Reflecting on 6 Years of Organizing the NY Enterprise Tech Meetup (NYETM)

Jonathan Lehr
Feb 6, 2018 · 5 min read

It’s the 6 year anniversary since first launching the NY Enterprise Tech Meetup back on January 25, 2012.

Over 60 meetups later with, with ~120 attendees each month, and 5,500+ members across Fortune 1000 executives, enterprise startup founders and team members, and VCs of all stages, it’s been incredible to see NYC’s enterprise technology ecosystem coalesce and truly flourish.

Photos from the inaugural NYETM at Cooley on January 25, 2012

During this time period, funding activity for NYC-based enterprise startups has dramatically increased, going from minimal deal count and funding volume to reaching over $4B in aggregate funding last year. With NYC a clear #2 in enterprise startup activity in the country and #1 in customer density with 52 of the Fortune 500 HQ here, it’s never been a better time to launch an enterprise startup in NYC.

Thanks to Rubi Gaddi and Ian Ellis for sparking the plug in the early days to get the event going, and to David Raviv for dedicating so much time to record and edit all of our presentations so that we could have all of these wonderful videos from the events. It’s been cool to see the momentum continue as Ian moved to London a few years ago and has run our sister group the London Enterprise Tech Meetup, and David has been leading the NY Information Security Meetup for the last few years.

Thanks to Cooley for their tremendous support of the NYETM during our first 3 years where they were a founding sponsor and event host. Shout out to Box too who supported us during the early days of the meetup. While Aaron Levie was using TechCrunch guest posts as his soap box to make enterprise software sexy, the NYETM brought people together to see the magic that could ensue.

Thanks to Work-Bench, the home and hub for all things enterprise tech in NYC, which became the host for NYETM in early 2015 (along with hosting 200+ other enterprise events a year). The NYETM has truly scaled up and taken both content and production quality up several notches since my colleagues at Work-Bench have gotten involved, so they deserve a ton of kudos for their relentless work and support of this community. Shout out to Jessica Lin, Allie Felix, Vipin Chamakkala, Kelley Mak, Kelley Henry, and our amazing crew of production coordinators. Also Mickey Graham gets credit as being our original hype man calling the NYETM the “ultimate social event of the month” :)

In honor of our 6 year anniversary I got a bit nostalgic and figured I’d share some highlights…

We know how to find ’em early:

· AppDynamics presented back in April 2013 (video here), long before their $3.7B acquisition by Cisco in January 2017.

· CoreOS presented in November 2014 (video here) and just last week was acquired by Red Hat for $250M. Red Hat also acquired Inktank for $175M in April 2014, following their August 2013 NYETM presentation (video here).

· Local startup 1010data presented in June 2013 (video here) and was acquired for $500M by Advance Publications in August 2015.

· Microsoft must be a fan of the NYETM because it has snapped up past presenters Revolution Analytics (February 2012), Aorato (July 2014), Metanautix (March 2015), and Deis (Oct 2014 presenter).

We’ve helped co-founders meet:

Jake and Sanjay of Datavore met based on a Crowd Intro request for a cofounder, and have been working on their company since July, 1 2014!

We’ve secured corporate customers:

Netskope presented during the November 2014 meetup and got a corporate customer on the spot based on the demo!

We’ve showcased leading NYC enterprise startups before they got huge:

Namely in Nov 2012 (video), Datadog in February 2013 (video), SiSense in May 2013 (video), BetterCloud in October 2013 (video), Movable Ink in November 2013 (video), Hightower in July 2014 (video), Greenhouse in March 2015 (video), and many many more.

We’ve had public launches from big companies and startups alike:

We had one of the first public AWS Lambda demos in December 2014 right after it was announced at AWS Reinvent in November 2014. On the startup side, Dennis Mortensen debuted x.ai’s fully AI assistant Amy to the world for the first real-time showcase of Amy’s scheduling abilities during the July 2014 NYETM (video).

We’ve had incredible keynotes:

Jason Lemkin’s “How to Hire a Great VP Sales” (video and transcript ), “Top barriers to cloud adoption and how F500 companies have overcome them” AWS’ Global Head of Enterprise Strategy Stephen Orban, “The State of Hybrid Cloud” by Accenture’s CTO (video), “Network Effects and the Enterprise” by Fred Wilson (video), “Building an ecosystem of enterprise-grade mobile apps” by Simon Tan of Box (video), and more.

We’ve also mixed it up with informative panels:

Raising VC funding (video), getting press coverage for your startup (video), demistying corp dev (video), selling to the enterprise (video), design in the enterprise (video), startup pitch and feedback sessions with VCs (video), and lots more.

A packed house for the January 2018 NYETM hosted at Work-Bench

Our community

Looking back, we’ve accomplished quite a lot, but the thing I’m most proud of is the community that we’ve fostered. Time and again, newcomers to the group share consistent feedback that the NYETM has one of the highest quality attendee bases of any meetup they’ve ever attended.

So while we always make sure to have a compelling lineup of speakers (and the beer/wine and empanadas certainly don’t hurt either), the key driver for regulars to attend over the years and for continued growth in the group is you all — the community.

Thanks to everyone for making this group what it is today, and I can’t wait for new things we have in store this year as we continue to evolve.

PS — If you’re not yet a member of the group, join the NYETM today!

Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC.

Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC. We support early go-to-market enterprise startups with community, workspace, and corporate engagement. Sign up to get our digest of top content & industry news weekly: work-bench.com/enterprise-weekly

Jonathan Lehr

Written by

All enterprise tech, all the time || VC @Work_Bench, Founder of @NYETM, and @KauffmanFellows Class 19 || I also tweet (a lot) about the @MiamiHEAT

Work-Bench

Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC. We support early go-to-market enterprise startups with community, workspace, and corporate engagement. Sign up to get our digest of top content & industry news weekly: work-bench.com/enterprise-weekly