Monthly Panel Discussions/Pitching Events/Fireside Chats
These are the places to go to get feedback from investors, practice your pitch or simply get on an investor or two’s radar. We’re frequently there, too, so who knows? You, too, may make it into AlleyWatch.
Peter Crysdale, CEO and Founder of of StrategyHack, runs the New York chapter of Startup Grind and not only does a great job interviewing his guests: he always has a top quality speaker in the hot seat.
He also always manages to get good stories out of them and has a talent for getting them to talk about their successes and their challenges, warts and all.
$20 includes pizza, soda, wine and beer. (Leave it to a marketing strategy guy like Crysdale to knows how to please an audience. Well done!). See past coverage on AlleyWatch of “Startup Grind NYC”
Curated by Murat Aktihanoglu (‘Murat’ will do) and always free to attend. The format is simple: A different investor is invited each month. The investor talks about his or her background and the fund, followed by a Q & A with the audience. Next, five companies take center stage to present their pitches – one at a time – and get constructive feedback from the investor. There are those times when the investor will even invite the entrepreneur to come in and present to the fund at large. It has happened. Many, many times. There are even company’s who’ve pitched, who were later accepted into Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, of which Murat is managing partner. Cups, for one. If there’s time left over, other entrepreneurs present may be invited to give their elevator pitch. That’s 30 seconds. Practice before you go. Go!
No food or drink, but there’s always an opportunity to introduce yourself to the investor. Everyone usually heads to a nearby watering hole afterwards, with the investor (usually) in tow. And what better way to get to know him or her than over drinks… See past coverage on AlleyWatch of “Entrepreneurs Roundtable”
This time, it’s a panel of four investors, and eight startups get to pitch at Ultralight Startups. Again, one at a time. Graham Lawlor’s been doing this since the Web 1.0 days, so it’s a well-oiled machine. $20-$30 to attend, but pizza and soda are included, and despite the fact that they’re plentiful, they don’t last long. Don’t be shy.
At the end of the pitches, the audience votes for Best Startup and Best Investor. Winners (for the best startups) are announced and prizes are awarded to the top three. Grand Prize includes an automatic first-round interview for the next class of Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator or DreamIt Ventures, two of New York’s top accelerator programs, and more.
Again, there’s always time to chat with the investors afterwards, and at the end of the evening, everyone repairs to a nearby bar for more networking and imbibing, this time with the real thing.
Meet the Innovators
Kelly Hoey moderates this free monthly series at the Apple store in Soho. It may be a panel one month – and Brad Feld, making a rare New York appearance the next. No food and iPads not included, seating is on a first-come, first serve basis, and it’s always standing room only. Arrive early. See past coverage on AlleyWatch of “Meet the Innovators”
About once a month, Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy makes her way to New York for her PandoMonthly Fireside Chat with…a technology luminary. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Linkedin CEO Jeff Wiener and Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet have all been face to face with Lacy. Be it an entrepreneur or investor, it’s always someone with something to say, and that you’ll want to hear, in a one-on-one with stellar interviewer Lacy. It’s the kind of stuff you’d have to pay thousands of dollar for to hear at one of the larger tech conferences. She does her homework – and she knows her stuff. The event always takes place at Projective Space. Put it on your calendar. $20.
The theme changes every month, and it’s always a good one at Disruptive Technologists. Sometimes it’s a topic you’d expect, and sometimes it’s something from left field. From the people who are changing the game to the people working on it. It’s a panel discussion with anywhere from three to five speakers. And pizza, of course. $16
Startup Weekend NYC
Want a crash course in how to start a company? That’s what this is, and it’ll just take 54 hours of your time at Startup Weekend. It’s time well spent, and meals included (and guess which dish is always on at least one of the menus?)! You learn what it takes to build a product, the functions and contributions of the various team members, and how to get along. It’s collaborative, it’s constructive, it’s intense, it’s judgment-free (except for the part where the judging comes in) – it’s awesome. It’s the perfect way to literally immerse yourself in the startup world. And who knows? At the end of the day – literally – you might launch your next venture.