Nine startups demo’ed today at Blueprint Health, the health-tech startup incubator nestled in a Soho office that opened its first session in January. The room was packed, the rock music was at an appropriate volume, and the sandwiches ran out before Betabeat got there (early!).
But what followed was a highly-polished series of demos, following the formula: introduction by a mentor, pitch, market opportunity, amount being raised and for what, and team. Most teams were highly polished, although the startups seemed to go from more to less compelling. “This is like extreme startup makeover!” one mentor said in his intro.
The companies are raising between $350,000 to $750,000 each. A survey of the guests showed a smattering of investors, a smattering of entrepreneurs, a few journalists and a vast number of Blueprint mentors.
On to the demos.
Startups like to build big syndicates of investors so they can draw on a wide network and range of special skills. But GroupMe’s Jared Hecht thinks having too many backers can make life hell for a startup. After all, would you prefer to focus on managing the business, or run around trying to lock down a dozen signatures and votes for every big decision.
New York’s most itterative location based social network likes to pitch itself as the modern day loyalty card, so it makes sense that it would want to offer its users deals and discounts when they check in. But rather than building out an extensive sales force, it has been adding deals from companies like LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi and Groupon.
Now foursquare is partnering with Atlanta based Scoutmob to add another 500 local deals in 13 American cities. “Of all the deal integrations we’ve done, the Scoutmob partnership most closely aligns with our own Specials format, where no payment is required to redeem deals spontaneously” said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development at foursquare.
The hunt is on. Last week, we broke the news that Andy Weissman was making the leap from betaworks to Union Square Ventures, formalizing the marriage of a Silicon Alley Power Couple that would have made a big splash in the Vows column, if only the New York tech scene had its own Wedding section.
Since Mr. Weissman will be out by the end of the month, betaworks isn’t wasting any time looking for “a new member to our team to help us with our seed-stage investments,” according to the listing on its careers page. In an email to Betabeat, John Borthwick wrote:
Last night Betabeat broke the news that betaworks (no relation) co-founder Read More
Betaworks co-founder Andy Weissman has made a major and unexpected move. After four years at the innovation lab, Mr. Weissman is leaving to join New York’s most prestigious venture fund, Union Square Ventures, which Betabeat learned today is in the process of raising a new $150-200 million round.
Below is the internal email from Mr. Weissman’s co-founder, John Borthwick, to the betaworks staff.
If you’re anything like Betabeat and routinely find yourself chasing down founders and venture capitalists (it’s all very professional, we assure you), chances are you’ve come across more and more About.me profiles recently.
The San Francisco start-up, which AOL snatched up last December, lets users create a free splash page-like personal profile with a big photo, short bio, and handy little buttons connecting to your other profiles scattered around the web (Twitter, Foursquare, WordPress, etc.). Users can also access analytics in terms of traffic to their About.me page.
In the battle to become your “single online identity,” About.me certainly certainly has an aesthetic and utilitarian edge over say, your drab Google profile. And its list of advisers–Kevin Rose, Om Malick, Tim Ferriss, Andy Weissman–is impressive. But we have yet to see anyone outside of the tech world’s earliest-of-adopters latch on. Which might be why the start-up is making an aggressive push into the streets of New York.
New York’s premier digital studio, betaworks, is preparing to launch its first gaming company, MadRaces.
MadRaces will be an “core company” alongside Chartbeat, Bit.ly and Social Flow, not an investment like Buglabs or Tweetdeck.
The most interesting part? It will be a real-time game against people in your vicinity. Betaworks was built around the growth in Read More