I met with Charles Bonello and Matt Harrigan to talk about their accelerator Grand Central Tech. I love how they began this journey. Both Charles and Matt met as kids and went to Regis High School. Regis High School is a unique institution in NYC where tuition is free for each student. They wanted to create a program at Regis where tech companies could incubate getting free office space and access to mentors but more important access to interns from the high school. Charles and Matt wanted to give back to students at Regis and their idea was to provide a way for the students to see the possible opportunities in the tech world as they moved forward in their lives vs the standards that they know from their parents who are your original mentors that suggest being a lawyer, accountant, banker or a doctor. Charles and Matt know because that is what they were taught.
The program was a success and they decided to build on this concept. They have opened a space near Grand Central that will give the accepted companies free office space for a year. They are also working on bringing in mentors from the community to help each of the companies grow. Most important they are partnering with a handful of public and private high schools in NYC to give students the opportunity to intern for the companies that will be housed at Grand Central Tech this year.
I am really impressed with both Charles and Matt and what they have built and what they are building. They are planting the seeds to grow this into something very unique. They are not only providing an eye opener to high school students of what is available they are helping companies grow in NYC. I plan on working with them in some capacity this year.
There is still time to apply. Here is a small blurb about the program.
Grand Central Tech is a new kind of accelerator that is housed in Facebook’s former NY headquarters at 335 Madison Ave. GCT provides all accepted companies a full year of office space, free interns drawn from the ranks of some of the best public and private high schools in NYC and access to great programming and mentors without taking any equity or charging any rent. As part of its efforts to provide resources to the community at large , the GCT team is actively recruiting a robust and diverse group of mentors and advisors to help guide the program and portfolio companies