We launched Tech:NYC ten months ago with a simple idea: create an advocacy organization that represents the growing and diverse tech sector in New York City (you can read more from Fred Wilson and Tim Armstrong, our co-chairs, here). We originally thought we’d end 2016 with 100 members; we closed out the year with more than 350. And now, just six weeks into 2017, we have approximately 400 member companies.
Of all the things we’ve learned in our first year, the one that has been the most gratifying is just how many of you want to be involved with supporting our industry, our city, and our nation. That is Tech:NYC’s greatest resource and—as a scrappy startup ourselves—we’re constantly working to ensure that we are taking full advantage of that resource by engaging our members appropriately and effectively.
This is why we are so pleased to announce the launch of our Leadership Council, a group of industry leaders who will help shape Tech:NYC organizational priorities and act as trusted representatives with policymakers and other relevant stakeholders. Neil Blumenthal from Warby Parker and Beth Ferreira from WME Ventures will co-chair the group, you can see the full and amazing list here. Our Leadership Council will help us achieve our goal: to support NYC and our sector’s role in it.
We saw firsthand how powerful our community could be a few weeks ago when more than 2,000 of you signed our letter to President Trump opposing his executive orders limiting immigration and the refugee program. As we said in that letter:
America has long provided homes and futures to millions who dared to share in our
collective dream. There is nowhere this is more true than New York City—home to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and more foreign-born immigrants than any other city in the world. Your executive orders suspending entry for citizens of certain countries, even those who currently have legal status, along with limiting the refugee program, threaten those immigrants who are our current and future neighbors, friends, colleagues, customers, and even bosses.
We are very proud of what we’ve done so far, but we have so much more left to do. We look forward to the hard work ahead.