Funding Computer Science Education In NY

Last week Fred and Joanne Wilson announced that they are helping create a $5m seed fund to invest in computer science education in the NYC public school system.

A few weeks ago Fred sent me a note and asked if Amy and I would make a contribution from our foundation. We’d previously contributed to another project Fred and Joanne spearheaded for the Academy of Software Engineering last year. It was easy to say yes for two reasons.

- The Warren Buffett / Bill Gates Rule: Remember that Warren Buffett gave all of his money to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation because Buffett trusted Gates judgment and ability to allocate his massive philanthropic gift wisely and intelligently? We completely trust Fred and Joanne’s judgment and easily support whatever they do in areas Amy and I are interested in.

- Computer Science Education: This is one of the areas Amy and I support significantly. Two weeks ago Wellesley unveiled their new Human-Computer Interaction Lab which we underwrote. I’m chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology. And we have a few more fun things coming soon. So the Computer Science Education Venture Fund was something that was right up our alley.

Fred and Joanne are doing this with The NYC Foundation For Computer Science Education (the executive director, Evan Korth, is a total star.) If this is interesting to you, they are hosting an event at USV on Monday, November 18, 2013 for 6pm to 8pm for those who can consider making investments of $5,000 and above due to space constraints. Separately, there will be a crowd-funded campaign to allow donations of between $50 and $4,999 for those who can’t participate at these levels.

This is another great example of private philanthropic support to help transform something really important that public funding just isn’t getting done. If this is an important area to you, I encourage you to support Fred, Joanne, Evan, and this effort. If you are willing to consider contributing at the $5,000 or great level and can attend the event at USV on Monday, November 18th, register here.

  • http://avc.com fredwilson

    Thanks Brad. I had no idea you and Amy were behind CS at Wellesley. Getting more women into tech is so important

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      We’ve both learned such an incredible amount about this from my role in National Center for Women & Information Technology – http://www.ncwit.org. We are way past the anecdotal conversations, especially the stuff that bounces around the tech press every few months. We are now trying to make a difference by actually doing stuff that supports and enables environments that encourage women to participate in tech.

  • David Parker

    Brad- any thoughts about doing something similar here in Colorado?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Amy is getting involved in something in Colorado that has a huge impact on education generally and may lead to something like this.

  • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

    Your bigness doesn’t seize to amaze me. (Amy & you, that is)

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thanks @wmoug:disqus for the kind words. We get one shot at this thing called life – it’s satisfying to play it the way one (I) want to play it.

  • jenniferarguello

    This is sooo amazing! I love what NYC is doing in CS K-12 edu! Evan and company are awesome!

  • http://www.parafriv.net/ Para Friv

    There are many to be the benefactors of his heart. This really is a very noble act, how many kids could love this life than we have better educational opportunities and a better future.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thx. A lot of our philanthropy is aimed at education for precisely that reason.

  • panterosa,

    K-12 ed needs real solutions. Was so glad to be there last night for the rollout with my long time friend Sarah Holloway who is working with Evan and Fred to make this happen.

  • mariaseidman

    So great that Fred and Joanne with your and Amy’s support are doing this. We had a pilot program here at NFTE New York with the city called GenTech where public school kids (from some of the roughest schools) built apps and the businesses behind them and it was wildly successful. Here is the PBS doc on the topic: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec13/education_10-08.html Kids need to learn to code. It’s the literacy of the 21st century!