April 2018 Newsletter: Why We Fight to Help Tech Succeed

This is the April 2018 edition of the Tech:NYC newsletter. If you're not already getting this in your inbox, sign up now.

The New York Times reported this week that Propel, a Tech:NYC member company that helps food stamp recipients manage their funds, is being hobbled by an incumbent player. It’s an important (and maddening) story—one that serves as a reminder as to why the work we do at Tech:NYC is so important.

Propel is building out technology to make people’s lives better. And it’s working. Until it wasn’t, when it ran up against an existing government contractor and other roadblocks, reminiscent of another time and way of doing business.

Impeding innovation is seldom wise, but in this case it’s downright wrong. Propel’s product is more than an app. It helps millions of people who have few resources to help manage their lives and otherwise been consigned to 1-800 numbers and email forms for help. Propel is revolutionizing this by making food stamps simpler and genuinely improving lives.

Our legislators have a responsibility to encourage innovation and to help our most vulnerable community members. Propel does both of those things, and lawmakers should take notice. It’s good governance, good for innovation, and good for our community. That’s why we do the work we do here—to ensure that policymakers and others understand the power and potential of technology. It’s hard but rewarding. And so important.


What We're Up To

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Earlier this month, we helped put on the 5th annual Computer Science Opportunity Fair at the Armory Track in Washington Heights. More than 2,000 NYC public high school students from 60 schools attended and new NYC schools Chancellor Richard Carranza showed up to highlight the importance of CS. Special thanks for our members Accenture, Citi, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Justworks, Microsoft, Managed by Q, MongoDB, Oath, Pilot, Splice, Trello, UrbanStems, Warby Parker, and more for hosting booths and helping make it such a success.


We are proud to be the local partner for the just-announced Startup Guide New York, the first guidebook to chronicle NYC’s startup scene. Startup Guide has published books for 17 European and Middle Eastern startup cities to date, but New York will be SG’s first American city. Nominate your favorite startups, founders, investors, coworking spaces, and more to be included in the book from now until May 14th.

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Our April 2018 edition of New York tech companies to watch includes five startups that are focused on transforming urban spaces. Here’s your chance to get to know Fentrend, Jabbrrbox, Pilot (pictured above), Storefront, and UrbanLogiq.

Policy Developments


The U.S. Senate will soon vote to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. We are one vote away from winning, and so we are asking all startups and small businesses to sign this open letter in support of saving net neutrality. Letters to lawmakers will be delivered on May 2nd, which is in the middle of national Small Business Week. Please join us before the end of the month and share it with fellow small businesses!

What Our Community Is Up To

NYC Tech Community Events

May 1-2: HR Uncubed, a two-day conference for HR, talent acquisition, and employer branding, will help professionals improve their organizations and recruit more effectively. Leaders from Google, IBM, Uber, Justworks, and more will be speaking. Register with code “TECHNYC” for 30% off.

May 4: We are pleased to host Digital de Suite, an afternoon of discussions about art, droit de suite, and blockchain, at the Ace Hotel. Artists and entrepreneurs will participate in panel discussions and solo presentations between 3 and 6 p.m. RSVP here.

May 4: New York University will host the final “pitch off” event for its $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge at the NYU Stern School of Business. Join in to see to see which ventures win the grand prizes. Register here.

May 8-9: The annual Techonomy NYC conference will bring together a diverse group of business leaders who are open about their challenges, policy experts who go out on a limb, and plenty of young entrepreneurs. Speakers include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Microsoft president Brad Smith, and Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud. Register here.

May 10: TechDay New York, one of the largest annual gatherings of startups from NYC and around the country, will take place at Pier 94 in Manhattan. Register here.

May 14: During Blockchain Week, we are proud to bring back Policy Labs and co-host Blockchain 101 with IBM. Blockchain 101 provides an opportunity to learn the basics of blockchain and where the technology is heading in an interactive setting. Email us if you’d like to attend or if your company would like to participate.

May 14: Our member Fusemachines will host a panel on privacy, bias, and data protection in the age of artificial intelligence on Monday, May 14th at Work-Bench. RSVP here.

May 21: The Women In Innovation (W.IN) Forum NY is back for its third year with the theme "Diversity Powers Innovation.” At it, you’ll get the chance to meet and network with successful founders in beauty, food, finance, media, tech, and more. Ticket sale proceeds will go to the East Harlem Tutorial Program. Use the code “TECHNYCWIN” to get a ticket for 70% off a full-price ticket!

May 21: The CornellTech@Bloomberg speaker series will feature a conversation with NYC venture capitalists and startup investors Eric Hippeau of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital, Naveen Selvadurai of Expa, and Catherine Ulrich of FirstMark Capital. Keep an eye on Tech at Bloomberg for registration info.

July 10-11: The eighth annual New York Venture Capital Summit will let you connect with and hear talks from top VCs, including Future\Perfect Ventures’ Jalak Jobanputra, SoGal Ventures’ Elizabeth Galbut, and Salesforce Ventures’ Meredith Finn. Use the code “TECHNYCVIP” for 10% off.

Welcome to Tech:NYC

A warm welcome to our newest members:

  • Jabbrrbox: A technology equipped workspace that is plush and quiet.

  • Lab141: Made-to-fit advanced manufacturing for luxury brands, which are made in New York in 48 hours.

  • Pluto: A transparency platform for companies to build a diverse and inclusive culture, by providing actionable insights from interactive workplace data and reporting.

  • Quill: Free tools to make your students better writers.

  • Splash: End-to-end event marketing technology that provides customers with the tools to stay on-brand, the power to execute more effective campaigns, and more.

  • Syndio: An HR platform that helps companies use data to improve their corporate culture, attract and retain the best employees, and mitigate employment related risk.

  • UrbanLogiq: A startup that works to consolidate government data that is currently fragmented and helps governments make faster, cheaper, and more accurate decisions.

  • Vimeo: Home to more than 70 million members in over 150 countries, Vimeo is the world’s largest ad-free open video platform and provides tools to host, share, and sell videos in the highest quality possible.

Join Us

If you’ve been thinking about joining Tech:NYC as a member, now’s the time. Check out our membership page, and let us know if you have any questions.