Teach Me How to Startup

For the First Time, Brooklyn’s Hipster Northside Festival Will Devote Two Days to Startups

A new festival for your roommate who launched an app instead of a band.
ideas heqader For the First Time, Brooklyns Hipster Northside Festival Will Devote Two Days to Startups

via Northside Festival

Since 2009, brothers Scott and Daniel Stedman have been hosting the Northside Festival in Williamsburg and Greenpoint as a cultural showcase for emerging indie bands, filmmakers, and other artistic aspirants of what one might call the McCarren Park Kickball Guild. In fact, the Stedman brothers have staked their careers on the better borough. Ten years ago, they launched L Magazine. Their company, Northside Media Group, is also responsible for Brooklyn Magazine, BAMBill and Summerscreen. “Fairly early on,” CEO Scott Stedman told Betabeat, “We saw that Brookyn was becoming a national adjective for what’s next in the creative community.”

But this year, the brothers are doing something a little different with their “discovery festival”–setting aside two days in the week-long schedule to celebrate the newest members of Brooklyn’s creative class.

“A few years back, people would be graduating college and launching bands and today we feel as often one roommate will be launching a band and the other will be launching a new app or a new website,” said Mr. Stedman. “They’ll be living together and hanging out together and they often come out of Brooklyn and identify themselves as New York.” Yeah, we think we know the type.

To cater to that crowd, on June 14 to June 15, Northside Entrepreneurship conference will feature more than 40 panels, nearly 100 speakers (like Bre Pettis from MakerBot, David Pakman from Venrock, Paul Berry from Soho Tech Labs) and 20,000 square feet of exhibit space in Williamsburg to cover topics like “Future of Education with Skillshare, Codeacademy, 2Tor, and Grovo” or “The partisan power of digital content.” Separate contingents will be devoted to innovation and disruption–is there anything else, really?–in different industries, such as a MusicNOW Summit (featuring Gza from the Wu Tang Clan), Social Cinema Showcase, and Media Makers Collective.

Now that the city has decided to back a second tech campus in downtown Brooklyn, the festival just announced today that it will partner with NYU-Poly to create “Downtown Startup Campus” on June 14 at their Metrotech location where NYU professors will challenge “the innovators they most admire on what drives their creativity.”

“When I started my company, everyone wasn’t aspiring to become an entrepreneur,” recalled Mr. Stedman. “It was that old-fashioned, oak-panelled word. I mean the word itself has changed in two years. When I graduated college, it was like that’s what Henry Ford was. It was the longest, dumbest word ever. Now it represents innovation and creation. It’s exciting and it’s what young, interesting people are aspiring to be identified as.”

Mr. Stedman is not short on hope for New York City as an innovation capital. “It’s creating a new kind of entrepreneurship economy that is systemically different from any kind of entrepreneurship community that has ever existed and it will eventually change everything and touch everything,” he said. Well, don’t hold back or anything.

But if you ask Mr. Stedman, the epicenter is happening a little further East than one might think. “Even in Union Square and Flatiron, all the engineers–half the people there are coming out of Brooklyn. Even if it’s hard to define in words, the zeitgeist is fairly intuitive: the spirit of Brooklyn is driving innovation.”

Here are some of the panelists:

Charlie O’Donnell                        Brooklyn Bridge Ventures
Alexis Tryon                                    Artsicle
William Etundi                           Artistswanted
Jim Spanfeller                           The Daily Meal
Shane Snow                                      contently.com
Kellan Elliot-McCrea                     Etsy
Chad Phillips                            Fab
Elias Roman                                    Songza
Lauren Indvik (moderator)           Mashable
Michele Madhok                           SheFinds
Whitney Hess
GZA                                              Wu Tang Clan
Anand Giridharadas (moderator) NY Times
Ayah Bdeir                                        LittleBits
Bre Pettis                                       MakerBot
Duann Scott                                     Shapeways
Nora Abousteit                           kollabora
Andrew Toy                                      Enterproid
Jeff Fernandez                           Grovo
John Katzman                             2tor
Mike Karnjanaprakorn             Skillshare
Avner Ronen                              Boxee
Seth Frader-Thompson             EnergyHub
Neil Patel                                       KISSMetrics
Andrew Rasiej                            Personal Democracy Forum
Eli Pariser The Filter Bubble
Brian Schechter                          HowaboutWe
Evan Frank                                       Onefinestay.com
Brett Martin                                     Sonar.me
Rafat Ali                                             Skift
Paul Berry                                       CasaHop
Steve Cohn                                       Irrive
Paul Lightfoot                           brightfarms
Britta Riley                                     Window Farms
David Pakman                             Venrock
Jessi Hempel (moderator) Fortune
Nicole Davis                                     Brooklyn Based
Billy Campion                            The Bogmen
Brandon Mason                            Juxtaposed Music
Camille Hackney                          Atlantic Records
Corey Maass                              Gelform
David Weiss                                      SonicScoop
Dez Dickerson                            Pavillion
Donald Woodard Esq.              Gordon & Rees
Erik Masone                                      Deep Freeze Music
Howard Han                                      Reverbnation
Jake Simon                                       BMI
Jason Boner                                     The Dharma Body
Jason Herskowitz                         Tomahawk/Official.fm
Jessica Weiner                           Ultra International Music Publishing
Jon Maples                                       Rhapsody
Kevin M. Wilson                          ESPN
Laura Wilson                             World Cafe Live
Leah Joy Malberg                         TicketWeb
Lynda McLaughlin                         LYVA Music
Neeta Ragoowansi                         Sound Exchange
Paul-Anthony Surdi                       Crowd Control Music
Richard Slatter                          WeAreHunted
Seth Hillinger                           Music Tech Meetup
Troy Hansbrough                          Sonicbids
Valerie Gurka                            Knitting Factory
Christy Tanner                           TV Guide
David Larkin                                     Gowatchit
Mike Knowlton                           Murmur
Aina Abiodun                             Story Code
Blaine Graboyes
Mark Harris                                     Broadcastr.com

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com