NYC Turing Fellows Program Announces Inaugural Class of Fellows

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Innovative tech fellowship program places 18 outstanding computer science students from top universities at NYC’s leading startups; schools include Brown, Caltech, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, RPI, Rutgers, Stanford, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan.

The NYC Turing program was absolutely top-notch and brought together the most promising intern candidates I've ever seen in one place in my 21-year career. We will be participating every year

The NYC Turing Fellows Program today announced its inaugural class of Turing Fellows for the summer of 2011. The prestigious fellowship program matches outstanding computer science and engineering students with paid summer internships at leading technology startups in New York City. The program will host unique programming events over the summer to educate Turing Fellows on entrepreneurship, build relationships with outstanding technical mentors, and deepen ties to the NYC startup community. Finally, upon successful completion of their internships, the Fellows will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

The 18 members of the NYC Turing Fellows’ inaugural class were selected from over 750 undergraduate, masters, and PhD-level applicants to the program, with candidates from all of the top 20 computer science programs as ranked by US News & World Report. After extensive evaluation and review, 31 semi-finalists were selected and invited to New York City for a networking dinner on March 4th and then a full day of interviews on March 5th at the iconic New York Times building.

Sponsor Company/NYC Turing Fellow:
AdSafe: Qi Ding, Columbia University
AppNexus: Aktarer Zaman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Aviary: Eric Berdinis, Univ. of Pennsylvania Julia Astrauckas, Cooper Union
Business Insider: Atharv Vaish, California Institute of Technology
BuzzFeed: Kaichen Ma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cross Commerce Media: Anthony Morelli, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Etsy: Fiona Condon, Brown University
Flat World Knowledge: Neil Lutz, Rutgers University
Foursquare: Ricky Hussman, West Virginia University
Knewton: Brandon Liu, Harvard University
Knewton: Lakshman Sankar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pontiflex: Matthew Conlen, Univ. of Michigan
SecondMarket: Yichuan Hu, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Simulmedia: Naoki Tanaka, Univ. of Illinois
Squarespace: Diogenes Brito, Stanford University
Sulia: Nidhi Kulkarni, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tumblr: Tyler Faux, Harvard University

“In fewer than four weeks, we received over 750 applications from 113 schools in North America, and more than 85% of them came from candidates at schools located outside New York. We are pleased that the inaugural event successfully attracted so much attention from students interested in working for NYC tech startups,” said Warren Lee, Venture Partner at Canaan Partners and member of the NYC Turing Fellows Organizing Committee.

Official sponsors of the NYC Turing Fellows Program include some of the most successful technology startups in New York, as well as top companies and individuals in media, technology, and venture capital. The startups participating in the NYC Turing Fellows Program have collectively raised over $650 million in venture capital and are recognized as leaders in their respective markets.

“When we launched this initiative three months ago, we had no idea how successful our efforts would be. A big part of the success of the program was driven by the unwavering early support of our sponsors, and we’d like to thank them for supporting our mission to attract the best technical talent to NYC,” said Amish Jani, Managing Director of FirstMark Capital and member of the NYC Turing Fellows Organizing Committee.

"I was blown away by the quality of candidates in the NYC Turing program, and their drive to advance their skills through an internship program with a NYC startup is very impressive. Frankly, I would have taken any of the candidates I met during the day of interviewing,” said Jon Williams, CTO of Flat World Knowledge.

"The NYC Turing program was absolutely top-notch and brought together the most promising intern candidates I've ever seen in one place in my 21-year career. We will be participating every year," noted Chad Dickerson, CTO of Etsy.

"SecondMarket was extremely impressed with the quality and diversity of candidates in the NYC Turing Fellows Program. There were great candidates from all over the country which made choosing just one intern very difficult," said Dominic Preuss, Chief Product Officer of SecondMarket.

NYC Turing Fellows Program partners and sponsors include:

  •     Startups: AdKeeper, AdMeld, AdSafe, AppNexus, Aviary,, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Cross Commerce Media, Etsy, Flat World Knowledge, Foursquare, Group Commerce, Knewton, OpenSky, Peer39, Pontiflex, RecycleBank, SecondMarket, Simulmedia, Squarespace, Sulia, Tremor Media, Tumblr, and Yipit
  •     Corporate Partners: Daversa Partners, Deloitte, Gunderson Dettmer, Heidrick & Struggles, Lowenstein Sandler, Silicon Valley Bank, SNR Denton, SorinRoyerCooper, Square 1 Bank, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch.
  •     Venture Firms: Bessemer Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, General Catalyst Partners, GSA Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, SoftBank Capital, and SV Angel
  •     Individuals: Dan Ciporin, Ron Conway, Esther Dyson, Jason Finger, Scott Kurnit, and Curt Viebranz
  •     City Partners: NYCEDC and NYCIF

About The NYC Turing Fellows Program
The NYC Turing Fellows Program seeks to support the rapidly growing technology ecosystem in New York City by matching outstanding computer science and engineering students from across the U.S. and Canada to paid summer internships with leading technology startups. The fellowship is named after Alan Turing who was an early pioneer in computer science and the quintessential hacker who invented a number of critical techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the Enigma machine, during WWII. The NYC Turing Fellows Program is co-organized by Warren Lee, Canaan Partners; Amish Jani, FirstMark Capital; Mike Hudack,; Brian Hirsch, GSA Venture Partners; Brendan Dickinson, NYU Stern; and Abe Geiger, Columbia University. Details on the program can be found at


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Nina Minney
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