Raise Cache, the techie fashion show presented by Raptor Ventures, raised $75,000 from selling 1,500 tickets, an additional $20,000 or so in Skillshare classes, and another $5,000 or so through an auction. That means the event slightly exceeded its rather ambitious $100,000 goal for the HackNY programmer apprenticeship program that encourages students to intern with startups instead of heading to Wall Street.
“A lot of times I thought it wasn’t going to happen,” organizer Rebecca Zhou told Betabeat. “In the Armory, a car looks like an ant. I was like, ‘omigosh, how are we going to fill this thing?’ But it all came together.”
The idea for Raise Cache came to Ms. Zhou after she finished TechStars in May. She started talking casually about it to fashion companies and the reaction was enthused. “Every company, ever person we’d meet introduced us to ten more people,” Ms. Zhou said. “We were blown away.”
From idea to customers to PR push, organizing the event was like doing a startup, she said.
The planning culminated in a glamorous runway show at the Park Ave. Armory, where the likes of Fred Wilson, Alexis Tryon, Roger Ehrenberg, Dave Tisch, Rachel Sklar and more stalked the catwalk with attitude.
“It had the finesse and the drama and the elegance of New York the same way our companies do here,” Ms. Zhou said. “My friends who came, they had fun, got a little drunk and laughed. Who knew that tech people on the runway would actually turn out so well?”
She doesn’t have any plans for another event, she said, although she imagines doing another fundraiser or event in the future, “something that reflects New York’s personality,” but it will depend on what is needed and when. Raise Cache is not an annual event, she clarified.