We New Yorkers like our tech expos like we like our pizza: big and cheesy. So, what is NY Tech Day? It’s a “science fair for startups,” and an event to “celebrate New York’s awesome startup ecosystem,” but more concretely, it’s going to be a gigantic one-day expo at the block-sized Lexington Ave. Armory, with 200 startup booths, more sponsor and vendor booths, and a few thousand attendees rotating through, and followed by an awards show.
The event was announced about three weeks ago and more than 750 attendees have registered (for free), said co-founder John Petersen, a former banker with an engineering degree.
Mr. Petersen is planning to announce the soft launch of his own startup, a targeted direct mail campaign manager, MailManhattan, within a matter of weeks. Aha! So your own launch is the secret motivation behind all this pomp and circumstance? Betabeat asked.
“It is, a little bit,” Mr. Petersen laughed. “It definitely inspired a lot of thinking in the way we planned out the day, because there’s so many startups that are just heads-down and busting their butts that don’t get a lot of exposure.”
Mr. Petersen’s co-founder, Alec Hartman, used to put together large trade shows for small business. “We started talking about it there’s no business expo focused especially on startups,” Mr. Petersen said.
The expo will be followed by an awards ceremony, during which the audience will vote on categories such as “King of New York” and “Prettiest Girl at the Ball.” The for-profit event is pay-to-play; startups can get a booth for $385, a price Mr. Peterson said he worked hard to keep low. The event will have some “creative ways to allow companies to win a booth through sponsorship,” he said. Startups must be based in New York (Long Island and New Jersey are OK, he said), and they must be tech-related. “So if you’re an accounting firm with a website, that doesn’t count,” he said. “We want you to be using technology to do cool stuff in some way.”
The epic-ness of the event reminds us of the monthly NY Tech Meetup, SA500, a recruiting event at the New York Stock Exchange, which also hosted the Silicon Alley 100, and of course Raise Cache, the nerd fashion show at the Armory that raised $100,000 for hackNY.
Mr. Petersen and his co-organizers are still working on the cast of sponsors, panelists, a “very big” keynote speaker and “featured startups” (read: name brand New York companies—you know the ones). They are also seeking a title sponsor (so it might turn out to be the “NASDAQ NY Tech Day“).
“There’s been great momentum and lots of great success coming out of the New York City tech scene recently,” Mr. Petersen said, and the presentations will focus on how to keep that momentum up.