startup rundown

Crowdfund Your Hat Designs and Watch Someone Else Test Your Electronics

I have no idea what I'm doing. [photo: hatmatic.com]

I have no idea what I’m doing. [hatmatic.com]

Hat tricks The newly launched Hatmatic site does for hats what Converse did for me in ninth grade – it lets users meticulously design every part of their own hats. But it’s also a crowdfunding platform so people can “tip their hat” (a.k.a. vote) for their favorite designs to get a limited run. If a design manages to get 36 hat tips within 72 hours, it’ll go into production. And since they’re partnered with New Era, you know you’re getting some sweet headgear. But that also means that, right now, Hatmatic is limited to the MLB logos they’ve licensed. Hope you like baseball teams in technicolor.

Android’s out of the box There’s really nothing sweeter than getting home from Costco and cracking open that 12-pack of delicious, cakey muffins washed down with 24 consecutive Vitamin Waters. And with the Boxed app (whose CEO is former Zynga NY director Chieh Huang) you don’t even have to go out to get them in the first place. The app first launched on iPhones this August, but on Monday, the mobile warehouse shopping app officially launched on Android. So now our Android-carrying friends can get their muffins too.

Vidiby gets moving If you have one complaint about shopping for gadgets online, it’s that things don’t move, right? Which is why the Vidiby site launched on Tuesday to bring videos to the online buying experience. The hope is that, like the Zappos shoe demo videos, these will give users a “near-retail experience when buying electronics online.” Vidiby also features user-generated reviews and rates alongside the videos so, as they say, the “experience is comparable to having a sales staff explaining the products in person.” Except, of course, without having to bear the awkwardness of an actual human interaction.

MakerBot is coming to a nerd near you The Brooklyn-based makers of those classic 3D printers struck a distribution deal on Thursday with Ingram Micro Inc. Right now, you can only get your hands on the printers and scanners through MakerBot’s site, their physical store here in NYC, or a select few other retailers. But with the new deal, they’ll be able to ship those printers on a much larger scale by letting even more resellers stock them. And Ingram Micro says they’ll be able to send out the Replicators and Digitizers before the holiday season, so you’ll probably be able to get away with 3-D printing your own stocking stuffers.

Take a look! And the award for Most Heartwarming App of the Week goes to the Scholastic Book Fairs app. With the free app, users can scan covers or barcodes of books at their local Book Fair to find out what reading level and age range it’s best for along with a summary and recommendations of similar titles. That way, you don’t have to wait until you can look it up on Amazon – you can check it out right there and even add your favorite books to a wishlist or buy through the app. Of course, most kids are probably going to end up reading those titles on their parent’s tablet or whatever, but still.