Startup Week highlights technology, design at NYU


Shawn Paik

Eric Stromberg, CEO and co-founder of Oyster, speaks with students during the CEO Exclusive of Tech@NYU’s Startup Week. Stromberg was featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30.

Amanda Morris, Contributing Writer

Tech@NYU’s Startup Week, a program that focuses on design, entrepreneurship and startups, launched on Monday with a workshop at Buzzfeed’s New York
City headquarters.

The conference, which is supported by Google, Microsoft and Spotify, will educate students through workshops, speakers and panels relevant to the tech industry.

CAS freshman Dana Lee said many events lined up for Startup Week feature important speakers from the technology and design industries.

“You get to hear from incredibly intelligent people,” Lee said. “You get to pick their brain and get solid advice. It is inspiring to know that you can get far if you work hard enough.”

CAS junior Abhi Ashutosh, the marketing lead at Tech@NYU, said one of the highlights of the week is the keynote speech by Edward Tufte, who The New York Times has dubbed the “Leonardo Da Vinci of Data.”

“Startup Week is a week packed with our ‘best-of’ events,” Ashutosh said. “This year, we’re lucky enough to host Edward Tufte, the father of data visualization for a full master class of design seminar.”

The BuzzFeed event focused on User Interface Design and User Experience. CAS junior Katy Herrick said the workshop broadened her knowledge of online writing and operations.

“The event was a really great experience for designers because the speaker walked us through the entire design process — from wireframing to production — of a cool new BuzzFeed feature,” Herrick said.

Poly freshman Timothy Welman disagreed, saying the event did not contribute to his understanding of how design works.

“I personally was not impressed,” Welman said. “I personally don’t like BuzzFeed, which probably contributed to that, but I just found the presentation to be really unprofessional and lacking in actual substance. As someone who already does a lot of design work, it felt like the presenter was barely even scratching the surface of the subject.”

Lee said Startup Week events are helpful even for people who are unfamiliar with technology.

“I think startup week is great for anyone who wants an intro to some parts of the tech industry,” Lee said. “Many people, especially the Tech@NYU E-Board, are willing to help beginners out.”

Ashutosh added that Startup Week tries to encourage students to develop their own ideas through the DemoDays event, which will take place on April 12. 

“This event has traditionally been our most popular as students from around the city demo their ideas, projects and sometimes companies,” Ashutosh said. “It’s a great aggregation of the best of student creation and is easily one of my favorite events of the year.”

Many students are also looking forward to the “Discrimination in Tech: Some Constructive Criticism” event on April 9 that will address issues of race, gender and class discrimination within the technology industries.

CAS sophomore Freia Lobo, who works for Tech@NYU, said Startup Week serves as a platform for social change, too.

“Now we’re also using Startup Week to highlight something we think is critical — discrimination in the tech industry and constructive ways to better the situation,” Lobo said.

Herrick said she thinks the event is a great way to open up conversation about both technology and social issues.

“I think it’s beautiful that they’re applying NYU’s focus on social justice to the technology industry, since there is a definite hole in technological services produced for people of certain class backgrounds,” Herrick said.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 8 print edition. Email Amanda Morris at [email protected].