“The city is about invention and reinvention”: Tech leaders weigh in on building and backing businesses in New York
Of all the qualities that characterize New York City, resilience is near the top. While the tragedy of the pandemic is deeply felt — and its ongoing hardships can not be ignored — New Yorkers have an opportunity to build a better and more vibrant community moving forward. The city’s tech community can, and must, play a central role.
On Tuesday, hundreds of founders, tech workers, investors, and community members joined our virtual event with Silicon Valley Bank to learn how some of the city’s top tech leaders and decision-makers are handling this moment, and how they view the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
We heard from New York-based entrepreneurs Brian Chen, Cofounder and CEO of ROOM, Christie Horvath, Founder and CEO of Wagmo, Matt Cooper, CEO of Skillshare, and Katherine Ryder, Founder and CEO of Maven, in a conversation moderated by Fortune Writer & Term Sheet Editor Lucinda Shen. They discussed how their businesses initially responded to the pandemic (most actually saw a boost), how they see employee benefits changing (primarily a shift to hybrid work), and shared their perspective on the “New York is dead” debate (they unanimously disagreed).
Then we checked in with New York-focused investors Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau, Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund, Rebecca Kaden, General Partner at Union Square Ventures, and Jarrid Tingle, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital, in a discussion moderated by SVB Managing Director Shai Goldman. They talked about their frequency of deals (they’re all actively investing), which New York sub-sectors are set to take off (digital health, education, e-commerce), and the current fundraising environment (deals are moving fast).
We concluded with a fireside chat with New York State Senator Brian Benjamin and Lerer Hippeau Managing Partner Eric Hippeau. They dove into challenges to digital transformation (the lack of access to WIFI), areas that will benefit from an infusion of tech (healthcare and education), as well as how the public and private sectors can work together in the months ahead (they must make a commitment to collaborate).
You can watch the full recap here.
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