Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Tech startups duke it out in snowball fight

snowball_fight.top.jpgTechies staged an impromptu snowball fight Monday amid Manhattan's snowdrifts. By Laurie Segall, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A few brave souls from New York City's tech crowd ventured into blizzard-covered streets Monday for venture capitalist Charlie O'Donnell's second annual tech snowball fight.

O'Donnell, a principal with First Round Capital, organized the fight on Twitter, recruiting participants with the hash tag #techsnowball. He also advertised the battle through his weekly tech newsletter. Typically jam-packed with events, this week the newsletter featured just one: "INNOVATION COMMUNITY SNOWBALL FIGHT!"

As shop owners salted their sidewalks and residents tried to free their cars from beneath mountains of snow, techies gathered at Madison Square Park to network in freezing temperatures.

Although the extreme weather conditions -- and city-wide subway shutdowns --kept turnout down, fears of frostbite didn't deter a few dozen revelers from showing up for snowball-assisted networking.

Nick Ganju, CTO and founder of ZocDoc, a three-year-old startup that helps patients book doctor appointments online, came with a business agenda.

"I came here specifically to hire people," Ganju said in between snowball tosses.

Ganju's startup, which recently closed a $15 million funding round led by Founders Fund, handed out cards reading "ZocDoc is hiring Rockstar devs!"

"You got to hustle," said Alex Taub, a business developer at Aviary, which offers free photo-editing and other Web creations tools.

Other attendees included a team from startup Hashable, an online tool that helps users track their relationships; and Gregory Galant, founder of Muckrack, a startup that collects tweets from journalists.

Most snowball fighters who attended didn't travel far -- a good thing, given the chilly weather and tough travel conditions.

The downtown Manhattan area is jam-packed with startups and investors.

"I would say half the startups in New York are in a six-block radius of this park," said organizer O'Donnell, who picked the spot for its tech proximity. "I like feeling attached to the neighborhood."

And for startups trying to make a name for themselves in an increasingly crowded space, any visibility helps. Paramendra Bhagat, CEO of a fledgling venture called Koya, said that any chance to schmooze is worth grabbing.

"When you're part of a small startup, it's important to feel something big," he said. "This is where a lot of bonding happens."

And as is often the case in the tech world -- where work and play constantly overlap -- a social outing could lead to a new job.

"I found a couple people here that seem like solid candidates," ZocDoc's Ganju said of his hunt for software engineers among the snowball fighters.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,528.03 -114.98 -0.69%
Nasdaq 4,776.51 -51.82 -1.07%
S&P 500 1,972.18 -16.69 -0.84%
Treasuries 2.20 0.01 0.64%
Data as of 2:32am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.64 0.14 1.33%
Apple Inc 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
Intel Corp 28.54 0.12 0.42%
Ford Motor Co 13.87 0.13 0.95%
Data as of Aug 31
Sponsors

Sections

A conservative think tank is sponsoring a Times Square billboard as a tribune to its opposition to a new minimum wage rule for fast food workers in New York state. More

Blue Apron, Boxed, and Nature Box are worth an estimated $2.5 billion. Their co-founders all went to the same high school. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Looking for something good on Netflix? These entertaining films will help you learn more about finance and investing. More