Two Sigma Investments announced as "Inaugural Tenant"

Big First Step for The Bridge at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island

David Stone
Lobby of The Bridge at Cornell Tech
Lobby of The Bridge at Cornell Tech
Image credit: Steelblue / Forest City Ratner Companies

Just six months ahead of Cornell Tech's official opening on Roosevelt Island, the first company to locate in the radically innovative Bridge was announced jointly by the school and its development partner, Forest City Ratner, on Monday.

Two Sigma Investments, a company that brags, "We’ve been pushing the frontiers of Big Data since before it was a buzzword," will be the inaugural tenant in The Bridge at Cornell Tech which the school says, "...will be a first-of-its kind space for innovation where groundbreaking startups, entrepreneurs, investors and established companies will have the opportunity to be part of an ecosystem custom designed to accelerate the commercialization of new products and technologies that will transform the way we live."

That's a sophisticated way of saying that The Bridge will be stage for a sort of technological Wild West, not quite as ungoverned but intended to allow nature a big hand in the course of developments. Borders are largely abolished inside its walls and rambunctious creativity is likely to spill out into the campus.

"Collaboration is at the heart of Two Sigma's mission so we jumped at the opportunity to be in The Bridge at Cornell Tech," said Dr. Alfred Spector, Chief Technology Officer at Two Sigma. "We're excited to launch the Collision Lab, a space that will allow our engineers to interact with Two Sigma-backed start-ups in the unique atmosphere of innovation that will exist at Cornell Tech."

"Collision Lab" sounds about right.

More specifically, Collision Lab is "where engineers from its R&D team will tackle difficult challenges away from the company’s main campus and interact with innovative start-up companies backed by Two Sigma Ventures."

That's what The Bridge is intended to do. Creative people interact in an open environment where even a casual encounter can spark a world changing collaboration. Spicing that possibility are open borders not just with individual tenants in the facility but involving the larger community as well. The building is designed so that smart people from many disciplines, commercial, academic and technological, will cross paths, sharing coffee and casual conversations every day.

Open borders will spark new ideas and solutions by fostering an infusion of unanticipated points of view.

The school's Dean Dan Huttenlocher corrals a complexity of possibility in simple terms, "Cornell Tech is reinventing the way we live and work for the digital age, bringing research and industry together, and The Bridge is at the core. We can’t wait to open our Roosevelt Island campus in the fall," he adds.

The Bridge at Cornell Tech will join the residential Passive House as pace-setting examples of what 21st Century post graduate academia may look like as universities develop constructive relationships dissolving barriers between campuses and real world experiences.

With just six months to go before opening day, the new dynamics are finding a comfortable universe for growth on Roosevelt Island.

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