You can now add the space race to the smorgasboard of metaphors used to describe the talent war between Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley.
Charlie O’Donnell is one of the VCs most engaged with the city’s tech community on the street level. When’s he’s not planning events – like a geek snowball fight – he’s plotting ways to grow the startup ecosystem here.
His resolution for 2011: “Back in the 60’s, JFK make a bold proclamation that we were going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. The details of exactly how this was going to happen were a bit sketchy, but having a big hairy audacious goal galvanized the innovation community into achieving something spectacular. I’d like to propose a lofty goal to inspire some solutions: Let’s add 250 new developers—roughly a little more than one at every new venture backed startup this year—to the startup workforce this year.”
The way O’Donnell sees it, the best way to accomplish this is not to compete directly with the West coast, “I really don’t want to get stuck explaning to them why they can’t have two spare bedrooms at a reasonable cost in the West Village.”
Instead, O’Donnell think NYC should focus on educating home grown talent. He notes the recent announcement by the EDC that NYC is looking to attract a top flight engineering school, but feels the community would be best served to focus on what’s already going on in NYC, instead of trying to attract an outside institution.
“It’s really important that the key institutions surrounding our community—the VCs, the big tech companies, the government, etc.—get behind the efforts that are native to the community itself, as opposed to recreating wheels.”
bpopper at observer dot com – @benpopper