Chapter News, News

Mayor Bloomberg Launches New Initiatives To Help New York City Continue As The Global Media Capital In The Digital Age

Cornell NYC Tech Announces Launch of Connective Media Degree at its Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute in Collaboration with Leading Traditional and New Media Companies. Incubator and Educational Space in DUMBO Will Support and Train Creative Professionals as the Next Generation of Digital Storytellers

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced two major initiatives to help New York City maintain its position as media capital of the world in the digital age: the launch of Cornell NYC Tech’s degree program in Connective Media and the opening of the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in DUMBO. Connective Media is the first degree program to be offered by the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell Tech, a two-year masters degree designed to train the entrepreneurial engineers and technologists desperately needed in the media sector. Graduates of this dual degree program will receive a degree from Cornell University and from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Made in NY Media Center by IFP is an incubator space for storytellers, creative professionals and entrepreneurs across multiple disciplines to collaborate and create new business opportunities through education, entrepreneurship and content creation. It is the result of a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation as the latest step to bring innovation to the local media, digital and entertainment industries. The Mayor made the announcement at the Made in NY Media Center, located at 30 John Street in DUMBO.

“We can’t take our position as the world’s media capital for granted, because the way media is produced and consumed is changing dramatically,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Media creators and tech companies have a lot to gain from a strong, collaborative working relationship – and New York City will reap the benefits of that partnership in the form of job creation and global competitiveness.”

“Mayor Bloomberg’s vision for expanding applied sciences and engineering higher education in New York is rapidly coming to life even before Cornell and the Technion’s campus on Roosevelt Island opens,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “New York City is a global media capital, and this new degree program will help ensure that this industry will remain an engine of the City’s economy.”

“The Connective Media program we are announcing today is the first of the dual degree programs to be offered at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech, the innovative collaboration between Cornell and the Technion,” said Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell NYC Tech. “This novel program addresses the huge need for more tech talent in the media-related businesses that play such an important role in New York City.”

“The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is organized around hubs focused on key New York City industries, and there is no better place to start than in the media space,” said Craig Gotsman, Director of the JTCII. “We are aware of the critical need for deep tech talent to lead the digital transformation within the traditional and new media companies and are proud to be working with many of them in educating a new generation of tech professionals in this space.”

“As we re-imagine the media industry, one of our big obstacles is a shortage of skilled and experienced technologists who have deep technical expertise and also understand our industry,” said Philip Wiser, Chief Technology Officer at Hearst Corporation. “That’s why we are excited to work with Cornell Tech on the new Connective Media program. The campus’ close collaboration with industry in tackling pressing problems ensures that students are prepared to have a powerful impact on our future.”

The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute is now accepting applications for a first class of students to begin studies in the fall of 2014. The Connective Media program is aimed at meeting the growing need for technologists in media-related industries, to respond to and drive the digital transformation of publishing, advertising, news and information, and entertainment. The Connective Media degree combines technical, social science and media industry expertise in a broad interdisciplinary two-year program, with an immersive semester-long industry project and extensive engagement with digital media companies in New York City. The program will train a new generation of talent to develop technologies, applications and experiences that take advantage of the constant access to, and sharing of, online information in the digital and mobile world. Graduates of the program will be equipped to help lead the digital transformation of the city’s and the nation’s media industries, and will receive degrees from both Cornell and Technion.

The JTCII also announced a series of corporate collaborators who will help shape the Connective Media hub, including The New York Times, Facebook, Hearst, Medium, Betaworks, Tumblr and WordPress. The collaborating companies will provide input and guidance this year to refine the curriculum for this novel new degree that combines technology expertise at the level of a software engineer, computer scientist or data scientist, with media industry expertise at the level of product manager, product designer, or editorial staff member.  When the program launches next fall, companies in the Connective Media space will provide real-world projects, mentorship, and industry knowhow for students, as well as continuing to provide input and guidance as the program adapts and the new curriculum is adjusted.

“New York City is a leader in media and entertainment, and it is imperative that we continue to cultivate talent in order to maintain this position and allow the sector to reach new levels of success,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.  “These initiatives ensure that New York City will be the home of future generations of media talent, and that our City will remain at the center of the digital world.”

“New York City has seen remarkable growth in recent years in the digital and entertainment industries,” said Commissioner Oliver. “With this growth and the ever-evolving media landscape, we want the Made in NY Media Center by IFP to be the connecting bridge between these industries so that new opportunities can be created across disciplines. Whether it’s an independent filmmaker working with a gaming company to create a short film or a digital startup networking with an established media company, we look forward to see what inventive and creative projects emerge from the Center.”

“The Media Center is launching this week, and will soon be the incubator and central hub for storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries and platforms,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. “Regardless of what tools are used, we’ll be doing what we’ve done for 35 years: curating stories, supporting artists and connecting storytellers to investors, audiences and other artists.  We look forward to sharing our programming, partners and events with the creative and tech communities in the coming weeks.”

“The Made in NY Media Center is an exciting addition to the DUMBO community and a great collaboration between Brooklyn’s growing tech sector and its already thriving creative economy,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “This is not just a co-working space, it is an incubator. This isn’t just a place where the entrepreneurs driving the future of New York City’s economy will come to work, this is a place where their ideas will be nurtured and their companies will flourish because of the educational and collaborative opportunities that will be provided. This center will be just the latest feather in the cap of “Hollywood East”, a.k.a. Brooklyn. From Steiner Studios to Broadway Stages to the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at my alma mater, Brooklyn College. It might be time to bid “ta-ta” to La-La Land!”

