Demo day is a Techstars tradition—and the culmination of 12 intense weeks.
It’s also a forcing function for the 10 amazing companies in the program to deploy pilots, grow their customers, and secure funding. Managing Directors at Techstars put their own spin on demo day and this year Techstars NYC decided to go big! In partnership with Google Cloud, we pulled off a one-day, conference-style event, Start New York, that included pitches and panels focused on the founder journey.
Looking around NYC, we noticed a bunch of tech events for specific verticals and themes, but none purely focused on founders. With that in mind, we set out to create a unique day for the broader NYC tech community. Lucky for us, a fantastic event space, The Shed at Hudson Yards, just opened and we were able to snag a spot there. Although Hudson Yards can be a hike, everyone in NYC seems curious about The Shed (and its ‘nestable’ roof), so we thought that would be a draw. And it was! In fact, we had to close registration a few days early when the guest list hit 1200!
This year, we decided to shake up the pitch format by adding a live panel of experts to keep the founders on their toes. After a quick three minute pitch, our experts, including Rebecca Kaden, Beth Ferreira, Aaron Holiday and Anthony Ha, grilled the founders on everything from customer acquisition to market size to competitive landscape, which kept things lively.
The full day of programming moved on to panel sessions, including the state of the NYC startup ecosystem, verticals like retail, health and wellness, and frontier tech, and demos from innovative companies across the city.
Founders don’t build startups alone. It takes an entire community: mentors, talent, investors, corporations, universities—everyone. We’re grateful to be part of one of the most vibrant and powerful startup communities in the world, and we wanted this event to celebrate the city that makes Techstars NYC possible.
We couldn’t be more proud of the 10 companies that graduate Techstars NYC 2019 this week: Cube, Every Mother, gablex, Hacware, Lou, realworld, SmartHop, SquarePlan, Wagmo, and Wise. They represent the best that this city has to offer, and we know they will go on to greatness.