As I’m sure the DC interns have already heard, the heat of the New York summer has finally broken. Even if this milder weather doesn’t last, it is a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the last (what seems like) month. So it’s nice for once to wake up to a breezy Saturday, with sunshine, but no threat of a 100+ heat index.
On to the internship update:
Like many of you, my internship will be wrapping up soon. In the last week, we have sent out our August newsletter, attended two cleantech related events, and have continued to interact with and assess the health of the cleantech community in NYC. For the newsletter, as I’ve probably mentioned in an earlier post, I gathered a list of upcoming events, grant/competitions, key job openings relevant to the sector in NYC. Another intern configured these into a digital newsletter layout, and then as a team we edited the content and format. We are tracking the subscription and performance (open rate) of the newsletter, and thus far it has continued to do well in both categories (i.e. people are interested in signing up for it and our open rates are consistently above average within our industry).
With regards to the networking events, the first was a less targeted event (greater Environmental community in NYC) whereas the second focused closer to our target area (green businesses/entrepeneurs). I think both events went well and were useful to the organization by way of building recognition (for a lack of a better term “brand awareness” may be a synonym here) for the services that we provide. Collectively, between the two events, I met two new organizations that we’ve not worked with in the past and who we may collaborate with on future events; two organizations that may be able to provide services (i.e. volunteers/interns/in-kind support); and two entrepeneurs who may apply to the incubator in the near future. Beyond the people who spoke with me directly, we also gained a few newsletter subscribers in addition to our services mentioned as a resource during the event as well as having our information available for those who wanted to learn more.
In terms of the last task I mentioned above, interacting with and assessing the health of the cleantech sector in NYC, I spent a few days collecting data on existing cleantech/green startups located within NYC. To make this more efficient, I looked for directories of startups as well as maps of cleantech businesses/startups across the country. I learned that another organization affiliated with the Economic Development Corp. will be launching this kind of map (for the greater entrepreneurship community) in NYC shortly. Interestingly, I learned of this project after having posed the question to our followers on one of our social media channels. It was great to see the number and quality of responses the question received. Social media continues to inspire me in the ways that we can use it to harness both collective knowledge but also to network and get tangible results (I think I will elaborate on this in my final report that we need to submit). Another tool I’ve been using is an investment tracking report that tracks the location, number, sector and size of investment deals completed during each quarter. In this way, I can at least have one metric to measure how the cleantech sector is doing in the country, in New York (as compared to CA and MA … its rivals when it comes to VC funding), and which sub-sectors are receiving more private money (ie. wind vs solar, etc). It is certainly not the “end all and be all” of data metrics in terms of assessing the health of a sector, but it does give us at least some perspective into funding and financing patterns. The assessment task will likely continue into next week as well.
I think I’ll wrap up here for today. I look forward to reading about your experiences.
Oh, and by the way, a question about the blog. For some reason, the timestamp on this draft (right below where I am typing it) reads “Draft saved at 4:34:48 pm”, but in reality it is only 12:34pm EST. Is anyone else experiencing this too? Perhaps the time zone for the blog is not set to EST? I checked my account’s time zone and it’s set to NY. Hm.. well in any case, if any one has any ideas let me know. Thanks!