Frequently Asked Questions

These are some commonly asked questions about the hackNY Fellows Program. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, drop us a line at [email protected].

For Fellows

Fellow Application Details
  1. Who can apply to be a hackNY Fellow?
  2. I will graduate with my degree in May. Can I still apply to be a Fellow?
  3. What is the application deadline?
  4. When will I know whether I have been accepted or not?
  5. What are the qualifications for being a hackNY Fellow?
  6. What should my code sample look like?
  7. Is there an interview?
  8. What is the matching process like?
  9. If I apply early and am denied, can I apply again later in the process if I have new projects and information?
hackNY Fellows program details
  1. How long is the hackNY Fellows program?
  2. What if my academic calendar has an ending date later than the start of the hackNY Fellows Program?
  3. Where will I live?
  4. Where can I work?
  5. Will the internship be paid?
  6. Who else will be in the program?
  7. What activities do the Fellows do each summer?
  8. What's the speaker series like?
  9. Will I have opportunities to explore NYC?
  10. How will I learn about the NYC startup community?
  11. What have past hackNY Fellows done?
Additional Information
  1. Are there other ways for students to interact with hackNY aside from the hackNY Fellows Program?
  2. Where can I email questions?

For Startups

Startup Applications and Matching
  1. What does hackNY do?
  2. How are the hackNY Fellows selected?
  3. Who should apply to host a Fellow?
  4. How many Fellows and startups participate each year?
  5. What companies have worked with hackNY in the past?
  6. What are the requirements to host a hackNY Fellow?
  7. What do startups provide for each Fellow?
  8. What does hackNY provide for each Fellow?
  9. Can we apply to host more than one Fellow?
  10. I have specific skill requirements for my intern.
  11. Are all hackNY Fellow internships in software engineering? Are there product or design Fellowships available?
  12. How does matching work?
  13. How can I help ensure I get a great match?
  14. May I interview my matched Fellow before confirming the match?
  15. I've connected with my Fellow match and would like to bring them onboard. What happens next?
  16. How can I find out where my startup is in the process?
  17. What if my startup didn't get a Fellow match this year?
  18. Do I pay hackNY or my Fellow?
Hosting a hackNY Fellow
  1. What are the dates of the program?
  2. What does hosting a hackNY Fellow cost?
  3. What if we’ve never had an intern before?
  4. How compatible is the hackNY Fellowship with our existing intern program?
  5. What are important dates?
  6. When are the Fellowship activities?
  7. Who owns my Fellow's code?
  8. How is my Fellow paid?
  9. Can I pay my Fellow more than the $1,000 minimum?
  10. Should my startup provide benefits for my hackNY Fellow?
  11. What kind of projects should my Fellow do?
  12. How can we be more involved with hackNY during the Fellowship summer?
  13. What's Demo Night?
  14. What hours should my Fellow work
  15. Who should I talk to if I have feedback or questions about my Fellow?
  16. What do Fellows do when they're not at work?
Hiring a hackNY Fellow
  1. What happens if we want to hire our Fellow?
  2. What are the chances my hackNY Fellow will return to work for my startup full time after the Fellowship ends?
  3. Can I hire another graduated hackNY Fellow?

Fellow Application Details

Who can apply to be a hackNY Fellow?

hackNY Fellows must be current, full time students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree at the time of application. We encourage applications from institutions across the country. International students are also encouraged if they are already enrolled at a US university at the time of application.

I will graduate with my degree in May. Can I still apply to be a Fellow?

Yes; as long as you are a full-time student enrolled in a degree program at the time the application is submitted, you are eligible to apply to be a hackNY Fellow.

What is the application deadline?

hackNY reads applications on a rolling basis and admits students as they apply (see below for notification dates). Deadlines to be a member of the Class of 2018 hackNY Fellows are September 30, October 31, and November 30. Numerically speaking, your chances are best the earlier you apply.

When will I know whether I have been accepted or not?

hackNY will admit, deny, or waitlist students on a rolling basis. All applicants will receive notification with respect to the status of their file around the following dates:

Apply By Response By
September 30th November 1st
October 31st December 1st
November 30th January 1st
Applicants who are deferred will receive information about what additional information we’d find helpful with regard to their application as well as information about when they will hear next from hackNY.

