Make It Rain

InVision Picks Up the Latest Investment From the NYC Entrepreneurial Fund

Mr. Valberg. (LinkedIn.)

The latest addition to the NYC Entrepreneurial Fund’s growing portfolio: InVision, a design-centric UI prototyping tool. The company will receive $200,000 in order to staff up, which will in turn allow the polishing up of version two of its software, which will incorporating richer collaboration and a full suite of project management tools.

Said EDC president Seth Pinsky in a statement released earlier today: “This investment is another example of the Bloomberg Administration’s strong commitment to supporting our City’s talented entrepreneurs and creating conditions that will allow for continued growth within our emerging technology sector.” Read More

Tech Talent Crunch

Study Urges NYC to Train Local Design Schools in New Technologies for the Next Wave of Innovators

Make it work!

Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation may at the top of the list for tech-happiest city governments, but a new study out by the Center for an Urban Future wonders if there’s one sector they’ve been missing: the city’s wealth of design and architecture schools like Parsons The New School for Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts .

The 38-page report, called “Designing New York’s Future,” points out that the number of degrees in design and architecture has grown 40 percent in New York City from 2005 to 2010 and the sector already attracts foreign students (*cough* Technion *cough*). Despite all that, however, design schools have been overlooked as part of the city’s innovation agenda, argues the report: Read More

Fun with Data

The Top Free Wifi Hot Spots In Manhattan By Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Outdoor Locale, and Noise Level [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Did you know that the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry Business library in Murray Hill is the quietest spot for fast Wifi in New York City? Did you know that the NYPL even had a Science, Industry, and Business library? (Hence the quiet, we guess.) What about the fact that Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca has better Wifi than its East Village competitors, Ost Cafe and Blue Spoon Coffee?

Well, stop groping for Wifi in the dark! Read More

Metro Tech

Meet Your 2012 NYC Venture Fellows: The Founders of Warby Parker, MakerBot, Yipit, and More

Screen shot 2012-02-17 at 6.11.29 PM

On its Tumblr, the New York City Economic Development Corporation posted an announcement this afternoon about the 28 individuals named to the city’s NYC Venture Fellows Program. The press release was actually issued last Tuesday, the NYCEDC confirmed by phone, but was only just added to Tumblr. C’mon, guys, until they plant that RSS chip in our brains, you gotta get with El Bloombito’s new social media agenda: everything updated all a’ the time.

This is the second year of the Venture Fellows program, developed with the agency along with Fordham University. “NYC Venture Fellows promotes emerging business leaders and encourages international entrepreneurs to start or expand their operations in New York City. The program connects fellows with mentors who are investors, serial entrepreneurs, CEOS, and operational managers from New York City and abroad.”

Combine that description with the word “fellows” and you might picture some accelerator-stage startups in real need of mentorship and connections, not far off the the lean Ramen life. Not so with the 28 rising stars on this year’s list, which includes BillGuard founder and CEO Yaron Samid, MakerBot cofounder and CEO Bre Pettis, Warby Parker cofounder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa, and charity: water founder and CEO Scott Harrison. 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 High

How the City Plans to Finance Its New Software Engineering High School

Inspirational viewing!

On stage announcing the creation of a Software Engineering Academy this afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg revealed that the high school had the support of Fred Wilson and the city’s tech community. Betabeat has learned a little bit more about how that will work.

According to Department of Education spokesman Frank Thomas, Mr. Wilson has committed to financially supporting the school and to raise money for the school from the tech community at large. We have heard from other sources that Mr. Wilson’s financial commitment will be philanthropic and that the goal is to raise around $1.25 million, although that number has not been confirmed. Read More

Silicon Alley U

NYU’s Brooklyn Tech Campus Is a Top Contender, But MTA’s Jay St. Asking Price Has Grown [UPDATED]

NYU's proposed campus at 370 Jay St.

For months, Mayor Bloomberg has dangled the possibility of picking two winners for the city’s tech campus competition. He even left the possibility open while announcing that the New York City Economic Development Corporation would give the full $100 million grant to Cornell-Technion to build an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island. Now Crain’s is reporting that between the remaining contestants, NYU’s Downtown Brooklyn proposal may have “taken center stage” over Carnegie Mellon’s Navy Yard campus and Columbia’s Manhattanville proposal.

Hey, if the Fulton St. Mall can have its own Shake Shack, why shouldn’t the M.T.A’s derelict former headquarters on nearby 370 Jay St. be transformed into a Center for Urban Science and Progress?

Although Crain’s says NYU, the M.T.A., and E.D.C. all want to make a deal to help revitalize Downtown Brooklyn, “but money is the sticking point.” Read More

Silicon Alley U

Safety School? As Stanford Says ‘See Ya!’ Bloomberg Hops in Bed with Big Red

Gleaming the cubes.

On Monday, the lobby of the Weill Cornell Medical College, which resides on a particularly gray stretch of the Upper East Side, was crawling with men and women in wooly blazers dotted with “carnelian” buttons—the technical name for the maroon hue that invariably moves Cornell students to chant some version of “Go Big Red!”

Inside the auditorium, as an assembly of press, pols, and local technorati waited for Mayor Bloomberg to appear, a giant projector flashed a mosaic of the Cornell University logo.

The news had been leaked to every major news outlet by midnight on Sunday; there was no point in being coy. Read More

Metro Tech

Mayor Bloomberg’s Office: Facebook Did Not Receive Any Incentives to Open an Engineering Office in NYC

Mr. Bloomberg, flanked by Facebook's Serkan Piantino and Sheryl Sandberg

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told a crowd of reporters last week that Facebook would be opening its first engineering office outside Palo Alto right here in New York, it sounded like the Bloomberg administration’s dream come true. Could the West Coast tech giants finally be taking New York seriously as an innovation center, rather than just a convenient base to sidle up to advertisers?

Indeed, earlier this year, the Economic Development Corporation said its goal in accepting bids to build an applied sciences campus in New York was to “increase the probability that the next high growth company—a Google, Amazon, or Facebook—will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo.” An engineering office from a company on the verge of what might be the biggest IPO in history sounds like the next best thing. What’s more, Facebook seemed so confident about luring technical talent (typically a sore spot with New York techies) that they weren’t waiting for the campus to break ground.

Facebook’s decision was so glaringly aligned with the city’s goal of diversifying into an innovation capital that it was hard not to wonder if New York had tried to sweeten the deal. Read More

Metro Tech

A Startup Incubator Grows In Harlem

It looks like someone is ready to take the New York City Economic Development Corporation up on its offer to seed a tech renaissance in Harlem.

The NYC EDC has put out a request for proposal to build an incubator focused on startups around 125th Street. The EDC has promised “certain funding available to help cover specific incubator start-up costs and operating expenses.” In advance of the December 15th deadline, Xconomy reports that a group called #IncubateNYC is making a bid for the contract. Read More