Best Tech Events This Week (Happy Holidays!)

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

So we survived! The Mayan-predicted end-of-the-world-armaggedon-pocalypse was a no-show. Now it’s time to party! Of course, I still have a dozen cans of anti-zombie spray lying around… interested? 🙂

In the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Mayor Bloomberg and 750 other mayors have come together to create Demand A Plan to fight for gun safety. A ton of leaders from the tech industry, both here in New York and in Silicon Valley, have joined the cause including Craig Newmark (Craigslist), Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), Marc Benioff (SalesForce), Evan Williams (Twitter), Dennis Crowley (Foursquare), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Ben Horowitz (Andreessen Horowitz), Laurene Jobs, Randi Zuckerberg and many others. And a large-scale social media effort is underway, similar to how the industry came together during SOPA/PIPA.

New York City recently announced the H.E.L.M. (Hire Expand in Lower Manhattan) contest to bring more startups into Manhattan’s growing tech scene. It promises up to $1.2M (five cash grants of up to $250,000 each) to startups looking to reside in Lower Manhattan. The application deadline has been extended to noon of December 31.

Heard of Socratic Labs? They’re an ed-tech accelerator based here in New York City, creating a community for education innovators. Deadline for applying for the first batch is December 31.

Here’s some stuff I’ve been watching recently ….. Well-respected VC Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital talking about the venture capital business. GRP Partners’ Mark Suster elaborating on where content, media and monetization are headed. Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson’s insightful talk and Q&A at the Enterprise Tech meetup, where he talked about network effects, ankle biters and “shorting the entire big, fat, old, cynical, rip-off artist enterprise software business.” Jason Calacanis interviewing XPrize and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis, who talked about tackling big issues through entrepreneurship including literacy, alzheimers, earthquake detection and curing cancer.

Random nugget: “I’ll nurse a single joke for years, amending, abridging and reworking it incrementally, to get the thing just so.” – Jerry Seinfeld in a recent feature in the NY Times.

And now let’s see what’s going down in the Alley this week…

Demo and Get Feedback
Designed to help founders get feedback on their ideas.
Tuesday (Dec. 25), 6:30 p.m. @ WeWork Labs, 175 Varick Street

Review BiohackersNYC 2012 & discuss 2013
Wednesday (Dec. 26), 6 p.m. @ Hu Kitchen, 78 5th Avenue

ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge: Application Deadline
Small and medium-sized businesses across the five boroughs can apply for high-speed broadband at their location. Winners will receive free fiber build-out to their place of business, an overall value of up to $7 million for all winning businesses.
Thursday (Dec. 27), 9 a.m. @ To be decided

Growth Hacking Workshop: Lean Marketing for Startups
With Mattan Griffel (founder and CEO at The Front Labs, Partner at Grow/Hack).
Thursday (Dec. 27), 6 p.m. @ General Assembly East, 902 Broadway, 4th Fl.

The What and Why of APIs
Learn all about APIs from one of the industry’s leading specialists, Matt LeMay (Platform Manager, bitly).
Thursday (Dec. 27), 6 p.m. @ General Assembly East, 902 Broadway, 4th Fl.

Home for the Holidays Brooklyn!
Bringing together Etsy employees with local sellers, buyers, and friends of the handmade artisan community. A festive gathering with drinks & food.
Thursday (Dec. 27), 6 p.m. @ Etsy Labs, 55 Washington Street, #712

Reinvent the Payphone Meeting #2
Thursday (Dec. 27), 6:30 p.m. @ The Lab, 122 West 26th Street, 5th Fl.

DUMBO Tech Breakfast Meetup
Friday (Dec. 28), 8:30 a.m. @ DUMBO Kitchen, 108 Jay Street, Brooklyn

More events on the horizon…
The Product Group January 2013 on Jan. 3 @ MTV Networks / Viacom
Foursquare Hackathon 2012: Connect all the Apps! on Jan. 5 @ Foursquare HQ
A Conversation with Adaptly Founder Nikhil Sethi on Jan. 7 @ General Assembly East
#BARK Presents: New Year New You | What Can We Learn From Brands That Pivot on Jan. 8 @ Yotel
Invasion of The Hackathons: Creating Unique Opportunities for Entrepreneurs on Jan. 8 @ NYU Poly
January 2013 NY Tech Meetup on Jan. 8 @ NYU Skirball Center For The Performing Arts
NJ Tech Meetup 32 on Jan. 10 @ Stevens Institute Of Technology
Startup GC Panel #2 on Jan. 10 @ General Assembly
Enterprise Technology Meetup on Jan. 15 @ Cooley

Until next week. Stay thirsty social, my friends! And Happy Holidays! 🙂

Best Tech Events This Week (Happy Holidays!)