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Press Release

NYCEDC and 92nd Street Y Announce Fifth Class of NYC Venture Fellows

Jan 23 2015

2015 Class of 33 of Entrepreneurs Will Participate in Year-Long Fellowship Program Designed to Help the Next Generation of Global Businesses Succeed and Grow in New York City

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and 92nd Street Y (92Y) today announced the 2015 class of NYC Venture Fellows, an annual, year-long program to help emerging entrepreneurs from around the world expand their businesses in New York City through executive-level mentoring, networking and educational opportunities. The group of 33 entrepreneurs represents a diverse cross-section of industries such as media, enterprise software, biotech, fashion, education, financial services, and non-profits. The year-long mentorship program, which began last night with the Fellow-Mentor match-making event, will help high-potential entrepreneurs scale their ventures in New York City and increase collaboration among startups and established businesses, helping to further establish New York City as a global capital of commerce, culture and innovation.

“New York City has always been a place where entrepreneurs cultivate ideas and do what it takes to make them succeed, and these Venture Fellows represent some of the best up-and-coming companies and ideas in New York City,” said Kyle Kimball, President of NYCEDC. “This year is our most diverse class of Venture Fellows yet, which speaks to the range and reach of the City’s entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing their successes, and to seeing how their ideas can improve the lives of their fellow New Yorkers.”

“We are thrilled to welcome another talented class of NYC Venture Fellows to 92Y,” said Stuart Ellman, President of 92Y’s Board of Directors, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RRE Ventures and chair of the NYC Venture Fellows selection committee. “It’s so exciting to see this new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs come together at 92Y to learn from each other, create stronger professional networks and develop the business and tech landscape of the future.”
"In the spirit of January's recognition of National Mentoring Month, Brooklyn Borough Hall is thrilled to be part of the fifth annual NYC Venture Fellows, established through the great leadership of the NYCEDC,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Mentoring is a key aspect of entrepreneurial growth, and the opportunity for partnership presented by NYC Venture Fellows is one that mentors and mentees alike should grab. Mentorship programs like the Venture Fellows will help ensure that the popularity of our Brooklyn brand turns into prosperity in every corner of our borough."

2015 Class of NYC Venture Fellows are:

  • Mark Arnoldy, CEO, Possible
Bea Arthur, Founder in Your Corner
Drew Austin, Co-founder, Augmate

  • Doreen Bloch, CEO + Co-Founder, Poshly
Josh Bruno, Co-Founder + CEO, CareGuardian

  • Reza Chowdhury, CEO + Founder, AlleyWatch

  • Octavian Costache, Co-Founder, Spring
Andrew Cove, Co-Founder, Cover

  • Soraya Darabi, Co-Founder,

  • Jonathon Ende, SeamlessDocs

  • Rob Fishman, CEO + Founder, Niche

  • Andras Forgacs, Co-Founder + CEO, Modern Meadow

  • Lane Gerson, Jack Erwin

  • Alexander Gillett, Co-Founder + CEO, HowGood

  • Nicole Hamilton, CEO, Tactile Finance

  • Ben Hindman, CEO + Co-Founder, Splash
Jukay Hsu, Founder, C4Q
Rachel Kaplowitz, CEO + Co-Founder, Honey

  • David Klein, Co-Founder + CEO, CommonBond

  • Nathaniel Koloc, CEO, ReWork

  • Dan Lambert, Co-Founder, Board Vitals

  • Jocelyn Leavitt, CEO + Co-founder, Hopscotch

  • Dan MacCombie, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Runa

  • Justin McLeod, Founder + CEO, Hinge

  • Jules Miller, Co-Founder, Hire an Esquire
Mona Patel, Motivate Design

  • Daniela Perdomo, Co-Founder + CEO, goTenna
Ryan Rzepecki, CEO, Social Bicycles
Kegan Schouwenburg, Founder + CEO, SOLS
Dan Teran, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Managed by Q

  • Alan Tisch, Founder + CEO, Spring
David Yang, CEO + Co-Founder, Fullstack Academy

  • Alicia Yoon, CEO + Co-Founder, Peach and Lily’s

Established in 2010, NYC Venture Fellows is a highly selective international program that provides entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow by providing exclusive CEO-level mentorship, networking, and educational opportunities. The program is designed for entrepreneurs whose businesses are at a critical stage in development, where the companies have the potential to substantially grow and increase their employment. Since the fall of 2013, the NYC Venture Fellows program has been offered in partnership with 92Y.

“Being paired with Mike Goldstein, former CEO of Toys R Us, was fantastic,” said Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO of The Muse, a 2014 NYC Venture Fellow. “He was an incredible mentor and advisor, as well as being generous with his network and connecting us with several potential clients. We were lucky to meet him through the NYC Venture Fellows program.”

The inaugural class in 2011 consisted of 21 fellows from some of New York City’s fastest growing ventures, including Foursquare, Etsy and SecondMarket, and over the last four years has grown to include some of the fastest growing NYC-based ventures, including Warby Parker, MakerBot, Rent the Runway, Paperless Post,Codecademy, comiXology, Raspberry Pi, Songza, Flatiron School, Canary and Harry’s. To date, the Venture Fellows graduates have raised close to $2 billion in venture capital funding and created thousands of jobs, with the current class having raised approximately $200 million alone.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.