One of the superstars in the world of blockchain technology is Sandra Ro, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council, who was previously head of digitization for the Chicago Mercantile Group, where we first met her. Under Sandra’s direction, the GBBC will be joining Future/Perfect Labs to help launch NYC’s first public/private NYC Blockchain Center. According to the press announcement, the center has multiple directives including:
- Offering entrepreneurs and other innovators with shared space, business support, and mentorship;
- Providing public education about blockchain technology to New Yorkers &
- Convening industry, government, investors, innovators and academia together to help NYC foster a regulatory environment that will support both safety for consumers and blockchain innovation.
Since there are so many current and future potential applications for blockchain technology, the launch of this new center represents a major step forward for both NYC and the US in advancing blockchain adoption, innovation and public awareness. Chicago has already developed a powerful blockchain ecosystem and with this new player in NYC, you can bet that other major cities in the US and abroad will be copying this public/private innovation model moving forward.
New York, NY – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced it has selected Future\Perfect Labs and Global Blockchain Business Council Future to launch and operate the City’s first public-private NYC Blockchain Center and SecondMuse to operate the NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge. Both initiatives will help foster the continued growth of New York City’s burgeoning blockchain industry.
Future\Perfect Labs, an affiliate of Future\Perfect Ventures (FPV), and GBBC Labs, a subsidiary of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) will manage the NYC Blockchain Center, which will be located in Chelsea and is expected to open for business on January 10th, 2019. Jalak Jobanputra of FPV and Sandra Ro of GBBC, both early pioneers of the technology globally and notable fixtures in New York City’s blockchain ecosystem, will co-lead this unique private-public partnership and bring their extensive blockchain expertise and networks to the Center.
“We are thrilled to partner with two accomplished blockchain industry leaders to help grow New York City’s blockchain network,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “The new Blockchain Center will serve as a vital resource to professionals in a booming industry, as well as those eager to learn and utilize this technology.”
The Center will play a pivotal role as an access point to the growing blockchain ecosystem by providing entrepreneurs and other innovators with shared space, business support, and mentorship. This supportive and inclusive peer community will help those in the space launch and scale new ventures. The Center will also act as a vehicle for providing public education about blockchain technology across the five boroughs to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to resources to help them understand the potential impact of blockchain on their daily lives. Finally, the Center will convene industry, government, investors, innovators and academia alike to advance a shared dialogue around how New York can foster a regulatory environment that will support both consumer safety and innovation in blockchain.
“New York City is home to a myriad of businesses and talent that will benefit from, and contribute to, the growth of the blockchain industry, including financial services, media and healthcare,” said Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner at FPV.“NYC is also home to one of the most diverse populations in the world, making it a living laboratory for new use cases to emerge from this nascent technology. We are thrilled to collaborate on the launch of this center in our hometown and help ensure that NYC remains at the forefront of innovative technologies.”
“As the blockchain industry continues to make significant strides, a center of education that provides an avenue for all stakeholders and the public to convene, connect and converse is a great step in the right direction,” said Sandra Ro, CEO of the GBBC. “We are delighted to be part of the expert voices that have been called upon by the NYC Blockchain Center to ignite opportunities and shape conversations concerning blockchain. This is a significant milestone for New York City and the GBBC remains committed to promoting the merits of blockchain across various geographies, industries and applications.”
“There is an enormous potential for applications and growth of blockchain technology,” said NYC Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair, Committee on Economic Development. “New York City has already positioned itself as a global leader in this field and the opening of the NYC Blockchain Center will ensure we remain on the forefront of this rapidly growing industry.”
New York State Assembly Member Clyde Vanel said, “NYCEDC is investing properly in the technologies of the future for all New Yorkers. We must properly engage in the new economies and the new jobs of tomorrow, blockchain technology may afford unforeseen opportunities for New Yorkers.”
“As a strong proponent of civic innovation such as BigApps winners Benefit Kitchen, HeatSeek, and JustFix.nyc, I commend NYCEDC for launching the Blockchain Center and the NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge, which will further promote the growth of our borough’s burgeoning innovation sector,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Supporting entrepreneurs and start-up businesses is essential to growing our city’s competitive advantage in business and technology. Government needs to cultivate creative solutions that address our most pressing challenges, and BigApps is a big part of that.”