What are the qualifications for being a hackNY Fellow?

hackNY is looking for quantitatively and computationally talented student-hackers interested in advancing their skills while meeting and collaborating with peers and leaders in the NYC startup community. We accept applications from all areas of expertise including design and product management, but are currently primarily focused on engineering.

What should my code sample look like?

hackNY looks for code that demonstrates excellence in building in code and evidence that you enjoy building. Personal and creative projects are of more interest than assignments for introductory classes. hackNY does not place requirements on code length or language; please submit whatever code you are most proud of in whatever languages you most enjoy using.

Is there an interview?

In the final stages of the application review processes, all candidates will be interviewed by a hackNY organizer or AlumNY member. This may be a technical interview. If you are accepted and matched with a startup, your startup may invite you for a technical or interpersonal interview to ensure you’re a good fit for the team and project.

What is the matching process like?

After you are accepted as a hackNY Fellow, we look at your technical skills, your interests, the kinds of startups you'd most like to work at, and any other relevant info and use that to match you with our partner startups, who have given us their requirements and type of intern they are looking for. When we find a great match, we introduce you to the startup so you have the opportunity to learn more about one another. At this stage, the startup might do an interview or a tech screen to ensure you're the right fit for their team. They have the choice to accept or decline the match. Similarly, you may decline them if you feel like it’s not the right fit. The large majority of our matches are successful on the first try, however if either party declines the match, we will rematch. This is a normal part of the process and we will do our best to make matches with the best chance of success for the summer.

If I apply early and am denied, can I apply again later in the process if I have new projects and information?

If you have a new and noteworthy accomplishment, project, or code base, let us know. Whether or not we can field additional applications will depend on how quickly the Class of 2018 is admitted.

hackNY Fellows program details

How long is the hackNY Fellows program?

The hackNY Fellows program is 10 weeks long over the summer months. The 2018 cycle will be May 28th - August 3rd.

What if my academic calendar has an ending date later than the start of the hackNY Fellows program?

No problem! hackNY has had many Fellows whose academic calendar prevented them from starting with the rest of the cohort. We're happy to work with you to find a schedule that works for you and your host startup as well as manage any necessary adjustments to your housing and other arrangements. This will be done on a case by case basis after admission to the Fellows program.

Where will I live?

All the Fellows live together in NYU summer housing. Living with the Fellows community is one of the best parts of hackNY! You'll participate in fun activities after work, hang out in the common areas, and have an awesome roommate. We’ll provide housing with the Fellows even if your home is in NYC, because it’s important for our class to be able to easily be together as a community.

Where can I work?

hackNY commits to finding you a great match with a host startup that has shown evidence of a strong mentoring environment. We encourage you to look at the past classes of Fellows to get a sense for what startups have hosted hackNY Fellows in the past. In the rare case that a student is admitted to the hackNY Fellows program and has already accepted an offer from a great NYC startup that has also submitted a strong application to host a hackNY Fellow, we can usually find a way for us all to work together rather than putting this match asunder.

Will the internship be paid?

Absolutely. Startups pay a competitive salary and commit to a meaningful project.

Who else will be in the program?

Total ass-kicking talented student-hackers from around the globe. You will meet some great people and, in our experience, find some great future friends and collaborators at hackNY.

What activities do the Fellows do each summer?

Summer activities include our Speaker Series twice a week, trips to the NY Tech Meetup, mixers with our friends and AlumNY, Fellow-led workshops, and plenty of group outings around the city!

What's the speaker series like?

Each week, you’ll hear from two speakers from the NYC tech community. They could be founders, developers, designers, community organizers, and even tech journalists.

Will I have opportunities to explore NYC?

Of course! hackNY is excited to show you all NYC has to offer as a city, a home, and a welcoming startup community.

How will I learn about the NYC startup community?

Over your 10 weeks at hackNY you will have the opportunity to attend our speakers series which features some of the best and brightest in startups and technology. Hear from and engage with esteemed speakers on technical topics as well as startup topics such as founding and building a startup, raising venture capital and managing investors, and avoiding legal and patent headaches while building a project or startup. hackNY Fellows also lead internal tech talks for each other over the summer to share complementary skills.

