May 24, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Queens Tech Night, a free networking and community-building event for techies, will return for a meet-up at Culture Lab LIC next month.
The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 9 at 5-25 46th Ave. in Long Island City. The two previous meet-ups were held indoors, but this one will be held in the parking lot next to the building to allow for greater ventilation given COVID-19.
The evening will feature two keynote speakers who will also engage in conversation. The speakers listed are Julie Samuels, the executive director and founder of Tech:NYC, a non-profit that aims to attract tech talent to the city; and Dennis Walcott, president and CEO of the Queens Public Library.
There will also be a question and answer segment.
Representatives from a number of tech companies and non-profits will be in attendance. Many will have tables, providing attendees with the opportunity to network.
Ben Guttmann, who is an event organizer, says he looks forward to hearing people’s perspective on the future of the industry post COVID-19, and their views on the city as the elections approach.
Queens Tech Night was first held in November of 2019 and another event took place in January of 2020. The organizers decided against holding the event virtually while the city was shut down.
Guttmann says the plan is to do three or four events per year, with the aim of creating a community that works together to innovate.
“The best possible thing is somebody meets somebody here, they decide to do work on a project together, start a company, to go do great things in Queens,” said Guttmann, who co-founded the Long Island City-based marketing agency Digital Natives Group.
Digital Natives along with Kaufman Astoria Studios, the Long Island City Partnership and Plaxall are the official organizers of the event.
Past events were attended by about 200 people, and Guttmann says about 100 people have already reserved tickets for the June 9 event. He says tickets can be reserved via EventBrite and noted that capacity limits are contingent upon what the state guidelines will be as of the event date.
Guttmann, who also teaches digital marketing at Baruch College, says there’s an “incredible amount” of tech talent in Queens, with much of it focused on specific industries, like finance and fashion. He believes the borough has the potential to become a significant tech hub.
“There’s two million and change people here in Queens that come from an incredibly diverse range of experiences and skills. I think we can hold our own with anybody,” said Guttmann.
Organizations that will have representatives at the event include Cornell Tech, NY Hall of Science, Pursuit, Office of the Queens Borough President, Queens College Tech Incubator, Queens Public Library and Tech:NYC.