the startup rundown

Startup News: NASA Space Apps Challenge in NYC and Outer Space, Hacker School and a Spotify Challenger

picture 15 Startup News: NASA Space Apps Challenge in NYC and Outer Space, Hacker School and a Spotify Challenger

The map of participating NASA Space App Challenge locations

3..2..1..BLASTOFF. It’s official: NYC is now one of the spots for NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, a two-day development event happening in cities on six continents and aboard the International Space Station. StartupBus NYC and the NY Tech Council are both helping with the coordination of the event, which focuses on how technology can address problems with minimal resources in creative and innovative ways. Register here.

SPLISH SPLASH. Don’t you hate it when all your friends get into a band you’ve already been sick of for weeks? You tried to spread the good sonic vibrations early on but to no avail—the world simply wasn’t quite ready for that new fangled rock ‘n’ roll music. But that’s not a problem anymore. Splash.FM, a new social music platform, will make sure you get the credit for discovering a band before they were cool. Splash.FM has been in private beta since Jan. 16 and is preparing to go live publicaly on April 17th. Like on Spotify, users can follow friends, search for and stream songs and make recommendations for friends—called “splashing.” Beyond that users will be be able to see what songs are trending among their friends and assign “splash scores” to rate other’s music discovery skills. It’s an official hipster socreboard! Splash.FM plans to eventually allow artists and labels into their analytics to see how when, how often and where their songs are being played. Take that, Spotify!

HACKER’S RETREAT. Hacker School, an intense three-month, full-time program for people serious about improving their coding skills is now accepting applications. The New York-based school provides space and touts a nice balance of structure, focus, time and community of like-minded techies eager to develop into coding wizards (and witches). Although admission is gratis, NYC living certainly is no—that’s why Etsy is providing ten Hacker Grants to ten female students to the tune of $5,000 each. The first day of class is June 4th.

HIGH PROFILE. Microsoft BizSpark is sponsoring The Next Web Conference where 19 startups will go live in front of a global audience of investors and jorunalist with the goals of attracting capital and building buzz for their product in the press. The competition is divided into two tracks: alpha competitors will launch their business for the very first time while established, beta participants, will seek to make headlines with major announcements. The judging panel will be chaired by Amazon’s Werner Vogels with Alex Ohanian of Reddit, Mark Randall from Adobe, Joe Gebbia of AirBnB and Chad Hurley from YouTube and Delicious. We’re most excited to see the debuts of DeadSocial, a service for sending messages post-mortem and Snowciety, a mobile app that provides athletic data and friends’ locations on the slopes.

PIMP MY DESK. Turnstone, the workspace solutions company that distributes everything from bike hooks to cable drops, is giving away five office makeovers to companies with 99 employees or less. For $25,000 worth of design services and furniture, companies must submit a video to convince voters that new space will make all the difference. Judges will pick the top 25 videos and then public voting will pick the top five winners. Finalists will be notified by May 1st.

TECHANTHROPY. The Future Energy Investor Feedback Forum is tonight at NYU’s Stern Business School. The event begins at 6:30 at 44 W. 4 Street in the Kaufman Management Center where eight startups will pitch judges to solve the global problems of energy demand, supply and environmental stewardship. Future Energy will conclude with drinks nearby at 8:30 General admission tickets are sold out but last minute tix may still be available via the wait list.

TRAVEL AND TELL. Wanderfly, the travel recommendation site, just launched 600 ever-evolving travel guides. The Wanderfly 2.0 has only been live for about a month but has already scaled very quickly as travelers constantly update and improve the “lenses” by submitting their own content. Some cities have multiple lenses—partying versus sight seeing, for example. Check out one of NYC’s right here.

SHOPCHELLA. Kaleidoscope, the app and widget that lets shoppers browse editorial and street-style photos, is partnering with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to bring five to 10 men’s fashion festival looks to Details magazine as soon as the first week of the festival is over. Details announced that this is the first time any magazine has worked with Kaleidoscope. Indian headdresses and short denim shorts-shorts coming to a Details readers everywhere.

HI-HO, HI-HO. TheLadders, a matchmaking service for professionals and employers, is hiring for a bunch of positions including software and lead software engineer, front end-architect and lead SQL database engineer. Benefits include comprehensive healthcare and unlimited vacation.  Early stage VC firm Greycroft Partners is hiring a pre-MBA Associate for a two-year commitment in their NYC office. Applicants should have strong analytical skills, be team oriented and have attention to detail. The selected candidate will evaluate potential investments in early stage companies and assist in the prep of fundraising documents. Send your resume to resumes@greycroftpartners.com. Two Silicon Alley jobs fairs are coming up: the third annual NYC Startup Job Fair and the Uncubed Tech Talent Fair, plus networking fest NY Tech Day is coming up on April 19.

Follow Ben Weitzenkorn via RSS.