NYC to Build Engineering School - Bring on the Geeks!

Worried that New York City is not spawning enough technology-based start-up companies with the potential to become big employers like Google, city officials are inviting universities around the world to create an engineering campus on city-owned land.

Despite being home to more college students than any other city in the country, New York lacks a top-rated engineering school. Without one, the city has fallen far behind San Francisco, Boston and other metropolitan areas in the competition to attract new technology companies and the jobs they create.

On Thursday morning, Robert K. Steel, the deputy mayor for economic development, announced that the city would seek a “top caliber academic institution” as a partner in building a school for applied science and engineering. The city is willing to consider locating it on one or more of its properties, including the old hospital campuses at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and on Roosevelt Island.

Fantastic news. The more creators of value we can educate in the city, the better. We'll see how long this takes to come to fruition, though...

Immigrants? Please!

I recently got a really thoughtful email from a fellow YC alum that reminded me of how screwed up our US immigration procedures are:

I did [Y Combinator] in [redacted] as [redacted], we've since turned into [redacted] and become profitable.  Thanks again for writing that visa letter for my co-founder [redacted], we would have gone out of business without it.

This is a startup, funded by Y Combinator, that barely survived the elaborate process to keep a co-founder in the country.  I've known founders of Canadian origin who've had to leave the States before re-entering quite a few months later because of immigration problems.  It's been a while since the Founder Visa was making the rounds on startup blogs, so let me resurrect it here.

There's already a talent battle going on, so let's add some more supply to the labor market and hand out some more visas to immigrants.  If they're starting companies, or even graduating from our graduate schools, let's give them every incentive we can to stay. Not only is the food better back home, but the opportunities there are starting to rival what we can offer here in the USA.

I don't want to keep churning out these letters, but I most certainly will.

Photo credit: betsi.jacobson