While their friends are surfing YouTube and updating their Facebook status, ambitious students in the New York area will be learning what it takes to build multi-million dollar web companies.
The program, NextStep Tech, aims to teach software engineering and entrepreneurship to high school students and will feature internationally known entrepreneurs as guest speakers including Caterina Fake (co-founder Flickr, Hunch).
“Not only do we teach students the fundamentals of software engineering, we apply these concepts to turn simple ideas into potential tech start-ups,” said NextStep Tech co-founder Benjamin Gleitzman, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and co-founder George Marzloff (also of MIT) are working to increase interest in math and computer science while teaching the skills required to become successful engineers and research scientists.
Despite the global economic slump, computer science majors are still a hot commodity for technology start-ups, corporate tech companies, and financial firms, especially in the New York City area. Venture capitalists, angel investors, and seed funds are flocking to the city to court the exploding NYC tech scene which includes Foursquare, Gawker Media, and the Huffington Post, among a growing list of up-and-coming tech companies.
“Software is the perfect sector for student entrepreneurs,” said Marzloff. “With low risk and virtually no startup costs, all you need is an idea and some time.” With young people spending over seven hours a day with internet and entertainment media, time is something young people can easily spare according to a report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
“It’s time to stop asking whether our children should be using the internet and start encouraging them to build great things online,” added Marzloff. “At NextStep we help students turn simple ideas into profitable companies.”
Classes start April 11th and run through the summer in Midtown. Applications for full-tuition scholarships are due March 26th. Full details are available at the NextStep Tech website here.
About NextStep Tech
NextStep Tech is a New York based organization founded with the mission of introducing high school students to software engineering and entrepreneurship. Students master the logic and reasoning skills used in research, engineering, and decision-making while turning simple ideas into professional web applications.