By Anthony Noto  |  New York Business Journal  |  2/23/16

Phillips Lytle teams up with Canadian firm to help startups in N.Y.C.

Many startups want to call New York City home, and law firm Phillips Lytle LLP is looking to help get them here.

The Buffalo, New York-based outfit has partnered with Communitech, a tech company innovation center based in Waterloo, Ontario, to create a “landing pad” in Manhattan to aid nascent Canadian companies looking to grow in the United States.

The workspace, dubbed Communitech NYC, is expected to help Canadian startups take advantage of the fact that New York is the largest center of venture activity outside Silicon Valley. In addition, it has a growing digital media sector — Communitech’s specialty.

The workspace will be open to Communitech members, as well as to startups affiliated with partner hubs across the Canadian Digital Media Network.

“International sales and investment are essential to driving growth for Canadian startups” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech in a prepared statement. “Having a presence on the ground in New York City, as well as the connections and expertise of Phillips Lytle, will help Communitech is a co-working center in Canada that supports a community of more than 1,000 tech companies — from startups to rapidly growing midsize companies and large global players. One of the first companies to take advantage of the space will be Plasticity Labs, which will be launching its first U.S. sales operation out of the Communitech space. COURTESY OF COMMUNITECH companies take advantage of opportunities in the huge New York market, as well as find partnerships in New York’s growing tech sector.”

Similar to a business incubator, Communitech NYC will provide temporary workspace, meeting rooms, mentoring and professional services to Canadian startups.

The aim is to help Canadian companies access business connections, customers, funding and other resources in New York City.

The center will also give startups access to Phillips Lytle’s network of business and venture capital contacts, as well as Plasticity Labs — one of the first companies to take advantage of the space. The Ontario company, known for using data analytics to measure workplace morale, will launch its first U.S. sales operation out of the Communitech space in Manhattan.

“We have always been heavily involved in the startup space,” said Phillips Lytle managing partner David McNamara, calling Manhattan one of “the most important markets” in the U.S.

“This is a natural progression for us to connect our New York City office and contacts to the Communitech hub in the Waterloo Region,” he added.