Additional Information

What have past hackNY Fellows done?

hackNY Fellows have impressed us with their diversity of accomplishments including: founding statups, getting graduate degrees, working at some of NYC’s best and biggest startups, working at large tech companies, becoming professional musicians, becoming game designers, freelancing as hackers-at-large, working at venture capital firms both as analysis and hackers-in-residence, or careers in design.

Are there other ways for students to interact with hackNY aside from the hackNY Fellows program?

Sure! hackNY has two main initiatives: the hackNY Fellows program and the once-per-semester hackNY student hackathons. Please do check out hackNY.org, or consider subscribing to hackNY news or follow @hackNY to find out more!

Where can I email questions?

We’d appreciate you emailing [email protected], thanks! We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Applications and Matching

What does hackNY do?

hackNY aims to federate the next generation of hackers for the New York innovation community. Co-organized by faculty from NYU and Columbia and founded in 2010, hackNY organizes the hackNY Fellows program during the summer, and hackNY student hackathons during the school year, in order to create and empower a community of student-technologists. We have matched over 200 Fellows with over 100 NYC startups to date. For a list of startups that have hosted a hackNY Fellow, click here.

How are the hackNY Fellows selected?

The hackNY Fellows are selected from among the top computer science undergraduate and graduate students from around the country. They submit applications showing evidence of strong CS fundamentals, dedication to learning both in and outside the classroom, contribution to their communities, and enthusiasm for the New York City startup ecosystem. Applications include essay questions, code samples, and links to projects. Each applicant is reviewed by several AlumNY of the Fellowship program, giving a numerical score and comments to substantiate their score. Top candidates are further reviewed by our full time staff, scrutinizing for technical proficiency, breadth of skills, experience and interest in community, among others. We aim to create a cohort of Fellows each year made up of varied backgrounds, geography, and skills, with an eye towards diversity and inclusivity. Top candidates are interviewed over video chat to further confirm technical skills and cultural fit.

Who should apply to host a Fellow?

NYC startups who are interested in hosting a talented and passionate technical intern should apply to host a Fellow. Hosting a hackNY Fellow is a great way to start your intern program. We provide housing, enriching activities, and technical and community mentorship to each Fellow. If you already have an intern program in place, hackNY's intern program will complement it well. We remove the stress of finding summer housing, and host activities outside work hours.

How many Fellows and startups participate each year?

Each hackNY Fellows class has 25-35 Fellows placed at 20-30 startups.

What companies have worked with hackNY in the past?

Click here to see all the startups that have hosted a Fellow.

What are the requirements to host a hackNY Fellow?

To host a hackNY Fellow, you must be a startup with an engineering team headquartered in New York. You should be a startup that hasn't been acquired or gone public. If you have hosted a Fellow before and your status has changed, we can review your application on a case by case basis.

What do startups provide for each Fellow?

Startups provide the following for their Fellow:

  • Person: A technical mentor, such as a CTO or team lead, to guide their Fellow and answer their technical and career-related questions.
  • Place: A desk for their Fellow to work at in person, whether it's in a dedicated office or with your team in a coworking space.
  • Project: A meaningful technical project or series of projects. All hackNY Fellows ship code that becomes part of their host startup’s product.
  • Paycheck: Host startups pay at least $1,000/week for 10 weeks to each Fellow.
In addition, startups pay $4,200 per Fellow to hackNY for the summer. This covers the Fellows' housing and dinner and events at least twice per week.

What does hackNY provide for each Fellow?

hackNY provides Fellow community housing in the heart of NYC, a twice weekly dinner lecture series by New York tech luminaries, and other activities like socials with our AlumNY, visits to the New York Tech Meetup, and excursions around the city. Each Fellow is mentored one of our AlumNY mentors who live alongside the Fellows at hackNY housing and help them grow technically and personally.

Can we apply to host more than one Fellow?

Absolutely! Specify the maximum number of interns you'd like to host in your application. If you have more than one position in mind for summer interns, add them in your application. We will match you with Fellows based on how many startups have applied, and how many Fellows we have that fit your skill requirements. We cannot guarantee filling multiple spots but will do our best.

I have specific skill requirements for my intern.

