Hardware Is the New Software Grand St. cofounder Amanda Peyton saw consumers’ newfound obsession with hardware coming a mile away. And now her prediction is paying off. The site–an expertly-curated Etsy for hardware products–announced a $1.3 million seed round yesterday, led by First Round Capital. David Tisch, Gary Vaynerchuk, betaworks, Collaborative Fund, MESA+, and Quotidian Ventures invested as well. “I am completely convinced that hardware is the next ‘thing’ so being able to be associated with such a passionate team and leader in such an interesting marketplace becomes a no brainer,” said Mr. Vaynerchuk. We heard the NeuroSky’s MindWave Mobile was a particularly hot-seller. “We must have sold five or six to people just within Google,” said Ms. Peyton.
New York Needs More Geeks HR consulting firm Aon released a new study last week that said that while tech is one of New York City’s fastest growing industries, companies are having a difficult time attracting top talent to the five boroughs because of high costs of living. New York has one of the largest startup scenes, totaling more than 500 businesses, but trails other cities such as San Jose in talent level of its work force. “You have to have that campus space, and you can’t do that in a closet in the Flatiron District,” Songza CEO Elias Roman told AM New York.
Bring on the Bold-Faced Names On Monday Internet Week announced that Joan Rivers, Randi Zuckerberg, David Rockwell will headline a series of keynotes at the festival, which will take place from May 20th to May 27th. Other speakers include Bonin Bough, NBC’s Lauren Zalaznick, Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, and Founders Fund’s Geoff Lewis and Brian Singerman. For the first time in the festival’s history, organizers will partner with Made in New York, along with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Crain Communications to produce the event.
Say Cheese Percolate, the social media content management tool, announced partnerships today with Getty Images and Aviary to help their brands produce legal content at a quicker rate. The company also announced two new products that use the partnerships; the Percolate Media Library, which collects images for its clients to use, and the Percolate Image Editor, which gives clients editing tools to use when they are developing a brand’s social media campaign.
NASA Wants Hackers NASA will be running its International Space Apps Challenge this April 20th and 21st at AlleyNYC (500 Seventh Avenue) in order to discover new ways to use apps with space development and travel–as well as here on Earth. The international mass collaboration focuses on space exploration and will take place in New York along with other cities around the world. NASA is leading the collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and over 100 local partner organizations.
Show Us Your Data Today GE announced the winners of its Industrial Internet Quests, an open data competition that focused on creating applications to reduce air travel delays and improve healthcare experiences. The winning entry for the air travel competition used National Airspace System data to predict an improvement of nearly five and a half minutes, equivalent to reducing crew costs by over $6 million and fuel costs by over $27 million each year for an average-sized airline. The winning prize of the healthcare portion of the competition helps patients find the best post-acute care available in order to streamline the post care and discharge experience.