At an IBM forum on leadership, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said a new academic initiative could help New York challenge Silicon Valley as the place to go for high-tech startups.
NEW YORK-New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg said he believes New York could soon replace Silicon Valley as the
go-to location for high-tech startups to sprout.
Speaking at IBM's THINK
here, also known as "THINK: A Forum on the Future of
Leadership," Bloomberg said New York has replaced Boston as the second-place
location for startups.
"In terms of technology, I'm proud to
tell you our city passed Boston to become the second largest recipient of
venture capital funding for technology company startups behind only Silicon
Bloomberg said a city project in the
works that will enable a top university to build a new science and engineering
center in the city will change the technology landscape and make New York a
magnet for technology entrepreneurship. In short, New York's so-called "Silicon
Alley" could grow to truly rival Northern California's Silicon Valley,
Noting that "We can't be second at
anything; we're New York," Bloomberg said his deputy mayor for economic
development, Robert K. "Bob" Steel, a 30-year veteran of Goldman Sachs and
former Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, "has come up with a program where
we're offering to provide prime New York City real estate at virtually no cost
in exchange for a university's commitment to build or expand a world-class
science and engineering campus here in our city. These are the fields that
really put a premium on innovation and will become increasingly important in
According to Bloomberg, Stanford
University is trying to partner with a local university to get an edge up. A Wall Street Journal report
indicates that the
local university is the City University of New York (CUNY).
"They've formed a committee to raise a
billion dollars to finance their part," Bloomberg said. "The president of
Stanford is here at least every two weeks. The good news is that that's not the
only university doing that. Cornell is making a very extensive effort to win
the competition, and there are schools from around the country and around the
world that are forming partnerships, and we expect some great proposals by the
end of October. We'll then select one or possibly two and that probably will
change the landscape for New York City for the next 50-odd years because all of
the new high-tech companies that you see being started up in Palo Alto will be
started right here."
According to the WSJ, the joint
Stanford/CUNY proposal is the leading or favored bid in the competition, and
the partnership plans to build an engineering and applied sciences campus on
Manhattan's Roosevelt Island. In addition to Cornell, other schools based in
the state of New York have also tossed their hat in the ring, including
Columbia University and New York University.
The WSJ reports, "Stanford is looking
at a 10-acre strip of Roosevelt Island for a campus-one of several sites
offered by the city-envisioning a faculty of 100 and a graduate-student body of
Stanford has been a hotbed for tech
startups, and with its track record and an endowment that is larger than
Columbia and NYU combined, a presence in New York could boost interest and
investment in the city.