NYC Media Lab Names Roger W. Neal Founding Executive Director

Digital Media Executive Will Lead Public-Private Venture to Drive Independent Technology Research and Connect Media Community and Academic Institutions

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), and Columbia University today announced the appointment of Roger W. Neal as Founding Executive Director of the NYC Media Lab. Building upon models established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, the NYC Media Lab will facilitate interaction between the City’s more than 100 institutions of higher education and 10,000 media and technology companies. A veteran digital media executive, Neal served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of BusinessWeek Digital from 2006 to 2009, where he launched BusinessWeek’s Company Insight Center, led an investment in LinkedIn, and built an award-winning content sharing platform, Business Exchange. Prior to that, he served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at eBay, and held executive positions at both Time Warner, and AOL. He began his media career as a journalist at Forbes magazine.

“In order to cement New York City’s role as the center of innovation, we must use cutting-edge research to help our most important industries grow. The NYC Media Lab is designed to do just that, and Roger Neal is the ideal person to lead the organization as it assists the media sector through this important era of transition,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “I am looking forward to seeing Roger lend his expertise as an entrepreneur and media executive to this exciting project.”

“Mr. Neal has been at the forefront of digital convergence for two decades, at major media companies and as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley,” said NYC Media Lab Administrative Director Shivendra Panwar, who is also a professor in NYU-Poly’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information Systems (CATT). “His passion for breakthrough technology and evolving business models, coupled with his entrepreneurial acumen and contacts, will give the NYC Media Lab the leadership to accelerate this exciting venture.”

”We are very excited to have someone with Roger’s experience, enthusiasm, and insight at the helm of the NYC Media Lab” said Executive Director and VP of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at Columbia University Orin Herskowitz. “The City has many media assets that are already quite successful operating independently, and could be even more successful in collaboration. We look forward to leveraging Columbia’s resources, including Columbia Technology Ventures, Columbia Engineering, the Journalism School, the Business School, and other campus organizations to support the efforts of the NYC Media Lab.”

”I’m thrilled to lead the development of the NYC Media Lab, and to connect and empower New York’s innovators across media sectors and academic disciplines,” said NYC Media Lab Executive Director Neal.

As Executive Director, Neal will be responsible for overseeing the NYC Media Lab’s efforts to connect large media incumbents, start-up companies, venture investors, and university researchers, in order to drive collaborations and research within the City’s media industry. Since its launch in June 2010, the NYC Media Lab has established a media research and development database comprised of academic researchers and R&D facilities throughout New York City, with business entries expected to follow. It has also facilitated the first brainstorming sessions for media companies interested in accessing cutting edge University research technology, and will establish an ongoing calendar of technology and business events.

Set up initially as a virtual “lab,” all physical activities, including networking sessions and roundtable discussions, will now be conducted at partners’ facilities. NYCEDC provided a $250,000 grant to establish NYC Media Lab, which is housed at the NYU-Poly CATT in Downtown Brooklyn. For more information on the NYC Media Lab, visit

Roger W. Neal received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and his MBA from Columbia University


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find the NYCEDC on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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.

About Columbia University

A leading academic and research university, Columbia continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia's extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Columbia is deeply committed to supporting technological innovation within NYC; it is home to the Columbia Engineering, Business, and Journalism Schools, and has been involved with the launch of over 100 start-up companies based on Columbia technology in the past 15 years alone.  For more information, visit