Best Tech Events This Week (Social Retail Summit, Twitter NYC Talk, Enterprise Tech Meetup, Tech Drinkup, Bronx Tech Meetup, Music Hackathon, Hardware Startup)

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]

First off, some sad news: R.I.P. Aaron Swartz. Aaron, who was based here in Brooklyn, was a brilliant mind, hacktivist and internet folk hero who co-authored the RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, joined the Reddit team in its earliest days and was the founder of DemandProgress, playing a key role in helping win the fight against SOPA/PIPA. Many friends have weighed in including Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow and danah boyd. Aaron was only 26 years old and it’s such a tragic loss for the internet community. Thoughts and condolences to his friends & family. Here’s the official statement from his family and here’s a video of Aaron on how we stopped SOPA.

The NYC EDC is launching its Spring 2013 NYC Tech Talent Draft, a series of on-campus info sessions providing computer science and engineering students with a firsthand look at exciting NYC tech startup careers. First event starts January 30. Interested? Go register here.

My buddy Steve Rosenbaum (founder/CEO of Magnify) is NYC EDC’s entrepreneur at large, and he’ll be doing virtual office hours (via Google Hangout) on January 18 (12 to 1p.m.) to answer all your startup and entrepreneurship questions. Register here.

Hacker School (a three-month, full-time school for becoming a better programmer, like a writers retreat for hackers) is accepting applications for its Winter 2013 batch that’ll run from February 11 to May 2. Oh, and did I mention it’s absolutely free?!

Google recently rolled out the biggest Free Wifi network in the city in the n’hood of Chelsea (also the location of the company’s offices), spanning the area from Gansevoort Street to 19 Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway. Kudos to Alex Abelin, who heads community affairs at Google, for helping make this happen!

Forget “America’s Next Top Model.” The real action is in becoming one of New York’s Next Top Makers! The competition is sponsored by the NYC EDC to challenge makers, designers, and engineers to develop new products with commercial potential. Submissions are open until February 13th, and the organizers are throwing an event January 22 where you’ll hear from IDEO storytelling gurus why good design doesn’t always speak for itself, and learn about the role of a designer in a world of 3D printers.

Congrats to my buddy Dick Talens (cofounder of Fitocracy and 500 Startups alum) for helping coach Brooklyn’s own Mallory Hagan to the Miss America title!

I have one free pass to the Vator conference in San Francisco on February 13. Interested? Email me at

Looking to master the art of public speaking? Check out Holley (with an E) Murchison’s Cool-As-A-Cucumber class series this month at AlleyNYC on the 15th and the Grind on the 30th.

Space Shuttle Enterprise: A Pioneer is a new exhibition opening January 17 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, exploring the history of Enterprise and its critical role in the development of the space shuttle. The exhibition is free (with the price of admission) and the museum is offering a “buy one, get one free” promotion through February 15 to their Facebook and Twitter fans.

On Saturday, New York declared a public health emergency over the flu outbreak, with over 20,000 cases now reported across the state. Wondering where to get that flu shot? Here’s a list of locations.

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

New Work City Member Show & Tell!
Demos by Anna Curran (Cookbook Create), Jason Kende (, Michael Carvin (Smart Asset), Natalie Rodic Marsan (The Social Media Playbook), Tobin Schwaiger-Hastanan (JobsNearby) and John Federico (Qrious).
Monday (Jan. 14), 6 p.m. @ New Work City, 412 Broadway, 2nd Fl.

CTO School: Becoming a better Technical Leader – Tips & Discussions
Jean Barmash will give a brief overview of different aspects of the role of CTO, as well as share some experiences for learning the skills needed to excel.
Monday (Jan. 14), 6:30 p.m. @ Pivotal Labs, 841 Broadway, 8th Fl.

5th Hardware Startup Meetup
Presentations by Ben Einstein (founder, Bolt, a new hardware incubator), Alex Hawkinson (founder, Smart Things), Britta Riley (CEO, WindowFarms) and James Wolff (VP, DSHAPE – the world’s largest 3D concrete printer).
Tuesday (Jan. 15), 6:30 p.m. @ NYU Poly Varick Street Incubator, 137 Varick Street, 2nd Fl.

