Battle of the Chatbots & Conversational Interfaces in 2017

About This Workshop

Without a doubt, 2016 was the year of the Chatbot and Conversational Interface (#ConvComm). Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces exploded in 2016. We were barely able to keep up with all of the updates, new chatbot startups, and the investments made by venture capitalists.

Gain an understanding of the rapidly growing and complicated landscape of chatbots and conversational interfaces including the trends and shifts we can expect to see in 2017.

Join Tech 2025 for this workshop, in our Frontier Tech Forecasts series, that will offer an overview of the chatbot and conversational interface landscape, including the highlights, the successes and the failures, over the past year and look ahead at what we can expect to see in from this red hot field in 2017.

  • Learn about the communities sprouting up dedicated to supporting chatbot and conversational interface development.
  • Understand how the industry evolved in 2016 including which companies were the most successful, how and why they stood out, and their business models.
  • See how brands and advertising agencies are successfully using chatbots to engage and retain customers (case studies).
  • Get versed on who the major players and influencers are in the industry that you need to follow in 2017 (developers, insiders, investors, etc.).
  • Bots around the world — learn where the most active bot action is happening in other countries and how they’re developing.
  • Participate in an interactive exercise to assess how the chatbot/conversational interface landscape will evolve in 2017.


If you want to gain an understanding of the chatbot and conversational interface industry  and its impact on businesses, and get a head start on strategizing how to maximize opportunities in this space for 2017, this workshop is for you.


Bring your laptop. This is a non-technical workshop meant for anyone (both the novice and the chatbot developer alike). Marketers, advertisers, developers, investors, data analysts, students are welcome.

Guest Presenters

Clara De Soto, Business Development, Founding Team at (enterprise bot platform), Writer of

Named one of The Next Web’s 100 Tech & Business Women Speakers, Clara (@Claradactyl) is serial entrepreneur, now on the founding team of where she heads up strategy, marketing, and business development efforts.

Clara’s previous company, ClearHart, a wearable tech for live events company, was acquired in 2015. Clara also co-created the viral hit, KillSwitch App, and her work has been featured on Bloomberg TV and named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies. Clara’s work as a Creative Technologist has ranged from leading edge Tech Startups to Fortune 500 companies in North and South America.  

Clara started her career as a Creative at McCann Erickson, overseeing creative direction for clients such as L’Oreal, Mastercard, Dentyne, and others.  Clara majored in English at Boston College.


Alec Lazarescu, Sr. Director, Engineering at K12, Inc., Former CTO at LearnBop (acquired), Founder of, Writer for Chatbots Magazine, Founder of Chatbots and AI – New York and Global Meetup

Alec ( @alec1a) is a 17­-year industry veteran of the digital education domain contributing to offerings from Pearson, K12 Inc., John Wiley & Sons, and South­Western Publishing (now part of Cengage Learning). He has overseen technical aspects for a number of award-winning products serving millions of students performing billions of exercises every semester. Alec is foremost a maker at heart of software and teams. He is currently Sr. Director of Engineering at K12, Inc. and has previously served as CTO of LearnBop as well as Chief Architect at Pearson. Alec is also founder of, a chatbot advisory, design, analysis, and marketing company.

Through the years growing from software engineer to senior director of engineering and embracing DevOps early on, Alec has customized chatbots in a chatops capacity as invaluable assistants for his software teams. They’ve helped with finding information, displaying alerts for the whole team to view, running complex backend changes through simple conversational commands, and more.

Alec is a speaker and organizer for various community events in NY and NJ, including a few years serving the energized 300+ crowd at SQLSaturday NYC. He is the founder and organizer of the largest chatbot Meetup community in New York City: Chatbots and AI – New York and Global Meetup. Alec is incredibly excited about the current chatbot renaissance!  

Alec writes highly recommended articles for Chatbots Magazine as well as other leading publications.



Event Sponsor

The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute leads University-wide initiatives to launch successful startups and commercialize technology created by NYU’s 60,000 students, faculty and researchers. We are team of startup experts that offers educational programming and events, and help identify funding opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab is a 6,800 sq-ft space where entrepreneurs from across NYU can connect, collaborate, and explore how to turn ideas and inventions into startups. The Leslie eLab offers vast array of resources available to the NYU community.

Start Time

6:00 pm

January 11, 2017

Finish Time

8:00 pm

January 11, 2017


NYU Entrepreneurial Institute 16 Washington Place (at Greene St.) New York City 10003