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.

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 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. 


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Paul W. Taylor is the Executive Editor at E.Republic and of its flagship titles - Government Technology and Governing.