Grand Central Tech (GCT) had their inaugural Innovation Night following their new successful 6 weeks internship program. The innovative program is meant to facilitate technology education by offering high school and college students real work experience at real startups. The startups were from GCT’s second year class, which has already raised 7 million USD in venture funding. NYC currently has 300,000 technology positions and in the next 5 years, it is estimated the US will have 1 million open tech jobs, so training the next generation of technology professionals will be critical to continued growth. With these dynamics in mind, Eddie Cullen (previously at Fordham University’s accelerator), set out to design the GCT internship program.
On Innovation night, the Goldman Sachs auditorium was packed with interns, startups, and proud family. Interns were matched up with GCT startups based on skills and interests. The intern’s backgrounds ranged from high school students with interests in technology, to college computer science majors. Students created projects that spanned from non-profit shoe donations, IoT data stream (IOBeam), payment platforms (Arthur) to 3D printing projects (Source3). However, the real outcome of these 19 startups and 33 students were the indelible memories and valuable real life work experience.
IBM is a corporate sponsor of GCT. IBM Cloud Ecosystem Development makes available business and technical support to GCT startups and offers Bluemix for cloud apps and services. IBM is also part of Digital.NYC initiative, a unique public/private partnership between the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Gust, and over a dozen leading NYC-based technology and media companies..