Techies at New York startups such as Foursquare, Etsy, Meetup and Gilt Groupe are looking for other techies to visit New York and stay in their apartments as part of a new program called Adopt A Hacker. It’s couch surfing for nerds!
In a bid to lure more talent to the Big Apple, out-of-towners can apply to stay on the couches of folks like Kyle Barry, a developer with online craft marketplace Etsy, or Katelyn Friedson, technical product manager with online ad exchange ContextWeb.
Hosts donate their time and their couches for free, but visitors must submit an application form. The program is only open to non-New York City residents. Sorry local nerds.
Hacker visitors sign into the site via Facebook Connect, fill out an application with their skills, background, interests, and social network links. The Adopt A Hacker matching engine then matches them up with potential “Hacker Hosts” who have done the same, and who have mutual social network connections. Once hosts approve their matches, potential visitors get a emails listing their would-be host.
The Adopt A Hacker program was built over a 52 hour period by Jonathan Wegener, co-creator of the Exit Strategy NYC mobile app, and Ben Fisher, co-founder of Lean Startup Machine, along with Aaron Knight, Michael Tseng, Nick Khuu, Michael DeFranco, Heather John, and Ariel Zavala as part of the Startup Weekend program.