Update: Applications for the Class of 2016 are now open!
If this looks like your kind of summer, apply now.
It’s been a week since hackNY Fellowship ended with a spectacular Demo Night, and we’re already missing our Class of 2015 Fellows. Our 34 Fellows had an action-packed 10 weeks of interning at local startups and attending our Speaker Series talks, workshops, mixers with the alumNY, and activities around the city. Applications for the Class of 2016 will open on September 26th, at the hackNY Fall Hackathon!
Our Startups this year were exciting and diverse, ranging from small, early-stage startups like Betterpath and Ufora to household names like Buzzfeed, Kickstarter, and Foursquare. Every startup came with a project or series of projects for their Fellow to work on – each Fellow shipped real code this summer! – and a mentor to guide them and answer their questions. Our students worked on projects from data visualization to ad fraud detection to tools for their dev teams.
Matt McNaughton interned at Ziggeo this summer and got to work closely with important members of its small team. Ziggeo is a video API company that is growing fast, and Matt’s project made it easier for Ziggeo users to manage and view their videos and account. He says, “Oliver Friedmann, my mentor at Ziggeo, was the perfect combination of very very knowledgeable and a great, kind teacher. It was exciting to learn so much while working one-on-one with him on such a cool project. I was also fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Susan Danziger, the CEO – we got lunch together with Oliver almost every week!” Oliver, Ziggeo’s CTO, has nothing but great things to say about Matt: “Matt was outstanding. It is really hard to find good interns, and Matt was the best we ever had.”
Emily Pakulski and Nancy Wong also made a big difference at their startups MongoDB and Skillshare. Emily especially appreciated opportunities she had to learn at MongoDB, where she built an API for provisioning pre-configured virtual machines for AWS. “I sat next to my mentors, so I had all the opportunities in the world to ask for help,” she says. Her mentor Cadran Cowansage, a Cloud Services Engineer, says she’s being modest about her work. “[Emily] was an excellent addition to the team and made a real contribution.” Nancy was energized by the supportive environment at Skillshare, an online learning community for real-world skills and classes. “My mentor, Angie, was super awesome, very supportive, knowledgable and pleasant to work with. Skillshare is a relatively young company, in the sense that most of those working there fall under the 20s-30s age range. It’s a very fun environment that isn’t overly tech-focused. Great environment and a culture that values teamwork, humility, and a passion for excellence.” Nancy worked on several front-facing features that Skillshare’s users will get to use.
The Speakers Series is a hackNY tradition in which the Fellows (sometimes along with alumNY) gather twice a week to hear from influential people in the tech world. Just a few of our most-loved talks this year included Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed, Laurie Segall, a tech correspondent with CNN Money, Stephanie Hannon, CTO of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer for NYC, and Ryan Bubinski and Zach Sims, cofounders of Codecademy. See below for the full schedule of this summer’s talks. Fellows agree that the best thing about our Speaker Series was the honesty of our speakers. They shared stories of their real struggles, not just their successes, and often spent an hour thoughtfully answering Fellows’ questions. Three partners at Union Square Ventures sat with us in a circle in their office, talking candidly about the future of tech and VC. Fellows often used words like refreshing, openness, insightful, wisdom, learning, down-to-earth, and of course awesome and inspiring to describe the speakers. They also got excited about visiting some of the greatest startup offices in the city, like Kickstarter with its customized theatre, and StackExchange with its incomparable views. Thank you again to all our speakers, and to their offices for hosting us!
Our Fellows also got the opportunity to learn from each other with our Workshop Series. The best part of hackNY is its alumNY community, and our Fellows will fit right in with their diverse skill sets and excitement about learning and teaching. Some of our technical workshops included an Intro to Configuration Management Systems with Emily Pakulski, Android Development with Richard Chu, and “Swiftly” iOS with Valentin Perez. We also had great nontechnical workshops, like bread baking with Matt McNaughton and Know Your Rights: Learning How To Deal With Police Encounters with Simon Ayzman.
When not working and learning, the Fellows were still busy exploring NYC. For many Fellows, this was their first extended stay in the city, and their friends and mentors were excited to introduce them to all their favorite places. They hung out in Union Square right by their housing, explored in Chinatown, walked the High Line, and ate (by our calculations) in total at least 100 servings of froyo. Mentor Matt Condon often had his video camera or GoPro with him, and compiled a great clip reel of Fellows’ funny moments this summer set to Shloka Kini’s epic parody song. Check it out.
While we’ll miss our Fellows, we look forward to seeing them at alumNY events and at our student hackathons. If this looks like your kind of summer, be sure to apply starting September 26th. We’ll be opening applications at the hackNY Fall Hackathon at NYU, where many of our alumNY will be volunteering and mentoring.
hackNY Speaker Series 2015
|Mon, May 26||2015 Fellows Welcome Dinner||Zio Ristorante|
|Wed, May 28||Chris & Evan – hackNY Founders||qLabs|
|Mon, Jun 1||David Aronoff – Flybridge Capital||qLabs|
|Wed, Jun 3||Gary Sinderbrand – CEO, Betterpath||Courant Institute|
|Mon, Jun 8||Gary Chou – Founder, Orbital||Orbital|
|Tue, Jun 9||New York Tech Meetup||Skirball Center|
|Wed, Jun 10||Fellows & AlumNY Mixer||Offerpop|
|Mon, Jun 15||Chris Wiggins – What is Data Science?||Courant Institute|
|Wed, Jun 17||Jonah Peretti – CEO, Buzzfeed||Buzzfeed|
|Mon, Jun 22||Shreyans Bhansali – Co-Founder, Socratic||Courant Institute|
|Wed, Jun 24||Joel Spolsky – Founder, Stack Exchange||Stack Exchange|
|Mon, Jun 29||Yael Elmatad – Data Scientist, Tapad||Tapad|
|Wed, Jul 1||Eric Wu – Ice Cream Workshop||NYU Palladium|
|Mon, Jul 6||Stacey Mulcahy – Tech Evangelist, Microsoft||Microsoft|
|Tue, Jul 7||New York Tech Meetup||Skirball Center|
|Wed, Jul 8||Ryan Bubinski & Zach Sims – Founders, Codecademy||Codecademy|
|Mon, Jul 13||Union Square Ventures Partners||USV HQ|
|Wed, Jul 15||Samantha John – CEO, Hopscotch||Hopscotch|
|Mon, Jul 20||Stephanie Hannon – CTO, Hillary Clinton 2016||qLabs|
|Tue, Jul 21||Fellows & AlumNY Mixer||Vapiano|
|Wed, Jul 22||Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer, NYC||Kickstarter|
|Mon, Jul 27||Sacha Ross – Partner, Corporate Law, WSGR||WSGR|
|Wed, Jul 29||Laurie Segall – Tech Correspondent, CNN Money|