NYU’s Skirball center was at capacity last night as roughly 850 people crowded into the once monthly New York Tech Meetup to celebrate the defeat of SOPA and PIPA, and check out some startup demos.
Last night was also special (and started late) because the meetup was simulcast on Livestream for the first time in many months, so everybody at New Work City and New York General Assembly could join the NYTM remotely.
The big news: NYTM announced two new sponsors: Bloomberg and Nasdaq. Nasdaq has apparently been “shooting awesome video of the tech startups that are being built here.”
Andrew Rasiej, chairman of NYTM hailed the efforts of, by his count, more than 2,000 NYTM members who went down to the offices of senators Schumer and Gillibrand and protested their support of the misguided anti-piracy bill. “We put a human face on a protest that was happening around the world,” Mr. Rasiej said. “We proved that people are more important than money.” He said 13,000 people viewed the protest on Livestream and NYTM got 1,500 new members almost immediately. The meetup now has 22,000 members.
Scott Heiferman, co-founder of Meetup.com and NYTM board member gave the “State of the tech union” declaring NYTM as the biggest meetup in the world.” New York still falls behind California’s Bay Area in terms of tech meetup membership… but barely.
Now onto the DEMOS!
To get things going, Madeline, the four year old daughter of Everything Butt Art co-founder and Author (it was a book first) Brian Snyder drew an inguana on an iPad. The socially-integrated app begins a drawing with a butt shape and from there… the possibilities are endless. Everything Butt Art has various characters, a stamp tool and one-step sharing for Facebook, email and Twitter. Despite the cheeky name, Mr. Snyder could report that they’ve had zero inappropriate content issues.
MyMatchmaker is a new dating site (this one’s different, we swear!) that’s could have been the high school love child of Facebook, Paypal and OkCupid if only websites could procreate. The twist on this one is that some users are “matchmakers” who “personally invite you to join their singles group.” The idea is a curated pool of eligible hotties that will be more compatible with you than the general site population.
MyMatchmaker has managed to make online dating even safer for the shy, timid and emotionally fragile. The site’s privacy settings allow you to have the messages directed at you sent through your matchmaker first bringing the “I know whose got a crush on yooooou” game into the 21st century. The site is free for now but a “make payment” button makes it easy for you to send your matchmaker cash. For all their trouble.
The co-founders of Scroll Kit showed off their new invention that puts the power of web design into the hands of the masses and allows anyone to “make magazine-style layouts for the web and iPad without knowing how to code.” This method of web layout also prevents designers from getting lost in their divs when they want to do something as simple as move an element from the right to the left. The ability to edit in preview means that something that might have taken five minutes can now be done in five seconds. The company is just now expanding to three people. There is a Scroll Kit WordPress plugin in beta right now.
Ben Zhuk, the co-founder and head of product at Best Vendor came up and made a bold statement. He wants his new startup to be the “Wikipedia of products” or like the one-stop shopping recommendation engine for work related apps. Each app on Best Vendor has its own page that shows notes, who is using it, and user ratings. The site also lets users to ask each other questions and discuss different apps they like or don’t.
PaperLex is not trying to put lawyers out of business as one NYTM member suggested but rather trying to help entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers create standard, customizable legal documents such as service agreements. Big league tech and biz magazine “Fast Company” is PaperLex’s first media client.
MVF or Most Valuable Follower shows you who to suck up to on Twitter and, as of last night Facebook too. Proprietary code calculates how many followers a user has over how many they follow to determine their worth. Certain users had to be “black listed” including Barack Obama because they skew results.
The guys behind Umami recently launched their new TV Companion iPad app that uses audio fingerprinting technology to pull up complementary information about the show you’re watching. Need to know what other movies that one guy has been in? Now there literally IS an app for that.
CartoDB a new geospacial project allows developers and engineers to quickly create custom maps by plugging in data sets that seem to map themselves. Information from the data set can be excluded (among these wifi spots, which ones are free?) and integrated with other data sets (among NYC parks, which ones have wifi? Which ones have free wifi?).
Lenddo is the first crowd-based credit and identity system based on proven micro-finance techniques. Lenddo wants to give more people access to “life improving loans” and rates creditworthiness based on the creditworthiness, practices and reputation of the other people in your Lenddo network. For instance, if you take out a loan and pay it back, it helps your score and the scores of those you are connected to. Although legally Lenddo can’t be opened up to the general public in the U.S. just yet, Lenddo Score is being used in Philippines and getting ready to launch in South America.