I have gotten the same question twice in the last two days, essentially, “What events should I go to in order to meet people and get more involved in the startup ecosystem?” Notably, both questions were from people already working in startups, emphasis on working — both have been heads down and focused on their jobs and companies, and for different reasons are eager to get more exposure to the broader community.
At this point, there are many high quality events going on every night. It can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start. Here’s my attempt at a primer to answer this one question. Clearly the best way to focus and target the right events for you depends on your goals — meet a cofounder? Meet potential customers? Connect with people in your sector? So this won’t tackle every goal. I’m going for a general overview of select number of events that are well done and attract a great group of people.
Meetups: NY Tech Meetup, NY Enterprise Technology, Ultra Light Startups, Data Driven, Google NYC Tech Talks, Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable (the event series that led to the accelerator) and many, many more.
Community builders: A collection of law firms, accelerators, and schools
Accelerators with associated mentoring opportunities, demo days, etc.: Techstars NYC, ERA, DreamIt NYC to name a few, plus numerous sector-specific programs including NY Fashion Tech Lab, Fintech Innovation Lab, BluePrint Health, Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, and more.
NY-based Universities with excellent programming: Columbia’s Startup Lab, a ton of great stuff at NYU, and of course Cornell Tech which is ramping up. You should also check for your own alma mater’s activities — you have groups like Penn Digital, our own Venturing Hoyas, and programs like InSITE Fellows gathering their affiliated communities in NYC.
This is undoubtedly only scratching the surface, but the objective is a place to start. So consider this a working document.
As you can see, it’s a great time to be in NYC Tech.
Other good related resources: Steve Schlafman’s overview of NYC Tech http://www.slideshare.net/schlaf/guide-to-nyc-tech, Made in NYC list of resources http://wearemadeinny.com/learn/