Silicon Alley: A Framework for New York City’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and its Public Policy Considerations

Gilman, Hollie R.

As cities like New York emerge as hubs of innovation resolved in using technology and engaging non-governmental actors, this white paper pursues an analysis of the actors in the urban innovation ecosystem to pinpoint what makes these ecosystems distinct from their suburban counterparts. New York is unique in the way it describes innovation and entrepreneurs, pursuing an open and loose definition, enabling it to engage stakeholders and actors in a way that other places cannot. By bringing multiple perspectives and stakeholders into the fold, New York is able to pursue entrepreneurship hand in hand with civic duties, fostering an environment that centers public and social good in many cases. Actors then blur the boundaries between being entrepreneurs, public servants, and civil society members.

This paper explores the urban dynamics of innovation ecosystems, focusing on the role of New York in fostering and orchestrating them. Section I analyzes the disruptive role of emerging technologies in society, focusing on workforce and skills. Section II defines urban innovation ecosystems, assesses the forces that are propelling this new spatial geography of innovation, and provides insights into redefining the new dynamics and while arguing that the urban innovation ecosystem remains distinct from traditional “innovation ecosystems.” Section III provides a case study of New York’s innovation ecosystem and lists the multiple assets of the city as an innovation district. Finally, it puts forward policy considerations for a diverse set of stakeholders, including policy makers, technology companies, and civil society on how leveraging technology and entrepreneurship ecosystems can catalyze innovation; and illustrates policy actions applied to a number of challenges.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Entrepreneurship & Policy Initiative
Entrepreneurship & Policy Initiative, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Entrepreneurship & Policy Initiative Working Paper Series
Published Here
January 14, 2020