New York: a business travel guide

By Sunshine Flint for Business Life magazine

Photography by Alexander Spatari / Getty

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August 2016

New York's maturing tech scene, which first began in so-called Silicon Alley, is now giving Silicon Valley a run for its VC money.

The lowdown

There's never been a better time to be a startup in New York. Money is one reason. Wall Street's venture capitalists and angel investors invested $3.5bn in tech companies in 2014, so it's no surprise that startups are proliferating: New York has seen a 33 per cent increase in tech jobs in the last four years. Then there are the city's traditional benefits - a global, diverse and experienced talent pool, extensive transportation and housing infrastructure, and the sheer scale of commerce and enterprise - which are further bolstered by a strong spirit of collaboration amongst the startup community, which shares hard-won knowledge with newcomers. Co-working spaces now proliferate, and real estate developers and the city are both finding it in their interests to join forces to provide rent-free office space to young tech companies.

Being part of and contributing to the startup culture is important, from in-office talent shows to away days for the teams.

New York's innovation industry has traditionally been viewed as strong in finance, media and advertising, fashion and enterprise tech, but recently there has also been a big jump in startups that innovate in the healthcare and energy sectors. There are a number of startups with billion-dollar valuations, including Warby Parker, Blue Apron, Oscar Health and ZocDoc. And in the last two years, OnDeck Capital and Etsy, two native New York companies, achieved unicorn status.

As the community has matured, it has also spread out, and startups and tech firms can be found in neighbourhoods across downtown Manhattan and deep into Brooklyn, making them attractive to employees who want a live-work style that fits their needs. The new Cornell Tech school was championed by the former Bloomberg administration (and Bloomberg the man, who donated $100m) so the city could produce a rival to CalTech and MIT. When the campus opens on Roosevelt Island next year, a fresh host of newly minted disruptors and entrepreneurs will be released upon the world.

Business etiquette

While casual is the buzzword among the workers and entrepreneurs of the innovation and maker economy, there's still a uniform of sorts. Just please, no more hoodies! Being part of and contributing to the startup culture is important, from in-office talent shows to away days for the teams. A flat structure is equally important - no CEOs in corner offices here, but rather respectful dialogue with direct reports and supervisors.

Food & Shopping

One of New York's core value propositions, if you will, is it's a food town through and through. Sure, the city has plenty of celebrity chefs and Michelin stars, but the neighbourhood Italian on the corner or the local Asian-influenced New American gastropub will serve a more-than-decent meal. And if not, yes, you can absolutely send it back.

Best business breakfast: Balthazar Restaurant

SoHo's sweet spot for eggs en cocotte or a full English breakfast and deep bowls of café au lait. (80 Spring Street;

Best power lunch: Lure Fishbar

The yacht-like interiors and extensive raw and sushi bar are a top choice with techies. (142 Mercer Street;

Best slap-up dinner: Peter Luger Steak House

Serving New York's best steaks since 1887. It has been around for 130 years for a reason. (178 Broadway, Brooklyn;

  • Enjoy the most important meal of the day at Balthazar Restaurant © Michael Grimm
  • Lure Fishbar

    Quite a catch

    From shellfish and sushi to clam chowder and lobster bisque, Lure Fishbar has the perfect lunch dish whatever your seafood tastes.

    Discover the food scene
  • Peter Luger Steak House first opened as Carl Luger's Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley in 1887

    Steak night

    The Peter Luger Steak House knows a thing or two about meat, having been voted best steak house in New York for 28 years and having a Michelin Star.

    Things to do in the Big Apple


SoHo is Manhattan's premier downtown shopping district, from the covetable goodies at the MoMa Design Store to the tees at Saturdays Surf. The Meatpacking District is home to a three-storey Apple Store and soon the largest Starbucks in the world. Across the East River, weekends mean hitting up Brooklyn Flea under the Manhattan Bridge arches or the quirky boutiques and record stores in Williamsburg.


Most of New York's business hotels are concentrated in and around Midtown, but there's a growing number of new openings, including residential hotels near Battery Park City and Wall Street.

Sofitel New York

Glamorous hotel in a great location on Midtown's Club Row, near the Harvard, Yacht and Penn Clubs, as well as Times Square and the Theater District.

Book a stay at Sofitel New York >

Andaz Wall Street

This comfortable and contemporary hotel is close to the city's financial and banking institutions.

Book a stay at Andaz Wall Street >

  • The view from the Andaz Wall Street Hotel

    City sights

    Sleek, stylish and practical, Andaz Wall Street Hotel is located on the corner of Wall and Water Streets and is ideal for a business layover.

    Book a stay

Mandarin Oriental New York

Just a stone’s throw from Central Park and Columbus Circle, this hotel is stylish and luxurious.

Book a stay at Mandarin Oriental New York >

The Plaza

This hotel is the height of sophistication and glamour having served New York guests for over 100 years in its landmark spot.

Book a stay at The Plaza >

Did you know... ?

1. New York Harbour once contained half the world's oyster beds until overfishing and pollution decimated them.

2. Sixty-five per cent of international tourists use New York's mass transit system, adding $18m to the economy.

3. New Yorkers drink seven times more coffee than people in the rest of the US.

4. Times Square was known as Longacre Square until 1904 when The New York Times moved into a new building there.

5. The borough of Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban region in the world, with immigrants from more than 100 countries who speak more than 138 languages. what we know as the internet, linked ten computers across the US.

  • Oriental Suite bathroom at the Mandarin Oriental New York

    A room with a view

    The Mandarin Oriental hotel is famed for its service and location, close to Broadway and Times Square, it’s great for making the most of the city post business meeting.

    Book a stay
  • Sofitel New York © William Huber
  • The world-famous Plaza Hotel had a $450 million dollar restoration in 2008

    Movie magic

    The renowned Plaza hotel has played host to some iconic movies and their equally iconic stars, like Cary Grant in North by Northwest.

    Book a stay

Your tips:

We asked our LinkedIn followers for their New York tips.

"Take a leisurely cycle around Central Park, followed by lunch at the Lakeside Restaurant or Tavern on the Green." - Louise McGeoghegan

"Hidden behind a pawn shop on the Lower East Side is Beauty & Essex for cocktails and dinner. You won't be disappointed." - Daniela Moore

"Take a morning run through Battery Gardens up the West Side Highway to Chelsea Piers." - Jonathan Hodder

"Gotham West Market in Hell's Kitchen brings food courts to a whole new level. Great place for upmarket solo dining with limited time." - Jody Bartley

Visit our LinkedIn page to have your say on our next City Guide destination.

Getting around:

BA flies from London airports to JFK and Newark up to 17 times a day, including new daily flights from Gatwick to JFK. A taxi from JFK to Midtown takes about an hour and costs a flat rate of $52 plus any tolls. The AirTrain to the LIRR brings you into Penn Station in 35 minutes for $15. From Newark Airport to Midtown, a taxi costs $55 and the train to Penn Station is $13.