December 2016 Newsletter

Some 2016 Highlights + Sneak Peak into 2017

We want to start by thanking you all for an incredibly memorable (and busy!) 2016. Since we launched in May, we’ve built a membership of 350 companies. (Haven’t joined us yet? Get more info here.) We’ve hosted or co-hosted 20 events, through which we’ve engaged nearly 2000 participants. Highlights include discussions with Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Ron Conway, and NYC’s new Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan.

We’ve weighed in on important policy issues, such as self-driving cars, LinkNYC, and in support of a bill that would create transparency around CS education in NYC schools. We filed comments in support of the White House's International Entrepreneur Rule and on the State’s proposed cybersecurity regulations.

We’re proud of what we’ve done this year, but we really can’t wait for all we’ll do in 2017. We hope you’ll join us!

What We’re Up To Right Now:

  • We’re excited to launch Tech:NYC Policy Labs in 2017, a new program that will bring together technologists and policymakers as we explore the potential of cutting-edge technology. Our inaugural event, on January 12th, will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and will feature a keynote by Serkan Piantino, a leading expert in AI and the founder of NYC's Facebook office, as well as demos by NYC’s leading AI companies. Watch this space for more details or reach out to if you’re interested in getting involved.

  • Just this week, Tech:NYC submitted testimony to the New York State Assembly on cybersecurity. Our testimony mirrored comments we submitted to the State’s Department of Financial Services in response to proposed cybersecurity regulations that we fear could be really burdensome, particularly for many of the smaller companies in our membership. Those rules are currently slated to go into effect in the new year; we’ll be watching closely and will keep you posted.

  • NYC’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) recently proposed rules aimed at reducing driver fatigue, which would require all for-hire vehicles (including ridesharing cars and black cars) to share both pick-up and drop-off locations for every trip within the City. While we applaud efforts to keep riders safe, Tech:NYC has real concerns about rider privacy and data security. We’ll say as much when we testify to the Commission in January.

What We’re Reading:

  • Elle Magazine profiled our Executive Director Julie Samuels, calling her a “Powerhouse Tech Exec” as part of its “This Woman’s Work” series. From Julie: “[Tech:NYC is] an organization that represents so many amazing companies, so many amazing people in tech, who really are passionate about the issues and New York City and making both the city and industry better than they already are. There are so many opportunities to do that—there are so many events we want to be a part of and so many issues we want to be pushing at a policy level—but there are only so many hours in the day. So it's really a challenge to stay focused and do a few things really well, instead of many things less well.”

  • Om Malik in the New Yorker on tech and empathy: “My hope is that we in the technology industry will look up from our smartphones and try to understand the impact of whiplashing change on a generation of our fellow-citizens who feel hopeless and left behind.”

  • Crain’s New York on how Wall Street is looking beyond elite schools for tech talent: “So the industry is looking in places it never did, turning to outside firms to evaluate prospective programmers based on objective measurements, not their pedigree. The idea is that people lacking a computer science degree—art majors, graphic designers and chemistry graduates from the University of Delaware like Furlong—can still make the leap to well-paid careers in technology.”

  • Fast Company on New York City’s new "calls for innovation," such as NYCHA’s open innovation challenge, and other efforts to consider new ways of thinking about how to improve the services it provides: "Cities have been partnering with the private sector and individuals pretty actively for the last decade or so. But we're getting more evolved on both sides," says Jeff Merritt, director of innovation in the mayor’s office. "Government is better at articulating what we need and the private sector and individuals are able to work more closely and productively with us."

  • And two big announcements from New York City: first, announcing the launch of a new lab to support growing startups working in the augmented and virtual reality fields, making it the first publicly-funded initiative of its kind in the U.S.; and second, announcing LifeSci NYC, $500 million initiative that will help create an estimated 16,000 new jobs and establish New York City as a global leader in life sciences research and innovation.

Where We’ll Be:

  • NY EdTech Week is a global education innovation festival, focusing on how entrepreneurship and edtech can drive advancements in education and learning. NYC and its neighbors are home to the most significant learning infrastructure in the world.Got an idea? Come pitch our ED, Julie, this Wednesday between 1-3pm during the Shark Tank Session. Want to attend? Email for promos and codes.  More details at

  • We’re partnering with Work Market to host a blood drive on Friday, January 20th, 2017 to help the New York Blood Center‎. More details coming soon, but email if you’d like more information on how to get your team involved.