Ahhh, the EIR. It’s one of those amazingly vague and flexible positions that only exist in the tech industry. Part liaison, part networking hub, part founder, part investor (typically). As Mayor Bloomberg continues his quest to cuddle up to Silicon Alley, the New York City Economic Development Corporation has announced its first ever entrepreneur in residence, or in the EDC’s case “entrepreneur at large” Steven Rosenbaum, the founder and CEO of Magnify.net and creator of the recent 9/11 memorial app.
Mr. Rosenbaum is a born communicator. “I was a magician in high school, and I always loved the back and forth with the audience. The feedback. When I started working in the media, I found the whole ‘one way’ thing kind of hollow. I wanted applause if we did well and I wanted rotten fruit if the audience didn’t like a documentary or program we produced.”
The NY video meetup, which Mr. Rosenbaum runs, has become a locus for the intersection of tech and media (the upcoming one will feature one of favorite local hardware startups, Kogeto). Magnify also powers video for some large local companies like New York mgazine and TEDx.
The gig involves spending time each week at the various local incubators, giving advice to the young founders working in the trenches. And hopefully he’ll be bringing their concerns and questions to the people in the New York City Economic Development Corporation and other parts of government who can get things done. There is an innovation agenda around issues like patent reform, immigration and censorship which needs to be addressed at the local and national level.
Luckily it seems Mr. Rosenbaum understands the challenge. “The DNA of startups and the DNA of government don’t naturally fit together,” he told Crain’s. “But things work better if you understand how the city is wired.”