Photo: WIRED via Flickr
Danny Stein, Gus Warren, Jeremy Snepar and Keith Grossman all graduated from Cornell and work in New York City.When they caught wind of Cornell’s effort to open a tech campus in New York, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
The four created an online petition at Change.org to support Cornell’s tech campus over dozens of other schools, like Stanford, that are in the running for Bloomberg’s NYC engineering school.
It quickly went viral. In its first four days, more than 7,500 people signed the petition. More than 550 people now subscribe to the @CornellTechNYC Twitter feed that was created alongside the petition.
A slew of comments have been left by supporters, even by those who did not go to Cornell. “I am a professor of chemical engineering at MIT. After MIT, which is not bidding, I cannot think of a better University to fulfil this mission than Cornell University,” writes Clark Colton.
A Silicon Valley resident writes, “I’ve spent my career working with some of the brightest software engineers here in the silicon valley and have recruited and worked with some amazing hires straight out of Cornell. Go big red!”
We asked Grossman why he and his friends feel strongly about Cornell winning the bid.
“The four of us loved our time at Cornell!” the 2002 alumni said.
“The University prepared us all to adapt to, and succeed in, NYC.” Grossman is currently Associate Publisher of WIRED. Warren, a ’94 Cornell alumni, works for a up-and-coming startup, Pontiflex. Snepar is a 2001 graduate and a VP at MESA.
“We were compelled to see it succeed in its bid for a tech campus. We agree strongly with the Mayor’s vision for an applied sciences campus in NYC that will serve as a platform to produce highly qualified job candidates; and, as a top-tier University, Cornell’s proposal is designed to create technology jobs in a city the University is already familiar with through its vicinity, alumni presence and experience operating the Weill Medical College, which already contributes over $1 billion annually to NYC’s economy.”
Anyone can sign the petition, whether or not they went to Cornell or even live in the New York area. Full disclosure, I signed the petition yesterday.
There are just three weeks left before Bloomberg closes submissions for his tech campus.
To learn more about the initiative, check out Mayor Bloomberg’s Plan For New York To Overtake Silicon Valley >>