Silicon Alley U
Opening the TechCrunch Disrupt proceedings bright and early this morning: Andreessen Horowitz Partner Jeff Jordan. Accompanied by the sounds of birdsong (hey, this thing does take place on a converted pier), he held forth on IPOs, philanthropy, and New York’s ecommerce bloom.
The discussion opened with a discussion of the IPO market. The former OpenTable CEO presided over the company’s 2009 IPO when, at the time, according to moderator Eric Eldon, “Everyone [in Silicon Valley] was watching Mark Zuckerberg keeping his company private.”
Mr. Jordan contrasted today’s IPO fever with the atmosphere just a few years ago:
Looks like Sandy Weill will have to be okay with having only two Cornell institutions named after him. The New York Times just outed the Big Red enthusiast responsible for a $350 million anonymous donation towards Cornell and Technion’s proposed applied sciences campus. The individual is 80-year-old Charles F. Feeney who made his billions running the Duty Free Shoppers Group. The donation was made through Atlantic Philanthropies, an organization founded by Mr. Feeney.
Well that explains the duty free joke during today’s presser announcing Cornell and Technion as the winner. Early in the presentation, Technion president Peretz Lavie said he was told on Friday afternoon to buy a ticket for New York. When Betabeat asked whether that meant the decision wasn’t made until Friday (after Stanford dropped out of the race), Mayor Bloomberg quipped: