Topic:

Silicon Alley U

Silicon Alley U

Tech Tronic: BP Stringer Approves Cornell’s Roosevelt Island Campus, Wants More Red Buses

Thumbs up. (Morphosis)

The public review process known as ULURP, through which most every large-scale development in the city must pass, is rarely an easy one. New York created the NIMBY, and ULURP is about the only way Joe Public can even pretend to influence such projects as Columbia or NYU’s new campuses, the Hudson Yards redevelopment, Riverside South, the Kingsbridge Armory, Chelsea Market… the list of contentious projects goes on and on. A better acronym for the Uniform Land-use Review Process might well be DIVISIVE.

That is what makes CornellNYC, the upstate university’s Roosevelt Island tech campus, such an interesting anomaly. After beating out Stanford in a breathless deathmatch for Mayor Bloomberg’s blessing to build the campus, the project has so far sailed through ULURP with nary a protest. Back in December, the campus was approved by the local community board (typically a bastion of browbeating), and now Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gave the new campus his enthusiastic thumbs up. Read More

Silicon Alley U

Eric Schmidt and Qualcomm Founder Irwin Jacobs Join Mayor Bloomberg As Advisors To Cornell NYC Tech

(Photo: CornellNYC Tech)

Cornell NYC Tech, the Ivy League school’s Technion assisted expansion onto Roosevelt Island, just got a huge PR boost from three big names. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Qualcomm Founder Irwin Jacobs, and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt have all been tapped to be advisors to the new tech campus.

Now they’re like the super-important ultra-rich white guy Avengers of Cornell.  Read More

Silicon Alley U

Columbia Gets in on the Action, as the City Coughs Up $15M. for a Third Tech Campus

Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Bollinger. (Photo: NYC Mayor's Office Instagram

This morning, the right honorable Mayor Bloomberg ventured north to the Columbia campus for what was teased on Twitter as a “big announcement.” It turns out that Columbia will not be left out while Cornell-Technion and NYU Polytechnic rake in all the glory, because the Lions are getting their very own tech project, the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering.

Sound familiar? That’s probably because the project is what the university originally pitched, way back in October, for its very own applied sciences campus. For those keeping score at home, that brings the city’s total up to three tech campuses. Are you excited for science yet? Read More

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

Silicon Alley U

Christine Quinn Introduces a Cheaper Computer Science Option for NYC Students

The crisp Ms. Quinn.

It was merely mid-morning when Betabeat arrived at enterprise-focused accelerator Tipping Point Parters for a presser, and already everyone in attendance seemed to be wilting. The exception: City Council Speaker (and, let us not forget, mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn, who looked downright jovial. Perhaps she was just that excited about her coming announcement.

Or perhaps she was simply thrilled to be wearing what looked like seersucker, while the rest of us suffered in the heat.

We were gathered into a rather claustrophobic–but very well air-conditioned–startup space, complete with white lighting fixtures and random whiteboard. The occasion: The creation of two new programs meant to feed engineers and other much-needed tech talent into the city’s startup sector. 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

Silicon Alley U

Not So Fast With That Brooklyn Tech Campus! Transit Workers Protest Selling MTA’s Former HQ to NYU

nyucampus

During the press conference naming NYU the second place winner in the city’s tech campus competition, Mayor Bloomberg began his speech by snarking about the number of people who stood behind him. “You can always tell whether something is important by whether people want to participate in the announcement,” he said with a smile, pointing out that “nobody” angled for a spot on a podium when he wanted to ban smoking in public places.

But not everyone is behind El Bloombito’s tech-forward agenda. At a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board meeting in Midtown last night, NY1 reports that members of the Transport Workers Union demanded that the board vote down the “all-but-done deal” to hand over the MTA’s former headquarters at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn to NYU. Read More

Silicon Alley U

At Bloomberg Presser, Details Emerge Re: NYU’s Applied Sciences Center in Downtown Brooklyn

NYU's initial proposal for a tech campus at 370 Jay St.

This morning, we reported that the second-place winner in the tech campus stakes is NYU. We’ve known since January that the university was the leading contender, but that negotiations were bogged down over financing–specifically, the uncertain costs involved with revamping the MTA-owned 370 Jay Street. But it appears the various parties have reached some sort of agreement: At 1PM, Mayor Bloomberg joins NYU President John Sexton to announce a partnership to build an “applied sciences center in Downtown Brooklyn.” We’re live-blogging that announcement below; you can also catch the livestream here. Read More