Introducing Generative NYC

Today, Lightspeed is announcing a new meetup dedicated to bringing together everyone building the future of AI products in New York City

Michael Mignano
Lightspeed Venture Partners
4 min readApr 19, 2023


Right now, every startup founder, engineer, designer, and product manager is thinking about how they can leverage AI to take their product to new heights.

And while there are plenty of places online for people to gather, learn, debate and share new ideas, we believe there’s a need for an offline place — somewhere IRL — where AI builders can gather to bond as a local community, learn from leading experts, and showcase the products they are building. So today Lightspeed is launching Generative NYC.

During the mobile computing revolution, NYC became a thriving tech ecosystem. Not only did it become home to some of the most exciting companies of the era — such as Foursquare, Behance, and Tumblr — it also spawned a new — now classic — type of tech meetup.

Tumblr founder David Karp at the NY Tech Meetup in 2007. Photo by David Karp. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Events like the the NY Tech Meetup, Product Secrets, or Betaworks’ Thursday night demos became staples within the local community, giving builders a place to trade ideas with their peers and learn from people making their favorite products.

Product demos at Betaworks in 2013. Photo by Robert Scoble. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Demos of unpolished prototypes, on-the-spot hiring, and requests for beta testers were all hallmarks of these events (as was pizza and beer).

These meetups played a crucial role in fostering the growth and development of the NYC community during a time of unprecedented change within tech. And now, because of AI, tech in NYC is once again experiencing a surge of excitement, momentum, and change, similar to the one felt more than a decade ago. Which means it’s once again time to bring this electric surge of talent and excitement into a room, together.

Generative NYC is modeled after these classic NYC meetups. The event will be held monthly, and will be open to anyone building products (e.g. engineers, designers, PMs, and founders) that leverage AI. At each event, a featured speaker from the local AI community will share learnings from their work to help benefit the community, followed by a handful of demos from local teams. And just like the meetups of old, Generative NYC will also feature plenty of time for plain old networking over food and drink so builders can bond, brainstorm, and find ways to collaborate.

Generative NYC

The very first Generative NYC meetup will take place on May 16th at Lightspeed NYC near Union Square at 6pm ET. Our first featured speaker will be Ziad Sultan, VP of Personalization (AI/ML) at Spotify and an AI pioneer. Ziad and his team are directly responsible for all-things AI for the world’s leading audio platform, such as the features that enable Spotify to perfectly program playlists and music discovery for each individual user, as well as the new AI DJ, which recently launched to much excitement. If you’d like to attend, head over to our event page here to sign up. Also, if you’re part of a local team that’s interested in demoing your product, please fill out this form.

Generative NYC’s inaugural featured speaker: Ziad Sultan, VP of Personalization (AI/ML) at Spotify

As we embrace a new era of AI-driven innovation, Generative NYC aims to be a center of gravity for the local AI community. Through informative talks from local experts, product demos, and networking, we aspire to create a thriving environment where builders of AI products can collaborate and inspire one another.

Whether you’re building a product that’s already found product market fit or hacking away on your first prototype, please join us at the inaugural Generative NYC meetup on May 16th. Let’s build the future of AI together, right here in NYC.



Michael Mignano
Lightspeed Venture Partners

Partner, Lightspeed. Co-Founder, Anchor. Angel investor to 50+ startups. Former head of talk audio at Spotify.