March 9, 2020 - New York, NY — Alley, a community of entrepreneurs and corporate partners leveraging innovation to create positive change, announced today that its chief executive officer, Jason Saltzman, is stepping down, and will be replaced by chief operating officer, Noelle Tassey. Saltzman, who founded Alley ten years ago, will remain closely connected to the company as chairman of the board and managing partner of Alley Ventures, while Tassey takes the reins of Alley’s all-female executive team.
Under new leadership, Alley will focus on expanding its global ecosystem, which reaches more than 3.9 million people, and adding to its portfolio of corporate partners, such as Verizon, whose 5G Lab is located in the company’s New York headquarters. Alley is also evolving its member-driven programming to better highlight what it means to be a socially-minded entrepreneur in 2020.
“Ten years ago, startups placed a huge emphasis on hustle culture — a toxic byproduct of business models that don’t scale well, backed by too much venture capital, resulting in inflated valuations and unsustainable growth. WeWork is a great example of how unchecked growth and unlimited capital can result in disaster. No amount of virtuous branding or millennial-friendly aesthetic can paper over those gaps forever,“ said Alley CEO Noelle Tassey.
“The shift we're starting to see now is towards substance over style. Entrepreneurs are interested in making a positive impact, whether that's a business model that gives back to the community, or a company that just walks the walk on paid parental leave and livable wages,” continued Tassey. “At Alley, we’re trying to create space for that dialogue, and foster the growth of businesses that are trying to scale responsibly.”
Tassey has been the chief operating officer at Alley since August 2018, and has played an integral role in the company’s national expansion and close partnership with Verizon. She has spent nearly a decade working to scale growth-stage technology businesses and launching new ventures. She was previously an incubation specialist at Altitude-Basecamp, an accelerator within Walmart e-Commerce, and served as Director of Operations at technology companies Ceros and Zipmark. Her promotion ushers in a new era for Alley, marked by its all-female leadership team, including Nellie Choi, former general manager at The Wing.
“We have built a community that looks like the future, operating with the technology of the future. When people come into our space, we’re often told, ‘it looks like people get real work done here.’ That’s exactly what we want to hear,” said Tassey. “For us, it’s less about the Instagrammable couch and more about the work itself. Our aesthetic is work.”
Alley members and alumni have collectively raised more than $8BN to date. Its community has hosted 2,000 events, drawing nearly 100,000 attendees, and has facilitated accelerators and innovation challenges with organizations such as Verizon, Paypal, NASA, Marriott and AB Inbev.
Alley is a community of entrepreneurs and corporate partners leveraging innovation to create positive change. Alley offers two key products: Labs and Accelerators. Labs, run independently or with a corporate partner, are vibrant workspaces populated by diverse, impact-driven entrepreneurs. Accelerators are short-term challenges and programs specifically built to meet the innovation goals of corporate partners. Alley's mission is to create good change and foster an ecosystem founded on sustainable entrepreneurship where substance is valued over style.