Exploring how New York can catalyze the urban innovation sector
Cara is a Fellow at Cornell Tech's Urban Tech Hub. In 2022, she served on New York Mayor Adams' and Governor Hochul’s “New” New York Panel and helped craft Initiative 31, focused on growing the City's urban tech sector. Previously, Cara was the Chief Revenue Officer of Nabr, a sustainable housing startup. Cara also worked at Zigg Capital, a real estate tech venture fund, and at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, where she incubated a new modular building business. While Cara is a proud native New Yorker, she began her career in Denmark working with LEGO, and her experiences in the region continue to inform her views on urbanism. Cara graduated from Princeton's School of Public & International Affairs with a focus on urban policy and planning and from Coro Leadership New York. She finished one year at Stanford's Graduate School of Business before she dropped out to help start Nabr. In 2014, she was a National Geographic Explorer, focused on writing about cities.
Invent.NYC: Catalyzing invention in New York though green industrial policy In December, the Governor of the State of New York and Mayor of the City of New York released the “New” New York report, a comprehensive set of 40 initiatives to revive the City’s economy coming out of COVID-19. Initiative 31 within the report has the goal of making NYC the global leader in urban innovation. To advance this work, NYCEDC aims to build a consolidated “front-door” for engaging and growing the urban innovation sector, including a fresh website that hosts funding and piloting opportunities, and an interagency working group focused on helping agencies leverage technology to meet their policy goals.Cara is leading a research team at Cornell Tech to help NYCEDC execute on Initiative 31. New York has long been a hub for urban innovation, dating back to the 1880s, when Edison electrified a one-mile radius off Pearl street. Cara is researching how to encourage more Edison-style “bottom-up” experimentation, but also how the government can spur “top down” innovation through purchasing programs. Her focus is on mobility, buildings, energy, and digital infrastructure, consistent with anticipated IRA and CHIPS funding. The project will culminate in a final report delivered in Fall 2023.