Silicon Alley U

East Harlem None Too Keen on the Idea of $300M. to Accomodate Cornell

We One-Upped Peter Thiel

The latest challenge for the city’s grand applied-sciences plans: Some ticked-off East Harlemites, says the Daily News.

As we’ve mentioned before, building that snazzy billion-dollar campus on Roosevelt Island requires demolishing the antiquated old Coler-Goldwater long-term care hospital. Hundreds of patients–many of them with complex needs and financial situations–have to be relocated before October 2013.

The good news is the city has a plan: The Daily News reports that, in order to squeak in under the deadline, “city officials are racing to erect several facilities in East Harlem that will house as many as 700 Coler-Goldwater patients.” But that’s going to cost some $300 million and the locals are, frankly, peeved. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Harvard Gets Schooled: As Techies Flock to Stanford, MIT, Even Penn, Crimson Goes Green With Envy

Widener Library. (Photo: flickr.com/cthulhuwho1)

On a clear November day, the hard-working students of Harvard College took a collective study break and poured onto the walkway in front of Lamont Library. Undergrads, an inordinate number of them sporting hoodies, pressed their bodies against a set of temporary barricades, their smartphones and cameras held aloft, eyes intent on a grinning visitor making his way from one of the Yard’s gates to a mic stand that had been set up smack in the middle of the walkway.

The excitement wasn’t for Jason Segel, who would be selected as the Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year in February, nor for Andy Samberg, who’d be tapped to give the Class Day Speech later that year, but a former classmate—a “concentrator” in computer science and psychology—who eight years ago had been just like them, a hard-working kid with amazing grades and questionable social skills, well on his way to a comfortable future.

As Mark Zuckerberg paused to answer questions, the giddiness was almost enough to make everyone forget that, like Bill Gates before him, the Facebook founder had dropped out of Harvard well before receiving his sheepskin. Read More

Silicon Alley U

Cornell’s Tech Campus Poaches UCLA’s Deborah Estrin for Its Technologist Dream Team

(Photo: Asilomarssc.org)

Earlier this week, Betabeat had the privilege of speaking with Deborah Estrin, the first academic faculty member announced for Cornell and Technion’s $2 billion tech campus. (Coming soon-ish to an island near you!) For an institution concerned with spinning out an army of startups based on the latest technological developments, it’s hard to think of a more fitting hire.

Most recently, Ms. Estrin worked as a professor at UCLA, where she founded the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. She also heads East with a number of accolades, including being named one of the “Brilliant 10” in Popular Science‘s list of elite researchers. This year, Wired included her on a list of “50 People Who Will Change the World” and CNN called her of the “10 Most Powerful Women in Tech.” That last distinction Ms. Estrin shares with her sister, serial entrepreneur Judy Estrin.

Must be something in the genes: Their mother, Dr. Thelma Estrin, is a pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering.  Read More

Silicon Alley U

Former Twitter CTO Greg Pass Tapped as Founding Entrepreneurial Officer for Cornell Tech Campus

Mr. Pass

CornellNYC Tech, the applied sciences campus slated for Roosevelt Island, isn’t wasting anytime establishing its ties to the tech industry. On Monday, Larry Page shlepped out to Chelsea (sans Google glasses, sadly) to announce that Google would gift the campus with 22,000 square feet of office space. And today the school named Greg Pass, Twitter’s first-ever CTO, founding entrepreneurial officer. It’s a much more heavyweight hire than your run-of-the-mill entrepreneur-in-residence.

