Digital City

New York City Is So Startup It Now Has a Chief Analytics Officer

Plus, technologists in call, in case of emergency.
Bon voyage and happy trails. (Photo: Screencap)

Bon voyage and happy trails. (Photo: Screencap)

Today Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered his final State of the City address. Amid wisecracks about the Knowles-Carter family (you might know Barclays Center part owner Shawn Carter “by what he’s been called since the Super Bowl: Beyoncé’s husband”), Hizzoner had plenty to say about the city’s tech sector. Hey, he can’t let President Obama totally blow up his spot.

Below, a few of the big shout-outs:

King of Numbers, Defender of the Data

It’s finally happened: New York City has merged wholly with Startupland. The evidence? In his speech, Mayor Bloomberg announced that our fair metropolis (which already has a Chief Digital Officer, Ms. Rachel Haot) will now have a Chief Analytics Officer, as well:

Using data to tackle problems has helped us to improve services across city government. This year, the data analytics team we created at City Hall will launch a new platform that will improve the way all agencies share information. To lead this effort, I’ll appoint the city’s first ever Chief Analytics Officer, Michael Flowers. And he’ll make as much of this data as possible public, so that the tech community can hold us accountable.

Please, please tell us we’re all getting real-time, MTA-wide countdown clocks on our phones sometime before the 2nd Avenue Subway opens.

E-National Guard 

All that community spirit that flowered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy finally has an outlet:

We’ll also ask the tech community to join us in tackling data projects that can improve public services, by creating something we call Code Corps.

More details here; founding partners include familiar names like 10Gen, Etsy, General Assembly, New York Tech Meetup, Seamless and…Rent the Runway?

FREE WI-FI! 

There’s no date you can put on your calendar just yet, but there’s at least some signs of life:

“And to further expand New York’s role as a global tech hub, we’ll launch a competition to install Wi-Fi in more of our Business Improvement Districts.

Until then, we’ll always have Chelsea.

School Days, Fool Days

It won’t solve anyone’s immediate tech talent supply problems, but it ought to make parents worrying about high schools feel a little better: The city will be opening a second Academy for Software Engineering, and “with private support” 20 more schools will be getting comp sci classes, as well.

Mayor Bloomberg also highlighted the idea of private-public partnerships in education that got love in the President’s SOTU earlier this week:

To prepare our students for success, we’ll also create new schools that connect students directly to college and work. In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted our partnership with IBM and CUNY to create a high school that includes two years of college which we call grades 13 and 14. When students graduate, they receive an associate’s degree — and an interview at IBM.

Don’t give up hope if your senior prom is long behind you, either:

Today, I’ve directed Deputy Mayor Bob Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Rob Walsh to work with the tech industry, universities, and the nonprofit sector to develop an intensive computer science training program for our adults who want to learn IT skills. And why not do it right here in Downtown Brooklyn? There are now 500 tech companies just between here and the NAVY Yard. We’ll work to connect more New Yorkers to the jobs they’re creating.

More Converted Industrial Space

Tired of searching in vain for new office space? We hear Brooklyn’s nice:

We’ll move forward with a plan to turn the old Domino Sugar Plant into new housing and we’ll create the commercial space that Brooklyn’s growing tech community needs.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we’ll work with the State to help Steiner Studios begin creating a 50-acre new media campus. The campus will eventually provide 2,500 good jobs in film, television and tech — two of the fastest-growing industries in our city.

Here Come the Electric Cars

Hey, technology isn’t just consumer Internet and 3-D printing:

We’ll make New York City a national leader in another new technology: electric vehicles. This year we’ll pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill up their battery in as little as 30 minutes as opposed to the normal 8 hours.

“We’ll work with the City Council to amend the Building Code so that up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces in private developments will be wired and ready for electric vehicles, creating up to 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years.

Good news for New York’s ailing media industry. Think of all the pageviews when the fights break out over mileage and how long it takes to really charge these cars!

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com