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The Hot 30 Movers and Shakers of New York City's Startup Scene


When tech culture's easy vibe combines with New York City's 24/7 work culture, it's inevitable that the local industry creates a lively social scene -- minus the socialites and underachieving trustfund babies. Instead, such industry events create huge pools of new and fresh faces of ambitious professionals. This has been the case since the tech scene's earliest days -- when the New York City startup community was much smaller.

Lindsey Green, a top tech publicist and current vice president of SKDKnickerbocker, recalls the startup scene in 2005. Just a decade ago, she would frequent creative meetups with a tight circle of big-name pioneer in the New York tech community. Fast forward to the present, where the scene has transformed from a few startups to tens of thousands, as local tech leaders proactively join panels, judge pitch contests and turn industry meetups into must-see events.

Green now handles press for April's NY Tech Day, which attracts more than 10,000 attendees. Meanwhile, June's Northside Festival in Brooklyn brought in more than 12,000 to its innovation panels.

Related: So, You Want to Marry a Tech Mogul?

Such fests have an "air of coolness and casual," says Alison Bryce, a director at Northside Media Group, while other business events "tend to be more corporate and structured. Northside is about cultivating the essence of what Brooklyn is which is creative, homegrown and hardworking."

While New York is known for its workaholics and long commutes, these tech meetups are resourceful for not only building a pro-network but also connecting with the hottest city dwellers.

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So we tapped Bryce and Green's extensive startup connections to find the industry's movers and shakers. We asked for the most inspiring speakers and immersed investors who are redefining the local economy, job market and social scene of the tri-state area. (They also happen to embody what being a fashionable and magnetic New Yorker is all about.) The results are listed in random below.

Related: What Keeps a City's Startup Scene Hot? Cambridge Shares its Secrets

1. Andy Dunn, Founder, Bonobos

Image credit: Bonobos

2. Rameet Chawla, Founder, Fueled

Rameet Chawla
Image credit: Northside Media Group

3. Soraya Darabi, Founder, Zady

Soraya Darabi
Image credit: Northside Media Group

4. Guy Krief, Co-founder & SVP of Innovation, Persado

Guy Krief
Image credit: Northside Media Group

5. Alex Douzet, CEO, TheLadders

Alex Douzet
Image credit: Northside Media Group

6. and 7. Jennifer Fleiss and Jenn Hyman, Co-founders, Rent the Runway

Jennifer Fleiss and Jenn Hyman
Image credit: Rent the Runway

8. Deborah Jackson, Founder & CEO, Plum Alley

Deborah Jackson
Image credit:

9. Mario Schlosser, Founder, Oscar

Mario Schlosser
Image credit: Northside Media Group

10. Claire Mazur, Co-founder, Of a Kind

Claire Mazur
Image credit: Northside Media Group

11. Peter Vidani, CTO, Tumblr

Peter Vidani
Image credit: Northside Media Group

12. Eric Hippeau, Partner, Lerer Ventures

Eric Hippeau

13. Josh Kushner, Founder, Thrive Capital (far right)

Josh Kushner
The Prime Minister with Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom and Thrive Capital partner Joshua Kushner. At 28, Kushner is a rising star in New York venture capital.

14. Ben Sun, General Partner, High Peaks Venture Partners

Ben Sun
Image credit: High Peak Venture Partners

15. and 16. Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez, Co-Founders, Maker's Row

Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez
Image credit: Northside Media Group

17. Dennis Crowley, Founder, Foursquare

Dennis Crowley
Image credit: John D. Sutter/CNN

18. and 19. Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos, Co-founders, The Muse

Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos
Image credit: The Muse

20. Bre Pettis, Founder, MakerBot

Bre Pettis
Image credit: Photography by Axel Dupeux

21. Viraj Puri, Founder, Co-founder, Gotham Greens

Viraj Puri
Image credit: Northside Media Group

22. and 23. Mukesh Patel and Charlie Patel, Co-founders, JuiceTank (NJ)

Mukesh Patel and Charlie Patel
Image credit: Juice Tank

24. Jon Stein, CEO and Founder, Betterment

Jon Stein
Image credit: Betterment Blog

25. Jalak Jobanputra, Founder & Partner, Future Perfect Ventures

Jalak Jobanputra

26. Andy Kahl, Senior Director of Transparency, Ghostery

Andy Kahl
Image credit: Ghostery

27. Andrew Kortina, Co-founder, Venmo (right)
(A distinct, honorable mention goes to Iqram Magdon-Ismail, left, Co-founder, for making quite the fashion statement at a recent panel.)

Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail
Image credit: Venmo Press Kit

28. Kellee Khalil, Founder, Loverly

Kellee Khalil
Image credit: via Tumblr

29. And 30. Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, Co-founders, theSkimm

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg
Image credit: theSkimm


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