Recap of the hackNY 2010 Summer Fellows program

Tal Safran and Alex Qin put together this great list of the events from the class of 2010 hackNY Fellows program . They also made this great event map! Hopefully it’s complete but it was a very full list — let us know if we forgot something.


Move-In Day
When: May 23, 2010
Where: NYU University Hall
For the duration of the Fellowship program, fellows were given free housing at NYU’s University Hall, an apartment-style housing facility located on Union Square.

Shake Shack Kickoff (blog post)
When: May 24, 2010
Where: Shake Shack, 11 Madison Ave
First meeting! The fellows got together at Madison Square Park’s famous Shake Shack, munching on burgers, fries, and shakes while getting to know one another. Everyone gave their suggestions for which topics and speakers they’d be interested in.

Columbia Business School Professional Development Workshop:
When: June 2, 2010
Where: Columbia University
Columbia’s Business School invited the hackNY Fellows to attend their Professional Development Workshops. Fellows had a chance to meet members of the Columbia Business School Startup Track Internship program as well as of the Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). For the first workshop, Professor Murray Low discussed “Managing the Growing Company.”

Data Visualization Seminar with Martin Wattenberg (blog post)
When: June 3, 2010
Where: NYU Poly Incubator
First speaker! The hackNY gang was invited to a private talk from data visualization expert Martin Wattenberg. Martin showed how graphical visualizations can reveal interesting and overlooked patterns from large sets of data, and showed off some of his previous projects, including the immensely popular Many Eyes and Fleshmap. Oh, plus pizza.

New York Tech Meetup (event, blog post)
When: June 8, 2010
Where: NYU Skirball Center
A pack of fellows took the initiative and marched down to the NY Tech Meetup, New York’s largest monthly tech conference. Over a dozen NYC startups of all shapes and sizes, including Meetup, Perpetually, and Forrst, talked about their visions and demoed their products. The audience was treated to a special surprise when Meetup founder Scott Heiferman brought a brand new iPad on stage and smashed it with a sledgehammer, urging people to use the Internet for things that’ll get them off of the Internet.

Web Development Workshops (photos)
When: June 9/16/23/30, July 7/14.
Where: Courant Institute, NYU

Fred Brooks @ Etsy (event, blog post)
When: June 14, 2010
Where: Etsy HQ, 55 Washington St, Brooklyn
The fellows were invited to a special talk at Brooklyn based startup Etsy by legendary computer scientist and author of The Mythical Man Month Fred Brooks. Mr. Brooks signed books, spoke about the software development process and addressed topics from his new book, The Design of Design. After the talk, the Fellows stuck around for an awesome afterparty at Etsy HQ, chatting and mingling with other members of NYC’s startup community.

Understanding Viral Content with Jonah Peretti (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post) (blog post)
When: June 15, 2010
Where: Buzzfeed HQ
Jonah Peretti, co-founder of Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, was once described by The New York Times as a “viral marketing hotdog.” Mr. Peretti was gracious enough to host the fellows at the Buzzfeed and talk about his fascination with understanding peoples’ online interactions and the spread of viral content. Buzzfeed president Jon Steinberg joined the conversation, urging that 2010 is the best time to be a hacker. Afterwards, mingling + pizza.

Storing Data at Web Scale with Kushal Dave (Chartbeat, Foursquare) (blog post)
When: June 22, 2010
Where: Courant Institute, NYU
Kushal gave a great talk not only about why databases and scaling are crucial for successful web startups like, but also about the transition from googler to upstart. Kushal emphased the satisfaction of working with a small team and of getting to see your creations launch.

Investing and Venture Capital with Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures) (blog post)
When: June 29, 2010
Where: Union Square Ventures
Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Ventures, presented a talk on VC financing 101. He explained how companies are valued, what a pitch is like, and how an engineer should think about raising venture funds. He discussed the Union Square investment thesis and what kind of people they look to invest in, and then took the time to answer the fellows’ questions. There was pad thai and red bull!

Field Trip at NYC Resistor! (
When: July 1, 2010
Where: NYC Resistor
NYCResistor is a hacker collective in Brooklyn. We got a tour of the space, discussed the kinds of projects people create there, then played with robots and learned to use the laser cutter.

4Chan and Anonymity with Chris Poole (blog post)
When: July 5, 2010
Where: Dogpatch Labs
Chris Poole sat down with the fellows for a frank conversation about 4chan, his inspiration for creating the site, and the memes that have been generated by the community. We stayed late to enjoy falafel.

Hackabit I at (blog post)
When: July 14, 2010
Where: Betaworks opened their meatpacking office to the world and provided pizza and red bull for hours of hacking fun.

MongoDB and NoSQL with Kristina Chodorow
When: July 14, 2010
Where: 10gen HQ
Kristina talked about 10gen and what it’s like to join an early and successful startup and watch it grow, just a few years after leaving NYU. She also gave us coupons for her new book on mongoDB!!!

Hunch, Hacking, Life with Chris Dixon (Hunch, Founders Collective) (blog post)
When: July 20, 2010
Where: Hunch HQ
Chris Dixon gave us a great extemporaneous talk on startups in NYC. Key topics included how people overestimate the risk of joining the startup community and the history of the venture model. Be sure and follow the link to the blog post for the video of the entire talk.

Startup Track Professional Development Workshop
When: July 21, 2010
Where: Columbia University
Columbia’s Business school invited the fellows to join for the second talk in the series.

The changing nature of seed investing with Ann Muira Ko
When: July 27, 2010
Where: Courant Institute, NYU
Investor and Stanford Professor Ann Miura Ko, PhD, recently called “The most powerful woman in Silicon Valley” by Forbes, visited the hackNY Fellows and letctured on the changing nature of small/seed investing in tech startups. Professor Miura-Ko discussed the rise of the “superangels” or “microVCs” and the set of factors the fellows should consider carefully when they are ready to found their own starups.

Hackers and Founders (Shake Shack)
When: July 29, 2010
Where: Madison Square Park
Hackers and Founders is a casual event at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. We got burgers and milkshakes and mingled with the hacker news community.

HackNY Demofest! (blog post, video)
When: July 30, 2010
Where: Courant Institute, NYU
The summer went by quickly, and suddently it was time for the demofest. Fellows demo’ed some great tech from their 10 weeks, including great videos by Fellows who weren’t able to join. Afterwards….

HackNY Fellows Final Feast!
When: July 30, 2010
Where: B Bar, East Village
Great dinner, with a recap of all the events and accomplishments of the 1st class of hackNY Fellows. Looking forward to putting to use all that we learned together in these 10 intense weeks. Thanks, hackNY!!!