This website is owned and managed by David Hochman as an independent consultant on technology-based (sometimes called technology-led or innovation-led) economic development (tbed). Follow the tabs above to read about me or my work, to sample the services I offer, or to contact me. If you are interested in learning about tbed, consider the short reading list at my on-line bookstore.

My blog starts below.

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Counterpart database for European geographies

As a counterpart to my metropolitan geography database for the U.S., which receives dozens of hits a day, I have added a directly analogous database for European geographies, which may be useful for economic analysts or other wanting a quick overview. This tool presents several tables that organize European geographic taxonomies in a way that is not easily available on EU or national statistical agency websites.

As with the U.S. database, this one holds almost no demographic data. It exists simply to exhibit the relationship among the various geographies and taxonomies. The tables are populated with 2013 Eurostat definitions of NUTS (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics). Instructions/troubleshooting/caveats are here. Comments/corrections are welcome.

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In an important piece of research recently released, two smart analysts have put numbers to what many of us active in economic development in New York State have long been saying: there exists a deep, fundamental mismatch between the stylistic preferences of regionally based venture-capital firms and the kinds of innovation emerging from the state’s university R&D community.

The study by Judy Albers and Tom Moebus – both well known and respected players in the statewide innovation ecosystem1 – employs data from NVCA and other sources to nail the case that while the amount of venture capital under management in New York City is rising, it is specializing heavily in digital technologies (IT, software, media) and focusing on capital-efficient “quick hits,” often at the expansion phase, with high potential for fast liquidity and outsized returns. Almost none of that potential is available upstate, and consequently almost no regionally managed capital goes there.

The authors show that while the VC industry in California and Massachusetts is more eclectic in its tastes, only a very small share of that money comes to New York to begin with, and exceptionally little makes its way upstate. That leaves ventures in what Albers and Moebus call the hard sciences (subdivided into the engineering technologies and life sciences) a long, hard slog with few early-stage investors (and almost no seed investors) either based here or deploying money anywhere in the state.

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  1. Judy, now an entrepreneurship professor at SUNY Geneseo co-founded the Pre Seed Workshop program, and Tom runs several innovation programs for the SUNY Research Foundation []
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Metropolitan geography database updated

As a service to the economic-development community, I have revised, updated, and relaunched this website’s accompanying database of metropolitan geography components. The tables in this database may be useful to economic geographers and economic developers, particularly those looking for a quick and ready reference to metropolitan areas they are not already familiar with. Some may find the tool useful for scoping out benchmarks or competitors, or for just getting a better handle on already-familiar geographies and their components.

The database is simply a skeleton without actual demographic data, intended to exhibit the relationship among various federal geographies and taxonomies in a way that is not easily available on any single government website. The tables have now been updated with 2013 OMB metro area definitions and 2010 and later Census data files, and every “place” record now includes a Google Maps URL.1 Instructions including video screencasts are here. I hope some of my readers may find this database useful, and I welcome feedback using the contact form or in the comments.2

  1. I built these tables for my own use and reference, and make no warranties of any kind as to accuracy, completeness or suitability for any particular analytic purpose. []
  2. While not implying any endorsement by them, and retaining complete responsibility for any and all errors, I’d like to acknowledge encouragement and/or critical feedback I’ve had from: Martin Grueber of Battelle Memorial Institute’s Technology Partnership Practice; Dr. Joshua Drucker of the University of Illinois at Chicago; Dr. Kent Gardner of CGR; Kevin Jack of the NYS Department of Labor; and Dr. Dror Etzion of McGill University. []
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