September 2017 Newsletter: The NYC Tech Community Takes a Stand

This is the September 2017 edition of the Tech:NYC newsletter. If you're not already getting this in your inbox, sign up now.

We’ve been busy working on ways to help our members engage on some of the biggest challenges facing us today. We launched Tech Takes Action—a new tool that lists ways to speak up, give back, and chip in; put members directly in touch with elected officials; registered people in our community to vote; and spotlighted some of the companies using their businesses to affect positive change.

What We’re Up To


Earlier this month, we launched Tech Takes Action, a tool to help the New York tech community take collective action on the issues that matter the most. Our initial emphasis for TTA is help both the DREAMers who were affected by the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA and New York’s immigrant communities. Please sign up for TTA updates so we can alert you when we need your help.


We also spotlighted five of our member companies that have dedicated their businesses to social good. For example, OweYaa cofounders Barika Edwards and Marie Roker-Jones (pictured above) built their company to match employers in the tech sector to high-caliber military talent. Other companies on the list include AddicaidIdealistIssueVoter, and Move This World.


We spent time with Congressman Joseph Crowley of Queens at Spotify’s New York office. It was an opportunity to discuss important political issues and give feedback to one of our most prominent national representatives. Special bonus: Congressman Crowley performed a Paul Simon song for the crowd.


Finally, this week we participated in National Voter Registration Day by encouraging New Yorkers to get registered so they can participate in democracy, one of the most important American traditions. Many of our members, including AppNexus, Foursquare, IssueVoter, Microsoft, and WeWork, also took part in the day. Make sure you are registered by October 13 so you can participate in both the big November 7 election and the 2018 primaries.

Policy Developments

The Trump Administration just updated its contentious and misguided travel ban. Its new proclamation restricts travel from five of the original countries from the previous ban: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. In addition, Chad, North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela have also been added to the list. We’ve updated our policy brief accordingly.

We also released a new policy brief about DACA to help provide context that explains why DACA was implemented in the first place, where we are now, and potential next steps in the process.

What Our Community Is Up To

Cornell Tech opened its beautiful new Roosevelt Island campus this month. Tech:NYC Executive Director Julie Samuels wrote about what the opening means for NYC in Crain’s New York.

MongoDB filed to go public last Thursday, with the intention to raise up to $100 million in the deal, writes CNBC.

Airbnb launched its new Experiences product in New York, so travelers can book unique activities with Airbnb hosts based here. There are 150 options on New York’s list, ranging from Bronx street dancing to a culinary tour of Greek spots in Astoria.

Andela and Coalition for Queens joined Ellen Pao for an engaging and important panel on diversity in tech at the offices of Managed by Q.

Livestream was acquired by Vimeo, a move that will help the two teams continue innovating in the world of video and live storytelling.

Shutterstock has launched a new custom content creation platform called Shutterstock Custom. This platform lets Shutterstock’s 1.7 million users request content from its network of freelancers, including photos, videos, and GIFs.

Statespace, a new training platform for gamers that was created by neuroscientists from New York University and is backed by Expa, launched out of stealth this month.

Where We’ll Be

Tonight’s edition of the CornellTech@Bloomberg series at the Bloomberg offices will feature a conversation with Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and cofounder of VaynerMedia and partner at Vayner/RSE.

WiTNY's Winternship program, a two-week immersive experience that will empower the next generation of women in tech, will launch on October 11 at the new Cornell Tech campus.

Our member Grand Central Tech will soon be hosting the #REBNYTech Hackathon, which will bring together 200 of the brightest minds in the property and technology industries for three days during NYC Real Estate Tech Week. It takes place October 13-15.

Our members Facebook, Livestream, and others will be speaking at Techweek New York, which is happening October 16-20. Tech:NYC community members can receive 30 percent off tickets.

Welcome to Tech:NYC

Say hello to some of our newest members!

  • Benefit Kitchen - A financial literacy app that connects working families with a path out of poverty.

  • Dagmy Motors - Designing the most advanced, yet most affordable electric vehicle platform.

  • ExecThread - A crowdsourced platform that enables executives to be in the know about the best career opportunities around the world.

  • i-Comm Connect - Add an instant call button to your website or mobile app for secure customer communications.

  • Inkubate - Writing style analytics to determine marketable content.

  • Lyft - Lyft is your friend with a car, whenever you need one.

  • Managed by Q - Everything you need to run your office, including office cleaning, maintenance help, office management support, and more.

  • Merlin Guides - Allows companies to streamline their staff onboarding and training by creating guided workflows in any web application.

  • Segovia - A secure, reliable platform for frontier market payments.

  • Spotify - A digital music service that gives you instant access to millions of songs.
  • Squarepeg - Intelligent job matching using a more personalized approach to the job search, both for companies and for candidates. 

  • Stealth - Gigabit fiber-optic internet for businesses in NYC.

Join Us

If you’ve been thinking about having your company join Tech:NYC as a member, now’s the right time! Check out our membership page, and let's start making a difference together.