I recently had the opportunity to attend a technology startup job fair in NYC Uncubed at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan. This event, however, was not your typical job fair. It started at 9:00AM with an educational component called the skills track. This included talks with titans of industry (founders, CEOs, thought leaders), and some basic classes on web development, customer acquisition, product design, etc. I had the opportunity to hear Ash Ternes speak about his ad-tech company, Intent Media. Intent utilizes predictive analytics to recognize when a site visitor is low quality and not very likely to convert on the e-commerce site they are visiting. Once that recognition is made, ads from relevant competitors are served. It is a fascinating business and potentially scary proposition for marketers to allow their competitors into their store, but they have proven it to be a valuable way to monetize non-converting site visitors and with the strength of their predictive algorithms, one can feel comfortable knowing that in more cases than not, the value generated from the advertising exceeds that of the likelihood of a possible transaction.
After checking out this talk, I had the opportunity to attend the fair and meet a number of companies. There was a truly amazing group of NYC tech companies assembled at the event, including Uber, AppNexus, Thrillist, BarkBox, GrubHub Seamless, OnDeck Capital, Percolate, Gilt Groupe, Venmo, Buzzfeed, Intent Media, etc. The attendance was great and their were plenty of friendly representatives from all companies there providing the opportunity to learn more about their business as well as identify any potential openings that might be a good fit for my background. In addition to this great career networking opportunity, the event was a lot of fun. It was open bar, had lots of great food, and plenty of fun games at many of the company stands, including a dunk tank at OnDeck Capital and a skateboarding halfpipe in the middle where professional skaters were constantly doing electrifying tricks. All in all, NYC Uncubed is a must attend event for anybody interested in becoming a part of the NYC tech community.
This post was written by Shehzad Khan, Columbia MBA 2014