The inaugural Brooklyn Tech Week (BTW), a gathering of tech leaders, educators, startup creators and investors sharing insights on startup growth in Brooklyn, will take over various Brooklyn venues from Wednesday, November 7, through Saturday, November 10, aiming to put Kings County on the map as “the next” in tech.
In an interview with Nizer Saunders, BTW founder and marketing director of tech company PNG Venture, BK Reader learned why Brooklyn needs a tech week; how the borough has become a global tech player; and what attendees can expect from the 2018 meeting of the tech minds in Brooklyn!
Brooklyn Reader: What prompted you to launch a Brooklyn-focused tech week?
Nizer Saunders: Why Brooklyn? Because it’s time for us to promote Brooklyn as one of the major tech hubs. Growing up in Brooklyn, I didn’t have access to the mentorship or tech resources. Today, we have these opportunities and the community needs to have access to the technologies that are emerging right before us.
BTW provides a platform to connect those in the know and those who need to grow. A lot of the tech events are happening in clusters all around Brooklyn: Downtown, Williamsburg and Bushwick, as well as Industry City in Sunset Park. We want to connect our great Brooklyn tech hubs so they share what’s happening under their roofs with each other and the community.
Brooklyn Tech Week also brings opportunities to network. Students, startup founders, and creatives need mentors. For them, it is crucial to have someone who can share experiences, ideas and best practices.
In a nutshell: Brooklyn Tech Week is where creativity and diversity meet to launch the future of tech.
BKR: What distinguishes Brooklyn from Silicon Valley and the West Coast with regards to innovation and technology?
NS: On the West Coast, particularly Silicon Valley, which is the cradle of technology, the industry’s growth started from a single market which was technology hardware. As that hardware community grew, Silicon Valley began attracting more investors. Still, its growth remains primarily related to just hardware technology.
On the East Coast, we come from a multi-trajectory marketplace that fuels our technology and innovation. That includes real estate, advertising, Wall Street and finance, education, and the great culture and art explosion that takes place in NYC. Brooklyn is a vital part of that.
Because we have so many different marketplaces, it becomes easier to get started as a founder or entrepreneur even if you don’t have a network. Nine out of ten times you may know someone, who knows someone, that can get you into some network because of the many different markets we have.