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Op-Ed: Cultivating a Virbrant Startup Community, In The Bronx?

One city that may not come to mind, when you consider startup communities, is the Bronx -- and here's why it has the potential to be a rising...

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Entrepreneurs Reap Benefits of Doing Business in The Bronx

As an outsider we see the “potential” in doing business in the Bronx. But many Bronxites realized this decades ago and have made Fordham Road into one of the top 10 busiest shopping corridors in the world.

Retail can benefit immensely from the foot traffic and spending power of residents. Every aspect of business can benefit from the Bronx. With 1.4 million residents, the Bronx is on par with the population of Manhattan, but it is twice the land area. This makes warehouses and office lofts an affordable possibility – especially for young startup companies.

Also, the Bronx has already begun to attract young entrepreneurial talent.

For example, Fordham University is one of the top tier universities in the country and produces remarkable students from top ranked programs, particularly from the Gabelli School of Business.

Sunshine NYC has opened the first co-working space in the Bronx and Fordham has followed suit with the Fordham Foundry, which provides remarkably cheap work spaces for entrepreneurs in a modern building you would think belongs in Midtown.

Young companies like Scenyc, Inc. and the Concourse Fund have already taken advantage of the resources that the Bronx offers and has tailored their business model to give back to their local neighborhood.

This is the attitude that is unique to the Bronx.

Although it is one of the largest cities in the world, it still maintains a small community atmosphere. Unlike Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Bronx residents think about how they can improve their community, and not just how they can suckle its benefits. This is the key step in being able to invigorate the Bronx.

For instance, in October of this year, the Fordham University Center for Digital Transformation hosted their 2nd annual Summit on Technology Innovation and Start Ups in the Bronx, which brought together influential community members that represented companies such as: Accenture, Google, Junior Achievement, Latin Business Today, Mass Ideation, Sofito for Your Soul Media Group, Siri Capital, and Good-B, to discuss the various ways to begin improving the Bronx.

Although some referred to the event as the “first step,” it was not. The community has already begun to pursue its remarkable potential and organization like the Fordham University Summit and innovative entrepreneurs are capable of developing the Bronx into a new startup hub.

 

Joshua Kleyman is the Executive Director of the National Student Initiative. He is a champion of youth development and education reform through innovative and realistic means. Josh often speaks at Fordham University, Columbia University, Macaulay College, General Assembly and other teaching centers on business and social entrepreneurship. In 2013 he has been nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and the United Nations Empact 100 Showcase.
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