York City’s No. 1 fan was on hand at a recent venture capital conference to sing the metropolitan area’s praises for its position as the world’s top destination for doing business.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, delivering the keynote address at the sixth annual New York City Venture Capital Conference and Showcase, rattled off a laundry list of business accomplishments that have taken place during his two terms. He is not shy about taking credit for the city’s drop in crime and boost in business, which have been considerable during his eight years.

Before he become mayor, Giuliani said, “There was an anti-business feeling in New York City for 30 years. There were years of decline, loss of jobs, the city performing below the national economy. The policies and programs were counterproductive, [which] discouraged others from doing business here.”

Now, he says, New York outpaces much of the nation in job creation and other economically significant areas.

For the first time in 10 years, New York City beat out Silicon Valley at raising venture capital, according to our Venture-Xpert database, as 21 New York City-area VC funds raised $4.8 billion during the first quarter of 2001. That compares with the $4.7 billion raised by the 27 Northern California funds during the same period.

Giuliani said his administration changed the business environment in New York by first making it a safer place, and by changing the tax structure, in some cases eliminating or reducing nearly two dozen taxes that affected businesses.

“We put more money back in the hands of private business,” Giuliani said, noting that it was “Republican principles” that worked.

The mayor, who leaves office later this year, said he had no thoughts on his successor or whether the next mayor would continue to favor business development the way his administration did.