This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder of GarysGuide, mentor at ER Accelerator and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
We say it at the beginning of each year: This is going to be a good year. But 2011 indeed turned out to be a banner year for the NY Tech scene with a whole lotta innovating and seeding and launching and fundraising and co-working and demo-ing and growing and merging and acquiring and selling and of course pivoting happening everywhere, even as we surpassed Boston in venture capital dollars and moved another step closer to an inevitable showdown with Silicon Valley. So sit back, crank up Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind and relive some of the highlights of the year when New York tech came into its own…
- The New York Observer’s Betabeat launches, chronicling the local tech scene in its inimitable fashion, ruffling a few feathers here, stroking a few egos there.
- New York’s red hot co-working / incubator scene became even hotter with General Assembly leading the way and raking in around $4.5 million from the likes of Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.
- We had over 100 hackathons covering the gamut from photo hack days, music hack days, video hack days, foursquare hack days, ruby hack nights, city sponsored Big Apps competitions, Startup Weekends, Lean Startup Machines–you name it, we had it all.
- Local group messaging startup GroupMe got snatched up for around $85 million by Skype and Chris Dixon’s Hunch also scored a cool $80 million payday from ex-Skype owner eBay.
- Move over Jersey Shore. TechStars NYC & Bloomberg TV came together to do a reality show that took startup voyeurism to new heights and put Techstars NYC grand poobah Senor Tisch on the map.
- Those foursquare kids kept on rocking the SoLoMo scene reaching 15 million users, moving to a big new office location and an even bigger $600 million valuation.
- The NY tech community came together for one giant group hug / fashion show to raise some cash for hackNY.
- Joining Google’s NYC digs (aka Googleplex East) were Spotify, Yelp, which opened an East Coast HQ, and Facebook, which announced a big East Coast engineering presence.
- A bunch of local startups broke out including BirchBox (pioneering the subscription commerce model and an slew of clones), the magical Turntable.fm (decreasing employee productivity everywhere) and Fab.com (pivoting from a social network for gay men to a flash sales site focused on design).
- Cornell came out of left field to clinch the prized gig of building a spanking new science & engineering campus on Roosevelt Island (can we haz a pedestrian bridge, plz?!)
- And finally, our CEO / Mayor El Bloombito, not only talked the talk but actually walked the walk, showing up at an amazing number of tech events including the NY Tech Meetup to hammer home the fact that he increasingly sees Wall Street as the past and startups, entrepreneurship and tech as the future of this wonderful city I like to call home.
Here’s looking forward to 2012. I think its going to be another good year.
And now, lets take a peek at what techlicious events are in store for us before the ball drops…
140Conf 2011 Holiday Party
Twitter investor Jeff Pulver is throwing a holiday party for his 140Conf peeps and you are invited!
Tuesday, 7 p.m. @ LQ, 511 Lexington Avenue
NYC Ruby Hackfest!
Time to get ur hack on one final time this year
Tuesday, 7 p.m. @ Pivotal Labs, 841 Broadway
Be One of the Cool Kids: An Introduction to Ruby on Rails
You know what they say. Its never too late to start learning. And if Ruby on Rails be ur thing, then DesignerPages Chief Product Officer, Avi Flombaum, be ur man.
Tuesday, 7 p.m. @ Dogpatch Labs NYC, 36 East 12th Street 2nd Floor
DUMBO Startup Lab: Open House + New Year Party Mixer
Go hang out with other entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, investors and more at this open house event / New Years party mixer. And yes, there will be plenty of free booze and eats to go around!
Thursday, 7:30 p.m. @ DUMBO Startup Lab, 68 Jay Street Suite 415, Brooklyn
DUMBO Tech Breakfast
Grab some food, grab a seat, and talk tech.
Friday, 8 a.m. @ The Gallery, 108 Jay St, Brooklyn
Entrepreneur Week | New Years Eve Overlooking NYC
You’ve been rocking-it-out-on-the-terrace all year long. And here’s one final chance to rock it out with ur fellow startuppers before we all bid adieu to 2011.
Saturday, 8 p.m. @ Private Residence Terrace, 312 11th Avenue
More on the horizon…
TechStars NYC Spring Program Happy Hour
Tuesday Jan 3, 7 p.m. @ Central Bar, 109 E 9th Street
January 2012 NY Tech Meetup
Wednesday Jan 4, 7 p.m. @ NYU Skirball Center For The Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place
Zaarly NYC Startup Crawl
Thursday Jan 5, 5:30 p.m. @ Unigo, VaynerMedia, Adaptly and Spotify, 386 Park Ave South 6th Floor
NJ Tech Meetup 20
Monday Jan 9, 7 p.m. @ Babbio Center, Stevens Institute Of Technology, Hoboken
iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour 2011
Friday Jan 13, 5:30 p.m. @ Millenium Broadway, 145 W 44th Street
Women Entrepreneurs Festival
Wednesday Jan 18, 9 a.m. @ NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway
Until we meet again in 2012. Stay
thirsty social, my friends!