Sen. Gillibrand proposes legislation to support Brooklyn tech industry

“Brooklyn has become the hottest tech hub in America,” Jeffries said.

August 14, 2014 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Electric cars can potentially be a great way to help the United States gain energy independence from foreign oil — but a lot of work must still be done. One Brooklyn company, HEVO Power, is working to make this effort more feasible by creating a wireless system to charge electric cars.

However, it’s not easy to startup a company that can handle such a huge task and HEVO Power’s founder and CEO Jeremy McCool said that a NYSERDA grant was essential in helping grow the company that hopes to one day make wireless docking stations as common as parking meters.

“We stand firmly behind our senator’s commitment to help small tech companies,” McCool said. “In addition to our headquarters in Brooklyn, all components of our technology are produced in New York state so it’s great to see our senator spearheading a bill like this.”

The TRANSFER Act that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing, along with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery and Borough President Eric Adams, is a federal bill designed to help translate more than $2.3 billion a year of research funding secured by New York City university research institutions into small businesses. The goal is to increase new science and technology jobs in Brooklyn and the state.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

“This bipartisan legislation will help bring high-tech innovation into the marketplace, producing cutting-edge small businesses and new jobs,” Gillibrand said. “Equipping our scientists and students with effective business skills and access to much-needed funding will go a long way towards creating the next high-tech industry and a new generation of innovative leaders.”

She added that the state ranks second in the nation with $6 billion in total investment across research institutions each year, but only attracts 7 percent of the nation’s venture capital, according to a 2014 Entrepreneurship in New York study.  She said she would like to see that gap closed.

“Brooklyn has become the hottest tech hub in America,” Jeffries said. “I look forward to working with Sen. Gillibrand and my colleagues across the aisle to get this essential piece of legislation passed and ensure that we cultivate the next generation of tech leaders across our city.”

“Entrepreneurs, growing businesses and new technologies all need seed money,” Montgomery said. “With this stream, the NYU Urban Future Lab will produce the next generation of Brooklyn entrepreneurs and new industries.”

Aside from helping to provide money for tech companies, the TRANSFER Act would also establish a competitive grant program through five federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, NASA and the National Science Foundation. The grant would help universities, federal laboratories and other non-profit research institutions. Winning institutions would be eligible for up to $3 million in federal funding.

“The tech scene is beginning to blossom in Brooklyn, and I thank Sen. Gillibrand and the bill’s co-sponsors for recognizing Brooklyn’s potential,” Adams said. “We have the infrastructure in place for development with our prestigious universities and tech startups so I believe that it’s time for Washington to recognize what Brooklyn can do for the economy and pass this bill.”

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