For a metropolis that by no means sleeps, New York Metropolis turned eerily quiet when the COVID-19 pandemic hit final 12 months. Town’s unemployment charge jumped from 3.8% to twenty% between April and Might 2020, leaving greater than 570,000 New Yorkers with out work. Whereas the unemployment charge has decreased for the reason that pandemic’s peak, at approximately 9.4% it is still nearly three times higher than pre-COVID 19 and nearly twice the national average. Additional, employment cuts and new hiring haven’t been evenly felt throughout industries; whereas the tech trade boomed all through the pandemic, the lights on Broadway remained darkish for months and small companies throughout the town continued to battle to remain afloat. New York Metropolis wanted assist.
Within the spring of 2021, as New York Metropolis was simply starting to vaccinate massive segments of its inhabitants, Google for Startups, Tech:NYC and my workforce at Cornell Tech mentioned methods to assist the town’s economic system bounce again. How may we carry our instruments to the industries that have been struggling probably the most?
Collectively, we launched the NYC Recovery Challenge, a brand new program designed to showcase how we will use tech to assist assist job creation for New York’s small enterprise and job seeker group. Laser-focused on job creation and retention in New York Metropolis, solely startups from throughout the 5 boroughs have been eligible, with a desire for firms constructing options for industries and New Yorkers hit exhausting by the pandemic. We shaped a group advisory committee from throughout the town to assist consider the finalists.
Greater than 170 New York-based startups utilized for the NYC Restoration Problem. Please be a part of me in congratulating the ten firms chosen to be NYC Restoration Problem Fellows:
- Kobina Ansah, Coverr (Queens)
- Byran Dai & Rahul Mahida, Daivergent (Manhattan)
- Su Sanni & Chris Coles, Dollaride (Brooklyn)
- Kelly Ifill, Guava (Manhattan)
- Karen Schoellkopf, Leap Fund (Brooklyn)
- Jason Greenwald & Daniel Langus, Live XYZ (Brooklyn)
- Amina Yamusah, Sector (The Bronx)
- Tracey Hobbs, Shifterr (Brooklyn)
- Tomas Uribe & Kristian Diaz, Stereotheque (Manhattan)
- Tanvir Islam, David Jiang and Bassit Malam, TYCA tech. (Brooklyn)
Along with mentorship and one-on-one assist, the highest three finalists additionally obtain as much as $100,000 in no-strings-attached funding to speed up their enterprise. Manhattan-based first-prize winner, Guava, is a banking hub for Black small enterprise homeowners that connects founders to equitable monetary merchandise and a digital group. Runners-up embody Lengthy Island Metropolis-based startup Coverr, a monetary providers software for impartial contractors, and Brooklyn-based Shifterr, a digital market connecting hospitality trade employers to impartial shift staff looking for gigs.
Along with the three money prize winners, the opposite seven firms chosen replicate the distinct alternatives digital know-how supplies to raised join staff, employers and communities throughout the town. These startups vary from firms that concentrate on supporting staff with autism and a mobility firm devoted to eliminating transit deserts, to an AI-powered on-line group market connecting folks to bodegas and novel options to determine, bridge and ease entry to social providers and authorities assets.
All 10 fellows’ firms use digital know-how to strengthen a various vary of formal and casual networks within the metropolis. Sturdy, dense and numerous networks are the inspiration of city residing, consistently fueling creativity, invention and innovation. It’s inspiring to see founders utilizing the facility of know-how, the energy of our networks and the resiliency of our communities to supercharge New York Metropolis’s continued restoration.