I Like It When You Call Me Big Data
Presentations by Kevin Turner (Associate Partner, IBM Global Services), Josh Baron (Senior Academic Technology Office, Marist College) and Dr. Bruce Wexler (C8Sciences).
Tuesday (Jan. 15), 7 p.m. @ Knewton, 100 5th Avenue

Twitter NYC Engineering Tech Talk
Showcasing some of the latest and greatest projects Twitter is working on in New York City. An evening of beer, food and talks. With Nathan Marz (operating Storm clusters), Naz Erkan (an overview of Spiderduck) and Alek Kolcz (machine learning).
Wednesday (Jan. 16), 6 p.m. @ Twitter NYC, 340 Madison Ave

1st Bronx Tech Meetup
Wednesday (Jan. 16), 6:30 p.m. @ Majora Carter Group, 901 Hunts Point Avenue, Bronx

Starting From Scratch:How One Small Idea Becomes a Big Deal
With Lisa Gersh (CEO, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) and Lisa Belzberg (founder, PENCIL) for cocktails overlooking the Hudson and a conversation on turning ideas into success.
Wednesday (Jan. 16), 6:30 p.m. @ Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, 601 West 26th Street, Northwest Showroom

Social Retail Summit #4
With Angela Min (Snapette), Erica Cerulo (Of a Kind), Chelsea Sun (, Lauren Sherman (Conde Nast LuckyMag), Kate Sekules (ReFashioner), Robert Gaafar (CropUp), Keith Fiore (Zenplaya), Abe Burmeister (Outlier), Seph Skerritt (Proper Cloth), Carine Carmy (Shapeways) and more.
Thursday (Jan. 17), 3 p.m. @ Dumbo Spot, 160 Water Street, Brooklyn

Music recommendations at Spotify
Erik Bernhardsson, the tech lead of the Discovery team at Spotify, will present music recommendations at Spotify.
Thursday (Jan. 17), 7 p.m. @ Pivotal Labs, 841 Broadway, 8th Fl.

#techdrinkup – Kick Off the New Year – NY Tech Party
Kick off the new year right by partying with over 500 awesome people in the tech community at a kick-ass lounge with a one-hour open bar!
Thursday (Jan. 17), 8 p.m. @ Liliam – W Hotel, 201 Park Avenue South

DUMBO Developers: Human Brain Robot Body
Given the chance, would you put your brain in a robot body?!!!
Friday (Jan. 18), 12 p.m. @ Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street, Brooklyn

Monthly Music Hackathon NYC
All-day event for musicians & engineers to create new music-related projects from scratch. Amazing cellist Colette Alexander will be in residence throughout the day to collaborate on whatever crazy project you can think of.
Saturday (Jan. 19), 10 a.m. @ 199 Lafayette Street, 3rd Fl.

More events on the horizon…
Legal Essentials for Startups: Part 3 – Intellectual Property Protection on Jan 22 @ Anchin
Entrepreneurs Roundtable 54 on Jan 22 @ NYU Stern
Next Top Makers: The Business of Design on Jan 22 @ 3DEA Pop-Up Store @ Eventi Hotel
How to Build Great Communities: Lets Collaborate on Jan 23 @ Projective Space LES
dd:COLLECTIVE – The Changing Retail Environment Presented by Digital DUMBO on Jan 24 @ Huge
NYC Mobile Startup Weekend on Jan 25 @ WeWork Soho Lounge
TEDxBroadway: Industry leaders envision the future of Broadway on Jan 28 @ New World Stages
Rapid Iteration With Python: Scaling AppNexus on Jan 30 @ AppNexus Razzle Space
Entrepreneurship in the Beer Industry on Jan 30 @ Professor Thoms
Business Insider Presents: Social Commerce Summit on Feb 06 @ Pier 60
UX Design and User Experience Optimization Trends on Feb 06 @ Anchin
Hearst Fashion Hackathon 2013 on Feb 09 @ Hearst
Social Media Week NY 2013 on Feb 18 @ Metropolitan Pavilion

Until next week. Stay thirsty social, my friends! 😉 Best Tech Events This Week (Social Retail Summit, Twitter NYC Talk, Enterprise Tech Meetup, Tech Drinkup, Bronx Tech Meetup, Music Hackathon, Hardware Startup)