I am pleased to announce I have been appointed a trustee of Downstate Technology Center Inc., the not-for-profit operator of the SUNY Downstate Advanced Biotechnology Incubator, a 50,000 square-foot wet-lab facility that anchors a two-building “biotech park” nestled along Parkside Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
This remarkable incubator – supported by all levels of government and now filled with a range of startup tenants operating mostly in the hardcore biosciences – has been under planning and development since the late 1990s, when I began following the initiative, somewhat before its sponsors even knew anything about me.
This year the Business Incubator Association of New York State – a statewide innovation network that I cofounded in late 2005 and directed through mid-2016 – invited me back to its annual member meeting (this year, an online meeting) to reflect on how we recovered from the financial crisis of 2008.
The goal was to explore what lessons that crisis might hold for recovery from the Covid-19 recession and for the members’ resilience into the future. I am grateful to Marc Alessi, the current BIANYS executive director, and Erin Daly-Hunt, the organization’s director of operations, for the invitation to participate.
Marc and Erin have told me that my presentation was well received by the directors and managers of the ~100 incubators, accelerators, and other branded programs represented in the BIANYS membership, and so I have decided to share it in this quick-take blog post. Clicking the graphic will open a pdf in a new tab. Comments are welcome below or via the sitewide contact form.
The winners are announced and the reviews are in for the MTA Genius Transit Challenge, a state-funded prize intended to spur innovation in the increasingly troubled NYC subways. Even at the time of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initial announcement, the prize was mocked as trite symbolism not especially relevant to the system’s short-term needs. Once the winners were known, the judgment of non-government experts like Alon Levy and Benjamin Kabak was little kinder. I have no reason to quarrel with the judgment of the Internet’s top transit commentators, and yet I feel that the Governor’s initiative still contains the kernel of an idea worth pursuing as an economic-development initiative, if not the most-direct path to improvement of subway operations.