Former Twitter board member Fred Wilson, for example, has lauded Mr. Pass’ considerable virtues as a technological leader, architect, and recruiter. A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Pass was also cofounder and CTO at Summize before it was acquired by Twitter and started serving as an advisory board member at Obvious Corp after stepping down from Twitter last year. Before playing a pivotal role in scaling Twitter, he spent years as a system architect and software engineer at AOL. Read More

Bummer

Building the Roosevelt Island Tech Campus Requires Relocating a Lot of Sick People

Artist's rendering. (Image: Cornell University)

It’s easy to get the impression that literally everyone in New York City is thrilled by the prospect of the Roosevelt Island tech campus. But one population is less than thrilled, and for good reason. That’s the long-term residents of Goldwater Hospital, which is due for demolition to make way for construction. DNAInfo spoke to several and found them less than reassured about their futures. Read More

Silicon Alley U

New Yorker Reveals More Details About NYC’s Botched Tech Campus Deal With Stanford

Stanford's proposal for Roosevelt Island

In this week’s issue of The New Yorker, the illustrious Ken Auletta, who recently profiled Sheryl Sandberg’s attempts to “upend Silicon Valley’s male-dominated culture,” looks at the Bay Area from a different perspective. This time, he analyzes how Stanford became “the farm system for Silicon Valley,” and whether the “gold-rush mentality” among both Stanford’s students and faculty is good for the university.

Tucked inside the story are also a number of details about why Stanford, which was widely considered a frontrunner to open a its first-ever second campus on Roosevelt Island, abruptly dropped its bid at the last minute. Read More

Silicon Alley U

Cornell Announces Mentorship Program for Grad Students at NYCTech Campus

Artist's rendering. (Image: Cornell University)

Cornell is revolutionizing education in more ways than one at the new Roosevelt Island tech campus. Grad students will pioneer a new method of “learning by doing” as they’re paired with what Cornell is calling “industry mentors.”

In an effort to make the transition from classroom to workforce as seamless as possible, Cornell’s yet-to-be-built NYCTech will match graduate students with Silicon Alley entrepreneurs. While no formal curriculum has been created, the mentor program is designed to help students integrate into the tech and business communities and build relationships before graduation.

Prof. Lance Collins, dean of Cornell’s College of Engineering told The Cornell Daily Sun how vital experience outside of the classroom is. “We feel that connectivity to the business community is really an important part of this whole commercialization focus in New York City. There’s a certain ‘learning by doing’ aspect to commercialization,” he said. “It plugs people into others who are really knowledgeable about how to succeed as an entrepreneur.” Read More

Silicon Alley U

Cornell Plans on Partnering with Other International Universities, Besides Technion, For Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

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In an interview with the Cornell Daily Sun, Provost Ken Fuchs revealed plans to make the tech campus on Roosevelt Island, a 50-50 partnership between Cornell University and Israel’s Technion, even more of a “global institute.”

Over the next six months, he said, Cornell plans to start a search to find “at least one university from Europe and as many as two from Asia” to boost the applied sciences program’s prestige abroad. Read More

Silicon Alley U

Cornell Gets a Jump Start on Recruiting Tech Talent to NYC

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Cornell isn’t wasting any time laying the ground work for its new avuncular role in the New York tech ecosystem. Tomorrow afternoon, the university is hosting a startup career panel in Ithaca called the “NYC Tech Talent Draft,” featuring founders, CEOs, and CTOs from Made In NYC() startups like ZocDoc, TechStars’ ChatID, Yipit, Birchbox, Pivotal Labs, Squarespace, and more. Read More

Silicon Alley U

Interior Fly Through of Cornell-Technion Campus Makes It Look Like Magic, Basically [VIDEO]

interior

In case the aerial fly over video of what Cornell and the Technion’s gleaming campus on Roosevelt Island will look like from the outside wasn’t enough real estate porn for you, the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has released an interior fly over spot today as well.

The description of the animation, which was done by the digital production house AJSNY, is as epic as the images: “In 2012, in the year of the Technion’s cornestone centenary, a third millennium cornerstone is to be laid.”

But before the futuristic beauty inspires you to cryogenically freeze yourself until 2037 (the estimated date of completion for the full 2 million sq. ft. build-out), here’s a dash of realism from Mike Caprio at Startup-o-Rama, “I hearby cynically predict it will be very late, very over budget, & less than 1/2 as green as it appears in the video.” He was talking about the exterior shots, but the point still stands. As the commenters over at Hacker News pointed out about our campus confidential feature, just because you promise more, doesn’t mean it can be delivered, especially not in New York City’s thorny development regulations. Read More