Grooming New York City’s Top Executives to Go Green

NYU-Poly Opens Applications to Highly Competitive Clean-Tech Education Program

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) is looking for a few green executives. Thirty, to be exact.

Following a highly successful pilot semester in which 140 seasoned executives vied for 25 spots, NYU-Poly is calling for applicants for the fall session of its CleantechExecs program, a rigorous 10-week curriculum that trains top managers from a variety of fields to lead businesses in New York’s fast-growing clean technology sector. The program is a collaborative undertaking between NYU-Poly’s Department of Technology Management, NYU-Poly’s New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE) and the New York State Energy and Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA funding will once again fully cover tuition for executives admitted into the highly competitive program.

A focal point of the program is an applied project in which participants team with a startup or existing company to conceive or implement a clean-technology initiative. Among the first projects were plans to execute a green retrofit of some of New York’s least energy-efficient residential buildings; proposals for the next-generation of smart-grid software, and a green overhaul of NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus, transforming the area into a clean energy zone.

The partners founded CleantechExecs to fuel the growth of clean-technology businesses in New York City by preparing accomplished executives, professionals and entrepreneurs to lead local green startups and oversee implementation of clean technology and practices in existing enterprises. Most inaugural CleantechExecs participants hailed from New York’s core industries including finance, IT/telecom, real estate, advertising and media.

“The pilot taught us how hungry the New York business community is for a fast-track, rigorous professional education that prepares executives to reap the economic opportunities of clean technology,” said Mel Horwitch, professor at NYU-Poly’s Department of Technology Management, who headed the curriculum design and ran the program. “The high level of business acumen among our first executive education participants produced an aggressive learning curve and strong action-learning applied projects. It also perfectly exemplified NYU-Poly’s overall strategic priority of instilling a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among its students and within the NYC community at large. By fostering intellectual growth and inventiveness, CleantechExecs is producing leaders who will make New York a more sustainable city and a leading urban hub for green innovation.”

“In its first year, the CleantechExecs program attracted the best and the brightest to bring green practices to urban areas, and this year we expect even greater results,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. “NYSERDA is proud to be a partner in an important initiative to focus business leaders on energy innovations and prepare them to build environmentally-conscious clean-tech businesses.”

CleantechExecs boasts an original curriculum featuring senior faculty from NYU-Poly and New York University, as well as several guest lecturers. The program consists of 13 full-day work sessions pairing management and entrepreneurship subjects with intensive, hands-on training in the clean-tech industry and engineering. “A major focus as we go forward includes the development of effective clean-tech curricula and educational approaches that can be scaled and widely shared,” Horwitch said.

An open information session for CleantechExecs will be held Thursday, September 16, 2010, 6:00-7:30 p.m., at 160 Varick Street in lower Manhattan. To attend the open house or to apply, visit

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 156-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.