Picture (or tweet) this. You walk into a crowded room and immediately get a notification that someone wants to meet you. Strangely, that’s kind of cool, right? And completely flattering.
A six-person team behind the scenes at the world’s largest event for startups created a portal to let you do just that. Enter Adam Carver, John Petersen and Alec Hartman and their colleagues, the tech nerds who are the minds behind NY Tech Day (#NYTechDay).
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Each wanted a way to connect the early-stage startups — the exhibitors — with attendees, so they created an exhibitor directory. In short, “we want to give startups the access they need to grow,” says Petersen, who works alongside Hartman, the co-founder for this project. Petersen is a former veteran of the financial services industry, but quickly made the foray into developing products for NYC Dev Shop, which was the starting point for this meetup.
“I started doing my research and realized that there really were no events specifically focused around startups. And that’s kind of how NY Tech Day was born,” says director Adam Carver. Only in its second year, the event has managed to land sponsors like Chobani, Vimeo and Box, to name a few.
Here’s how the portal works: after registering for the event as either an exhibitor or an attendee (it’s free!), you you should start checking out the exhibitor directory, where you’ll find videos, bios and job postings from many startups you already know about – and some you don’t. Filter these startups by geography, level of funding, your personal area of interest: e-commerce, fashion, dating. Even Cornell’s business school drummed up a 15-person team for an exhibitor tent. “I’ve never seen anything like this at any other conference. It’s totally unrivaled,” says Carver.
And if you’re an LLC just starting out? “So many [newer] startups have this idea of ‘it’s too early to exhibit,” says Carver. “But even if you want to be stealth, change your name or use an alias.” More proof that it’s never too early here.
Once you step onto Pier 92 next Thursday, April 25 and check in, nearly 400 exhibitors with their own portal profiles (“think of it as an OkCupid for networking purposes,” Petersen says) can connect with you and set up a meeting time after the event has ended. It’s the perfect marriage of networking and job-hunting, assuming you’re looking. A built-in Twitter app lives on the portal, allowing you to not only connect in real-time, but to follow up with those startups by whom you’re inspired.
The #NYTechDay team will be blasting out more info for the event in the next few days, so if you’re on their email list, refresh your inbox. Finally, NY Tech Day’s Twitter account is inviting you to connect and give them a reason why you should attend. Tweet sent to them with a Post-It note and could be featured, RTed, or potentially even flagged by a startup.