GenTech Featured on Daily News!

Original article was featured on the Daily News on 5.23.2013 and can be found at

NYC GenTech

Calling all future David Karps: the city wants to turn computer whiz kids into tech moguls

Low-income teens will participate in a free tech bootcamp this summer


THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013, 11:21 AM

If you think you have your own little David Karp living under your roof, take note.

A free city program aimed at training tech geniuses like the 26-year-old Tumblr founder and Bronx High School of Science dropout, who just sold his company to Yahoo for $1.1 billion, is currently accepting applications.

Now in its second year, NYC Generation Tech will offer 45 kids from low-income city high schools, eight weeks of tech training, hands-on learning and mentorship.

The program, developed by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC), culminates in a demo day, when a winning team will present its app to panel of judges, made up of local tech bigwigs. Winners share a $5,000 prize.

“It’s such a cool event,” said Ben Branham, executive vice president at NYCECD. “You see 15 and 16-year-olds presenting as if they were pitching a real business.”

Altaf Lakhi, a 17-year-old junior at the High School of Computers and Technology in the Bronx, was on the winning team last year.

Their app, Skoobrik, helps students organize their schoolwork digitally.

“One of our mentors taught us how to code,” said Lakhi, whose parents were born in India. “We met every Saturday at Starbucks.”

Altaf said he decided to become a software programmer after attending the program and hopes to work for “a big company in New York.”

A key highlight for him was meeting Karp, one of the demo day judges. “It was honor, it was awesome,” Altaf said.

To be eligible for NYC Generation Tech, students must attend a school where at least half of the student body gets free or reduced rate lunch.

The deadline for applications is June 7 at 5 p.m. A background in tech is not required, though applicants should demonstrate a real interest in the sector, Branham said.

Applications are being accepted at

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