Council Member Peter A. Koo of District 20 said, “Kicking off the BigApps for Blockchain program and the new Blockchain Center is a great way to usher in the new year and continue on our path to transform the City of New York into a leading innovator in the tech industry. Thank you to the NYC Economic Development Corporation and all our partners for working to make sure new and emerging industries have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.”
“Last year, CoinDesk and the NYCEDC partnered on the first ever Blockchain Week NYC. We are thrilled that NYC continues to invest in resources for the blockchain ecosystem and honored to co-host the second annual Blockchain Week NYC in May 2019 anchored by Consensus,” said CEO of CoinDesk, Kevin Worth. “We believe New York City is a vital hub for blockchain development across various industry sectors and are excited for the new Blockchain Center to contribute to growing this innovative technology in New York City.”
“As a longtime participant in New York City’s vibrant tech and startup ecosystem, Microsoft is excited to collaborate with the New York City Economic Development Corporation on the new NYC Blockchain Center. As an exciting new technology, blockchain’s promise spans across industries, startups, enterprises, and government alike. Through foundational investments such as the NYC Blockchain Center, New York City is taking a leading position in this area, in recognition of this important technology and the job opportunities it has the potential to create in the Big Apple,” said John Farmer, Director of Microsoft Cities.
“New York City continues to be well-positioned as a global center for the next wave of technologies that will revolutionize the way we create, interact, and share data in the ever-growing information economy,” said Satish Rao, Associate Director, Physical Sciences Licensing at Columbia University and Executive Director of the Columbia-IBM Blockchain Launch Accelerator. “As an operator of a blockchain startup accelerator and witnessing the growth of this community at Columbia’s campus, I am excited to see the city’s investment, once again, in this rapidly growing sector.”
“With significant resources in business, education, entrepreneurship, research and more, New York stands as the capital for blockchain,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. “As IBM continues to invest in building blockchain capabilities in each of these areas around the globe, we believe the NYC center will be an integral part of ongoing success and leadership in blockchain here in New York.”
“As head of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at CUNY, I’m excited to support this initiative and have CUNY be part of the NYC community that is building blockchain technologies and educating a work force for roles in this industry. Ensuring that our diverse CUNY community is part of this growing sector will provide exciting opportunities for both our students and this important new economic engine,” said Angie Kamath, University Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, CUNY.
“We are seeing increasing startup activity amongst our students in the blockchain and crypto sectors across NYU. We are excited about the addition of the NYC Blockchain Center to the NYC tech ecosystem and look forward to collaborating,” said Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director at NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to profoundly expand people’s capacity to transact, trade and collaborate. What better place to develop this than in the greatest city in the world, a place that is testimony to human beings’ unbridled desire to exchange value with each other?” said Michael Casey, co-author of The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything.
NYCEDC is also excited to partner with innovation agency SecondMuse to manage the NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge. SecondMuse has an extensive track record running economic development incubators, technology challenges and other community-building programs.
The NYC BigApps Blockchain Challenge builds on the legacy of NYC BigApps, a public competition series launched in 2009 that challenges New York City’s technology community to develop innovative solutions that address pressing civic and urban problems. This year, NYCEDC and SecondMuse will leverage the program to foster the development of blockchain solutions that improve the efficiency, transparency, and security of public sector services and systems. This will include a workshop series to educate government stakeholders about the technology and identify and develop meaningful challenge areas. This will ensure that NYC BigApps participants will create solutions rooted in real-world problems that impact the way New Yorkers live, work, and play. Ultimately, these efforts will lay the groundwork for a potential blockchain pilot for the NYC government.
With new businesses, products and infrastructure improvements launching every day, New York City’s blockchain ecosystem is experiencing explosive growth. This year alone, NYC blockchain startups received over $500 million in venture capital funding, up 500% from 2017. In addition, several of the largest blockchain employers in the world – including IBM, R3 and Coinbase – are rapidly growing their footprint in the City. New York has seen an 80 percent increase in blockchain-related job postings since last year, and a 370 percent increase since 2016. This growth provides incredible momentum to advance New York City’s objective to be a global leader in blockchain innovation and ensure s blockchain is a technology pioneered for and by New Yorkers.
“We’re thrilled to bring our experience in building community-focused economies to the NYC blockchain ecosystem, connecting blockchain startups to each other and to the government sector,” said BigApps Program Manager Casey Koppelson of SecondMuse. “Together we hope to establish NYC as a model for public-private collaboration on the blockchain.”
For more information on the Blockchain Challenge, please visit www.bigapps.nyc.