Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) are both based in, and originated from, the fertile tech sector in Silicon Valley of central California. So what in the world are these Left Coast companies doing messing with the Right Coast in its attempts to build a tech seeding ground? Cornell University is establishing a $2 billion engineering and applied science graduate school, designed to cultivate New York City’s desire to be a new technology innovation hub, like Silicon Valley has been for the last 30 years.
Why would Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) be interested in this? One big reason could be that New York City is the center of many sectors – advertising, fashion, finance and retail – of which there are many opportunities for tech innovators to make an impact.
“There is more interest in New York as a potential tech center than ever before,” said Greg Pass, who works for the new Cornell campus and is a former Twitter executive. “As the world becomes more technological, the role of engineers will be become more substantial.”
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has contributed to the new endeavor by donating office space, and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been working to create hype by hosting a “hackathon” – with all-night programming events for engineers and engineers-in-training. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been pushing for something like this to make New York City a draw for engineers, and Cornell won the bid for this campus, beating out Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
Also, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) will join Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and other technology companies in a collaboration with the campus to provide students an opportunity to see into their operations. And with the city growing its venture investments by a third in the last five years, while the same investment in Silicon Valley dropped by 10 percent over the same period.
Will the Big Apple become known as Silicon Apple? With the help of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the city’s tech farmland is being seeded and cultivated.