Cornell Tech: NYC’s HQ2 trump card

Roosevelt Island tech campus played a big role in luring Amazon

Jeff Bezos and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island
Jeff Bezos and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island

If you build it, Bezos will come.

Cornell Tech was a major selling point in helping bring Amazon to Long Island City, the New York Times reported.

The school’s dean and vice provost, Daniel Huttenlocher, sits on Amazon’s board of directors. And Amazon executives visited the campus on Roosevelt Island as they conducted their nationwide search.

“It really sends a message to the broader tech industry and also the whole world that New York City is serious about tech,” Julie Samuels, executive director of the nonprofit group Tech: NYC told the Times.

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Since starting in 2013, Cornell Tech has graduated 534 students and plans to have at least 1,800 by 2037.

Graduates and researchers have launched 50 startups that have raised a total of $60 million in funding.

But it’s not just Cornell Tech feeding the city’s tech industry. New York University, which took part in the 2010 competition then-mayor Michael Bloomberg launched to build the city’s tech-education infrastructure, is creating a $380-million tech hub.

Aside from Amazon, companies like Facebook and Google are expanding in the city. [NYT] — Rich Bockmann