The New York City Tech Ecosystem Report

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About NY Tech Meetup

Founded in 2004 by founder Scott Heiferman and co-founded by Dawn Barber, and now led by Executive Director Jessica Lawrence, the NY Tech Meetup is the world’s largest meetup group with over 36,000 members, and is a non-profit organization representing professionals from all parts of the New York technology community. NYTM builds programs and partnerships to support the growth and diversification of the city’s technology industry and hosts a perennially sold-out monthly event where members gather to watch emerging companies demo new ideas, hear leading-edge thinking on technology topics, and build their networks to develop their businesses. NYTM has been integral in the birth of New York’s new Silicon Alley, with nearly every notable new company, including Foursquare and Tumblr, making their debut at a NYTM demo. NYTM is a not-for-profit, community-led organization. Its Board President is Nate Westheimer and Chair of the Board is Andrew Rasiej.

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Executive Bios

Jessica Lawrence – Executive Director

Jessica Lawrence, 32, was named the first Managing Director of the NY Tech Meetup in April 2011 and Executive Director in February 2013. In these roles, she has worked to expand the capacity of the 30,000+ member organization while also managing its day-to-day operations on a full-time basis.

In 2003, she began working with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, a non-profit serving 10,000 girls and 5,000 volunteers in Southern California. She got her start as a Fund Development Associate, working her way up through the organization until she was named Interim CEO in November 2007 and CEO in February 2008. Under her leadership, the organization was ranked the #8 best nonprofit to work for in the country on the NonProfit Times’ 2010 “Best Nonprofits to Work For” list. Some of her other accomplishments with the organization include leading massive organizational culture change, leading the organization to become the first non-profit Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) in the country, addressing longstanding issues with a volunteer management structure that had been in place since the 1950s, and substantially increasing cookie sales and retail store revenues when sales for the same time period nationally were flat or only slightly up. In November 2010, she was one of 15 women selected to participate in FeMBA, Seth Godin’s mini-MBA program for female entrepreneurs.

In 2011, Lawrence served as a consultant to the Intranet Benchmarking Forum, and produced the first U.S. Coworking Unconference in Austin, TX in collaboration with She gave the solo presentation “Rebel in a Polyester Sash: Rehabbing Corporate Culture” at SXSW and at the Non-Profit Technology Conference in March 2011.

Lawrence is also a speaker, consultant, blogger, and writer of the column “The Practical Business Radical” in The Press-Enterprise. She graduated cum laude with a BS in Psychology from the University of Maryland and earned a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Duke University.