Rachel Sklar Rallies New York City’s Tech World For The Raise Cache Music Video

28 Nov 2011 in Startups & Technology

I started hearing the buzz just two weeks ago. Rachel Sklar was making a music video (see it towards the end of this post) for the Raise Cache fashion show, to benefit hackNY. Unfortunately, I was far away at Clarkson University… studying hard for a Fluid Mechanics exam I had the same day of the event. Then, last week, she had an awesome surprise for me – she asked if I wanted to be apart of the official video.

Being that she is a mentor, boss, friend, and personal heroine of mine, the decision to crank out this video for her at 3:00am EST (the night before my exam) was clear: I had to do it.

The Raise Cache event was set to take place on Thursday night, November 17th. I shot my video on ‘Wednesday night’ (3am), the 16th, from my house off campus at Clarkson University. Somehow, Rachel found a way to include me in the final version of the music video that she debuted less than 15 hours later in NYC. For many reasons similar to this example, Rachel will always be a legend in my world.


Raise Cache was a benefit fashion show for hackNY that took place on Thursday, November 17th, at the Lexington Avenue Armory. Organized by Rebecca Zhou (member of the inaugural TechStars NY HackStar Program), the event kicked off with Rachel’s music video and was followed by a runway show that showcased designs by some of the hottest fashion startups in New York. The models included many of the city’s prominent technology entrepreneurs.

In addition to celebrating many of the most “disruptive companies embracing the city’s unique mix of tech, style, art, and culture“, Raise Cache raised $103,789.22 for hackNY (according to Courtney Boyd Myers, East-Coast editor for The Next Web)! Meanwhile, hackNY is a non-profit organization whose goal is to nurture the “next generation of hackers for the New York innovation community“. It was founded by faculty from NYU (Prof. Evan Korth) and Columbia University (Prof. Chris Wiggins) and includes a summer Fellows program along with student hackathons during the academic year.


Rachel Sklar has been a driving force in the renaissance of New York’s technology ecosystem, having a direct influence on many of the city’s top startups. She co-founded Change The Ratio, an organization which promotes visibility, access and opportunity for women in the media and technology worlds. She is also the Founding Editor of Mediaite; an advisor for Hashable on all things product, evangelism, marketing, and legal; a mentor for TechStars NY; and the former Senior Contributing Editor for the Huffington Post.

From what I can tell, she spends the rest of her time mentoring and formally advising a collection of startups (including Siftee, Lover.ly, and soon-to-be winter ’12 Y-Combinator startup DailyMu.se), entrepreneurs, and up-and-comers in New York.

The Raise Cache music video below is her brainchild – she wrote every lyric and utilized her extensive personal network to include cameos from Fred (Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures) and Joanne Wilson (angel investor, author of the ‘Gotham Gal’ blog), Dennis Crowley (Co-Founder, foursquare), David Tisch (Managing Director, TechStars NY), Jessica Lawrence (Managing Director, New York Tech Meetup), and Jason Kincaid (writer/reporter, TechCrunch; host, TC Cribs).


Below is the official music video – created by Rachel Sklar, edited by Phil Di Giulio (Co-Founder, FrameSocket), and ‘mix-mastered’ by David Pakman (Venture Capitalist, Venrock):

Lastly, below are the lyrics to the song – as written by Rachel:

(To the tune of Pink’s “Raise Your Glass)

Hack, hack, get in the black
Get on the ball there’s no turning back
Show some stamina

Think, think, energy drink
Push some more code it’s swim or sink
Want some ramen, ya?

Founder, hacker
Venture backer
Maker, shaker
Trying, frying, odds-defying
This shit’s serious

So raise some cache if you’ll be here
To hack one more day
Startup underdogs
We’ll just iterate, iterate – lighting up the night
In New York City – til we get it right
But until then until then we’ll raid your stash
Just come on and come on and raise your cash!

Pitch, glitch, scratching the itch
Solving the problem to make us rich
Can’t we just cash out (cash out!)
Bootstrap, note with a cap,
Building the userbase, build the app
It’s so on right now (so fuckin’ on right now)

Rip it, zip it,
Ship it, flip it
Read the blog from that guy from Yipit
Flying, vying, Hack NY-ing
This shit’s serious

So raise some cache if you’ll burn on
Without a runway
Startup underdogs,
We will never be never be anything but lean
It’s better that than going to Wall Street
So just come and come on and make your splash
Just come and come on and raise some cash
If you’re dorky, New Yorky then raise some cash
Keep on wishin’ it, Tischin’ it – raise some cash

(Bubble? This ain’t no Y2K, baby.)

And if you’re short on the flow
And the going’s pretty slow
You can change that ratio
We can always, we can always,
Raise another round…

(Aw, foo!)

So raise some cash if you are in
It for the long haul
Startup underdogs,
Keep on making things making things – every single day,
In New York City
Techie little geeks
So – raise – some
Cache if you are here,
And you are staying
New York underdogs,
We can make it here make it here – only gotta try
In New York City
Here’s to us, NY
And together together we’ll raise some cache
With community, unity – raise some cache
Just come on and come on and raise some cache
Just come on and come on and raise your cache
For me


Who was your favorite cameo? Did you see Mark Suster (Venture Capitalist at GRP Partners in LA and author of my favorite blog)? What did you think of the music video? Drop your insight in the comments!

  • http://twitter.com/holaphil Phil Thomas Di Giulio

    Thanks for the shout out John. Rachel – as we all know – is the bomb. Cheers!

  • http://www.johnexleyonline.com/ JohnExley

    No doubt @holaphil:twitter ! Rachel is one of a kind. Simply a legend. Take care man, great job on the video, I thought it was really legit. Hope to chill in the city sometime. 

    Finals week at Clarkson next week and then one more semester and graduated I’ll be. 

  • http://twitter.com/holaphil Phil Thomas Di Giulio

    Thanks John. Best of luck wrapping up school! I remember those times well. Some say life is toughest after you graduate (especially given the current economy). I disagree. Tis the dawn of a new economy: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665567/bruce-nussbaum-this-is-the-dawn-of-indie-capitalism

    Be bold and good luck!

  • http://www.johnexleyonline.com/ JohnExley

    Phil, for sure man. School ain’t easy, but then again, what’s a life without pressure? Thanks for the motivation, and for the article. Checking it out now. 

    Appreciate the comments, and hope to meet ya sometime in the city!