Much as we love Manhattan, this year, TechCrunch decided to move our annual Disrupt NY event to Red Hook, Brooklyn, just across the East River from Manhattan. The more we get to know Red Hook, the more on target this very startup-like part of Brooklyn seems for TechCrunch.
The Red Hook neighborhood around the Port Authority Cruise terminal, where we are holding Disrupt, is home to artisanal breweries, chocolate makers, unique eateries, art galleries, bike shops, and more. Also close by is Red Hook public housing, home to 10,000 residents who face incredible challenges to make their community a better place. Everywhere you look in Red Hook, you see evidence of the resilience and innovation that’s a key ingredient to the success of any startup, from Fort Defiance, where the colonial rebels once readied to square off with the Red Coats, to the WWII-era shipyard cranes preserved in waterside park, to the rapid re-building following Hurricane Sandy. And then there are the gob-smacking views of the statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s east side.
Red Hook has a lot to offer, and at Disrupt our attendees are going to experience Red Hook front and center.
We are partnering with the Red Hook Initiative (RHI), a community center whose mission is to empower Red Hook youth to be “inspired, resilient, and healthy, and to envision themselves as co-creators of their lives, community and society.” Participants in RHI’s Digital Stewards program, which prepares young people for jobs in the IT industry, will be volunteering at the show and participating in the Hackathon. And RHI’s founder and executive director, Jill Eisenhard, will be on stage to discuss RHI’s impact on the community as well as her experience leading RHI from start-up to award-winning nonprofit over the last 14 years.
Second, we are launching a program called “Discover Red Hook”, which offers local businesses the opportunity to exhibit free-of-charge at Disrupt. We hope that means this Disrupt will be graced by many interesting and tasty offerings from Red Hook’s small businesses. If you are a Red Hook business and interested in participating, please let us know here. In a couple of weeks, we will also publish a map of the cool spots nearby the Cruise Terminal to help Disrupt attendees who might want to duck out and check out Red Hook.
TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha and Jon Shieber already did a little recon on Red Hook. Check out their take. See you at Disrupt NY — See you in Red Hook.
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