Big Data

Why NYC is the new big data hotbed for VCs

The cloud has greatly facilitated collaboration and the growth of business technology in New York City, says Empire Global Ventures CEO Alexandra Stanton.

Alexandra Stanton of Empire Global Ventures tells TechRepublic's Dan Patterson why VCs can be found NYC and why The Big Apple is the new big data hotbed. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Dan Patterson: New York City is full of companies that are incredibly diverse. Give me a spectrum of companies that you're investing in, that aren't just the next big app, but do all kinds of different things, in science and technology.

Alexandra Stanton: Let me give you a few examples. Certainly, Trustify, as we talked about earlier, in terms of the private-investigator space. As a lawyer, I can tell you, no one has done what they're doing. They've democratized the investigatorial space. Every law firm, every bank, anyone, needs help investigating. That's an example of a great company.

Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist at NYU. She's got over 3,000,000 on her TED talk. She's extraordinary. We are taking her to market, and building her business. NovoCarbon, as I mentioned, is helping the first graphite-refining facility come into the US. CNIguard is a UK-based sensor-technology company that sits right in the heart of the Internet of Things. They didn't know how to enter the American market, until we helped them. Three years ago, we said to them, You are not just a company that helped protect the Thames in the UK from terrorism, but you are municipal infrastructure. Now, after three years, they're an eight-figure company, and we helped them hire their American CEO.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

Dan Patterson: All right, last question. What technologies, whether it's IoT, AI, big data... what technologies are really driving growth here in New York City?

Alexandra Stanton: The cloud has greatly facilitated collaboration in companies. Teams can sit in the same city, but not in the same place. Teams can sit in different localities around the world. It allows people to work quickly at the same time, securely, and that's a real evolution. It allows founders to operate cheaply and less expensively.

Internet of Things... it's importance can't be overestimated. The ability to now tech-ify what were non-tech-ified products... it has revolutionized municipal infrastructure. Smart cities is really operating at a whole new level because of IoT. We sit in the center of that for New York.

Dan Patterson: I have one more question. I forget that you worked at the intersection of government and politics.

SEE: What is the Internet of Things? Everything you need to know about the IoT right now (ZDNet)

What lessons did you learn in government that every entrepreneur should know? How should the two— government and private enterprise— collaborate and work together?

Alexandra Stanton: Oftentimes, government and business fundamentally distrust each other. It's a shame. Government can be a fantastic client for business.

Let me give you a small statistic: a couple of years ago, Google's revenues were $74 billion. The budget of the State of New York at the same time was $152 billion. We bridge that gap. We help them do deals with each other, and we help shepherd business through those processes to find great clients in government.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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