New York City is home to a more than 1,000 new tech companies that host daily events, workshops, classes and conferences. Thanks to the Bloomberg administration’s Made in NY initiative, there’s never been a better time for a journalist to cover Silicon Alley and get involved in the burgeoning startup scene.
Recognizing the strong connection between journalism and startups, CUNY’s very own Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism was formed in September 2010, and a number of other schools also offer similar programs.
With so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve crafted five easy steps to getting your foot in the door and making meaningful connections in the startup community.
Step 1: Subscribe to Gary’s Guide Newsletter
This is one of those newsletters you don’t want to miss, as it features cool companies, causes, products and services; daily events with pricing info; upcoming classes and workshops; and lots of deals and freebies. It’s also a nice way to stay up to date on tech news.
Step 2: Sign up for access to the Start-Up Digest’s NYC Calendar
While the calendar has a great curated list of events in NYC and the surrounding area, it’s important to remember that it’s still geared towards the tech community — not the journalism community. Below are some great suggestions for getting more involved in the latter through meetups.
Step 3: Sign up for Meet Up
There’s a number of great Journalism, Technology and Entrepreneurial focused-groups on Meet Up, and we’ve curated a few groups you should consider joining. Remember, you’ll need to create an account on Meet Up and introduce yourself as you join new groups in order to attend their events.
- NY Tech Meetup
- Hacks Hackers NYC
- NYC Entrepreneurial Media
- NYC Technology Startups
- Code Meet Print
- Hack and Tell
- Future of News
- Incubate NYC
- Mobile Emerging Tech in News
Step 4: Get Business Cards
Handing out your business cards and getting other people’s cards at these events is a great way to look professional and collect the necessary information to follow up after an event.
You can get business cards with the NYCity News Service typeface by contacting Yahaira, who can send you a mock-up of the business card. From there, you’ll have to print it yourself by using an online site or visiting a printing shop.
Whether you use the news service logo or design your own cards, here are some popular printing sites to choose from:
- Vista Print – The designs are a bit dated, but they have great bulk pricing. However, you’ll need to order in advance, as they take some time to arrive.
- Moo – This site has beautiful designs and great card-stock quality, but it is somewhat expensive.
- Zazzle – It has nice designs and they often have sales, but the cards aren’t as professional looking as other sites.
Loving my new business cards from @overheardatmoo #photojournalist pic.twitter.com/pW9KZdY10K
— Heather Martino (@HeatherSaidTHAT) February 27, 2014
If you’re in a pinch and can’t wait for online order, consider visiting a print shop or a NYC FedEx print shop. You can usually drop your design file off at a FedEx printing shop and get your cards printed fast.
Step 5: Make connections and establish your online presence
While you are at an event, you should live tweet using the established hashtag and any of the presenters’ handles. This will help the audience recognize you and contribute to building your online presence.
Peer to universal proxy service connects w/ @youtube @dropbox @amazonaws #prettycool via @shodogg #NYTM pic.twitter.com/VUVWPAaCND
— Heather Martino (@HeatherSaidTHAT) March 5, 2014
It’s also a great idea to blog after the event, tweet your post and include a link to your website. As a bonus, live tweeting and blogging will also help you to establish your unique voice and give you credibility.
After you attend an event, you should follow up with the people you met via email. The ideal time to contact them is within 1-3 days after the event, so that you’ve given them enough time to recuperate, but not too much time has lapsed that you’ve vanished from their short-term memory.
Heather Martino is a multimedia photojournalist in Manhattan. She is the Digital Media Assistant at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she is specializing in health and science reporting, with a focus on global health and mHealth. Heather also has a B.S./M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University. Follow her on Twitter at @HeatherSaidTHAT
This post originally appeared here.
The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism focuses on fostering new business models to ensure the sustainability of high-quality journalism. At the core of the center is a unique, 15-week fellowship program — an intensive immersion into the process of building a media startup. Each year 15 fellows from around the world are selected from a large applicant pool to spend several months developing their own entrepreneurial journalism projects in New York City. The fellows launch new journalism sites, apps, services and products. Notable startups developed by past program participants include Narratively, Skillcrush, Mandara Online, Big Girls Small Kitchen, and Informerly. This year’s 15 fellows hail from Germany, Slovakia, the U.K., Japan, India, Argentina, Brazil and various U.S. states. They have worked for the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, Bit.ly, Google, and other leading companies.