NYC Tech Companies and Nonprofits Will Partner for 'Neighborhood Challenge,' Propose Innovative Ideas

The challenge is a new project that will work to improve commercial districts through new tech solutions.

by Irene Spezzamonte, Staten Island Advance, N.Y. / March 24, 2017

(TNS) -- STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The New York City Department of Small Business Services announced on Wednesday the launch of the Neighborhood Challenge, a project conceived to improve commercial districts through new tech solutions.

During the Neighborhood Challenge -- born in cooperation with the New York City Economic Development Corporation -- tech companies and nonprofits will partner together and propose innovative ideas.

"By incorporating creative technology solutions into the delivery of neighborhood services and operations, we can make New York City an even greater place to live and to operate a business," Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, said.


On March 28, tech and nonprofit companies will meet at The Hub at Grand Central Tech, located at 335 Madison Ave., in Manhattan from 3 to 6 p.m.

The event will provide an overview of the competition format, a lighting round of 90-second talks presenting nonprofits' commercial district challenges and tech companies' interests and experience, and an opportunity for organizations to team up with a nonprofit or tech counterpart.

Once the teams are created, they will submit an application by May 14 proposing innovative ideas for technology and data solutions to address commercial district needs.

Judges will select the finalists who will compete in a pitch competition in June.

Winning teams will be eligible to receive up to $100,000 in funding to develop and implement their proposed tech solutions within one year.


Proposals may assess, measure, or address issues in the following areas:

  • Capital construction impact mitigation
  • Community engagement and stakeholder outreach
  • Management of public space and streetscape amenities
  • Quality of life conditions and tracking
  • Real estate development and land use changes
  • Retail/office vacancy tracking and commercial leasing
  • Sanitation and district maintenance
  • Small business assistance and promotion
  • Street vendor siting and fine reduction
  • Sustainability and energy efficiency
  • Transportation, transit, and parking

"With this year's Neighborhood Challenge we're tapping some of New York's top innovators to make our commercial corridors stronger, greener and more resilient, and help small business owners address 21st century challenges," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett.

©2017 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.