First off, Fred Wilson made the intro to Danny Meyer. That's what got us in the door. Danny, who apparently came by but who I didn't get to meet, put us in touch with his staff and the folks at the Madison Square Park Conservancy. They've worked together on many previous events and they made it happen logistically.
The actual event could not have possibly run any smoother, so I owe much thanks to Vernon Patterson from the Shake Shack and his staff, as well as Debbie Landau and her staff from the Conservancy: Lizzie Honan, Leah Milton, and Maggi Landau. I expect that SOMETHING would go wrong, but it didn't... not at all. Not even a blip--especially considering we did the whole plan in less than four weeks--a testament to their organizational skills.
Of course, someone had to pay for all those burgers, the shakes, and the beer (and purple cows, too!). In two weeks, we covered all our costs with great sponsors that were able to move fast--the first, fastest, largest and most fun were the folks from chi.mp. They were extremely visable, from their banners to their t-shirts, and worked hard to get all of the attendees beta invites to their service.
Also coming up big for us were the NY Angels, who not only contributed financially, but also made a big splash with their turnout. I don't think I've ever seen so many of the angels out at an event.
Recruiting firm Winter Wyman was also a major supporter. After my recent call for tech recruiting firms to participate more in the community, they've been getting their feet wet in social media. You can find partner Mike Fitzgerald on Twitter and on his new blog at Alley Hunting .
Video chat service Paltalk, law firm Cooley Godward Kronish, NYC venture capital firm RRE, Square 1 Bank (see the article on the nextNY blog), and the Incubator at RoseTech Ventures were also big supporters.
Still, with 300 people and the prime location, we needed every bit of help we could get, and when we put out the call, several others helped as well. Startup MyJambi, law firm Pillsbury Winthrop, funding software Angelsoft, reputation service BeenVerified, PR firms Bite PR and the Horn Group, Path 101, and social network CafeMom all pitched in as well. In fact, I wasn't really familar with some of these services and sites, and so I'll be profiling them on my blog over the next week, because I'm curious.
I also want to thank everyone who pitched in and helped at the front desk--too many to mention and lots who just jumped in to help.
But most of all, I want to thank everyone who came! You made the event. I get a lot of credit for stuff because I'm the initiator, but this was a community event. Without the community, it would have been just a bald dude in the park with way too much to eat and a lot of extra booze. So, to everyone who enjoyed the event, you should pat yourselves on the back for participating. The New York City tech community is strong and vibrant--much stronger than before. Financial crisis? Bring it. We'll weather this storm and be better for it.