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With a new office and growing staff, VentureBeat is ready to take on New York City’s vibrant technology scene.

We officially planted our flag in NYC this week with a private launch party, where we invited key members from the tech community to drink, chat, and reflect on where the city is headed.

VentureBeat has actually had a footprint in New York City for some time — I joined in 2010 (after freelancing for several months), and we hired Sean Ludwig as a staff writer in 2011. This year, VentureBeat hired our first NYC sales person, Angie Waters. We’ve also brought on Ricardo Bilton (formerly of ZDNet) as a contributor, and have had great contributions from NYC-based writers such as Ben Popper and Erica Berger.  But things really took off once our founder and editor-in-chief Matt Marshall moved from San Francisco to New York City in July.

Now we have a new office (a lovely coworking space with the Internet Media Labs folks), and we’ve hired Ken Beach as our chief revenue officer.

After announcing the finalists for NYC’s top tech influencers last week, we named Nate Westheimer (right, together with Marshall), who’s been executive director of the New York Tech Meetup for the past few years, as our choice for the City’s #1 tech influencer. With more than 28,000 members, NYTM has remained one of the central events for the tech community to rally around.

Every monthly NYTM meeting (which are always sold out) is a chance for startups to pitch their ideas and meet new members of the community. For me, and many members of the tech community that I know, NYTM is the heart of tech in NYC.

LocalResponse CEO Nihal Mehta won the popular vote in our influencer contest (he also made sure to rib Westheimer about his win), and he was followed up in votes by TechStar’s Dave Tisch.

It also wouldn’t be a New York City party without a random celebrity sighting. We spotted reality star Lo Bosworth, of MTV’s Laguna Beach and The Hills fame, with her entourage chatting about some of her new projects.

VentureBeat would like to thank Flurry for sponsoring the event (Flurry’s VP of direct media Long Ellis braved the crowd to discuss what he’s doing in New York), and DJ Dojah for carving out time from his own NYC trip to play our party. (Additional thanks to Dojah for playing the 8-bit Punch-Out!! theme.)

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