Urban Tech Hub 2022 Annual Report
It has been an extraordinary year here at the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub. From hosting our first Urban Tech Summit in the fall and the completion of our landmark Rebooting NYC report in the winter, to graduating our pioneering first cohort of 15 Urban Tech Master’s Students in May, we have strengthened each of the three pillars of our mission of exemplary education, cutting-edge research and dynamic ecosystem engagement.
Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, we hosted a hybrid in-person/online Urban Tech Summit last fall. The event brought together 1300 people from government, industry and academia to Cornell Tech’s new Verizon Executive Education Center. The event focused on two recent Hub research initiatives, Anthony Townsend’s Horizon Scan and Rit Aggarwala’s Rebooting NYC report.
We issued the final draft of Rebooting in January 2022 and are thrilled that Mayor Adams’s administration has embraced many of the policy recommendations from the report, including integration of the city’s tech services under a single senior administration official, the creation of a “digital wallet” for public benefits, and the increased use of cameras for traffic enforcement.
The new Adams administration also adopted one of the Hub’s most significant assets. In February our Senior Urban Tech Fellow Rit Aggarwala was appointed to be the city’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and Chief Climate Officer, helping to strengthen the Hub’s connection to city government.
The Hub’s engagement with the city’s tech industry also expanded this past year. We co-sponsored, along with Tech:NYC and Google for Startups, the first NYC Recovery Challenge. This Challenge attracted 175 submissions from all five boroughs to compete for $165,000 in prize money for NYC-based companies developing new technologies to support more resilient job growth in the city.
Finally, as we look forward to our third year, we are proud to release our latest initiative, a first-of-its-kind analysis of the city’s urban tech ecosystem, The Urban Tech Mosaic: The Systems Powering the Next New York. This study reveals the impact of the urban tech industry in New York City, highlighting the over 500 companies, 44,000 employees and $17 billion in investment to date.
As the city faces the challenges of COVID recovery, climate change and increasing inequality, urban technology has never been more central in helping our city address these and other challenges. We continue to be optimistic for the future of New York City, and look forward to supporting the city’s efforts to recover, renew and strengthen our position as the center of urban technology innovation.
Founding Director, Urban Tech Hub