Cyber NYC, a $100 million public and private investment intended to build out New York City's cybersecurity ecosystem and infrastructure, could add 10,000 local cyber jobs over the next 10 years, officials said at its launch last week.
Much of the expectations for closing the massive cybersecurity skills gap has pointed to private industry and the federal government. But New York’s initiative puts it in good company with Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. among cities, states and localities potentially leading the charge. It’s not too much to believe more will do so as well. Currently, some 100 cybersecurity companies employing about 6,000 people are based in the City, and last year, roughly $1 billion in venture capital funding was directed to some of those firms.
Along those lines, Cyber NYC, which is backed by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC), said it has gained pledges from a number of notable partners to launch a multi-pronged project that includes a central cybersecurity center, an innovation hub for startups, multiple initiatives to fuel commercialization and research, and new talent pipelines to train cyber workers.
“New York City needs to be ambitious about cybersecurity because our future depends on it,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Cyber NYC will fuel the next generation of cybersecurity innovation and talent, leveraging one of the world’s greatest threats to create a major economic anchor and up to 10,000 quality middle-class jobs,” he said. “We’ve convened a world-class roster of partners to help us execute on this essential plan, which will help protect the industries and people that make this city the economic powerhouse that it is today.”
Cyber NYC: Key Components
The effort is fueled by $30 million from the City and potentially $70 million more from private funding. The blueprint features what organizers are calling “distinct yet connected” efforts:
Global Cyber Center: The City has engaged with SOSA, an Israeli technology industry networker that provides investor sourcing, hands-on mentorship and growth resources for startups, to support a multi-use 15,000-square-foot facility. The plan is to attract an international community of corporations, investors, startups, and talent for industry-specific events and programs. A coworking space for startups and a virtual testing ground to run simulations are also on the docket.
Hub.NYC: An accelerator developed with Jerusalem Venture Partners to connect enterprise cybersecurity companies with advisors and customers.
Cyber Boot Camp: A program to help local workers find jobs in the cybersecurity space, enacted with Fullstack Academy and Laguardia Community College.
Applied Learning Initiative: Students will be able to earn a City University of New York (CUNY)/Facebook Master’s Degree degree in cybersecurity. Contributors also include New York University, Columbia University, Cornell Tech, and iQ4.
Inventors to Founders: A program to commercialize university research in conjunction with Columbia’s Technology Ventures.
Cyber NYC: Who's Involved?
A number of famed industry partners are involved in Cyber NYC, including:
- Goldman Sachs executives Phil Venables, the financial giant’s chief operational risk officer, and Andy Ozment, its chief information security officer, are members of Cyber NYC’s key advisory boards.
- PricewaterhouseCoopers has committed to hiring students from Cyber NYC’s talent programs.
- MasterCard has committed to be a partner of the Cyber Boot Camp and to hiring graduates of the program.
- Facebook has committed to co-developing a new master’s degree program with CUNY.
- edX.org, which has committed to hosting the Stackable Credentials Program on their global learning platform.
“You only have to open a newspaper to see how vast the need for cybersecurity is today,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “Investing in this industry is timely, it plays to New York’s strengths, and it will deliver a real return.”