Having studied and worked in Cambridge, MA for the last several years, I was hesitant about moving to NYC just when the company was gaining momentum. Sitting in a coffee shop by MIT, you might think everyone in town has a tech startup and a degree in engineering. While New York definitely would be cutting edge when it came to stock markets, art, and fashion, we wondered whether a tech startup community could be found.
Two of our three founders have now relocated to the Big Apple, and just a few weeks in, we already see New York City’s unique – and probably hipper – entrepreneurial spirit and savvy. Take NextNY. It’s a 750+ member strong group of “young people who have a stake in the future of tech and new media in New York,” with an active community sharing advice on its wiki and blog, filling its bustling mailing list, and meeting at events. Nobody officially runs the group – so anyone can host an event, update the wiki or post on the mailing list.
Based in Soho, Meetup has also made for an easy entry into New York. Highly relevant tech Meetups can fill a few evenings with food for thought any given week. The NY Tech Meetup gives a handful of people (precisely) 5 minutes each to demo their idea to the New York tech community, with a few minutes to answer questions from the audience. It has thousands of members, and packs the house with 400 people for its events. Last Meetup showcased some exciting startups and had David Weinberger briefly (but passionately) introducing his new book, Everything is Miscellaneous.
Last night, we checked out the New York Web 2.0 Social Networking Tech Meetup, which met jointly with Howard Greenstein’s Social Media Club. Speakers shared how to give a good pitch and “fearless networking” and introduced a new search engine – SenseBot. The highlight from the night was ParkWhiz, a new website that allows you to find the best-priced parking garage near your destination and then make reservations in advance from your computer. The problem they aim to solve is simple: “Parking sucks.”
On first impression, the NY tech community is busy starting some cool companies, ready to network and kick around new ideas, and willing to share energy and lend a hand.
Other popular NYC Meetups and resources I’ve found in my short time here are:
• The New York Dot Com Hatchery – The Hatchery allows you to pitch your ideas to a top-level advisory panel – great ideas are accepted for development and/or support. Keep in mind, they are looking for early stage businesses, and not just ideas on paper.
• Web2NewYork: A networking party for post-internet media, advertising and business.
• NextNY has a nice resources page.
• The New York Software Industry Association connects members with qualified interns from the area and has an incubator at 55 Broad Street.
What’s your impression? If you have other useful NYC tech startup nuggets, please add them in the comments. I’ll pull them together and add the best ones to the NextNY and any other resource lists.
6.29.07 additions (thank you to The Hatchery):
• iBreakfast: The monthly iBreakfast Club meeting promises to showcase the Silicon Alley movers and shakers in the context of the entire technology marketplace.
• Google has regular meetings, which are always good. Keep an eye on the Google Blog.
• Founders Club (by invitation only).
• Mobile Monday: This is a networking event for the local mobile industry, featuring both virtual and in-person gatherings.
• The Ivy clubs all have VC forums. They tend to cost some money, but have lots of VC’s.
Lunch 2.0 is launching on October 16th at The Ladders (137 Varick Street, 12:30-2:00). RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org.