4 Things We Learned From NY Tech Day


Jay and GA Team with the founders of NY Tech Day.

GA team members, Jay Nappy and Adam Spivak, with TechDay co-founders, Jesse Podel and Alec Hartman.

Each year, 15,000 attendees and 450+ startups converge in New York City for the annual NY Tech Day, the world’s largest startup event. As a former TechDay intern, I know how much effort it takes to plan and execute such an impressive event. Now, attending as an exhibitor with GA, it was amazing to see how much this event has evolved in just a few short years.

Tech conferences like this can be overwhelming, but as I perused Pier 92 with the GA crew, we thought of a few things that could help any aspiring Silicon Alley mogul at other startup events:

1. There is a right way to present your company at a tech event.

Keep it simple and be ready, always. When our GA team made our way around the “gallery” of startups, we took to Twitter and Periscope to showcase New York’s finest startups. Our team came prepared with questions to ask, but we found a few startups didn’t have their elevator pitches ready. Other startups, were ready to rock-and-roll and they had an air-tight elevator pitch, representatives who spoke clearly and efficiently articulated their value, and made the most out of their air-time and kept us and our viewers engaged and entertained. (Thumbs up to PushForPizza for making us laugh, showcasing their simple user interface, and feeding us).

2. There is a right way to attend a tech event as a job-seeker.

One more time: Keep it simple and be ready, always. Time after time, candidate hopefuls came to our booth and said, “I’m looking for a job in Business Development at a startup. What do you guys do?”  Cue the record scratch. There’s a lot more to impressing hiring managers than handing over a resume. Be educated, know your audience, tell us something that shows us you’ve done your research, and have your elevator pitch ready. This kind of interaction certainly wasn’t the majority – in fact, when we spoke with TechDay co-founders Jesse Podel and Alec Hartman, their favorite part of event was hearing about how many attendees got jobs just from interacting and engaging with startups that were looking for talent.

3. NYC loves GA, and we love you back.

I was absolutely thrilled by how many people came up just to tell us that they love GA. It’s obvious that our students are excited to tell us about their newly acquired skills and the network they have developed since finishing a GA program. From alumni who are giving back through their own ventures to those who just wanted to share some love, it was great hearing the impact our programs are having on the startup community and beyond.

4. TechDay is huge and you should be there.

Person after person, upon entering the venue, reacted with “wow, this is huge!”  Since their inaugural event in 2012, their attendees and exhibitors numbers have grown steadily, year after year, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed:  Midway through yesterday’s event, the City of New York announced that the event will officially be the city’s “New York Tech Day.”

Looking to add some of these necessary skills to your docket so you’re ready to present your idea, startup, or yourself at a moment’s notice or at your next tech conference? Check out what’s coming up at your local GA campus.

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Jay Nappy is an instructional designer for General Assembly. His focus is building curriculum and resources for campus tech courses. An avid Game of Thrones fan and amateur sports enthusiast, Jay also works as a part-time web developer for Krossover, a company that offers video analytics services for sports coaches.