NYC: A Maker City


Thursday, September 18, 9:25 am to 10:10 am in Auditorium

The big Apple epitomizes much of which is current, trending and progressive in terms of style, culture and attitude. Not surprising then, that New York is leading by example of what a maker city can achieve when it sets out to nurture an indomitable spirit of indie thinking, resourcefulness, creativity and collaboration. Leveraging its native creative assets to buildout an ecosystem for innovative manufacturing models has led to job creation and economic development. From its iconic fashion industry to revitalizing the naval shipyard to establishing itself as the mecca of 3D printing, at its core, New York is a maker city. 


Miquela Craytor

Director of NYC Industrial and Income Mobility Initiatives, NYCEDC
Miquela Craytor is the Director of NYC Industrial and Income Mobility Initiatives for the Center for Economic Transformation Team at the NYC Economic Development Corporation.  Her Income Mobility work consists of overseeing a $10.2 million suite of pilot initiatives to work with lower income wage earners to connect them to work opportunities in the knowledge economy.  In her Industrial Policy work, Ms. Craytor oversees the city's revived policy efforts concerning New York’s industrial sector. Projects include the “NYC Crafted: State of Local Manufacturing” Fall 2013 report and overseeing the expansion of the Industrial Boundary Zone program.  She was formally the executive director at Sustainable South Bronx.  In her former role, she oversaw implementation of several community-based planning, policy and design initiatives.  These included expansion of a nationally-recognized green-collar training program, launching the MIT sponsored SSBx FabLab and New York State’s first green roof tax incentive.  Ms. Craytor also served as the Senior Planner for Economic Development in the economic arm of the Bronx Borough President's office. Ms. Craytor is a nationally-recognized advocate for using sustainable development to address reinvestment in under-served communities.  She has formerly served on the advisory boards of the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Committee, DC Project, Green Jobs Green NY and the NYC Chapter of the Apollo Alliance.  Ms. Craytor received her BA in planning, public policy, and management from the Honors College at the University of Oregon and her MS in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She is also a 2010 Catto Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a 2010 BMW Transatlantic Fellow.  


Rob Sanchez

CSO, Manufacture NY
Rob Sanchez is the Chief Strategy Officer at Manufacture New York, where he is responsible for strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and development of new business ventures.  Previously, Rob founded Fashioning Our Industry, a conference on law, business and finance for fashion designers, and launched a fashion-focused pitch event that resulted in the successful funding of two companies.  He also founded Crosby Street Gallery, an online gallery that hosted popups in vacant storefronts throughout the tri-state area.  He holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School, where he focused on Business Law, Fashion Law, and Entrepreneurial Law, and holds a BA in English and Psychology from Yale University.  Rob is also a photographer, sculptor, and shoe designer in his spare time.


Surya Mattu

Co-creator, PowerClip
Surya is a hybrid artist, engineer and designer that takes a highly critical approach to the development and use of the engineered systems and infrastructures that we rely on for daily life. He has won the New York Next Top Makers prize and received a grant from UNICEF to develop a distributed power generation system for emergency responders. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Daily News, Wired, The Atlantic, and has been exhibited at BLDG92 and The Museum of Art and Design in New York.  


Tom Kennedy

Co-founder, ReFactory
Tom Kennedy has worked on a wide range of technical projects. He’s worked on medical devices, industrial control systems, robotics, wireless products and consumer electronics. He worked from 2004-2008 at Honeybee Robotics, an aerospace company. There he was the lead electrical engineer for the Sample Manipulation System, a robotic sample handling system aboard Mars Curiosity which continues to operate to this day on the surface of Mars. After Honeybee, Tom co-founded EnergyHub and served as the Director of Hardware Development and CTO. He also served on the Board of Directors up until its acquisition by At EnergyHub he led the development of seven products that were deployed in the thousands by utility companies throughout the US. He worked on every aspect of the development from the hardware and firmware R&D to the selection of the contract manufacturers and the certification and mass production of the products. It was through this process that he learned firsthand how hardware startups get products made overseas and the challenges they face in doing so.