Several weeks ago, I was interviewed for New York Magazine's recent cover story "Sucks to be Us" about entering the job market as a young college graduate. Not knowing the title or direction of the piece, I was actually excited when the reporter asked me to comment about finishing college amidst economic turmoil. I enthusiastically told her about my company, Small Girls PR, which I'd started as a creative solution to my limited options upon graduation, and how the support and excitement within New York's young tech community had helped get the business off the ground.
The quotes weren't included in the story, and for good reason -- in the startup community, it doesn't actually suck to be us. If you're talented and motivated, there's a wealth of opportunity. The excruciating demand for developers and designers isn't new, yet here were multiple pages of highly creative, smart individuals that have all but given up on finding meaningful work. The problem in New York's tech and startup community, it seems, is one of awareness.
How can we get more college graduates to understand that there are bountiful opportunities to start a career at a startup?
Enter Raise Cache.
Presented by Raptor Ventures, Raise Cache is a large-scale fashion meets technology benefit happening in New York on November 17. To celebrate our rapidly growing community and invite more students to participate in the exploding technology industry in New York, the event aims to bring together established members of the tech and media spheres with creative and motivated millennials who might not otherwise be exposed to this emerging community in need of fresh talent.
The best part is that it is a truly community-wide event. All proceeds will benefit hackNY, a fantastic organization that facilitates paid summer internships at startups for talented students of any major -- and the event itself is a collaboration of the colorful startups, investors, and other members of the community that are already kicking ass in New York.
Raise Cache organizer Rebecca Zhou explains, "The concept behind Raise Cache was to put a spotlight on all the exciting things happening in New York Tech and give hackNY a megaphone to let the world know, especially students, that there are amazing opportunities here right now for technologists and innovators."
We're living in a time where technology industry strength has reached the highest since the dot-com bubble and the creative workers who power it are treated like coveted commodities. With over 75 of New York's most promising startups participating in the event, one imagines students and recent graduates will rub elbows with an inspiring founder, potential employer, or both as they wait for their drink.
Comparing myself to the voices in the New York Magazine article, it's clear that the ominous tech bubble does not apply strictly to the financial status of the tech world but also to its social status. To ensure students are exposed to the event and the hackNY program, Squarespace is sending buses to universities all over the Northeast to transport those interested to a pre-mixer with influencers of today's NY tech scene.
With an open bar by Lot18 and DJ battles by some of the biggest names in media and tech (Twitter investor Fred Wilson and Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley have already started a twitter war over title for best DJ), the idea is that students might come for a wild party or free drinks, but leave replacing dreams of working at Goldman Sachs with ones of building the next Apple in New York City.
Raise Cache was conceived to showcase the talented people and disruptive companies that make up the New York Technology ecosystem but wouldn't be possible without the generous support of Nasdaq, SecondMarket, Thre.ad, EventBrite, and KPMG.