lessons learned Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

NYC Becomes a More Talented Tech Hub Thanks to New CTO, Minerva Tantoco



It was a Tuesday morning deep in Lower Manhattan, steps away from the World Trade Center and City Hall. While suits swarmed the sidewalks on their way to offices in the sky, we made our way to LMHQ, which hosts events and allows space for coworking.

Fellow startup folks filled the main room, chatting, exchanging cards, drinking coffee, and taking pictures of the whiteboard art. It seemed exactly like the kind of place where Techweek New York would kick off, with none-other than a CTO as the featured speaker. But this wasn’t the kind of CTO the startup crowd is used to hearing — it was Minerva Tantoco, the very first CTO for the government of the City of New York.

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“Let Dreams Evolve,” A Conversation with Kristian Nairn of Game of Thrones


Fans of Kristian Nairn, known for playing the well-loved character of Hodor on the TV phenomenon, Game of Thrones, may be surprised to know that he’s enjoyed a thriving DJ career for the past two decades. His latest, and perhaps most notable, set being Rave of Thrones—an epic dance party that brings together die-hard Game of Thrones fans and music lovers from around the world.

We caught up with Nairn backstage at the Hard Rock cafe, right before he played a rowdy crowd of ravers and cosplay enthusiasts at this year’s Comic Con in New York City.

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“Don’t Be Afraid to Fail,” a Conversation with Techweek CEO, Katy Lynch



In 2014, American startups saw the largest year-over-year growth in twenty years. New businesses are on the rise—helping reverse a five-year downward trend in startup activity, according to a Kauffman Index report. With 310 out of every 100,000 U.S. adults building a startup or small business, entrepreneurs make up a small but significant part of the American workforce.

No one appreciates this significance more than Katy Lynch, the new CEO of Techweek, a series of festivals celebrating entrepreneurs in cities across the world.

We caught up with Katy on the eve of Techweek New York to chat about her own experience launching and selling a successful social media agency and what excites her about her new role as CEO. 

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Entrepreneurs Share Lessons Learned From First Jobs


Your first job out of college can be an eye-opening, career-transforming experience. For Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of Change.org, it was an essential step in realizing his ultimate dream of launching a democratized political decision platform online. Watch here to learn more about his early days working for political consultants in Washington D.C. and how the advent of Facebook changed his career path.

Ben Rattray is the founder and CEO of petition platform of Change.org. Before launching his company, Rattray attended the London School of Economics, as well as Stanford University.

Janet Balis is a partner and CRO at betaworks, a seed stage venture capital company that invests in media properties. Prior joining betaworks, Balis held executive positions at The Huffington Post and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

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