Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has wanted to create tech jobs in the Big Apple for years. The best way to do that, he decided, was to organize a competition for universities to build a futuristic tech campus in the city. This week, Bloomberg announced a $100 million donation towards the winning bid — a joint endeavor between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology — which he described as "a gift to support a brighter future for our city."
Cornell Tech offers "startup postdocs"
The campus itself is being built on Roosevelt Island, a thin strip of land on the East River, and offers courses such as "startup postdocs" that help individuals "identify a market opportunity, implement a technological solution, demonstrate its commercial viability, and found a new venture." Although the Roosevelt Island site won't be fully built until 2043, it's slated to open in 2017, with teaching already underway at a temporary Manhattan site on loan from Google.
A rendering of the Bloomberg Center. (Cornell Tech)
When fully built, the Cornell Tech site will cover 12 acres of ground and house some 2,500 students and teachers. Buildings on the site will include the first ever high-rise passive house (an international design standard that is extremely energy efficient), a "corporate co-location building" for the offices of both established tech companies and startups, and The Bloomberg Center — an academic building named after Bloomberg's daughters, Emma and Georgina. "The Bloomberg Center will, in perpetuity, carry the name of the person whose idea the whole campus was," said Cornell president Dr. David J. Skorton.