A new wave of global entrepreneurs could be heading to CUNY colleges in Queens and across the city in next school year. It's part of a program to boost the local tech industry. NY1’s Tanya Klich has more details.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is launching a program that will welcome 80 entrepreneurs from around the world to city colleges. The International Innovators Initiative helps business owners from overseas access H-1B visas -- by connecting them with a City University of New York school.
"These are people who are not going to replace any other jobs, these are basically people who are self employed but can't sponsor themselves," said Gianluca Galletto, Director of International Affairs at NYCEDC.
Seven CUNYs are on-board -- including Queens College and LaGuardia Community College. Galletto says he hopes more college incubators see the value in luring global entrepreneurs with big tech ideas.
"Usually for foreign entrepreneurs they want to go to lower to either Manhattan or cool areas like DUMBO," said Galletto. "You don't know the boroughs but if you have this powerful incentive you can go be based in Staten Island, LaGuardia."
"Our students will benefit because they will get access to international innovators that bring with them job opportunities for our students -- and also faculty's understanding for what industry and the tech sector are really looking for," said Seema Shah, Director of Technology and Innovative Initiatives at LaGuardia Community College.
Meanwhile students we spoke with say they look forward to the opportunities the international program will bring to campus.
"If someone comes from another country that will bring ideas from another country so that will bring a different perspective in us and it will make us global competitors," said one student.
"My career goal is to pursue a career investment banking but on the side I also want to open my own small business. I have an idea of opening a chain of pizzerias in the New York City area. It will teach a way to implement the technology into fast food."
The EDC hopes to roll out the application process within months -- and welcome the new class of overseas entrepreneurs next school year.
In Long Island City, Tanya Klich, NY1.