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Episode 13: Shaping the future of NYC and innovative economic growth

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James Patchett on how the NYEDC is driving future innovation

blockchain pulseWelcome back to the IBM Blockchain Pulse podcast! With the first episode back into the new year, our host Matt Hooper takes time to reflect on the progress made by the tech community in New York City where innovative technology is widely celebrated. It’s also where you’ll likely find a more thriving startup ecosystem than any other place in the country.

And speaking of New York, Matt couldn’t be happier to be joined by his guest, James Patchett — the President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation! NYCEDC is a not-for-profit organization that has been around for over 20 years, not as an agency, but affiliated with city government. The work James is doing with the EDC is inspiring and exciting. He is playing a major role in helping shape the future of the New York City.

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In this episode, Matt and James discuss what NYCEDC is and how they think about job creation in New York and how the startup ecosystem in NYC works, some of the keys to a successful corporate-startup relationship and the current state of the startup ecosystem in the city. They also talk about some of the metrics for success when it comes to a healthy economic ecosystem, some of the ways that the NYC tech community is becoming more inclusive, and much more.

Key takeaways

[:01] Matt welcomes listeners back to the first episode of the new year and introduces today’s episode and special guest!
[2:58] Matt welcomes James to the podcast.
[3:04] How does being a Red Socks jive with being a New Yorker?
[5:00] What the NYCEDC is and how they think about job creation in New York.
[6:23] How does the startup ecosystem in NYC work with the heritage businesses that have long made the city what it is? And given the high number of heritage businesses in NYC, what are some of the most successful corporate-startup collaborations that James has seen during his time as CEO? And what are some of the keys to a successful corporate-startup relationship?
[9:36] James speaks about the relationship between NYCEDC and the NYC Media Lab and how it helps foster the relationships between the heritage companies and the new companies in NYC.
[10:33] James speaks about their reaction to the recession and the action that they took.
[12:13] James speaks about the current state of the startup ecosystem in New York.
[13:10] James highlights some of the metrics for success when it comes to a healthy economic ecosystem.
[14:08] What is the blockchain ecosystem looking like right now in New York? And what is exciting James the most about it?
[15:46] What are some of the mature industries in the ecosystem?
[18:03] How does a city become a platform for innovation?
[19:47] James speaks about some of the ways that the NYC tech community is becoming more inclusive.
[23:21] Where to get a free download of Blockchain for Dummies!
[24:03] What is the NYCEDC doing in support of the creation of responsible AI?
[26:05] Are identity applications an area where they’re looking to the blockchain ecosystem for solutions?
[27:53] James walks listeners through what it would look like if you were are a blockchain startup looking to utilize the blockchain lab space that the NYCEDC has built.
[29:30] James gives a peek into what his busy and exciting days look like as the President and CEO of NYCEDC!
[32:40] James shares why he thinks a city as a platform for innovation is appealing. He also gives his predictions on what he thinks New York will look like 10 years out as a platform for innovation.
[34:22] How to get involved with the NYCEDC!
[34:44] Matt thanks James for joining the podcast.

Sources mentioned

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)
NYC Media Lab
Spotify acquires blockchain startup Mediachain
Union Square Tech Training Center
Blockchain for Dummies — Free download!
Cornell Tech

Follow-up with our guest

James Patchett

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Visit IBM Blockchain — and for news and updates, follow @IBMBlockchain on Twitter!


“I would argue, as someone who has a background in economics, that there’s probably nothing more critical to long-term economic success than infrastructure.” — James Patchett

“[NYCEDC takes] a leading role in building forward-thinking infrastructure across the city [of New York].” — James Patchett

“The presence of [NYC’s] fortune-500 companies is one of the greatest competitive advantages that the city has in terms of attracting startups.” — James Patchett

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