Please list required and preferred skills in your application and contact us at [email protected] with any additional questions. We will work with you to find a Fellow who will succeed on your team.

Are all hackNY Fellow internships in software engineering? Are there product or design Fellowships available?

hackNY Fellows are generally focused on software development. If you would like a product or design intern, contact us with your request and we may be able to find you a match.

What are the dates of the program?

Fellows move into community housing on May 28th, and work May 29th through August 3rd. Startups can extend their Fellow's internship depending on their Fellow's availability. Housing can be extended up to one week for an additional fee.

What does hosting a hackNY Fellow cost?

Startups pay each hackNY Fellow they host a minimum of $1,000 per week in salary. In addition, they pay $4,200 to hackNY for the entire summer, which covers their Fellow's housing, activities, and meals at events.

What if we’ve never had an intern before?

We often work with startups who have never hosted an intern before. We are more than happy to advise you on your intern program and connect you with other startups in your field who have started great intern programs with us.

How compatible is the hackNY Fellowship with our existing intern program?

The hackNY Fellowship is very compatible with internal internship programs. We ask that all Fellows live in Fellow community housing and attend Fellow events. Our Speaker Series dinner talks take place each Monday and Wednesday evening during the Fellowship and are supplemented with other events like AlumNY socials and visits to the New York Tech Meetup on weekends and other evenings. Your Fellow will be free to attend your program's events, and will never be at a hackNY event during the workday.

How does matching work?

In your startup application you'll list the positions you'd like a Fellow to fill along with the skills you require and prefer. You'll also tell us about the size and stage of your startup, and the mentoring environment you have there. After we finalize each year's Fellowship class, we match each Fellow's skills and interests against the startup applications we've received. If we find a good match for you, we send the Fellow's information to you to review. You confirm your interest in the Fellow match and we introduce you over email. You may then use your normal interviewing process to ensure your Fellow is a great match for your project and team. Your Fellow may also have questions for you about your startup and the project they'll be working on. While we have high confidence in each match, at this point in the process either party can elect to decline the match and be rematched. Once you confirm a match, you can then move forward in your normal onboarding process, while hackNY sets your Fellow up with housing and introduces them to the hackNY community.

How can I help ensure I get a great match?

First, make sure your startup fulfills our requirements. You must be an NYC startup that hasn't been acquired or gone public that can provide a person (a technical mentor for your Fellow), a place (a physical office where your Fellow can work alongside your team), a project (a meaningful technical project that will be part of your product), and a paycheck (each Fellow is paid at least $1,000 per week by their host startup). Then fill in your application with details for each position you'd like a Fellow to fill. Tell us the skills you require and prefer your Fellow to have, bearing in mind that a broader set of requirements makes for an easier match. It's also useful for us to know more about your office environment and the details of the project you'd like your Fellow to work on, so we can match most accurately with the Fellows' skills and interests.

May I interview my matched Fellow before confirming the match?

Yes - we encourage you to follow your standard process for interviewing intern candidates to ensure your Fellow is a great fit for your team and project.

I've connected with my Fellow match and would like to bring them onboard. What happens next?

After we've introduced you to your Fellow match and you've decided you'd like to host them, please email us to confirm the match. You will then be free to onboard them according to your usual process starting with an offer letter. You will work out your Fellow's start date (almost all Fellows start on May 29th, but some school schedules mean starting slightly later) and all hiring paperwork will be through you. In the meantime, we will be setting up your Fellow with housing and introducing them to their Fellowship classmates.

How can I find out where my startup is in the process?

We send out periodic update emails to all our startup applicants as the matching process progresses. Contact us at [email protected] if you need more information or have any questions.

What if my startup didn't get a Fellow match this year?

Unfortunately, we can't always find a great match for each startup that applies. We screen Fellow applications extremely carefully and spend major time and resources to make sure each match is great. We are highly confident in all our Fellow matches and won't make a match unless we have a great one. To have the best possible chance of matching, make sure your startup fulfills the startup requirements and your application includes good information about the kind of Fellow you're looking for. If you didn't match this year, we couldn't find a Fellow who was a good fit for your application. We encourage you to apply again the following year.

Do I pay hackNY or my Fellow?

