Transforming promising companies into extraordinary ones
GCT is a community of startups and strategic partners that breaks from the traditional accelerator model by providing an unparalleled value proposition.
Accepted companies will receive FREE office space for a YEAR with ZERO equity fee to participate. To support these companies, we have assembled an incredible group of Strategic Advisors, Mentors, Corporate Partners, Growth Partners, and Educational Institutions.
Put these pieces together, and our model looks something like this:
Interested so far? Sign up for our mailing list and keep up to speed on key developments as they happen – application dates, big events, new corporate partnerships, etc. (no spam, we promise).
Grand Central Tech has assembled a truly innovative group of partners to ensure our companies receive the best advice from the broadest and richest range of inputs. We have gathered an experienced and connected Strategic Advisory Board, selected Mentors and Mentor Companies that have been there before, identified a broader network of interested VC’s and Angels, reached out to Corporate and Growth Partners, and partnered with some of New York’s most amazing educational programs and high schools (including, where relevant, alumni and parent networks that represent an incredibly diverse range of practitioner level experience). Last but not least is the community of premier startups that will be surrounding you.
We’ve carefully assembled an exciting group of Strategic Advisors that are instrumental in selecting participating startups, providing guidance, and generally shaping our program. Our advisors come from a wide array of professional backgrounds, but all have a wealth of experience and deep connections throughout the technology landscape. An initial (though still growing) list is as follows:
Our Corporate Partners represent the very best of New York and global business. Facilitating two-way dialogue between emerging and established companies creates lasting benefit for both, and the broader NYC economy.
Starting a company isn’t easy. And while some tasks are more vital than others, every company needs to be buttoned up when it comes to their foundational documents and term sheets, their tax and accounting policies, and their strategy for making themselves known to the world. The best way to cover these bases is by working with the pros. So we’ve assembled some of the best in the game:
Fostering the next generation of tech talent and broadening access to the benefits of the tech economy is in our DNA. We’ve partnered with some of NYC’s premier high schools to place their best recent graduates as interns with GCT companies and leverage the advice and influence of their alumni as mentors. We also work with and support a number of programs that bolster and expand STEM instruction and/or provide exposure to the NYC tech economy for talented young people from public schools around the city.
We’re looking for companies that span the entire startup spectrum. We believe mixing companies of varying levels of maturity can unlock potential. And we’re looking for individuals interested in building a community that takes mentorship and diversity as seriously as value creation and growth.
We prefer to think of the “tech” in GCT as “tech-facilitated entrepreneurship.” We’re as interested in the next big data platform as developing the next great hearing aid. We want the best companies working to solve big problems and tackle significant challenges.
GCT is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity with a specific focus on women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. We are proud that the composition of our inaugural class reflects the composition of the great city in which we work.
If you think you’re after something big, we want to hear from you.
Joe is a Partner at Formation 8, a fund which invests in top startups and connects them with Asian conglomerates to drive innovation at a global scale. Joe co-founded Palantir Technologies, a multi-billion dollar software company which develops mission-critical analysis systems used by government and financial organizations around the world. He is also the founder of Addepar, a leader in private wealth management technology.×
Michael M. Milstein is the CEO of Boylan Bottling Co, an artisanal beverage company, and Co-Founder and Chairman of Grand Central Tech. He is also a partner at New York Private Bank & Trust and a partner at Milstein Properties and is on the boards of The Nicklaus Companies and Ostendo Technologies. Philanthropically, Michael serves on a number of boards including the Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation.×
Justin Rockefeller runs Special Relations at Addepar, a company reinventing the tools to aggregate and analyze financial data. In March 2013, Justin cofounded The ImPact, a nonprofit/NGO membership organization comprised of investors who pledge to make impact investments, track their social impact and financial progress, and share those data with others who have made The Pact. He is also a Venture Partner at Richmond Global, a global venture capital firm.×
Harrison is a Vice Chairman of LeFrak, a privately owned firm engaged in the ownership, management, and development of real property, the exploration of energy, and investments in securities. Over the past decade, he has helmed LeFrak’s growing activities in the technology investments space and established himself as one of New York’s leading technology thinkers.×
As chief executive officer and founder, Andrew is responsible for the overall strategy, vision, and funding of Illumio. With expertise in the areas of network security and compliance management, Andrew is a frequent participant in panels, articles, and podcasts for leading industry events and publications. Prior to Illumio, Andrew was president of Cymtec and led Business Development for VoiceNet, where he was responsible for sales strategy, business development activities, and customer relationship management. Andrew graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BSBA in Finance.×
Faiza S. Issa is Assistant Commissioner at the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services (SBS) where she oversees the organization’s Innovation and Strategy team. Prior to that, she was Director of Cross-Sector Entrepreneurship Initiatives at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Her work includes designing and implementing initiatives that strengthen the NYC entrepreneurship ecosystem. Prior to joining SBS, Faiza worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and at Goldman Sachs. She is a graduate of Yale University and NYU Law.×
For over twenty years, Miles has distinguished himself as a creator of ideas, a builder of businesses, and a leader of organizations. Capital events following his efforts have realized over a billion dollars of value for shareholders, including notable successes in digital media like Register.com, Operative, Bell Family, Cellufun, Mojiva, Mocean mobile, AppTaris and TrustCloud. Miles is a rookie dad, with two kids under two years old.×
