So, here’s the deal: NYC is granting some land (and a hundred million dollars) to a university that wants to build a technology campus in NYC. Word on the street is that Cornell and Stanford are finalists.
The city’s goal is simple: Bring more great tech talent to NYC, which will encourage more technology companies to open offices (or start) in NYC, which will bring more JOBS to NYC. “Jobs” is the buzzword these days. I agree, a new tech campus in NYC would be great for all technology companies in NYC.
I’m pretty excited about this initiative. Our team at Behance is now 24 people and growing; we run the Behance Network, The 99%, and Action Method - and our pipeline of new technology for the creative industry is very robust. Suffice to say, we are growing fast and are ALWAYS looking for the best technology talent that wants to join us and help empower and organize the creative industries.
As a Cornell alum working in the tech community in NYC, I’m obviously rooting for Cornell. However, I am also very concerned that Mayor Bloomberg and the administration will overlook a very important question when deciding between Cornell and Stanford: Where do students in technology go to work when they graduate? Wherever their alumni network offers them a job.
It’s widely known that Stanford’s all-powerful alumni network has “first dibs” on tech talent, and this often means a quick migration of recent graduates to Silicon Valley (not Alley). Anecdotally, nearly all of my smart friends from Stanford leveraged their alumni network for jobs and, as a result, most of them stayed on the west coast. Even if Stanford students took a year or two studying in NYC, they would still tap their alumni network for jobs. And when they do, they’ll head back west to their home turf.
In contrast, Cornell is New York, through and through. Cornell’s alumni base is heavily skewed to the East Coast, and especially New York City. The fact that some of Cornell’s colleges are state-funded (and thus cheaper for in-state residents) helps explain the deep alumni roots in the region. When Cornell engineers graduate and look for jobs, their alumni network is much more likely to lead them to NY-based companies (or offices). Most of my friends from Cornell that founded companies did so in the region.
Bottom line: A Cornell tech campus in NYC will not only bring technology talent to the city, it will also keep tech talent in NYC.
Sure, there are a couple other cases I’d make for choosing Cornell:
- NYC Weill Cornell Med College - tons of staff and some exciting collaborations that could take place between Medical school and technology campus!
- A more broad application of technology inherent in the DNA of Cornell’s history, ranging from Agriculture and Biotechnology to Architecture and Hospitality.
Of course, at the end of the day, I am very excited about the prospects of ANY new technology campus in NYC. But I hope the NY tech community gets the most out of this opportunity, which is why i’m helping spread the word and supporting Cornell’s efforts.
Want to help?