Calling all high school geeks: The city wants to turn you into a tech genius.
As part of its broader efforts to foster the tech economy, the New York City Economic Development Corp. is launching NYC Generation Tech, a high school program aimed at training the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs.
Created in partnership with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, NYC Generation Tech will choose 30 economically disadvantaged students from city high schools.
Their challenge: To create a mobile app prototype that aims to improve the quality of education or quality of life for other New York students.
“It will help us build a pipeline to talent,” Kristy Sundjaja, head of the city’s industry transformation teams department, told the Daily News.
The program kicks off on Aug. 6 with a two-week intensive boot camp, where the 30 chosen tech teens will work in teams to develop their apps.
In the fall, participants will attend after-school classes on entrepreneurship. Along the way, they’ll visit NYC tech companies and meet local tech professionals.
NYC Generation Tech culminates with a business plan competition and awards ceremony in December, where the kids will demo and pitch their finished apps and business plans to a panel of judges from the technology and venture capital community.
“That exposure will be great for the participants,” Sundjaja said.
Winning teams will receive cash prizes.
To be eligible for the program, which is costing the city $100,000, students should be attending 10th or 11th grades in the fall, though some 9th graders will be chosen , too.
Applicants should also qualify for free or reduced lunch or attend a New York City school where more than half of the students fall into that lower-income category.
The deadline for applications is July 20. To learn more and to apply go to nycgenerationtech.com.
Creating tech jobs and promoting the tech economy has been a priority for the city. Its biggest initiative is the planned construction with Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology of an applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.