Pay your Fellow directly at least $1,000 per week on your pay schedule. Pay hackNY the $4,200 fee for their summer housing and activities, which will be invoiced to you at the start of the program, around June 1st.

Hosting a hackNY Fellow

What are the important program dates?

Fellows arrive in New York City on May 28th to move into hackNY housing. They start work May 29th, and end work on August 3rd. We will schedule phone calls with each host startup for two weeks into the Fellowship and one week before the Fellowship ends for feedback and questions. Demo Night will be August 3rd. If you'd like to extend your Fellow's internship, coordinate with them to determine their availability. hackNY housing can be extended up to 1 week after the program ends for an additional fee.

When are the Fellowship activities?

Speaker Series talks are Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm. Other activities are scattered throughout evenings and weekends during the summer. hackNY activities never take place during work hours.

Who owns my Fellow's code?

Host startups own the code their Fellows produce at work. Each startup can negotiate specific employment terms with their Fellow.

How is my Fellow paid?

Each startup pays their own hackNY Fellow on a biweekly or monthly basis. Please pay your Fellow their first paycheck promptly at the beginning of the Fellowship summer.

Can I pay my Fellow more than the $1,000 minimum?

Definitely! Depending on their stage of development and funding, many startups pay their Fellows more than the minimum salary.

Should my startup provide benefits for my hackNY Fellow?

Providing benefits is up to you and your standard process for intern hiring.

What kind of projects should my Fellow do?

hackNY Fellows should be assigned meaningful projects that become part of your product. Some common projects Fellows work on include adding new product features, creating APIs, and building analytics tools and dashboards. Fellows are experienced coders and quick learners, and they're excited to push real code.

How can we be more involved with hackNY during the Fellowship summer?

A great way to support your Fellow and meet the rest of the hackNY class is to host a Speaker Series talk at your office. Our Fellows will visit your office on a Monday or Wednesday night to listen to educational speakers over dinner. The speaker can be someone from your team, like a CTO or co-founder, or be someone else from the tech community. Contact us to learn more or set up a Speaker Series event. You and your team should also attend our Demo Night at the end of the summer!

What's Demo Night?

Demo Night is our annual graduation of the hackNY Fellows class. We see demos of each Fellow's work and celebrate with refreshments and socializing. We encourage each Fellow's technical mentor, as well as other members of their startup, to attend and congratulate them on an excellent summer.

What hours should my Fellow work?

Fellows should work full time, approximately 40 hours per week.

Who should I talk to if I have feedback or questions about my Fellow?

Please contact our team at [email protected], contact our Executive Director at [email protected], or contact your Fellow's assigned hackNY mentor. We will respond quickly to work through any challenges.

What do Fellows do when they're not at work?

When not at work, Fellows are attending hackNY events and exploring the city with their friends and mentors. They attend Speaker Series talks on Monday and Wednesday nights where they learn about every aspect of the startup world from founders, engineers, legal experts, journalists, VCs, and more. Other hackNY events include socials with AlumNY of the Fellows program, visits to the New York Tech Meetup, workshops led by mentors and Fellows, and fun activities around the city. We encourage Fellows to work on projects with their Fellowship classmates and immerse themselves in the community and city.

Hiring a hackNY Fellow

What happens if we want to hire our Fellow?

Many hackNY startup hosts hire their Fellows full time after the program ends. We think this is great - supporting the growth of NYC's startup community is why we're here. hackNY charges no recruiting fees for bringing Fellows on full time.

What are the chances my hackNY Fellow will return to work for my startup full time after the Fellowship ends?

Chances are very good that your Fellow will join your team full time. The Fellowship provides support that most interns wouldn't normally get, like expert mentorship, housing, and educational lectures. It's an overall great experience that helps each intern love New York and their internship. After the Fellowship summer ends, Fellows join our strong community of AlumNY in NYC for community mentorship and support that will last throughout their career.

Can I hire another graduated hackNY Fellow?

Yes! Email us at [email protected] and we'll pass along your job posting to our AlumNY community.

Advice from Past Fellows

Jesse Pollak
Kathy Sun
Mike Swift
Calvin Chan
Kyle Ryan
Shy Ruparel

hackNY on the web

Blog
Fellows Program (video)
Hackathon (video)
Twitter
Wall Street Journal
CNN
AVC