March 24, 2015
At its foundation about 10 years ago, New York Tech Meetup was nothing more than an outlet for a small group of people to get together and discuss their tech companies. However, over time it’s slowly, organically grown into a central clearinghouse for anybody in the New York City tech ecosystem to meet, talk, and build companies together.
Jessica Lawrence, the Executive Director at New York Tech Meetup, has seen the group grow to over 42,000 members and achieve nonprofit status all in the hopes of building a thriving, diverse tech community in the Big Apple. What’s interesting, despite all the comparisons to Silicon Valley, is that New York City has been able to establish a unique identity.
There are so many different industries in the city, and tech is in one way or another tied into nearly all of them. New York Tech Meetup has been central to the growth of the ecosystem because they attract the attention of members who start their own company, but also the people who are in tech roles at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, or Hertz.com.
Every month the members are invited to see nine companies affiliated with New York Tech Meetup do live demos and enjoy a happy hour afterwards. Additionally, Lawrence and her team have been working to highlight conversations around the city focused on diversity and women in tech.
It may have taken seven years of growth before the core founders of New York Tech Meetup decided to take it towards nonprofit status, but the time was well worth it as they’re the world’s largest tech meetup today. We spoke with Lawrence at SXSW this year to learn more. Here’s the video:
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