The third and last week of the NYC module was focused on sustainability. Three weeks seems to be the optimal length for the course, as this amount of time makes it possible to get to know different faces of New York.
The key takeaways for me this week have come from 4 different company visits:
Rooftop farming in NYC is able to maintain the jobs of approximately 11 employees. While rooftop farming will probably never have a yield high enough to feed a significant amount of the population of NYC, it has other benefits such as water retention and heat dissipation. Rooftop farms make the city greener and provide new jobs for people who crave for a more “rural” lifestyle in the city. I see a big opportunity to employ the elder who are still able and willing to work on rooftop farms, as this would give them a good reason to wake up in the morning and an extra source of income in their pension years. This would make social impact of rooftop farms even more significant.
Brooklyn Research is a start-up company that has merged from a co-working space. Like minded engineers with complementary skills started working in a shared space and gradually they realized that they could unite their skills to undertake different sorts of projects. They design and build a wide range of intelligent artifacts and get customers mainly through word of mouth. I seems that when a highly specialized skill finds its niche a new venture can grow.
Wework is a co-working space that offers more than just infrastructure, their value proposition is high flexibility and access to a big network of skilled individuals. In my opinion, Wework operates in between an incubator and a co-working space and provides a highly inspiring ambient for start-ups.
Rudin Management is one of the leading private real estate holding companies in NYC. I was impressed by the fact that their strategy is long term in a non-conventional way: “three to four generations”. This approach highly reduces the risk of their investments and have currently invested in a new technology that reduces energy expenses of their real estates, with savings of +1M USD/year.