Meeting of the Minds Speaker

Robinson Hernandez

Executive Director

The Hub at Grand Central Tech

Robinson Hernandez is the Executive Director of the Hub at Grand Central Tech, a new space for the urban tech community in New York City.

The Hub will provide growth stage companies working on urban tech challenges with access to key decision makers from the City and the corporate world.

Most recently, Robinson served as Deputy Commissioner of Small Business Services where he oversaw NYC Business Acceleration, an inter-agency initiative that provides the City's new and existing businesses with streamlined services to navigate government regulations and open faster by reducing the time and effort needed for basic City requirements like plan reviews and inspections. Robinson also oversaw the launch of Small Business First, a comprehensive plan to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses in New York City. Small Business First will simplify the regulatory landscape many small businesses confront in the establishment and ongoing operation of their businesses by improving communication between business owners and City government. Robinson has been invited to speak at multiple conferences about his work, including twice at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the International Downtown Association annual conference in San Francisco, the Salesforce World Tour in New York, Bloomberg Philanthropies’’ Innovation Delivery Team conference in Atlanta, and the National League of Cities conference in Chicago.

Prior to this position, Robinson was a Special Advisor to the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and oversaw special projects (including urbanSHED, a design competition to select an improved sidewalk shed design for NYC), liaise with other regulatory agencies and help coordinate the agency's response to emergencies with other City, State and Federal agencies. Robinson also worked at the Mayor’s Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses where he helped create the City's new Industrial Business Zones, which provide assistance to the City's manufacturing businesses.

Before joining the City, Robinson started his career with the General Electric Financial Management Program where he focused on cost management and operations productivity. Robinson later worked at Ernst & Young and delivering technology solutions for businesses and local governments.

Robinson has a B.S. in Finance from Boston College and a Master of Urban Planning from the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He also speaks Spanish and French.