Erica Schwiegershausen

startup rundown

Startup News: Kickstarter Expands to the U.K.; Bing Volunteerism Comes to Harlem

(photo: bing.com)

Stay tuned Kickstarter announced via tweet yesterday that, starting this fall, U.K. residents will be able to use the crowdfunding platform to launch their own projects. Currently, although people anywhere can give money to projects on the site, only individuals based in the U.S. can launch projects and receive funding.

Advise away Tout’d, a new digital forum for personalized recommendations, launched last week. As a social media platform and referral space, the app for iOS and Android enables users to ask for advice from friends as well as share recommendations ranging from restaurants and gadgets to professional referrals.

Sell now Join M&A professionals this Thursday at General Assembly for the first Startup Exit event on the East Coast. With a focus on social commerce and online retail and fashion, the evening will feature a fireside chat with Etsy’s Director of Strategic Finance, Carrington Williams, and well as a panel featuring the CEOs of Thrillist, dotBox and OpenSky. Tickets are required. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: New Site to Sell Your Old Clothes; New App to Sell Your Old iPhone Photos

$10 on Foap.com.

Secondhand News The online consignment shop Refashioner.com went live this week. Billed as a “curated, online eco-mmunity” for buying, selling and trading vintage clothing, users can apply to create a “closet” and upload pictures of used clothing to sell—which must be approved by the “ReFashion police.” For more info, we direct you to the site’s 10-point sustainable fashion manifesto.

Pricey pics Short on cash? Now you can sell your iPhone photos for $10 a pop. Simply download Foap’s free app, upload photos from your iPhone albums and send them to Foap’s “experts” for approval.  The only catch: Foap pockets 50 percent of your profit on each image, and users are warned that images with heavy filters from Instagram and the like won’t be approved. But still!

Communal connectivity Open Garden, a free app for Android, Mac and PC that enables one gadget to share bandwidth connectivity with nearby devices, announced a new Wi-Fi Direct feature for Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” at Google I/O last week. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Corporate VC Funding Plummets by 30 Percent—Except for Internet Investing


News flash: it is not 1999 anymore, and it appears that corporate venture capitalists have adjusted accordingly. CB Insights released its Q1 Corporate Venture Capital Report yesterday, revealing that CVCs participated in just 84 deals totaling $1.09 billion, a record low for the past five quarters.

But while overall CVC funding is down 20 percent, funding for the Internet sector is up 30 percent, with CVC deals in that sector increasing for the third straight quarter. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Motivational Social Networks Edition


Steps to success Moteevate, formerly known as Fitango and self described as “the motivational social network,” went live last week. The site makes achieving your goals sound really easy by breaking them down into three steps: choosing from over 600 action plans (or making up your own), inviting your friends to “motivate and cheer you on,” and, finally, following the plan to accomplish your goal.

Keep running Fitocracy, the fitness social network that lets you track your workout progress and compete against your friends, has made some changes to their team. Cofounder and former CTO Richard Talens is now the Chief of Growth and Analytics, and senior engineer Daniel Roesler is stepping in as the new CTO. The company has also hired Jay Patel as a new backend developer.

New and improved The Tumblr app for iOS just got a makeover and is now faster and also looks better, with support for higher resolution photos as well as redesigned notification tabs which make navigation much easier. The improved app also includes offline support, which allows users to write blog posts, reblog, and leave comments while offline, which will be posted automatically the next time the iPhone connects to the Internet. Read More

Tech Meetups

Nerds Gather, Talk About the Internet at Global Reddit Meetup in Central Park


“Look at the number of cargo shorts here,” remarked the skeptical companion Betabeat had dragged along to the Global Reddit Meetup NYC on Saturday, as we stood on the outskirts of the picnic in Central Park where close to 200 Redditors snacked on chips and soda and mingled in the shade.

As we approached the group congregated around a large sign featuring the Reddit alien logo,
we were invited to join in a game of “Dino Ball.” “It’s the best game ever. Come over and see,” we were advised by a circle of 20-somethings hitting what appeared to be a small green children’s ball with painted teeth. Other picnickers played soccer and tossed Frisbees. Discussion threads about the event had mentioned Super Soakers, though most attendees seemed fairly content chatting in small circles—including Reddit CEO Yishan “sparklepants’ Wong, who hung out at the picnic for about an hour, handing out stickers and taking photos with other Redditors. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: New Dating Site Lets You Check Out Your Friends’ Friends; The Fancy Goes DIY

Now for sale on The Fancy: Cookie Monster cupcakes. (Photo: The Fancy)

The new OKCupid TheDatable, a new social dating site, allows users to tag their single or, more selectively, “datable” Facebook friends—so that prospective dates can browse for partners within three degrees of separation, i.e. their friends’ friends. Non-singles can join too, but expect to be tagged as a “wing.”

Not just 140 characters The web series network Blip will partner with Twitter in its launch of “expanded tweets”—which will include links to partner websites and content previews allowing users to view images, play videos and more, all within the tweet itself.

DIY Pintrest competitor The Fancy has partnered with the peer-to-peer marketplace Zaarly so that users can buy and sell DIY items like this Lego head propane tank and these Cookie Monster cupcakes. Read More


This Scrappy Brother-Sister Duo Scored $1 M. from Sir Richard Branson and Other Investors Before They Were Old Enough to Drink

Scott and Stacey Ferreira

MySocialCloud was still in relatively early stages last year when Stacey Ferreira, now 20, saw a tweet from investor and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, which read, somewhat cryptically: “Enjoy intimate cocktails with me in Miami on June 15th – $2,000 to charity,” and including an email address to contact for more details. It was the perfect chance to pitch her startup, she thought. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: CityMaps Expands Eastward; Hack’n Jill Reminds Us Girls Are Hackers, Too


More maps CityMaps added Boston to its growing list of locales this week. The company also unveiled Featured Maps, which provides users with a layer of recommendations (think NYC and Co’s Best Pizza in NYC and New York’s Best Karaoke) visible on top of the standard map app. CityMaps claims the new feature is the first step towards letting users create their own custom maps.

Soundtrack to your life Songza released its “music concierge” app for iPad last week, which provides curated playlists intended to accompany daily activities such as “waking up,” “singing in the shower,” and, more generally, “feeling confident.” The app is free, and features a celebrity playlist with songs handpicked by Tyga.

Mail-order cocktails Feeling less than inspired by your local liquor store? Check out Caskers, a new invitation-only membership site designed to help users to discover craft spirits that aren’t available down the block. There’s also a soon-to-be subscription service, so each month you can get a box of three to five mini-sized samples of the finest artisanal spirits. Read More

Map for That

Google to Competitors: We’re Really, Really Good at Making Maps


In the most recent installment of Apple vs. Google, Apple is expected to announce its own 3D mapping technology at its Worldwide Developer Conference next week—software which will likely replace Google Maps on iPhones and iPads by the end of the year. Yet in a San Francisco press conference yesterday, Google proved itself determined not to go down without a fight. Read More