Next week, local business owners, government officials, and academics will gather at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business for the common purpose of bettering the Bronx.

The annual Bronx Summit on Technology Innovation and Start Ups explores the opportunities and challenges underlying the Bronx’s potential for technology-based innovation and startup activity. Sponsored by the Center for Digital Transformation, the summit—which is now in its fourth year—focuses on leveraging existing resources in the borough to promote economic development.

“The Bronx has good infrastructure, it’s relatively low-cost, and yet nobody focuses that much on it,” said the center’s director Wullianallur “RP” Raghupathi, PhD, professor of information systems.

“Through these conferences, we want to build up the skills and the knowledge base we already have here to promote economic and technological development… and make it attractive for entrepreneurial and business activities.”

The summit is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required.

This year’s theme, “Opportunistic Growth for the Bronx in Technology: Next Step—Is the Bronx Up to the Challenge?”, pays special attention to health care technology. Speakers and panelists will discuss innovative solutions such as hosting health hackathons in which students and other programmers collaborate on building mobile applications.

Examples of what could arise from a health hackathon are remote monitoring for diabetics and “telemedicine” web conferencing for doctors and patients, Raghupathi said. But first the borough must tap into the brainpower within its borders.

“We have all these institutions, colleges, and this support from the borough president’s office as well as private entities,” he said, referencing Bronx Community College, St. Barnabas and Montefiore hospitals, the Bronx Science Consortium, and the South Bronx Development Corporation, among others. “We felt that we needed to act as an interface among these various stakeholders.”

Fordham presenters include Rosemary Wakeman, PhD, director of the urban studies program; Nisha Mistry, director of the Urban Law Center; and Carey Weiss, sustainability initiatives coordinator for the Social Innovation Collaboratory.

The summit is co-sponsored by Fordham’s urban studies program, the Urban Law Center, and the Bronx Technology Innovation Coalition (BITC).

For more information, contact Raghupathi or Center for Digital Transformation senior fellow Teresita Abay-Krueger.


Joanna Klimaski Mercuri is a staff writer in the News & Media Relations Bureau. She can be reached at (212) 636-7175 or [email protected]