Andrew Yang is the author of Smart People Should Build Things and the Founder and CEO of Venture for America. Previously, Andrew was CEO and President of Manhattan GMAT, acquired by the Washington Post/Kaplan in 2009. He was named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2011 for his work with Venture for America and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” for 2012 & 2013. He is a graduate of Columbia Law and Brown University.×
Dr. Anita M. Sands is a global technology and business leader, public speaker, and advocate for the advancement of women. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of two public companies – Symantec Corporation, the world’s leader in computer security, a Fortune 500 company; and Service Now, the enterprise IT cloud company. Her career to date in Financial Services saw her being appointed as the youngest ever Senior Vice President at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she served as the Head of Innovation and Process Design.×
Jack D. Hidary built his career as a tech entrepreneur and has been dedicated to public service in education, sustainable energy and economic growth. Jack co-founded and served as Chairman and CEO of EarthWeb/Dice.com (NYSE:DHX), the leading online job board for the IT sector. Jack serves on several board including the Google X Labs advisory board, the Palo Alto Prize advisory board and is on the board of trustees of the X Prize Foundation.×
Rachel Weiss is an award-winning digital professional and recognized thought-leader with vast experience in emerging technology and digital marketing practices. Currently, she is responsible for creating digital marketing and innovation strategy focusing on mobile, social, content and disruptive technologies across L’Oréal USA. She is also responsible for new digital business ventures and partnerships at the company. Weiss leads relationships with VC firms and entrepreneurs to identify first-to-market opportunities for the beauty industry. Weiss is the founder of one of L’Oréal USA’s key initiatives – Women in Digital. This program supports women in the digital space by identifying and celebrating female entrepreneurs advocating digital and IT careers for women along with mentorship programs and testing opportunities.×
Matt is Managing Director and co-founder of Grand Central Tech. Matt started his career in international development at Booz Allen before transitioning to innovation strategy consulting at Fahrenheit 212. From there, he became a Product Manager at ESPN working across the full range of their mobile products, most notably overseeing their College Football App, Webby-nominated for Best Sports App in 2013. He is also the founder of Barebands a watch and apparel business launching this spring.
Matt is a New York native, and currently a resident of Brooklyn. A graduate of Rice University, he and Charlie are both graduates of Regis High School.
Follow him on Twitter at @mbharrigan.×
Charlie is Managing Director and co-founder of Grand Central Tech. Prior to GCT, Charles ran the venture debt practice at Three Point Capital. Prior to GCT, he co-founded River Twice Capital, a global hedge fund started in 2010, where he was an analyst and Portfolio Manager. He began his career at Fred Alger Management as a Research Associate, where he covered the consumer sector.
Charlie is a Brooklyn native and lives with his fiancee, The Boss, in downtown Manhattan. A graduate of Tufts University, he and Matt are both graduates of Regis High School.
Follow him on Twitter at @cvbonello.×
Aparna is Grand Central Tech’s Director of Operations. As a journalist and media executive, she brings 20 years of experience working for the world’s biggest news outlets, including Associated Press, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and The New York Times, where she ran the paper’s online education platform and related digital ventures. Prior to becoming GCT’s first hire, Aparna launched social media for McKinsey & Co as the firm’s first social media editor and relaunched Morgan Stanley’s alumni network online.
Aparna is a born (if not raised) New Yorker who’s lucky enough to have spent formative years living in SF, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, and Berlin. An alumna of Bryn Mawr College, Aparna holds a dual MA Journalism and MBA from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business and lectures executive MBAs on digital strategy.
Follow her on Twitter at @aparnamuk.×
Dan’l Lewin is a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, leading the company’s work in civic tech, campaign technologies and academic outreach, which promotes the work of scholars leading the dialogue on technology policy issues. Lewin has executive and site responsibility for the company’s operations in Silicon Valley, which currently employ more than 2,000 people. Lewin has spent more than 30 years as a Silicon Valley-based executive, leading sales and marketing divisions for companies including Apple Computer Inc., NeXT Inc. and GO Corp. Lewin is on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Venture Capital Association. He holds an AB in politics from Princeton University.×
Lance is global head of Client Platforms and Investment Banking Technology. He is chair of the Global Technology Career Development Committee, a member of the Technology Division Executive Committee and a member of the Technology Division Risk Operating Committee. Lance joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2008.
Prior to joining the firm, Lance was a managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for infrastructure and development organizations in Wealth Management. He has also been a technical advisor to several companies, including Cisco, Collation, Actona and Intruvert.
Lance has served on the Board of Directors of The Bridge and Earth Day Network.
Lance earned a BA in Mathematics from the University of Rochester, an MS in Physics from Colorado State University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.×
David Famolari is a Director at Verizon Ventures. Prior to Verizon, David was Vice President at Rutberg & Company, a mobile-focused investment bank, where he headed the private company practice. He also co-founded GoodCompany Ventures, a venture incubator that uses the tools and resources of the venture capital community to help entrepreneurs implement innovative ideas for social impact, and served as a mentor to the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator program and to the Pipeline Fellowship. David sits on the Technology Advisory Board at Ben Franklin Technology Partners and the Employer Advisory Board at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David brings extensive product and engineering expertise to Verizon Ventures, having spent more than 12 years in advanced R&D creating new technologies, leading joint ventures and overseeing innovation programs for commercial, military, and federal clients at Telcordia Technologies, Bellcore and Bell Labs. David has authored more than 50 published papers and is an inventor on over 70 granted and pending patents. David earned a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers followed by an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David is based in the New York metro area.×