2 Strategies, 1 Goal: Helping Cities Solve Problems

NYCx and Urban-X have similar names but different models for coming up with better ways to deliver government services.

by / February 22, 2018

 Go Public is a new podcast from Governing and our sister publication, Government Technology. Every episode, we'll be exploring successful public-sector innovations and stories of government getting the job done. 

 

In this debut episode of Go Public, we look at two initiatives in New York City with similar-sounding names and goals but very different approaches.

One is an innovation challenge run by the mayor's office called NYCx; the other, called Urban-X, is a program for private-sector company founders run by a venture capital firm that specializes in startups that solve city problems. 

Both programs share the view that there are no small problems in government, leading each to embrace a little hyperbole in describing the nature and scope of their work -- they refer to their projects as moon shots. 

Although these startups aim to solve government problems, Urban-X startups ironically avoid having anything to do with government in order to avoid the regulatory complications in that sector. Startups face the simultaneous challenges of finding a problem worth solving, building and running a business, keeping customers on board and courting potential investors.

Listen as we explore these two approaches to finding new ways to quickly solve challenges facing many cities. 

 

On this episode:

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Paul W. Taylor Editor-at-Large

Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., is the editor-at-large of Governing magazine. He also serves as the chief content officer of e.Republic, Governing’s parent organization, as well as senior advisor to the Governing Institute. Prior to joining e.Republic, Taylor served as deputy Washington state CIO and chief of staff of the state Information Services Board (ISB). Dr. Taylor came to public service following decades of work in media, Internet start-ups and academia. He is also among a number of affiliated experts with the non-profit, non-partisan Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, D.C.