December 21, 2015

Anthony Hogrebe/Ian Fried, NYCEDC (212) 312-3523;

NYCEDC and 92nd Street Y Announce Sixth Class of NYC Venture Fellows

2016 Class of 27 of Entrepreneurs Will Participate in Year-Long Fellowship Program Designed to Help the Next Generation of Global Businesses Succeed and Grow in New York City

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and 92nd Street Y (92Y) today announced the 2016 class of NYC Venture Fellows, an annual, year-long program to help emerging entrepreneurs from around the world expand their businesses in New York City through executive-level mentoring, networking and educational opportunities. The group of 27 entrepreneurs represents a diverse cross-section of industries such as media, enterprise software, biotech, fashion, education, financial services, and non-profits. The year-long mentorship program will help high-potential entrepreneurs scale their ventures in New York City and increase collaboration among startups and established businesses, helping to further establish New York City as a global capital of commerce, culture and innovation. This year’s class marks the greatest total participation from women in NYC Venture Fellows’ history, with over half the cohort being women founders.

“This diverse group of NYC Venture Fellows will now have the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented entrepreneurs in our City, refining their ideas and business plans, and allowing their companies to thrive,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “NYC Venture Fellows will provide these up and coming entrepreneurs with the skills they need to grow their businesses and create jobs right here in New York City.  I look forward to watching them learn from the opportunities provided, and seeing how their success benefits the lives of New Yorkers.”

“We are excited to welcome another talented class of NYC Venture Fellows to 92Y, where they will engage with high-level mentors and with a values-based approach to being leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Henry Timms, executive director of 92Y.   “The Venture Fellows represent some of the top up-and-coming entrepreneurs in New York City, and this is our most diverse class yet, with more women than men in the group for the first time.  We look forward to seeing this next generation of innovators develop the tech landscape of the future.”

2016 Class of NYC Venture Fellows:

  • Raphael Crawford-Marks, Co-Founder & CEO, Bonusly
  • Christina d’Avignon, CEO, Ringly
  • Ryan Fant, Co-Founder & COO, Keen Home
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO & Co-Founder, PolicyGenius
  • Aileen Gemma Smith, CEO, Vizalytics Technology Inc.
  • Jag Gill, Founder, Sundar
  • Alanna Gregory, Founder & CEO, Vive
  • Alexander H. Shashou, President, ALICE
  • Meika Hollender, Co-Founder, Sustain Natural
  • Jade Huang, CEO, StyleSage
  • Aditya Julka, Co-Founder, Paddle8
  • Elle Kaplan, CEO, LexION Capital
  • Anastasia Leng, Founder & CEO, Picasso Labs
  • Matt Lieber, Co-Founder & President, Gimlet Media
  • Peter Lurie, Co-founder & CBO, Mast Mobile
  • Andy Moon, CEO, SunFarmer
  • Gillian Morris, CEO, Hitlist
  • Jason Nadaf, Founder & CEO, SureDone, Inc.
  • Adam Price, CEO & Founder, Homer
  • Dan Reich, CEO & Co-Founder, Troops & TULA
  • Jen Rubio, Co-CEO, Away
  • Marcela Sapone, Co-Founder & CEO, Hello Alfred
  • Jill Sherman, Co-Founder & CEO, Modalyst
  • Olga Vidisheva, Founder & CEO, Shoptiques
  • Sage Wohns, CEO, Agolo
  • Arthur Woods, Co-Founder, Imperative
  • Suzanne Xie, Founder & CEO, Hullabalu

Established in 2010, NYC Venture Fellows is a highly selective program designed for entrepreneurs whose businesses are at a critical stage in development, where the companies have the potential to substantially increase revenues and jobs. Since the fall of 2013, the NYC Venture Fellows program has been offered in partnership with 92Y.

The inaugural class consisted of 21 fellows from some of New York City’s fastest growing ventures, and NYC Venture Fellows alumni include Foursquare, Etsy, SecondMarket, Warby Parker, MakerBot, Rent the Runway, Paperless Post, Codecademy, comiXology, Raspberry Pi, Songza, Flatiron School, Canary, Harry’s, Splash! Managed by Q, and Social Bicycles. In 2015, Fellows also learned from exclusive insights through conversations with serial entrepreneurs, including Kevin Ryan (Founder and Chairman of Business Insider, Gilt, and MongoDB), Tim Armstrong (CEO of AOL), Phil Wiser (CTO of Hearst), and Carolyn Everson (Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook). To date, the Venture Fellows graduates have raised approximately $2.4 billion in private funding and created thousands of jobs, with the current class having raised over $100 million alone.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About 92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world’s best minds; outstanding programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is the home of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving launched in 2012. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y’s digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit