NEW YORK CITY-The Bloomberg administration on Tuesday launched a promotional campaign, “We Are Made in NY,” intended to boost the city’s already active digital and technology sector. Simultaneously, the New York City Economic Development Corp. announced 20 finalists for a competition that encourages tech firms and other creative businesses to hire and expand in Lower Manhattan.

The “We Are Made in NY” initiative builds on the “Made in NY” initiative that was launched in 2005 to bolster the city’s film and TV industry, expanding the program to encompass tech. There’s a website that includes an online job board as well as links to finding subsidized office space, applying for broadband connectivity and competing for grants to expand in Lower Manhattan and participating in technology community events, among others, according to a release. Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement at the headquarters of BuzzFeed, joined by the city’s media & entertainment commissioner, Katherine Oliver, and chief digital officer Rachel Haot.

The initiative also will feature an advertising campaign that highlights Made in NY tech companies through digital ads and ads on subways and buses, and an expansion of the “Made in NY” logo program beyond the film and television industry. Companies with at least 75% of their development based here will be encouraged to join the “We Are Made in NY” initiative and apply to add the hyperlinked “Made in NY” mark of distinction to their website.

“There has never been a better time to launch and grow a digital company in New York City,” Haot says in a statement. “The ‘We Are Made in NY’ initiative will link job seekers to career opportunities, and connect startups to a wide range of resources and benefits spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg’s administration. We are proud that over 900 digital companies make New York City their headquarters.”

The city cites statistics demonstrating growth in the local tech sector in recent years. For example, between 2007 and 2011, the number of employees at digital media companies grew by 80%, and 486 digital startups have received funding since ’07. Eighty-two of the tech startups launched here since ‘07 have raised more than $10 million in investments. Venture capital deals in New York grew 52% between ’07 and last year while decreasing in other regions, according to a release from the city. In 2012, the city saw more than $8.3 billion in tech company acquisitions, ranking it second in the nation.

At NYCEDC on Tuesday, the news was the announcement of 20 finalists for “Take The H.E.L.M.: Hire + Expand in Lower Manhattan.” The finalists, selected from among more than 300 applicants, will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, and up to five winners will ultimately win $250,000. 

Finalists have been broken into five separate tracks: creative companies, technology companies, startups less than three years old, companies new to New York and companies currently in Lower Manhattan that intend to expand in the area.  One winner will be chosen from each track.

In a statement, NYCEDC president Seth Pinsky says the competition is helping to highlight that “Lower Manhattan is one of New York City’s most dynamic neighborhoods, playing a central role, not just in finance, but many new and exciting industries. He adds that the finalists “will now have the opportunity to establish themselves or expand within this already vibrant and diverse community, spurring further critical economic growth for Lower Manhattan and the entire city.” The competition is administered by NYCEDC along with HR&A Advisors Inc. and is sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.