On September 29, 2021, the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech, along with Google for Startups and Tech:NYC announced a $150k Start-up competition called the “NYC Recovery Challenge 2021,” for the purpose of furthering Cornell Tech’s mission of building NYC-based tech talent. More specifically, it seeks to “identify teams, founders and companies who are … committed to supporting job creation, placement and retention throughout the five boroughs,” according to a site dedicated to the competition.
The Jacobs Urban Tech Hub is led by Founding Director Michael Samuelian, who provided guidance for the competition that participants should seek to “make their block, borough, and city better through tech.”
This is aligned with the city’s tech sector’s contributions in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic with Tech:NYC Executive Director Julie Samuels noting that such activities included manufacturing ventilators and PPE and building vaccine and testing websites.
More than 170 New York-based startups applied with ten selected to be NYC Recovery Challenge Fellows.
The focus of the selected companies includes:
- Financial services for gig economy workers
- A job readiness platform for individuals with autism & the disability population
- Digital community banking for Black-owned small businesses
- An end-to-end collaboration tool for creative teams; and
- An AI-powered online marketplace connecting people to local brick & mortar bodegas
The participants come from diverse backgrounds and four of NYC’s five boroughs.