“The Made in NY Media Center is an exciting addition to a neighborhood burgeoning with creativity – DUMBO,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “These new facilities will offer our community a place to learn, interact, and create with up-and-coming storytellers, innovators, and businesses. DUMBO is home to the some of the most creative and artistic people in the world so it is only fitting that the new Media Center would call it home.”

“At General Assembly, we are building a global community of individuals and empowering them to pursue the work that the love,” said Jake Schwartz, General Assembly Co-Founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to partner with the Media Center to bring General Assembly’s hands-on, real world approach to education to Brooklyn, and expand our community to include the city’s storytellers and innovators in film, video, gaming and technology.”

As a media incubator, the Made in NY Media Center by IFP brings together creative professionals from the film, television, video, gaming, technology and advertising industries. Participants will share affordable community workspace as they build on and develop their creative ideas and businesses. Originally constructed in 1909 as a coffee factory and later used as a shipping and receiving facility, the 20,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of 30 John Street has been designed by MESH Architects into an incubator space with 120 dedicated desks along with 40 flexible work spaces, classrooms, editing rooms, conference rooms, a screening room, a public art gallery and a café. With views of the Manhattan Bridge and the East River, the public areas of the center are designed to welcome residents and visitors, and community events will be programmed throughout the year.

The Media Center also offers membership for storytellers, artists, technology entrepreneurs and media and corporate partners.  Benefits vary according to membership level and can include access to desk space in the community workspace; invitations to networking events; and discounts on the Media Center’s workshops, seminars and classes, among others. The Center is currently seeking talented content creators who are looking to develop a creative idea in an open and collaborative space. Once selected, the Center will help members bring their work to life. Additional information on how to apply is available at The Media Center’s anchor tenants include Astronauts Wanted, a new venture by Judy McGrath and Nick Shore.  It is a cross-platform entertainment brand targeting young people, the next generation of content creators.  Another is Playmatics, which build highly engaging games and user experiences on the internet, in social media networks, and on a variety of connected gaming platforms. In collaboration with New York City Mayor’s Office and the Independent Filmmaker Project, Verizon looks forward to providing best in class technology and telecommunications solutions for the Made in New York Media Center.

The Media Center will also be home to robust educational programming. Instructors from IFP will teach courses on creativity and craft, cross-media strategy and career sustainability. For coursework related to technology, entrepreneurship and design, IFP has partnered with General Assembly, a New York-based global education company. All courses, whether individual classes, workshops or long-form educational programming, will be open to the public, and are designed to address the needs of creative and tech professionals in various stages of their careers. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, together with the Department of Small Business Services, is developing a program to offer Media Center courses to “Made in NY” PA training graduates at subsidies up to 95 percent.  These courses will enhance their knowledge of set operations in areas ranging from script supervision to lighting, furthering their career opportunities.  The “Made in NY” PA training program is a free, month-long program developed in conjunction with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations designed to prepare individuals from diverse communities for entry-level positions in film production. The Media Center will host select programming and events leading up to its October 15th grand opening week when a series of open houses, public events and info-sessions will commence and tenants will occupy the space. Initial operating hours are 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM weekdays, and 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM on weekends.  Projects accepted into the Incubator space will have 24/7 access to the building and resources in early November.  The screening room is slated to open the last week of October.

The Made in NY initiative celebrates New York City’s evolving media and entertainment industry. The initiative has highlighted the importance of the sector to the local economy through public service announcements, marketing efforts and educational and workforce development programs. Designed by, a New York City based media company, the “Made in NY” logo is a mark of distinction awarded to qualified production projects where at least 75 percent of the overall production was made in New York City. Since its creation, the logo has appeared in the end credits of over 300 film, television and web productions and is a trademark owned by the City of New York. There are also more than 1,000 tech companies that base at least 75 percent of their development and are headquartered in New York City, receiving the distinction of being “Made in NY.”

New York City’s media and entertainment industries represent a thriving sector of the local economy. New York City’s production industry contributes more than $7 billion to the local economy, employs 130,000 New Yorkers who earn a living working behind the camera and supports thousands of small businesses throughout the five boroughs. In 2012, more than 250 feature films were shot on location in New York City, and currently there are more than twenty episodic series produced on location and at stages in the City with additional series starting production in the coming months. Ten years ago, only seven series were based in the City. Over the past three years, New York City’s technology companies have experienced powerful growth, with over $8.3 billion of acquisitions in 2012 alone. New York City has surpassed Boston to become the nation’s second most-funded area after Silicon Valley, and multiple job listing platforms reinforce that there are more technology roles available in New York City than anywhere else in the country. The City is also as a magnet for entrepreneurs with reports finding that there are more startups in New York City than any other U.S. city.

IFP was selected as the developer and operator of the “Made in NY” Media Center after a request for proposals was issued by NYCEDC in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in March 2012. Since its inception in 1979 in New York City, IFP has pursued its mission of sustaining innovative content creation and community building through its support of the production of 8,000 films and 22,000 filmmakers. Each year IFP presents the Gotham Independent Film Awards and brings filmmakers and industry reps together at Independent Film Week. IFP also publishes FILMMAKER Magazine.

Marc La Vorgna/Julie Wood              (212) 788-2958
Jeremy Soffin (Cornell)                      (646) 200-5318
Marybeth Ihle (MOME)                     (212) 669-7742