A Q&A with Startup Campus Organizer Melissa Lloyd

06/13/2012 1:15 PM |


Northside is proud to announce that this year, as part of our Entrpreneurship conference, we’ve partnered With NYU and NYU-Poly and the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) to present “The Startup Campus.” The program is a series of discussions at NYU-Poly’s campus in Downtown Brooklyn, pairing young New York-based innovator’s with some of NYU and NYU-Poly’s top professors. To give us a little more background on the project, we spoke to event organizer and NYU-Poly’s Director of Operations, Melissa Lloyd.

Could you tell me a little bit about how the idea for The Startup Campus came about?
Well this idea came about when Scott Stedman with the Northside Media Group was able to get in touch with both NYU and NYU-Poly and the newly-announced Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). And with Brooklyn being the hotbed that it is in this entrepreneurial economy that it would be really pertinent to bring together these institutions to be able to activate a Startup Campus as a part of the Northside Festival, it’s Entrepreneurship branch. We were all excited immediately and so we went about trying to get some of the leading academic minds that we have at our respective institutions paired up with the leaders in industry and some of the startups that we’ve seen really disrupt and do some very positive industry in New York City.

This is the first big joint venture between NYU and NYU-Poly and Center for Urban Science and Progress?
It’s actually not our first big venture together. We have a lot going on academically but what we’re really excited about is that this is one of the first festivals that we’ve been able to pair with in Brooklyn. And so its a very visible way to talk about what’s going on in our hallways. Which is a great collaboration between these top minds in industry and incubators and startups and we get to see the benefit of that every day in our hallways and the research that comes out of our respective institutions. And we’re excited that New York and the audience for Northside is going to be able to benefit from basically everything we get to see in our hallways every day.

Can you give us a a rundown of events for The Startup Campus?
So we’re starting at 1 p.m. We’re starting with “The New Makers of Things” really talking about – First of all I think it’s going to be lots of fun that it’s going to be at the Dekalb Market, which is our neighbor. Great interesting place adjacent to our campus, which is basically a fun pop-up startup type of environment. We have Kurt Becker Whose our Associate Provost here for research and technology initiatives and he’s meeting up with the co-founder of ThinkEco, and the section manager for Con Edison. And what I think is really intriguing about that is essentially Con Edison is using the ingenuity of a startup basically to meet customer demands. So you’re basically talking about that intersection of scaling an economy for a startup, but also using their innovation to meet larger demands, using clean energy and meeting customer demand. I think that’s one of the products that you’re really going to see changing the game about how new products get into the market. And its really intriguing for those trying to start their new business for how can they pair with really an established company.

Right after that at 2pm, moving back to Poly campus at Metrotech-5 to Pfizer auditorium, we have a really intriguing event with new media, it’s something that I’ve worked in quite a bit, called the “Shifting Nature of Curation in Media.” In the media industry that’s looking to find a balance between links to print journalism versus the promise of digital publishers, that were kind of born online, these native digital publishers. Really we’re looking at how are we going to help satisfy the public and also get quality information to them. Whose business model is working and how it works and that debate of the media organizations having to find their world in this brave new world. We have Buzzfeed coming, we have Crain’s NY coming, we have an Eyebeam Fellow coming, so we really have this interesting viewpoint on changing the game.

At 3 p.m. also back in the Pfizer Auditorium, we’re going to be talking about “The Gamification of Everything.” That’s something that’s really hot at Poly we have one of the great places in the country, the game center here at Poly, so we have Jesper Juul, visiting arts professor from NYU and Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPop and Nick Fortugno of Playmatics and they’re going to be coming together and talking about how you can turn when you show up at the library into a game, you can turn your credit card reward points into a game, how is that really affecting the game industry and where does it feel comfortable playing a part in that, or are they?

At 4 p.m., I’m really excited because we get to welcome Fred Wilson, whose a founding member of Union Square Ventures and Frank Rimalovski, whose Managing Director of NYU Innovation Venture Fund. And that’s here again at Pfizer Auditorium in Metrotech-5. And they’re having a conversation about the intersection of academic institutions and startup economies, which I think is going to make for really intriguing discussion. We’re here and we’re kind of these traditional institutions, but we’re being major activators about how people are getting funding, connecting people. Frank manages the Innovation Venture Fund and Fred Wilson is of course a fascinating blogger in the area, and I think they’re going to have a very fascinating conversation about what that means.

And then 5 p.m. we’re going to head back over to the Dekalb Market to wind up the day, with Jeffrey Rabhan, Recorded Music at the Clive Davis Institute, Vlad Vukicevic, the Co-founder of Rocket Hub and Josh Deutsch, Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of Downtown Music and really they’re going to be debating what is the music industry supposed to look like now. We have completely different players, we have completely different ways of funding musicians as opposed to the old way of doing things.

Make sure to check out the full schedule for The Startup Campus (and the rest of Northside Entrpreneurship) here.