“Can New York Rival Silicon Valley?“ asks The New York Times. Yes. We can. We are. Ask your compatriots at the Boston Globe for a quick heads up on how NYC is doing.
This query was qualified with the more interesting sub-question – “Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to build a new engineering school. But will that help to foster the next Facebook or Apple, and keep it in the city?”
A couple of big names weighed in for this episode of Room for Debate. “I’m skeptical that a science and engineering campus is what New York needs to become a technology powerhouse. Boston has not succeeded with that strategy,” writes the real Caterina Fake.
Betabeat agrees this a new engineering campus isn’t some magic bullet, but it is certainly a great addition. It allows the city to use government land and tax breaks, two things it has a lots of experience leveraging. And it will attract a whole new class of international computer science talent who wouldn’t risk coming to the Big Apple to party at an incubator and talk start-ups. As SV Angel’s David Lee told Betabeat during a trip to Palo Alto, New York has no lack of talented entrepreneurs. But it does lack a deep bench of hard core engineering talent.
Techstars NY managing director and Dana White-protege (just replace the word fighter with entrepreneur) David Tisch has the right idea. “I believe that building up the New York City tech ecosystem to a point where it is on par with or surpasses Silicon Valley is an achievable goal.” Hey, Techstars already beat Y Combinator in the latest Kaufman rankings, why not aim high?
Fred Wilson, who has recently been testing out his later stage investing chops, takes a macro view. “The entire world is now a rival to Silicon Valley. No country, state, region, nor city has a lock on innovation in technology anymore. The Internet has made this so, and there’s no going back. We will see Apples and Facebooks get built in China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and plenty of other places.”