Emil Skandul is a creative technologist and technology economic policy authority. He writes widely on these issues as an opinion contributor, and is the founder of the digital innovation firm Capitol Foundry.
Over the past decade, he has been a frequent op-ed contributor on technology policy to Inc, Observer, New York Daily News, Crain’s New York Business, City & State, and amNY. His area of policy expertise includes technology-based economic development, workforce development, and innovation economics. His opinion pieces have illuminated and championed the growth of the tech sector in New York and in cities around the world.
Emil’s career began in Queens, working on the campaign side for a senior Member of Congress, numerous elected officials in New York, and writing about the decline of political machines. His focus shifted to economic impact, spearheading economic and workforce development projects for the New York City Council in one of the city’s most underserved communities, Rockaway. In 2011, at a conference on Applied Sciences NYC—an initiative to establish a top-tier university in the five boroughs—he met a fellow technology advocate and soon began to advocate for Queens as the next tech hub, meeting with elected officials and mobilizing political and media support. Their group would form New York’s first technology advocacy nonprofit and nationally-recognized organization, Coalition for Queens. Nearly a year before its announcement, he coauthored an op-ed for the New York Daily News, correctly observing Amazon would likely select Long Island City in Queens for its second headquarters.
In 2013, he subsequently launched the design and technology firm, Capitol Foundry. The company was founded shortly after being commissioned to build health technology applications for investors and researchers at Stanford University. As a designer and creative technologist, he has overseen the branding, product design, and engineering of applications for countless startups and Fortune 500 companies. His firm’s recent work includes the rebranding and redesign of the exclusive skyscraper lighting app, Spireworks.
Emil has advised global think tanks and elected leaders on technology cluster formation and innovation. In recent years, he has been invited to events at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and was selected to participate in discussions with world leaders at the Global Baku Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan. He is a recognized voice and outspoken advocate for online voting, government innovation, and the tech economy.
Besides technology and policy, Emil enjoys sailing in his parents’ native country of Croatia, surfing in the Rockaways, and globe-trotting. His recent trips include a solo hike in Patagonia and the World Cup Final in Moscow.
Capitol Foundry is a leading global creative technology firm based in New York and Lisbon and founded by Emil. The firm partners with high-growth brands and startups on digital product innovation. Embracing the philosophy of learning transfer, Capitol Foundry has collaborated with cross-industry clients including Fortune 500 companies like Nike, Autodesk, TIAA, as well as startups from Stanford University and the Harvard Innovation Lab. Their global clientele is located in Silicon Valley, Austin, Berlin, Munich, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Dubai, and New York.
The firm’s mission is to catalyze transformational business impact in marketing and product development through design and technology and new digital products, platforms, services, and experiences. The firm's core capabilities include user interface, user experience design, interaction design, prototyping, website engineering, and web and native application development.
Emil’s pursuits are focused on impact-driven projects and business initiatives. He is open to new business ideas where product design and innovation creates value, and projects that explore opportunities in political participation and improvements in governance. His current writing project explores the growth of "Silicon Cities"—technology hubs—and the policies that have helped create them.
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