Cornell is trying to buck the Ivy League mold to a Silicon Valley place

Admittedly these are all stereotypes, but when you think about the Ivy League, you often think about guys (not talking about women here, per se) who want finance-type jobs in New York City or otherwise along the I-95 corridor. Please bear in mind I said that was a stereotype / generalization — many people leave the Ivy League and do different things, from the more standard medical/legal to non-profit and entrepreneurial projects. However, you don’t often see the Ivy League associated with tech. That’s more for the Stanford, Berkeley, MIT and Carnegie Mellon mold. But here comes Cornell, trying to change that:

Cornell University, with campuses in Ithaca, New York City and even Doha, Qatar, has roughly 11,100 alums and students, including Reisch, who identify themselves as business founders and owners on LinkedIn . Based on the ratio of these founders to the school’s total student body, Cornell ranks fourth on FORBES’ annual list of America’s most entrepreneurial colleges, just behind Stanford, MIT and Berkeley.

There’s a few components to this transition, all ID’ed within the Forbes article. You have the eLab, which is profiled in the embedded video above and is kind of the cornerstone of the entrepreneurial model at Cornell campuses, and now you have PopShop:

And Cornell Tech, launching on Roosevelt Island:

The whole idea is collaboration (that’s what PopShop is basically about) and incubator / startup generation models. You typically see these types of things more commonly in Seattle, San Francisco and Boston; New York, where most of Cornell’s alums are (about 250K) is more viewed as “finance land” (although again, that is a stereotype and many different people have many different gigs in NYC). So in the process of starting this entrepreneurial focus — which America does badly need right now — you’re also seeing a little bit of ‘the old-school model’ being turned on its head. Roosevelt Island as a center of innovation isn’t something that generations of NYC kids (of which I was one) will understand. Rather, they’ll think about it as a play they did Little League. Just like Hangar One, though, context often changes as real estate becomes available.

Ted Bauer